Badge of pain, EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing, Fear, Panic, Post-traumatic stress, PTSD, Stuck, Therapy
There’s so many other things I want to be writing on my blog right now.
I’ve got half a dozen draft posts dying to get out the door. But captivated by other things… I’ve been unable to write about those things, or finish my other posts.
And I’m pissed off about that.
Melinda commented on my last post – saying there seems to be a lot of fear running ’round for me right now. And how!
That post was a desperate attempt to explain something… I don’t really understand yet. It’s good that I wrote it though, because H read it (I trust her enough) and could then ask me questions to try and get to the point.
Which we sort of did.
The point would be, I’m going in circles right now. I’m super pissed that I can’t move beyond where I’m at. I feel like there’s a big, fat HUGE boulder smack bang in the middle of the path I’m travelling. There’s no easy way around it, not yet.
Every time I approach it, there’s a sense of incredible panic. The physical reactions of my body make me feel like I’m about to die. Not thinking I’m going to die – feeling it, in every cell. It’s happening in the moment.
If I’m in a therapy session, and we’re talking around/near this blockage, I literally feel like I’m choking, too. There’s an absolute tangible reaction and I cough – like crazy – trying to dislodge… whatever it is.
Then, there’s the residual knives in my heart pain, that takes ages to fade. And even as I think of it now… returns a little, reminding me… ooouuch.
This started when H asked me why I never say Andre’s name when I talk about him.
It’s literally the only thing that I’ve ever been really hesitant to talk about with H. Or anyone, for that matter. I think I might have written his name down in an email to some close friends right when it happened. I can say his name out loud when it’s just me. But I can’t talk about it to other people for some reason.
And because there’s this foundation there I can’t make myself go near… the pain, the terror, the horrendous emotions that go hand in hand with all of this refuse to gracefully fade.
Even though that’s what I want.
Unlike my mother, I don’t want to wear a badge of pain for the rest of my life. I don’t want to not get over it. I know that getting over it doesn’t mean that what happened wasn’t important. I absolutely know that!
And yet… here I am.
So. H suggested that because of the way I’ve described what’s going on, that I might benefit from a technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing).
From the website:
EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviours and mental health.
I’m interested to give it a go, of course. When something isn’t working, try something new!
So now H has referred me to two of her colleagues. I need to call them and see who’s available/what works best.
Ha! Another potential opportunity to neglect myself, sit on my hands and not do anything for a while… But I’ll try not to do that. I will attempt to call them, work out which one to see and book in some time and so on…
Well…a good start might be to stop beating up on yourself…and remember what a brilliant, powerful, and generally wonderful person you are….
Then, you already know all that, don’tcha?
@Jay – thank you m’darlin’ – what would I do without your wonderful understanding and care? I don’t think I am beating up on myself… okay, maybe just a little.
Did I ever tell ya I like having ya ’round for all those wonderful compliments (think I’m in serious mid-year deficit now, aren’t I?). But then, not just for that reason, of course. And you know that already… xo
EMDR has been suggested to me and I’m still busy procrastinating, scared of what I might find. I can use money as an excuse but it’s not the real reason. I hope you can get past all that and get to it and beyond.
Found this poem the other day about stuckness, you may like it http://www.emule.com/2poetry/phorum/read.php?5,227818
This last bit reminded me of you just now
“At times the nearest thing to hope I can muster is the knowing That I have not given up. I have not given up because I still shovel.
And these feelings: aloneness, stuckness, frustration are not to be pitied.
There is honor and dignity in my struggle. It is a blessing that I am able.”
You are shovelling in your own way 🙂
Heard some great things about EMDR by the way.
Perhaps you can’t see what I do when I read your posts– there is always a positive note that shows through even when you seem completely wrung out.
You will get where you need to be. Everything I’ve read on this blog says so.
I love the picture. (I’m pretty sure I’ve had that same boulder or at least a cousin in my throat more than once.)
@Immi – I sorta hold hold the point of view that… if there’s something I can try to help myself, anything that sounds like it could work… then I’ll try it. As long as I can get over the self-induced inertia!
@Claire – Thanks for the poem. Yeah, I think there’s definitely something about trying – at all – as opposed to not even bothering. Or repressing or denying or ignoring… its a healthier path to take, even if that means you look and feel like a freak for a while, eh?
@tricia – Yeah, its hard to see my own supposed positivity. What I do have, is a driving desire to get through this somehow.
I’m constantly amazed that a little Googling can turn up pictures that aptly fit the posts where I’m not using my own!
I’m to a place where I couldn’t write anymore blog entries either. Words have some real-life situations where their overrated…especially when you realize you’re using them to keep you from doing something new, different, and scary in your recovery or defense. It’s why I switched to tumblr format.
I quit therapy because I couldn’t handle EMDR. I don’t think it’s good or bad to quit or stay…but I feel I’m just one of those people who’ll always feel no one can do a job I want done better than me. I think I’m learning real strength this way, but it’s real comfort in such an established institution as psychiatry/psychotherapy. Good luck with it.
I’m going through the Mindfulness & Acceptance workbook, and though it’s not teaching me anything I didn’t already discover from myself something about seeing what I thought were my scattered thoughts in book form made it easier to accept me and accept the changes that were forming in me. If you haven’t already looked at the study offering the books for free, I highly recommend it as an appendage to your therapy — http://actforanxiety.com. I’m finally at my last assessment.
