It may seem like an odd phrase, or statement. Especially when speaking about EMDR therapy, but when I explain. It’ll make more sense.
All I have to say is that if/when you do EMDR. Do you research. Find an awesome therapist, someone you can trust, someone who knows what they are talking about and someone who has patience with you, and can gently guide you in a direction that you will have to go.
With that said. When you go through EMDR, they usually have you pick two phrases. One is what is something that you associate with the event. I.E. Guilt, I could have stopped it, I should have done something, etc. The second would be the opposite, so the positive. Something to replace the bad in your mind.
Throughout the process, we had one thought for my positive. After my session this week, after a few derailments. We came to the conclusion, due to the derailments, that my positive phrase changed. It’s not what we thought it should have been. And that is ok. The mind is complicated. It never works quite right for everyone all the time anyways.
It was difficult playing the “film” in my head over and over again, and then letting my mind just go with it. You know, the bi polar, and anxiety in me not letting me give up control, but I did it. I have to. I can’t keep having flashbacks.
They started to return in July. Not to a full extent like they used to, but they caught me off guard for sure. They were more vivid than they were before as well. That’s why my therapist and I think this is the perfect timing to forge ahead with this. After my first session. I’ve had one flashback, no nightmares (that I remember), yet, only minor issues with most sounds (other than the ones I can’t seem to desensitize myself to yet), and…..darn it…my fickle memory. I’ll remember eventually.
Oh, yea, I’ve been able, for the most part, to keep the memories in their little locked boxes in the recesses in the back of my mind where I don’t wanna say there are spiders and cobwebs, but there probably is.
Also, I wanted to give a little tip out there to those of you who may be going through EMDR. If you find a moment when you are “stuck on the train” and can’t get past the image. I had one moment where it did this. I imagined myself being blown away, out the door by a very strong wind. It helped. It moved my brain forward. It got my brain into motion. (I will share whatever little tips/tricks that have helped me like this when I can for when my brain gets stuck.)
Derailment? AHHHH, yes. You wonder what I am talking about. Derailment. Such an odd, ODD thing. To go from this harsh crazy memory. Something that I keep trying to block out in my mind, to all of a sudden having an almost entire clarity of things that were completely filled in. I don’t remember walking to the chaplain’s car, but apparently, I was escorted there. The paramedics apparently checked me out on the front porch before that, I don’t remember that. My memory stopped from the time I saw the one paramedic shake his head. My mind was blank. Gone. No more. They said I was cold. I think I was cold on the inside. Not the outside. It may have been December in Colorado, but I didn’t feel the cold. I don’t remember my friend coming up to me to make sure I was breathing ok. I don’t remember any of this. I don’t remember anything up to the point of the cops swabbing my fingers for gun powder residue in the ambulance. Correction. I DIDN’T remember. I remember MOST of it now. And not because someone filled it in. I remember my friends facial features. I remember her scared, worried face. I remember the group of people talking to the side about me. I remember being in a car was claustrophobic. I couldn’t be in a car. I couldn’t. It was too much for me to handle. How was I to handle my life from there?
What do you do with all this new information dumped on you? You follow the rest of the derailments. Just continue. See where they take you. Sometimes you have to let yourself relax enough to allow the brain to just “leave” its head space and go where it needs to.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR TOOLS HANDY BEFORE DOING ANY OF THIS! YOUR TOOLBOX YOUR THERAPIST GIVES YOU IS THERE FOR A REASON!!!!!
Wait, what about the derailment? I got derailed again, didn’t I? Oh, yea. Sorry, apparently my brain does it EVERYWHERE I guess. Well, my brain kept going to things not supposedly related to the subject at hand, and yet they were relevant. It was so weird. It showed odd things about the whole event and myself. My support system, my inner strength, my ability to get through 5 years of “self therapy”, by doing my own desensitization, and doing my own research on everything. My own therapist was surprised I was as far as I was with everything I did on my own, but with all my “smarts” as she put it, it will be my downfall as well. It will be what holds me back. I think it’s my inner control demon that I can’t seem to control. Wait, does that even work???
