What’s Done is Done?

I have a sick sense of humor. (Surprised?) I just started seeing a(nother) therapist last Monday who specializes in trauma. So I am trying to think of a good name for Mondays. PTSD Mondays? Baggage Mondays? $50 Mondays? How about Microscopic Mondays?  I’ll call her EMDR therapist. She uses non-traditional, non-talk modalities in her therapy sessions. I am already seeing a weekly therapist for CBT/Talk therapy. We’ll call her Regular Therapist. My NEW therapist uses EMDR, TRM and Expressive Arts therapy to address trauma in clients who have developed depression, panic attacks, PTSD, OCD, nightmares, etc. as a result of burying traumatic experiences and memories. Some business items first:

EMDR = Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

TRM = Trauma Resiliency Model.

Eyes crossed yet? I’ll do my best to chronicle the process. These are brand new to me, too. As I learn more I will post anything worth reading on here, but the synopsis that the ET gave me was this: “EMDR deals with the neck up, TRM deals with the neck down.” In other words, your brain, your body.

I have probably had at least a dozen different therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists over the years. Obviously I never got very far with any of them. (Ha! Someone had to keep them in business.) I teetered on the edge of the truth for a long, long time. But I was never quite able to really be a receptive, honest patient who was willing to reveal all. Of course, if you are reading this, you probably know that trauma begets trauma. Trouble dances with more trouble. Pain causes more pain. It is a snowballing mechanism that can leave a person, years later…afraid to do silly things, like going to a mall. Or answering the phone. (Correction: Flinching and saying “FUCK!” when it rings.) The threat of danger is long gone, but the reactions of the mind and body, the imprints on the soul, remain.

Okay, I don’t want you to fall asleep. This isn’t about hypnosis. 😉 So I went to see the EMDR therapist last Monday, and will continue to attend each Microscopic Monday until we both feel I’ve un-dug enough dirt that there is no more room to grow flowers. What’s the point of digging if no flowers can grow?

I sit in a fluffy purple couch across from ET. She has curly black hair and the air of an ex-hippie. Super sweet. She offered me tea and I declined, because I am prepared, with my water. I am in love at first sight, at the purple and green theme in her therapy fortress. She is in what is no less than a fantasy tree house in the Hollywood Hills. There are tiny bright colored figurines, hundreds of them, posing on a shelf waiting to be picked up for Sand Therapy. I remember having Sand Therapy when I was 15. I only did it once. It made so much of an impression on me that I felt like I was “coming home” when I saw the wall of figurines. Like the circle had finally closed. I had arrived.

We talk for a while, go through paper work. She has already collected my litany of (dirt) from a phone interview, so we don’t waste any time on client her-story. We pick a trauma, any trauma. Card tricks. She tells me to pick a small one, relatively, on the grand invisible scale. We pick the bus accident. Meh. Just a spec in the starry sky of things that changed the course of my life forever.

She sets up what reminds me of the music stands they used in high school. Think thin black base, with a thinnish pole, and on top is a black yardstick, laying landscape. It is like a black metal LED light strip you might find under an industrial shelf. She turns it on, and I see green lights, moving from left to right, right to left, ping pong, ping pong. What was that old Atari game? She gives me options. Green, red, blue. (I choose green, to compliment the purple wall behind it.) I then get to choose if I want the lights to bounce back and forth sharply, like gunshot holes. Or do I want the lights to have trails. Think centipede. I choose tails.

I am then given two little black items to hold, think…thumbprint machines at the DMV. (Or that worser place with the bars. Tee hee.) Just big enough for you to grasp with your left and right thumb and forefinger. They both have thin iphone type cords. Each piece vibrates accordingly. Left, right, left, right. In unison with the lights. I get to choose how hard and long it vibrates. (Finally!)

Last, I am wearing headphones. There are tones, reminiscent of MRI machine sounds, bouncing from left to right. I choose a fairly loud beeping sound. We are in her office. The tree house version. Paintings and artwork and windows, books, candles, lots of feasting for the eyes and ears. Interesting things. But clean and organized. Amazing that I don’t notice a spec of dust. I am on the purple couch, with a purple velvet pillow on my lap. Headphones, vibrators and yardstick. She sits across from me, to the right of the yardstick, and tells me I can pick one or a combination of the three elements. Sight, sound, and touch. I choose all three.

So now you can see me. I’m going whole hog. I want to UNEARTH THOSE GHOSTS!

Interested in learning more? Me too. Stay tuned…


The Cockroach

Copyright © 2018 Kissing The Cockroach All Rights Reserved.

~ by Kissing The Cockroach® on February 24, 2012.

2 Responses to “What’s Done is Done?”

  1. Kristy Childs has written about something called the butterfly hug, which works really fast when you’re having flashbacks. Quoting Kristy:

    Something I learned from Norma Hotaling (founder/survivor of SAGE) was to cross my arms and have one hand tap on arm then other hand to tap other arm, as I talk to self. She called it the butterfly hug! It is similar to EMDR as the alternating taps activate different parts of the brain.

    Quoting me: I did EMDR once a week for 5 weeks. It helped.

    Loads of love, xoxo


    • That’s so crazy! I called my T yesterday because I was having insane headaches after the first session, and she listed a few things that might help. She said something like “you already know about the butterfly hugs” and I had no clue what she was talking about…I don’t remember her mentioning them. Thank you, mind reader!

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