There were a series of triggers and situations that arose between one session of EMDR and the next. For those of you who have experienced this you understand what I am talking about. There were situations that arose to create and support the triggers. I believe that for many of us there is a drive to heal and the only way to reach the depth of brokenness is through triggers and through the triggers we find the pathway to heal. Oftentimes we let that be the end experience condemning ourselves to the reality that the triggers and PTSD are all that is. I believed that I would live the rest of my life at the mercy of a PTSD trigger. What is happening, contrary to that belief, is that I am experiencing some freedom from the reaction to the trigger. It is quite awesome. Through EMDR, there is an opportunity to find the freedom from the reaction to the trigger and it just has no energy.
I shared the other day the experience between my Spiritual Partner and me. Without the help of EMDR sessions, I would have experienced that trigger completely differently. There would have been anger, hurt, withdrawal, self-abuse because of the trigger of rejection and abandonment. While I was aware of having some of those feelings, the reality was that it wasn’t out of control and that is way cool for me. I found how strong and healthy I had grown and recognized there were areas I needed to continue working with to heal.
At my last session, my therapist and I discussed the issue and I found that I felt sorry for people that had to deal with me and my issues. I felt blame and guilt and shame. When I feel those things I want to go away and hide and not bother anyone with how despicable I am. We realized that there was still more work to be done around the memory of having to stand in my slip and tell everyone how bad I was. Refer to a previous blog – same title Part 2.
I sat in tears as the reality of the feelings flowed over me. The EMDR headsets came on. The tears flowed and once again went back and experienced the memory and the horrific shameful feelings that were created by the mother’s choice.
“What feeling are you experiencing?” asked the therapist.
“I feel embarrassed and exposed. Powerless. Just want to go away.” I replied. There was a challenge moving through this for me.
The therapist asked that Pearl come into the session to speak with the parents. Pearl is the name I have for my future self which I am in contact with. Weird to some of you while others of you will totally get it!
Pearl enters into the session and speaks to the mother “Mary isn’t responsible for your abuse. She was just a little girl and didn’t deserve this punishment. Children make mistakes but it doesn’t make the bad and this is over the top reaction on your part which shows who you are and says nothing about Mary. Mary was a little girl and she deserved your love and your compassion and your protection and you gave her none of that. Instead you threw her to the wolves so to speak.”
In EMDR there are two different scales. One is on a scale of 1 to 10, how powerful is this memory and the other is on a scale of 1 to 7, how much do you believe the installed feelings of how you want to feel. I am not explaining them clinically but as a person who is experiencing the process. I was able to get down to a 1 on the first scale and a 6.7 on the second scale. So the EMDR is turned back on and I am back in the memory. I am telling myself that I am a good person. I did the best I could. The therapist is feeding back “you were just a little girl. Just a little girl.” That has been a hard concept for me because I always felt like a grown up without the body, the mind or the emotions to go with it. This is cool. I see myself as a little girl in her slip standing in front of all these people feeling ashamed and she raises her head and looks at them, puts her hands to her side and says “I am done with this. I am getting off the hearth and going to my room and get dressed. She looked at the mother and said “this is your problem you created. You deal with it.” And she walked out of the memory – out of the experience. Afterwards there was just a feeling of peace within and throughout my body.
The triggers since then have been few. As I said earlier, there are events and people that come into our lives to create experiences to help us find the healing we need. I left a job several months ago because my boss was abusive with me. He didn’t like me or value me. There were times he would walk around and call me loser and much more. I chose me and left. Never did I ever think I would deal with him again and he is now back in my life in a position of authority as a representative of one of the investors in the business I am building on behalf of another investor. I am blown away. He has been part of the triggers since I found this out and we had to speak yesterday and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I want to walk away again but why should I? Unless I want to keep running, I suspect I have to deal with the underlying issues in me that react to the triggers he brings. This is hard for me and not sure what the outcome will be. While I am not fully aware what memory he triggers or it is just his abuse of his position of authority by abusing me. Will keep you posted.
I am open to any comments or experiences you would like to share.