This is not the hardest thing I have gone through. I’ve already been through the hardest thing that I’ve had to face so far in my life. (I know I will have more in the future.) But I have to do this for myself. I have to heal, move forward, make myself better, to make my future better. The only way to do that, is to reach out for the continued help that I couldn’t finish on my own. I am thankful I found such a great place to do so in my little sanctuary of the world. My therapist is great, and I am glad I found her.
I AM STRONG! I will not break. No matter how long I’ve been strong, I will always been strong. I have two beautiful women giving me very strong examples of strength.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger
I WILL NOT SURRENDER!!! Which reminds me. I volunteered to help photograph the Out of Darkness Walk being held here in the Twin Cities in September! Look out for pictures then!!!! Also, check out @mugglearts on Facebook for our Internal Strengths Project. We haven’t had follow through for people on appointments yet, but it is hard for many which is understandable. If you know anyone willing to join us in spreading the word around the Twin Cities in Minnesota, PLEASE let them know!
There is nothing like a “heartbreak” to make you realize what you screwed up in your quest to find yourself. Now I know. If only I can get this one person to forgive me. I am hoping they will. Heartbreak will show you one thing. What you don’t realize before seems to become so clear. It becomes something that shows you the path, shows you where you messed up. In my “quest” to find myself. I hurt someone. In my quest to find myself I did something I shouldn’t have done, but I moved to get myself out of a situation and thought it was best. The move to Colorado Springs I think wasn’t to live here permanently, but to get some closure. I got heartbreak along with it, but I guess that’s what I needed to wake me up. Things will need to change. I am balanced on this balance beam. One slight breeze will push me either way. Do I or don’t I? It all depends on one persons answer at this point. Even then, I still think even if their answer is no, I will still be going back. I hate the cold and I hate the snow. I thought this was home. It isn’t this was only home when Adam was here. Home is wherever my heart takes me and my heart no longer belongs here. I spread Adam’s ashes here and that’ll be hard because I will no longer have a part of him with me, but he will always be in my heart. Life isn’t all roses. No one ever said it was. I just wish I didn’t have to go through the hurt to find the answers that I need. Why can’t things become a little more clear? Why can’t things become obvious? Why send the hurt on top of all ready hurting? These are all questions that I know are asked everyday and there are still no answers. Love is not for the faint of heart. Now hope and pray that this person forgives me. My path is clear, that doesn’t mean I still don’t hurt, but now I know what I need/want. What I want isn’t in Colorado Springs. I will miss all my family (friends) that I made here, but I have to do what is right for me. And what is right for me is that I move forward. Wish me luck on this next endeavor.
Many may wonder, what is she talking about. I am still writing about my journey, I am not going anywhere, but many will remember from my last post that I spread Adam’s ashes on Thursday, October 24th, 2013. It was an interesting day to say the least.
Many know that I was having a hard time fully figuring out where to lay Adam to rest. His ashes were spread right below where this photo was taken. This is only one part of what his view is on a daily basis. I hope he likes it. Garden of the Gods, for some reason, has had a special place in my heart. I am unsure exactly why, but it has.
I woke up at 5:30 am hoping to get a head start on the day and on the sunrise. Interesting right? On my day off, a day where I didn’t have to wake up at 3:30 am, I woke up early. For some reason, sunrise felt important. One last sunrise/sunset together is what I was thinking.
Like I said, you can’t help but love it there. Not much more happened that day other than my tattoo (which I will post later as we still have one more session to finish it. It is not even finished and I LOVE it). If you want to see more pictures, it will be coming soon. I have a slow internet access right now, not allowing me to finish uploading all my pics! I will see if I can add a few below though.