Here’s a quote:
Dano MacNamarrah said:
Hon, EMDR is a great way for those who would rather not use meds. It can range in its’ application from shoulder touch to eye movement. I was compelled, when I was struggling with PTSD, yet too poor to explore it.
I found out about a great PTSD med, which I told my p-doc about. It worked. I think it saved my life. At the least, it returned my life to me.
I hope that you can find the peace you deserve.
I think it might be okay to honor the boundary your fear seems to be throwing up around the saying of the name. Saying someone’s name can evoke (maybe this is stating the obvious, but…) so much. It can feel like a strong, yet mysteriously intangible, and almost physical force from the ethers. I would say, let it come out when it feels okay to say it. Forcing it might be too much right now.
I wish you well, courageous woman.
I agree with Dr. Jay that it might be good to stop beating yourself up! As for the fear of becoming like your mother–carryng the pain around like a badge–well, I don’t think tht is gong to happen. Give yourself some credit for undergoing therapy–for being proactive enough to want to heal. Many people simply wallow in their suffering but I don’t see you doing that–not by what I read on your blog.
Therapy is hard work–healing is hard work–I can’t begin to describe the rage, pain, fear, heartache that my intensive therapy sessions involved. It is a hard road to face your fears–but you are doing that!
I send you my best healing energy–and wish I could give you a (((((((hug)))))) right now. Take care, my friend–and be gentle on yourself!
p.s. Thank you for the shout! 🙂
Jane Doe said:
I can so relate to this post; that feeling of being stuck, the fear, the feeling like you’re going to die, I’m going through something similar right now. I have this constant sense of impending doom-that something horrible is going to happen that I can’t stop and for which I cannot even prepare. It’s like you climbed into my head and found my ‘notes to self’ and posted them here.
Be gentle with yourself. As my therapist always used to tell me, “You’ll get there when you get there. Everything in the Universe is proceeding according to plan.” I might have said something like that before, but it is worth saying again.
Wishing you many blessings,
@Jaleesa – I wondered what happened to your website! I’m sorry you felt you had to quit therapy.
I wonder if thinking ‘no one can do a job I want done better than me’ is a way of avoiding your experiences there? Especially if, as you say, you felt you couldn’t handle it?
The Mindfulness & Acceptance workbook sound interesting, kind of like a cut back version of yogic philosophy in some ways… I hope you find in your self-paced work what you’re looking for.
@Dano – Its reassuring that you and others here are saying good things about EMDR. I’m definitely gonna give it a try! I keep meaning to write about this incredible mental health scheme in Australia that basically makes therapy affordable for those suffering from depression and anxiety. More on that soon.
I hope I can find peace too, and you also Dano!
@Brooks – Thing is, I’ve honoured that fear for quite some time now and I’m still not getting anywhere. And I really think, given the size of the fear – which seems disproportionate – and its time to do something about it.
@Melinda – thanks for the hug! I do wonder about the fine line between writing about all of this and wallowing… I do hope I’m not!
It wasn’t until just recently that I’ve found therapy hard work. Like, it was always hard emotionally, but I was willing and able to talk. This is the first time ever that I haven’t wanted to talk, which seems strange…
@Jane Doe – I’m sure this experience is true for many people. So its not surprising that you can relate.
The danger for me is being so gentle on myself that I do nothing. And, that’s not what I want – its definitely what I did for a long time! I think there’s a certain amount of effort I need to apply to make sure I do something, effect change somehow. The universe doesn’t do it all for you…
You’re a real fighter, Svasti, and it sounds like you’re doing all you can to take control. It’s alot that you’re taking on, so don’t forget to give yourself some credit…alot of credit! Peace to you… :o)
Chunks of Reality said:
I tried EMDR and OMG it works!
I blogged about it at
Check it out. Let me know if you give it a go. I think it’s well worth your time.
The workbook’s heavily inspired by it, from what I can tell. I’m not sure of the therapy practice.
I’ve always used open and subconscious passivity as avoidance, it’s why I think I’m still unhappy and self-destructive and mean, even. As my personality unfolds, I’m learning I’m not naturally passive, and feeling like I have to be is disgusting to my spirit. Had an awful lot of myself scared out of me, a nod to the power of being assaulted and how it can scare a person from who they really are. I’m trying to approach this with the view that even though I’m responsible for where I ended up, I wasn’t left with that many choices on where to go if I wanted to stay afraid of pain and of losing struggles. Assault is a horrible struggle to lose, you know? No wonder it scars as it does, and I was a child going against an adult. It was a rigged fight, in a sense.
But no, what I said may come off as cocky but in all honesty if I don’t start both saying it and believing it I won’t have my life much longer. I know how easy it is to kill myself, you know?
Thanks for making me think about it. 🙂
@earthtoholly – thanks for your support. I keep trying to remind myself I can do it, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Peace to you also…
@Chunks – that’s a great post, if a little triggering… but worthwhile reading to get a sense of the treatment. Much appreciated.
@Jaleesa – assault definitely has a powerful effect, and the after-effects seem to fan out in endless ripples. Sometimes, in ways we can barely understand. Including, from my experience, things like avoidance, passivity, anger and a whole truck load more. Any time its child vs adult, its terribly unfair and cruel…
Liara Covert said:
Rest assured, you are always writing exactly what you need to get off your chest, vent or explore. You are more than adequate, and the way you choose to share your life experience is helping more people than your realize. Thank you for taking the time to share parts of your life.