"EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes." -EMDR Institute
Did I lose you because I lost myself years ago while trying to figure out what the fuck EMDR was. EMDR was first recommended to me during my two year outpatient program for ptsd. At the time I was willing to try anything to get myself back on track. When it was suggested, I came home to research it as well as talk to my psychologist.
I could not figure out exactly what it was or how it worked and to be honest, I thought it was a bunch of bullshit, but like I said, I was willing to try anything at that point.
IT GAVE ME MY LIFE BACK,
I still can't explain what it is or how it works but it works. It took me from a deep place of grief to a place of being able to live with that grief. To this day, my ptsd from the death of Ty and Jacob doesn't set me sideways like it use to. There are times of the year or certain days where it catches me and takes my breath away but I have learned to cope and understand that. I have worked hard to break the blockages of emotions so that they may flow more freely and not hold me back.
Getting divorced is a struggle, one that is not easy and one that is very lonely. I know it has reached the point where I need to deal with it, I need to face the emotions that are locked inside so I can clear my mind and free my soul. I had contemplated going back to my EMDR therapist for about a year now and after we got back from our vacation, I just felt it was time.
I won't lie, EMDR is hard as well. You have to face and talk about all the shit you went through. All your trauma, yeah, that shit, that's coming back out. You have to face it, acknowledge it, get comfy with it (I can see why a lot of people avoid this type of therapy) own it and tell it to fuck off. You have a life to live and you don't have time to be emotionally stuck.
The process of Ty and Jacob's EMDR sessions were focused on the events that caused my trauma. Each session I had a check in to see where I was mentally. With the help of my therapist, I'd then pick a memory and work through it. Initially we tried watching alternating dots on the screen but it made me too dizzy. We had to switch to holding buzzers in my hands. While the buzzers alternated between hands I would pick a memory and talk through it. I would picture it in my mind and talk about the way I felt, the emotions I had and as I talked, they were unlocked. With no intent to ever cry, each session I had tears in my eyes. It was my emotions being freed.
Here is an example of a session, I had tremendous guilt that I "killed" Ty. Not by purpose of course, but because he was breech and I tried to get him to turn at home, which when he did turn it ultimately pinched his cord causing him to die, hence the guilt. An accident, a heartbreaking accident. I had tremendous guilt from that experience. Even though I was directed by my OB to try these things to get him to turn at home, I felt it was my fault he turned and died. It was something so incredibly deep within my soul that I felt. This one example took a few sessions to release because it was so deep. I sat with the buzzers in hand and re-played this experience in my mind. While replaying this experience in my mind, my therapist also prompted me with various encouraging ways to look at the experience from the realistic side. She prompted a different way to look at this experience and I talked about how I knew I didn't really cause him to die and that it really was a heartbreaking accident. I talked about how the OB instructed me to try these movements to get Ty to move. I was instructed by a professional, I was doing what I thought was best for Ty. I released the emotions tied to this traumatic event and though there is still a tiny piece of me that has guilt about it, it doesn't weigh me down like it use to. I don't sit and think about it day after day. I have placed that memory in a different mindset. I replaced that memory with the actual facts of what happened.
After each session, I had a me day. Sessions are tough, between facing the memories and all the tears, self care is of the upmost importance after a session. I prefer sessions in the morning on days I have a few hours to myself. I then take the day to do what I need to do. Some days I went right home and took a nap. Some days I went to visit the boys. Some days I went out for lunch. Some days I went out for a walk. Some days I went and bought something new. Whatever I felt could soothe my mind and soul after a session, I did. The best days were when I had a massage after. To release the emotions and then the tension through a massage, oh it was heaven.
For anyone who is struggling, I do recommend considering EMDR. Like I said, it can be very difficult to face the trauma, it can potentially put your mental health out of whack. If you choose to try EMDR, find a certified therapist. Find someone you trust and connect with. Read about other peoples experiences, the good and bad. Give it a try, you will need more than one session to determine if it's for you or not though, give yourself 4-6 sessions. Most importantly, give yourself the time after to recover from the session.
I have hope that going through EMDR again can help me mend the pieces of my life that feel scattered, that hold me back, that are keeping me from living my full life. I know how helpful it was before, I know how well it worked before and I know I am capable of processing my trauma and facing it again, I hope this time it can be just as powerful. I am more than ready to kick my trauma's ass and show it that it will not hold me back.
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All Of My Children
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