I miss you Adam more than you will ever know. I don’t know how I am going to move on, but I have to. I have to see what is out there for me and what else I can do with the courage and strength you gave me. I hope you are in a better place and I am just happy you are no longer suffering from the pain you were when you were alive. I just hope I can believe in myself as much as you did.
I love you! Miss you! And will NEVER EVER forget you!
I will not look back with regrets, I will move forward, I will soar on the wings of love that you had given me. I will never ever give up.
You always have these good intentions of moving on, finding something better. It’s not that easy, or that simple. Yet, we always say it. We can continue to try to move forward, and move from the past. It always seems to find us though. No matter where we go. We always wonder why life is like this. Why must we have to deal with these hardships? Why must we always go over the bumps in the road. They aren’t pretty, easy, simple or nice.
I will be the first to say, no I won’t forget about the past. I will never forget what Adam had given me, what Adam had showed me, taught me, and helped me through. He was my rock, my strong place. He had my heart and soul. My home was where he always was. This makes it harder to “settle” somewhere, but I think I know where my “home” now is. I came to love this city in the two years we had been here. I can’t believe that on June 30th, 2014 it would have been our 7 year anniversary. Jenny is now 6 years old. I have had her for almost 6 years now. Kitten would have been six and Moose is just about 2 years I believe. It is amazing how time has gone by so fast over the last 9 and a half months. Next week Thursday will be the 10 month anniversary. BOY, will that day be busy, chaotic, strange, and sad.
I can’t believe it has almost been a year already. How can that be? It feels like just yesterday that it all happened. That is probably due to the fact that I have relived that moment almost every day since. I can’t seem to think straight. I guess that is to be expected.
His ashes were spread this last Saturday on October 12th. May his spirit now be at peace. I was unable to get to is “memorial”. As it was in California and I am in Colorado. Luckily a good friend of ours will send me some of Adam’s ashes and I am going to do my own little “memorial” here in Colorado. I will be able to celebrate his short lived life, and be able to say my goodbyes to this wonderful man that I only knew for about 6 years. I will be doing this on the 24th. That is right. The 10 month anniversary of his death I will be spreading the rest of his ashes, putting some in a necklace, and making a “Christmas” ornament so that he will always be with me. Also on the 24th, I will be getting the tattoo of the musical bird on my other shoulder. This one will represent me. It will be my piece that reminds me to “Never Look Back”. No, I am not saying that I am going to forget the past. Not at all. I am simply saying that it means to never look back with regret. To never forget what Adam had taught me and what strength he did instill in me. NEGU = NEVER EVER GIVE UP! I know he wouldn’t want me to. That day I may also be getting the bird tattoo that represents Adam touched up too. Don’t worry, I will write about that day afterwards, it may be a day or two though. I will also try to make sure I get LOTS of pictures. As it will be easier to show the day. I am also feeling more black and white in photos right now and I have a feeling that for that day I will be making photos black and white unless something really truly needs color.
I miss him more now than I did in the beginning. Probably because I was still in shock, but that only lasts so long, until the actual pain of grief may come through. I have my moments where I have no issues what so ever. Then they all of a sudden hit me. Life isn’t as easy as many say it is. I believe when they say take it easy and things will be just fine that they are hiding hardships that they are even going through. It is a matter of what you are going through. Don’t let anyone discredit what you are going through. Grief is real. Everyone does it in their own way in their own time. Just don’t be reckless about it. I find my peace by going out and taking pictures of things such as Garden of the Gods, or Pikes Peak. Or when I was in Minnesota I would take pictures of Crystal Lake Beach. I will always hold certain days special in my mind. Our anniversary, his birthday, the anniversary of his death, and the day that his ashes were spread. He finally got his “viking” funeral! HA! It may not have been exactly what he wanted, but I believe it was close enough to please him.
I want to share a song with those of you who are grieving along with me.
Remember, grief isn’t something to be ashamed of. It is something dear to the person doing it! You lost someone you knew. Share your feelings with someone you truly trust and care about.
