The title is in honor of my ‘damn therapist’ friend who I mentioned in my last post. The first time I saw the two therapist’s I work for (whom I call those “damn therapists) do EMDR, I was completely amazed. My prior experience wasn’t so good, but as I sat behind the camera filming them for certification, it was jaw dropping watching the process unfold before me. Not that I didn’t think they were great at what they do, because they are incredibly gifted therapists. That’s why the name, ‘damn therapists’, is a term of endearment. I kinda lump my own therapist in there too because they are all so damn good and sometimes too good- if you know what I mean. You can’t get away with anything with them. LOL
Anyway, back to my “experiment” today in therapy. I was very nervous, but felt completely safe. We met at my T office and my DTF (damn therapist friend) was there to start at 9AM. It absolutely helped to have my own T there and in a familiar place. My T has a pretty laid back personality, but can also take on a strong, aggressive stance when needed. I felt that strong personality when I walked in her office, and it felt comforting, not that I was in danger, but to know she had my back no matter what happened! And since we were both new at this, that was probably an appropriate stance for her to take.
My DTF went through how it would work, which I was prepared for in advance, and asked if we had any questions. I let them know my teenage part- B, was going to participate and she good okay to be there. No other parts were going to be involved, so I made sure they were all safe and tucked away in their rooms. 🙂
My DTF used the bilateral stimulation through directed lateral eye movements-using my eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across my field of vision. Initially, I had difficulty tracking…no surprise there! But after a couple of tries I began tracking her two fingers and quickly, very quickly things began to surface. This is the piece that made me nervous, because she wanted me to say whatever it was that came up- and did I mention, OUT LOUD! I couldn’t try to fix or change it before I spoke it out loud…oh the pain of not filtering! How was it suppose to come out just right? Oh, it’s not?? There’s no right or wrong answer? What have I gotten myself into here? But I pushed through, right or wrong, good or bad.
I established my negative cognition of, “I should not trust people” and my positive belief (which I struggled with) “I can discern that I can trust people”. So all my sets had to do with the fact that I have trusted people who ultimately have hurt me in some way or another. Then my teenage part, B came and rocked my world with the information she processed out loud. You know that moment when you hear something so shocking that you are like, “What the f*** just happened? Did she just say what I think she said?”
Yeah, that is what happened. I’m listening as she is present, speaking and revealing this information that has everyone in the room reacting in different ways. I want to stop this process, and get out of there. I catch a glimpse of my DTF, who is trying desperately to not show her reaction, but I saw it and knew how she felt about it. Then I hear my T, who’s sitting to my left, do what I call the Junie B. Jones, “huffy breath”.…5x! I could hear her deep sighs as B was talking about something a trusted friend had done several years ago. All that information we heard, only confirmed my negative thinking that I should not trust people…they will hurt me! And this hurt, badly!
I was ready to wrap up the EMDR session and end all of this emotion and processing. My DTF did a great job of repeating my positive belief and that there are people in my life who love, care and will be there for me! I was grateful, but it was hard to hear. As soon as my DTF ended the session, I got up and headed to the bathroom. The 3 of us talked briefly and then I was left with my T for the remaining 45 min. Not enough time to understand what we heard, but we both agreed to one thing…we may never have received this information from B if we didn’t choose to do EMDR. I’m fairly sure she wouldn’t have shared this any other time. Perhaps this is why she agreed to this in the first place?? Maybe she wanted to do this, so she didn’t have to carry this around anymore. Either way, it was a good choice, even if I thought it was only going to be an experiment.
I headed out to my car, but I knew I needed to get more grounded. I was not in a good place, so I decided to go for a walk. The tears began to roll down my face and I couldn’t stop thinking, “What is so wrong with me, that I am a magnet for crazy people who want to hurt me?” I walked for about 15-20 minutes before returning to my car. I noticed my T walking toward me, she must have seen my car still parked outside and came to check on me. I love that she cares enough to do the little things. We talked outside for about 30min. and she helped me get more insight as to what I need to do for myself. I thanked her for caring so much. She responded, “You don’t have to thank me. I hope you do know that I care that much. You make it easy. If you need anything, just let me know.”
Will I do EMDR again? Probably….very likely. I had the same feelings afterwards like I do when I have been switched for a long period of time in session. I’ve had a headache all day, been physically and emotionally exhausted, cried several times, and been very angry as well. The difference is my parts are usually sharing memories from my past, it’s over and I don’t have any connection with my abusers. This new information today, affects present day relationships, and I am not sure what to do. Of course, it happens on a Friday and I won’t have another session until Tuesday. UGH!