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So I began EMDR therapy a few months ago. Holy shit is it ever some hard stuff! Unlike ‘normal’ therapy where you go into the therapist’s office and talk about whatever you feel like that day, this is a very trauma-focused therapy. The idea is that you focus specifically on the trauma until you come to resolution, and then you don’t have PTSD anymore. Voila!
The first session was a get-to-know-you. The second session she said “Ok, tell me all about what happened to you. Tell me your trauma(s).” So I told her everything. The babysitter. My Dad. My brother. The sexual abuse. The physical abuse. The marrying the love of my life that we both thought was a man who ended up actually being a woman on the inside, and now on the outside too. It was nice getting it all out with the therapist in the very beginning. No sitting there wondering when I am supposed to tell her all this shit.
She spent the next few sessions after that ‘strengthening me’. Those were her words. Basically, she had me imagine the little girl part of me and begin to establish conversations with her in a safe affirming way. Also, she began helping me understand how everyone has parts of themselves, but the adult part is the one that should be running the show.
Session 5 was when we started some actual EMDR. It’s some heavy heavy shit. We started with a thing that happened when I was 3 or 4: me witnessing my dad hitting my brother because my dad was mad at himself because he accidentally dislocated my arm. He didn’t know how to handle it, because that’s my dad, and when I got home from the hospital, he picked a fight with my brother and hit him. I have felt guilty about my role in that my whole life. I worked it out with her in EMDR. While we were working on it, I was crying and I felt so terrible. And then I came to resolution and it hasn’t bothered me since!!! Isn’t that amazing???
The next thing though was my new memory of my dad sexually abusing me when I was 5. This is way harder than the thing above, because it is so multi-faceted. Unlike the incident where he hit my brother, that only had one facet for me (my own guilty about it). But sexual abuse is never one facet; it’s a multi-faceted web of betrayal that takes a while to uncover, figure out, and resolve. We have now spent 4 sessions on it so far, and while I have gained some clarity as to the memory, I have not come to resolution about it yet.
It’s a difficult treatment. Remember that episode of the Office, where Michael Scott fucks everything up by trying to resolve employee complaints out in the open? He compares it to shiatsu massage, and he – wait – let me just link to it here
So anyway, it’s like that. It’s really painful and it’s really hard but at the end, hopefully, I will feel much better and stop being plagued by my own PTSD. That’s my hope, anyway. 36 years is a long time to be afraid.
Meanwhile I keep eating and eating. I am a hot fucking mess. Sleep is difficult. Having to do this therapy sucks serious shit. Not as bad as having to be sexually abused when I was a child, I suppose, but still sucks. This is of course why you shouldn’t fuck kids. I don’t want to spend my time like this, going to therapy, crying, eating, etc. I want to enjoy my sweet beautiful son, and learn to love and trust a man again, and enjoy my life, and go for walks, etc. But right now, my life is this, and I accept that. And I live it with hope for a better life to come.
The therapist has tried to impart two things to me, which I wanted to share with you guys, my loyal readers. 1) She said that when all that stuff was happening to me when I was a kid, I was alone and I was powerless. I am neither of those things now. While I am healing, I am not alone, and I am not powerless. 2) She said that I was a child when all this happened to me. I am an adult now. I have a whole range of choices open to me that I didn’t then. All of that was news to me, and was so empowering that I thought maybe you wanted to hear it too. 🙂
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