Tag Archives: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

BREAKTHROUGH!!!

Last week in my EMDR we focused specifically on the rape. I was getting body memories coming up….tons of them. It left me quite open and not feeling like myself. The past week I have been having a hard time staying asleep feeling quite agigated. I did a reiki session to get the energy flowing properly, and today I could feel energy moving around in my chest and chin and I thought it was anxiety until right before my session when the energy then centred around my third eye chakra. I went into my session feeling that energy moving in a circle on my brow. This time, I started to remember or “know” what happened after the rape. Then literally all of a sudden I KNEW everything. I didn’t get a flashback but I was putting all the pieces together! Then, came the anger….oh the anger. Then a feeling of being nauseous. We left it at the anger. My therapist said to go home and get that anger out in a positive way, so I’m writing this and I’m going to do some painting. When we were ending the session and going into my safe place I could feel my mom with me. I think this was a day both of us were very much waiting for. And even though she’s not here physically she was most definitely there with me today. 

 

End result? I AM SOOOOOOO HAPPY! I finally had the breakthrough I had been waiting for, for 20 years! YIPPEE!

 

🙂

Flashback.

Through my entire experience dealing with C-PTSD I only had what I could recognize as emotional flashbacks, or upheavals of emotion out of nowhere. 

This morning, upon awakening, I had what I would consider my first real memory flashback. It’s not a memory that I had forgotten, so it must have been sometime after the rape, but very close to it. I think I’m closing in on that time in my life. 

I became overwhelmed with thoughts of this particular incident that happened probably around the age of 7, my brother was still in a stroller, so that’s how I’m gauging my timing. A man was following my mom, my brother in the stroller and me walking beside. In our neighborhood he followed us almost home. I remember him knowing I saw him and flashing a gun. All these thoughts came pouring into my mind all at once this morning. 

What is interesting is what I did next. I started using EMDR on myself. I moved my eyes back and forth, side to side, as I envisioned myself running away to safety and telling myself I am safe and breathing through it. It passed. 

I knew I may have flashbacks after my last session but I thought they’d be in regards to the rape. This wasn’t but it was very very close to that time in my life. I’m closing in on it. It’s starting to come out and heal. Whoa. 

I am stoked on this development. YAY! 🙂

 

Updates.

I have been ever so busy, with my therapy, with the holidays, with a new man in my life and I needed some time to process all that happened. 

My EMDR has been hugely successful this time around. I am doing a different type, instead of eye movements we use these buzzing things that go in each hand and buzz back and forth. This type of EMDR has proven to be much  more successful for me to bring up stuff. 

I started healing my connections to my dad and my young life, my parent’s divorce. It must have done something because when I was invited for Christmas with my dad and stepmom I didn’t make excuses this time, I actually went! That trip didn’t go exactly as planned, but I did go there to reconnect with my dad, and I DID do that! Progress! 

Today, we focused on my rape. I was able to bring up the body memories of it, although not yet have I brought up any words or memories. I was overloaded with body memories today however. Clenching, tight muscles, headache, unable to breathe, shaky, anxiety, twitching muscles…a whole gamut of things. At the end of my session, we left things open, safely. So in other words I may have flashbacks or dreams about it over the next week until my next session. When I left there I felt weird, as though my eyes were opened a little more, that I was seeing more of the world. Like a part of me had been awakened? My child self? 

I set up a reiki appointment for Saturday, because now that the memory has been opened a little it’s probably a good time to do some energetic healing. 

I am excited for this new development. To even have just the body memories from a memory I’ve had locked away for 20 years is nothing short of amazing! I am so excited to see where this takes me and to finally…heal this. ❤

Healing and Therapy.

I have had a long long road to get to this point.

As I mentioned before, for the first time in my life I am seeing myself from the outside looking in.

This had led me on a journey to find the ways to heal. I’ve committed myself fully to my recovery.

I found a therapist here who will come to me wherever that may be, and will take me on walks in nature while we talk. (weather permitting) She seems like she is going to be good for me, and I’m excited about that.