“It’s like I’m screaming and no one can hear!”
As days move forward, and I start talking more about that fateful day, I am remembering more and more. It is hard to think, and remember, but I know it is time to remember these things, these moments in time. As they are keys to the whole story. I am remembering little pieces where I couldn’t remember before. After I left the Chaplain’s car, I remember getting into my friend’s car. I remember I had a hard time sitting in the car. It was to enclosed. I felt trapped. My friends were talking to some people (as for who and the names, I can’t quite remember). I remember sitting on the curb, and in my head I was screaming. I kept yelling at them to stop talking about me as if I wasn’t there because I was sitting right there. I was screaming this, I was yelling this. I was crying so hard on the inside and no one could hear me. No one was able to know what I was saying. I had lost my voice. I had lost everything. My voice was gone. Never to return until later that day. I felt trapped inside my own body. I can only assume that is what led to the claustrophobia. The feeling as if the walls of the world were caving in on me.
I know more and more of the pieces will eventually fall into place. When they do I know that I may fall apart, to only have to pick up the pieces again and move on, as the world doesn’t stop spinning for someone’s grief.
I got news today that they have planned a day where they are gonna spread Adam’s ashes. October 8th, I believe is what they said. I unfortunately am unable to go. Due to money and work. I may see if I can at least get that day off. Even though I am already scheduled to work, I do not know whether or not I will be able to focus that day. I know it’ll be difficult. I am having a friend get me some of his ashes so that Allisa and possibly Robin will have something done here and put some of his ashes in my guitar memorial tattoo.
Many don’t know, or just remember a vague post about moving back to Colorado. Well, I did it. I am back in Colorado Springs. I think tonight is the first night I am not at complete peace (was for a little bit today/tonight, then I started this post) since moving back. I don’t miss Minnesota one bit, but I do miss the new friends I made, old friends, and family. I wish I could have packed them up with me. I do have to say I do have a few great friends here who are helping me through the small rough patches that I am having throughout the transition. Fortunately they have been far and few between. We will see though, once I start my early mornings at work. Hopefully it will go smoothly.
Just remember, make yourself heard. Don’t quiet your voice just because you feel it is the right thing to do. (Be courteous of course.) Live life to the fullest, and never let moments where you are screaming on the inside go unheard. Life may be unfriendly and not care about those grieving, but you learn to cope. Take strength from those around you. Use that strength they lend you to do something good. Help someone else who may be going through something similar. We aren’t alone in this little world called grief. There are many of us. We just have to find our voice to let others see, that this is something serious. And that we are hurting on the inside. We can get through this together!
Sitting on memories…
That I can’t erase…
Not that I am trying too hard.
The memories are bittersweet.
They tend to swallow me whole.
What do I do…
When these memories take hold?
They seem to never let me go.
They hold tight…
On every memory I have…
For fear that by making a new…
I’ll erase what was once there.
Living life in this manner…
It only holds me back…
From doing what I want…
What I need to do.
I just want freedom…
From this cage…
Called my mind.
Where these memories reside.
Hopefully one day…
I’ll be fine.
So last night after writing my post I had gone down to my room and settled in on the couch. I got my fuzzy blanket I just finished making my laptop and the remote in hopes that I would get comfy and hopefully fall asleep. Eventually that did happen, but until after all the fire alarms in the house went off. Including the one without a battery. How is this possible when there is no smoke and no fire??? Why did this happen. So after I settled back in I started to get the feeling as if there was more to it than just something strange. My brother and I had looked around the entire house to find nothing wrong. But I felt as if something was up outside. I don’t know if it was me just being freaked out or what. But today the feeling remains. It was as if the fire alarm was acting like another type of alarm. I feel as if the alarm was a warning to ward something off. Who knows, but I have learned to listen to that sixth sense in the back of my mind. Was it Adam warning someone away? Was he warning me of something? Or do I just have an overactive imagination??? Or all of the above? I guess we will never know.