Trauma Driven Life

EMDR session number 5 started like any other. I arrived a half hour early and sat in my car outside ET’s house. I decided this was a good time to try and meditate. I can’t seem to force myself to sit and meditate at will so the timing was mine. Close my eyes. Concentrate on the breath. Inhale God, Exhale Fear. I wonder what we’ll talk about today. I bet she wonders, too. I can feel a heat sensation rising in my chest. Damn. I’m struggling. Inside body, outside body. Wax on. Wax off.

At 11:56am I walk up to the Hollywood tree house. To my right, I see a blur of white. I turn my head and am astonished to see the HOLLYWOOD sign in the hill. Somehow I have driven here on 4 other occasions, and I have never noticed it. Or have I?

I get comfy on the purple couch and ET looks at me with this bright expectant smile. As if to say “Wellllllllllllllll, How Are WE Doing??” She’d never say it like that. But that is what I imagine. She has a purple flower in her curly black hair and I notice she is once again dressed in shades of purple and blue. She’s holding The List of traumas I made for her last week, and I am getting antsy. I’ve been feeling a little out of body lately, so I am not certain what I felt like dealing with this time. Ha. As if it’s ever a choice. I thought perhaps I could get off scott free, maybe talk about my back and why I am still in so much pain after the fusion surgeries. Or, maybe we could talk about the weather. That would be good. Spring starts tomorrow after all. Look over here, look over here. Don’t look over there. The little dancing cockroach is waving his tiny arms, with top hat and cane in hand doing the Mr. Peanut Dance. Over here, over here.

She first gives me the names of 2 books I am to purchase and read. One, called “The Body Bears The Burden” Trauma Dissociation and Disease. by Robert Scaer, M.D. The second is “Crash Course: A Self-Healing Guide to Auto Accident Trauma and Recovery” by Laurence Heller. I write the book names down and feel my brain twitching. You know you’re going to have to read these, right? Not only to get through your own shit, but to help people in the future? This is your job. Fuck me. Why am I doing this again? For the others. For the others.

Then she hands me an article, “The Rape of Mr. Smith.” We read it out loud and I ask if I can keep my copy. I have adjusted in the purple couch about 20 times by now. I can’t get comfortable. Fuuuuuuuuuuck.

We put the EMDR headphones on and I hold the vibrators. I no longer use the lights, as we think that may be the cause of post EMDR headaches. I close my eyes. And it takes only nano seconds for my face to scrunch up into a wadded piece of paper. I am turning in on myself. Like an invisible protective barrier is incubating me. Here we go. Look over here. Look over here. Hello my baby, Hello my honey, Hello my ragtime gaaaaaaaaalllllll….dance, dance. Hat trick. Twirl. Over here.

I start by telling her that both she and my regular therapist have made several comments about how “amazingly in tune I am with my body and my emotions.” I felt it was important to let them know this was not normal for me. If you asked me 3 years ago how something made me feel, I would have raised my upper lip at you, furrowed my brow sarcastically and said, “Feel?” Offended at the notion.

It was the bus accident and the subsequent physical injuries that brought me here. Oddly enough, physical pain has the unshakable ability to bring you into the present moment. Present moment awareness. EWWWW. I never wanted any present, past or future moment awareness. I wanted numb. I wanted buffer. I wanted cotton shoved in between my heart, ears, mind and soul…and the world out there. In here. The secret world in here.

With my eyes closed, I sit quietly for a moment. Or so I thought. I didn’t realize she was watching this happen and it took a few minutes for me to feel it, but I was clenching my jaw, tapping my left foot vigorously and if the hand vibrators had life they no longer did because I was squeezing it out of them. She asks me simply, “What are you aware of now?” I say, “I’m aware of why I was diagnosed with TMJ.” She laughs. I laugh. Then she says, “You know, grinding the jaw is usually a sign that we want to say something that we’re not allowing ourselves to say.” Uuuuuuuggghhhhhhh. Where’s Mr. Peanut when I need him. I need a diversion.

“I guess I am here to talk more about The Doctor.” Mind you, I have not talked with her about The Doctor yet. I’m confused. I think I have only written a little about it here. It took me a year and a half to mention it to my regular therapist. TheRapist. God, I’m crazy. I am pretty sure I have only talked to her about it. I was struck speechless when after telling Regular Therapist the story, she asked, “May I ask you a question? Was that man’s name Dr. X?” I couldn’t tell if I was scared or relieved. She knew him. She had heard of him.