I’ve also been looking into EMDR therapy to help deal with my traumatic memories (or lack there of, since I can’t remember)

EMDR is:

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed by Francine Shapiro[1][2] to resolve the development of trauma-related disorders caused by exposure to distressing events such as rape or military combat. According to Shapiro’s theory,[1] when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm usual cognitive and neurologicalcoping mechanisms. The memory and associated stimuli of the event are inadequately processed, and are dysfunctionally stored in an isolated memory network. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering influence and allowing clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms.

This was brought up to me by the girl I was seeing in Calgary. From what I understand it is able to get in there and process the memories that are locked away, sometimes without even having to experience them.

I FULLY believe that without dealing with the root cause of my issues, I will never get better. It’s like putting a bandaid on a broken leg. It’s still broken.

So my first EMDR appointment is exactly one month from today. In the meantime I am going to committ myself to at least one session a week with my psychologist and getting myself off all forms of mood/mind altering things. This includes caffeine, sugar for the most part, alcohol and switching to a lower dose birth control.

First and foremost, I’d like to work on my anger, as this seems to be the most troubling symptom for me. Behavioural therapy will help with this I hope, and even more so once I use EMDR.

Now. What is it that I think I have?

I believe I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. The 9 criteria are as follows: (and I will give an example of this comes out in me)

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationshipsself-image and affects, as well as marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following
1) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
Example: Every boyfriend who has ever tried to break up with me I will literally fight tooth hand and nail to not let them leave. This has included paranoid thoughts. I believe this stems from feeling abandoned by my dad as a child.
2) A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
The “I hate you, don’t leave me”. I have frequently loved someone one day, and the second they do something wrong (or what I perceive as wrong) I fly into hating them, not wanting them near me, and sometimes, wanting to hurt them for what they have done (again likely only in my perception)
3) Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
There are days that I love the way I look, and there are other days that I will obsessively pick at my face, body etc. Somedays it feels like I am seeing a totally different person in the mirror than I did the day before.
4) Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, excessive spending, eating disordersbinge eatingsubstance abusereckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
I have suffered from many, including a cocaine addiction, drinking far too much, and promiscuous sex. What I realized was that I was doing the drugs and alcohol so that my anxiety around others would lessen. I was only hurting myself more in the long run though.
5)Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
I have only once experienced suicidal behaviour/cutting my arms. I do however, pick at scars, myself and aggresively bite my nails. Not always but heightened stress brings it out much worse.
6)Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
I am completely unstable in my emotions. The best way I can explain it is that I constantly feeling on edge and anxious. The littlest things, or things that shouldn’t set me off, do. I can be crying one minute, happy the next, angry the next. My moods generally only last a few hours at most. I have never as far as I can remember, experienced a full day where nothing bothered me and I was happy all day long.
7) Chronic feelings of emptiness
I sometimes feel this way. A lot of times it’s more so that I feel like I give so much to just TRY to feel normal that I have nothing left. Alternatively if I am feeling sad I get extreme feelings on emptiness. Like the pain has ripped me into a billion pieces and turned me to dust. Thankfully these are few and far between. I really do have a really good support system.
8) Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
Anger is my biggest issue. I can fly off the handle because I drop a plate and break it while doing dishes. I can freak out if someone is 2 minutes late to meet me. My brain in that situation starts to go into overdrive, imagining every possible horrible thing that they are doing to me, indirectly or directly by being late. Where could they be? Why the eff are they late? If it’s a boyfriend… who is he with? What is he doing? I’m going to effing scream when I see him! He’s going to be sorry! and on and on and on. And frankly I look crazy when I’m like this.
9) Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms
When I experience anger I often experience dissociation. I blackout essentially. Often, I don’t even remember how it started or why I was angry and sometimes even what the fight involved.
I also experience paranoid/obsessive thoughts. I get so wound up I usually end up making myself sick to my stomach or headaches etc.
I have thought that maybe what I have is PTSD as well, but since I do not have memories of the trauma, I do not experience flashbacks, which tends to be a big deciding factor from what I’ve read.
I’m all ears for anyone’s take on any of this.