Tag Archives: EMDR

I had a dream

This ongoing pandemic and the dumpster fire that is 2020 have really stirred the pot for me emotionally. For the first time in my life, I feel ‘triggered’ on a fairly regular basis. Interesting that, but also an indicator that I had some serious undone shit to deal with.

After years of regular appointments with the same therapist, I decided to mix things up a bit and I started seeing a counselor who specializes in trauma.

That’s a difficult thing to own, that one has been traumatized. But there it is. A childhood rife with abuse and two marriages that, each in their own way, continued the pattern. And, not to be discounted, life with a terminal illness. The common thread–me.

EMDR is the modality being employed. My initial response was skepticism. And then, almost magically, it clicked. I had one of those aha moments very similar to when you find the missing piece of the puzzle that is key.

I now look forward to these sessions, simply because I know that as difficult as they can be they are helping me to get stronger. Like the 94 steps up to my studio.

Every couple of months I check in with the psychiatrist who referred me. We had a zoom meeting this morning and I assured her that all was going well. I specifically referenced the fact that my depression had lifted to the degree that I was no longer sleeping during the day; a go-to form of escape.

Hilariously (to me, at least) as soon as our meeting concluded, I was overcome with a desire to take a nap. Hoodie up, heating pad plugged in, I snuggled in for a cozy snooze. My dreams took me back to my childhood home, in a way that was both intriguing and comforting. And this was no brief rest–I dozed for a solid three and 1/2 hours.

I awakened feeling refreshed in the way that only a kick-ass nap can do.

Moral of the story, sometimes a girl just has to sleep it off. And tomorrow, I’ll be climbing those stairs.

xo

Mine.

Much of this past year has been intensely triggering. Nightmares have become a staple, with the 2020 version of I forgot to do my homework being I find myself in a huge crowd without a mask.

The pot has been stirred, anxiety rising to the top like scum on a pond.

Ideally, it would be splendid to have a partner during this difficult time. However, my current situation remains very much me, myself and I.

Rather than lament this fact, I have decided to embrace it. A daily studio practice, longer walks with Kumo, a return to reading. And a little bit of internal housekeeping.

Counseling has gotten me through the past fifteen years. However, some months ago I became aware that perhaps I needed a deeper dive. My friend Jim is a trauma therapist and he introduced me to the concept of EMDR. Initially I was skeptical–what is this woowoo shit? However, I am also willing to give almost anything a try. And so I did. At first it felt like an exercise in futility–keep in mind these sessions are virtual. I would talk about something, the therapist would wave a pencil back and forth (which I tracked with my eyes) and then ask me how I felt. The unfiltered response would have been something akin to WTF.

However I was committed to giving it a chance. And, to my everlasting surprise, after session three something shifted.

Sometimes I like to take an edible late in the evening. That way, just as I go to bed, the high kicks in. Before drifting off to sleep I let my thoughts unspool. On this particular evening I was recalling some things from long, long ago. And I had an aha moment.

There was a traumatic event in my childhood that correlated perfectly with a similar situation in adulthood. So perfectly that I felt a little amazed that I had never made this connection before.

It felt like solving a puzzle. And, as puzzles go, completing this section meant some other pieces fell into place.

At the crux of all this are some serious issues surrounding ownership. And trust. If I can recognize and heal some of the wounds from childhood, I can better control how I respond to that which is hurtful now.

I’ve got my work cut out for me. And all those empty squares on my calendar mean that I am going to have plenty of time in which to do it.

To self.

xo