Still Here…Echoes of EMDR

It’s only been 3 months that I have been seeing the EMDR therapist and my entire life seems to have changed. Coincidence? I don’t think so. All of a sudden I started to let myself paint. All of a sudden I am having flashbacks. All of a sudden I understand that I have been”missing” for many years inside my own carefully constructed walls.

On EMDR Monday this week, my therapist sat me down and I could sense she was going to give me a little…speech? It went something like this:

ET: “I have been doing a lot of thinking about the last 2 sessions we’ve had, where things got kind of…”

Cockroach: “Insane?”

ET: “No, not insane. Intense. I want you to know that I really admire your courage and willingness to continue forward with this process…”

Cockroach: “But?”

ET: “Well, I really think we should dial down the intensity this week, and try to get a little more grounded. The last two times you were here, you completely left the room. (She means my soul went whipping out of the room as my body sat there on the purple couch.) I don’t want you leaving here feeling like you are all alone with so much intense emotion that it causes you to shut down, so today let’s focus on…”

Cockroach: “I totally agree.”

And then? All of a sudden. It started happening again. I could feel it. Imagine if I were one of those vending machine balls, and someone had thrown me down against the ground so hard, I became a blur when I bounced back up. Psshhhheeewwwww.

Did you know cockroaches could fly?

I was pummeling towards the ceiling. Even though I walked in feeling very calm, and even though even ET said we will keep things safe and grounded, Psshhheewwwwww….off I went. My spirit sky rocketing out of my body. Let the simulated heart attack begin. Carnival music. Is this really real like for reals?

ET began calling my name. “Can you please try to open your eyes?” I was unable. By now, crying hysterically. Spine hooked down into a candy cane. Head lowered. Sobbing so hard I kept thinking “This is what Gut Wrenching” means. What is wrong with me? Am I more fucked up than I even imagined or knew? I open my eyes for a second and see her sitting there. Slam shut. I can’t look. Must leave. Maybe I need to quit. Maybe this was all a mistake. Maybe I am not really here.

ET has this little plastic toy”thing” she throws at me when I’ve dissociated and left the room. It is yellow with a hundred little spindly red protrusions. Looks like a sea anemone. She throws it at me and I catch it. Clutching it in my chest like it was my bleeding heart and I needed to get it back inside.

ET tells me it is not uncommon for her clients to “wait” or “store” their emotion until they get to her tree house office, because we know it’s truly safe to express our feelings there. I guess it is like having the worst toothache of your life. Only for it to go away when you arrive for your root canal? Similar. But backwards. I wonder? Does she have other clients? Am I the craziest one?

ET asks me to look around the room and name 5 shiny objects. Another attempt to bring me back into the room. I am mute. I have lost my voice. My jaw mimics a bear trap, closed down on it’s invisible prey.

I force myself. I feel like I am channeling a child who has just gotten a bad boo boo. The parent is sitting there, trying to get the child to focus on something else besides the boo boo. Like the colorful boo boo strip or a stuffed dinosaur. I’m sniffling like a child who can’t decide if it’s okay to stop crying, or to keep going. I decide to play along.

“The vase.” Sniff sniff. “The silver frame.” Sniff. Mewl. More crying escapes like the sound a helium balloon makes when pierced. “The glass.” Looking around. “Your computer monitor.”

And then a shit eating grin. “My eyelashes….”Β Β  I burst out into a maniacal laughter laced with tears and snot. My lashes are shiny. I wear a different color glitter on the lower lashes every day. I am laughing now and she is laughing too. She sweetly just says “Oh, okay?” (As in….whatever you say, psycho. Just name the shiny things.) Only she didn’t say that. I did. That is where my mind goes. Immediate finger pointing. Self bullying.

The shiny things game has worked as I am now focused on my eyelashes and the glitter on the bottom ring of Dante. Why do I do this? Because every time I catch a glimpse of light throughout the day I remind myself that God is here. And to keep shining….no matter how dark it seems.

Okay woman. Deep breath. I am here now. Let the games begin…

Forever kissing,

The Cockroach

Copyright Β© 2012 Kissing The Cockroach All Rights Reserved.

~ by kissingthecockroach on April 25, 2012.

28 Responses to “Still Here…Echoes of EMDR”

  1. Oh, do I relate to this one. Hang on, honey, it really does get better. I promise you. You are on your way working through this. What courage to keep showing up… but it will get easier, it won’t be quite so intense and you won’t have to dissociate so much to get through. You’re getting safer all the time, you know.

  2. I did in fact know that cockroaches fly. I grew up in Alabama, and they’re everywhere down there.

    Sometimes I get very emotional when someone acknowledges that I’m in emotional turmoil. I like to think I’m really good at hiding it behind the dissociative mask, and it’s both frightening and a relief when someone sees through it. So it makes sense to me that your therapist’s noticing you’d been struggling and suggesting taking it a little slower could trigger a strong emotional reaction.

    • Yep. Exactly. It is strange to be “seen” and accepted. And most amazing, is actually allowing my therapist to know the full story. In the past I would have run away long ago. If I could sew all of the therapists up that I saw over the years they would make a clearer picture.
      I am so grateful you get it.