Holy shit. It’s real. I had convinced myself over the years that none of this was real. That I made it all up. That I deserved it. That I brought it on. I wore the wrong clothes. I asked for it. It’s all jumbled. Why now? Aren’t I over this yet? God. I can’t believe this is my life. But I let it come out the way it wants to. ET tells me this is how the brain works. Connecting the dots. I’m seeing spots. Hello my baby…

I had just kicked my lying, cheating psychotic boyfriend out of the apartment. I needed to find a second job, quick, if I was going to stay in LA. I worked full-time for the The Doctor, but he only paid me $10 an hour. There was no way I could make my rent. I can not move home. That is not home to me. I can not fail. There was a piece of me that lit up, the moment I found out The Actor was a pathological liar. I had never felt such vindicated rage before. I felt like She-Ra. My ET tells me to stop, and asks me where I feel that in my body. The She-Ra effect. “I feel it in my chest.” I tell her. “I feel it in my face, as it lifts up to look evil in the eyes.” When she sees my body move as I talk, she asks me to stop, explain what I am feeling, and to re-enact it. To exaggerate it. Slowly and deliberately. So I puff my chest forward and lift my chin to the moon. Move over Mr. Peanut, I’m the one dancing now. I’m proud.

Proud? Of what?  I was young, I needed the money. God I’m sick. You’re sitting here talking about this shit….again? Haven’t you talked about it enough? But no, I don’t think I have. Have I? Not with other humans anyway. I told you, you were crazy. Isn’t it true that if you think you are crazy, you’re not? Don’t be silly. This is your job. This is your school. Learn how to walk through this. Right here. Right now. Allow it in. Allow it out. Wow, I can’t believe you are here. You’re here. Do you hear me? I am so proud of you.

I take some deeeeeeeeeep breaths and rearrange my body on the purple couch. I sit cross legged, with a fluffy purple pillow behind my back. Inhale God. Exhale Fear. Okay, now I’m ready. I relax the death grip on the vibrators. Try to unclench my jaw. And feel the sweat flood my armpits. The same sweat that is rushing to my armpits as I type this now. Expression. The body bears the burden. Oh well. No one said this would be pretty.

(to be continued…)


The Cockroach

Copyright © 2012 Kissing The Cockroach All Rights Reserved.

~ by Kissing The Cockroach® on March 21, 2012.

14 Responses to “Trauma Driven Life”

  1. oh my god! i totally love this!! inhale god, exhale fear!! that’s wonderfully brilliant! i shall copycat!

  2. Damn Girl!

    INTENSE and so accurate. I have used EMDR and Brain Spotting with tremendous ‘success’. I should say SUCCES! right? those damn memories and the clarity that comes with them HAVE helped relieve some of my ptsd. yes. It works. AND it is SO HARD!

    I love this In the way you Love Truth and Courage;

    a whole f**king lot.

    Peace, Jen

    • Oh my goodness thank you so much! YES, it does “work” (the EMDR) and man, is it the scariest thing I have ever done. (!!!) It’s hard to write about, as it is all sort of falling into place in pieces and that is how it comes out…)
      Thank you, so much, for reading.
      The Cockroach

      • yep works but man, at what cost?

        It has been more than worth it for PTSD and that counts. The Journey though…

        I need a therapist just for the damn EMDR journey.

        Thank you for writing so honestly about it. You have more guts than I do…

        Peace, Jen

      • I DO have another therapist to help me through the EMDR. In fact she is the one who recommended I go to EMDR because I have buried things that needed digging up. Talking about them is old news. I started kissingthecockroach to also help me through it, so I could remember it really, because I tend to skip from thing to thing and “not think” about things. Which we all know is not true. Sigh. But I promise I will keep going and writing about it, because if it helps one person my job is done! I’m hoping to teach trauma sensitive yoga someday. But before I do. I have to go through….xoxoxoxoxxo
        PS-your guts are as strong as mine.

  3. Is this expressive writing based on your experiences, or is this actually an incident that occurred in your life? I ask because the writing is brilliant in that it reads like a novel in ways. It’s poignant and interesting, and it’s written in a way shows you have a real and unique talent for storytelling. Good luck on your healing journey.

  4. […] Kissing the Cockroach […]

  5. Love you xoxox You DO have a great talent for writing and I agree you seem very tuned into your body and feelings.

  6. tag, your it!

  7. You’re an amazing writer. So much love to you xoxoxo

  8. You can order a DVD from this website for 28 bucks. It’s a 15 minute series of exercises that’s supposed to create an involuntary neurogenic tremor — I really like the results —

    I’m not selling this — it’s just something I tried out of desperation and it helped alot. Yoga also helped me, and Yamuna body rolling.

  9. […] Trauma Driven Life […]

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