I once, years ago, had a terrible experience with EMDR. It is powerful stuff. I had a therapist who was harsh and pushy and obviously not well-trained in the techniques for using EMDR in therapy.
I don’t remember much of the abuse, or the rape. I was so traumatized that my memories remain fragmented, unprocessed by my brain.
But they are still there.The guilt, the shame, the crummy self-esteem, the grief…
I’ve made huge strides in therapy over the last twenty years. But I cannot really get past the trauma stored in the little gray cells of my mind. Hey, I can’t even deal with losing my beloved mom and dad, and they’ve been gone for 7 and 21 years, respectively. So, I am trying EMDR this summer. My therapist recommended I wait until I am with class for the spring before starting; it can cause nasty PTSD flares, and I don’t want to deal with class and trauma simultaneously.
I am frightened, though. I don’t want to deal with those memories. I’d much rather my brain just pack them away and let me get on with my life. I keep repeating to myself the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” So because I want to live my life fully, instead of cowering in the shadows waiting for the next trigger to spark a flare out of seemingly nowhere, I will face my fears, and do the thing I think I cannot do.