You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
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.