  3. You are so brave. I struggle with the whole “past” stuff, my doctors before have always said, “feel your seat”. Because I tend to run too.
    It’s a good grounding technique that helps. If you feel yourself flying, try to concentrate on what your sitting on, how it feels underneath you, notice that you are connected to it, etc.
    **hugs**. You have an amazing way with words, and yay for painting. I can get lost in art, I love that. “feel your paintbrush”. πŸ™‚ xxx

    • It’s funny, she started with that grounding technique when I first settled into the couch, points of contact, breathing, etc. And I thought I was all good. Then whammo. Feel your seat spinning towards the stucco. πŸ˜€

  4. I think that it’s amazing that she’s tuning into your experience and pacing accordingly. I know it’s what therapists are supposed to do, but it seems like many don’t/aren’t able to. [And I know I’m repeating myself here, but…] even more amazing is everything that you’re putting in to it. Keep at it… I just know that all the hard work will pay off in time. I love your painting πŸ™‚

    Take care *hug* x

    • Thank you WT. I think of you often. Especially when I have a **ding** AH-HA moment fitting the pieces together. Sounds silly, but we were watching the TV show “Biggest Loser” and one of the contestants wanted to give up because he felt defeated. The trainer got in his face with this intense look and said “Be in love with the process. DON’T be in love with the results.” It stuck with me. xxoxxoxox**kiss**

      • Not silly at all! It’s nice to find bits of wisdom and inspiration in day to day life. I’m blind to it now… or I’ve adopted a really bad attitude when it comes to stuff like that, but that’s totally my own flaw and nothing else.
        Be in love with the process πŸ˜€ x

  5. I immediately thought of two of my favorite quotes when I read this post, so I’m going to share them because, just maybe, you need to hear them too…

    “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you will discover will be yourself.” -Alan Alda

    “The only way to escape the abyss is to look at it, gauge it, sound it out, and descend into it.” -Cesare Pavese

    You, are an amazing human being, and every day you’re getting just a little bit stronger. Trust your doctors. Trust yourself. And trust that the Universe has a plan for you. And, always, keep writing! πŸ™‚

  6. Your description made me live the experience with you, like I was there and getting those same feelings and emotions. Stay strong ❀

    • Thank you for reading, nikky44. I will keep pushing through and sharing…it is kind of like things happen so fast it takes a while for my brain to catch up with running down a hill, almost better not to think and just roll with it?

  7. I admire your ability to just jump in there and go with it. My problem has always been that I can’t – I just can’t let it all go like that. I’m frozen… you are doing hard, hard work. thanks for sharing yo.
    oh ya – what does EMDR stand for?

    • “Frozen” is exactly what trauma does to us when we feel helpless and can not fight or flight. It then kind of buries itself into the body and mind and over time, as new things happen, we are unable to deal with them, and they get shoved down with the other hidden things…until one day we find ourselves completely devastated by something silly, like a broken glass. The literal straw…
      EMDR= Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing…Sounds froo froo right? I thought so too. But it has actually been life shattering in an amazing way!

      • Interesting! kind of like NLP then? Creating new pathways in the brain? I’ll look into that more. Very cool.
        I recently did a shamanic healing session… and I’ve been writing about it on my blog – it’s definitely got things moving and ‘thawing’ and I’m still feeling the effects. Not like therapy though – more like someone reached in a yanked something bad out of me. Read on if your interested!

      • Omg Yay! Can’t wait to read. Yes, it DOES feel like…almost like…an exorcism?!

  8. Wow, EMDR must be some really heavy therapy… I had never heard of it before… then i learn about it in your blog.
    Seems you go through some intense shiz with each session… progress! Might be horrible and painful but it is progress. β™₯

    • Thank you Muse. It is an insane process. Beautiful and gut wrenching all at once…I am happy to finally be facing these hidden demons though so I have to keep marching…

  9. Wow… It sounds very intense! What do you think set you off; the very act of deciding not to let it get intense, maybe? Or, is it like the therapist said, and you just kind of opened the flood gates? It is so hard (even as a person who has seen her share of therapists) for me to imagine this kind of intense session actually occurs. It almost sounds… Hollywood. Only, I imagine there is nothing about it that feels glamorous about it. Stay strong, Glitterbug!

    • Glitterbug!! I soooo love that. I think the flood gates have been opened and there is NO stopping what is occurring….there is also no rushing through it. So it is like slow motion…I just saw her yesterday (a different day because my boyfriend went on Monday! EEEEEEKS!!) and will need to force myself to write about it next. I don’t want to forget what this was like.

  10. Ohhhh, baby! I’m so proud of you! It’s a bitch to roll with, and here you are, writitng about it, too.


    • It’s kicking my ASS! I told her this week it feels like a poison inside that I MUST GET OUT…but I know there is no way to just snap my fingers and be done. xoxoox

  11. Hey you, intense. Where’ve I been? How the eff did i get disconnected? Sorry about that. Boy, you are doing hard work … i’m glad i’m following again. We’ll catch up dude. xo

  12. I love, I love, I love your paintings πŸ™‚ beep beep.

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