did my first session of EMDR on Saturday. good old shrink comes to me instead of me going to her…its not worth the stress, for me…don’t know about her though…oh well, she gets paid well.
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing, seems to be the ‘new kid on the block’ at the moment; for those fucked enough to receive it anyways. i’d asked for Exposure Therapy, but apparently I was too fucked (my words) for that – for the intense shit anyway. so I got the shortened version of it.
our tiny little country sports about a dozen EMDR therapists with about a dozen more in training. it’s all a bit of a stab in the dark by the sounds of it…but i listened to her, and then complied with the process…or processing.
before commencement though, i filled in four sheets of forms…to assess whether i was currently in a dissociative state and whether this therapy could send me into a tail spin and tip-off a top off aka suicide! apparently one can’t be in any way disassociated, medical or mental…hmmm she realises disassociation is my norm ay??
anyway, first we bring up, or remember, a distressing memory…my question was, ‘which one do you want first?’. apparently the earliest i can remember. So wah-lah, i dished up the first and then the questions began.
the questioning bit reminds me of CBT and honestly, i question myself harder than this. but i rolled with it. the idea was to describe the memory, then the feeling associated with the memory. cool.
my question to her was ‘how am I supposed to attach a feeling to a memory for that age?’ (age being 3).
she had prompts.
my beef with prompts and trying to attach a feeling to a memory from that age bracket is…you don’t really have the ability, or language to describe a feeling at that age. remembering my girls at that age, and my mokos, they fell to the floor and had a tantrum if they were upset or pissed off. they screamed if they were in pain, they cringed and hid behind one of us if they were scared.
they didn’t sit up and say ‘excuse me peeps, I’m feeling a deep sense of sadness and loss associated with you taking the fork off me and telling me in a slightly too stern tone, that i am unable to place it in the electricity socket’.
yep, it doesn’t make sense. so to add prompts to an event; or language to an event, when there wouldn’t really have been one … is dodgy to say the least.
so, i told her what my body did at the time of the event, because I can remember that. i told her she could interpret that how ever she sees fit, but i wasn’t going to add-on something that i could not have verbalised at the time.
this continued through 5 other memories. she wanted the ‘big one’ but i’m not going there yet. i don’t really want her mincing through my memories if i’m unsure she actually knows what the fuck she’s doing.
so after number 6 memory, all of them, varying degrees of horrific and fucked up, she moves into the next phase.
she sits next to me, waves her fingers strategically in front of my face and asks me to follow them. i do. i’m then asked to remember something good or ‘safe’. you know, the old ‘safe place’.
now let me digress or divert or whatever.
here’s where I have another problem with this whole therapy thing related to infant sexual assault recipients. (yes, you may have noticed I don’t do the title or the label like the text-book. say it as it is i reckon. i’m not a victim, or a survivor as such. i’m the recipient of some one else’s fucked up-ness. does that make me a victim and then survivor thereafter…probably…but don’t dress up the title with something a bit more palatable…it is what it is.)
my supposed ‘safe place’ is non-existent. i have a safe-ish feeling…sometimes. and quite frankly, if i had a safe place, don’t you think i’d be there? and if i had a sense of safety and security, don’t you think i’d take that with me everywhere and probably wouldn’t be having panic attacks and shit? there is no safe place. reality. fact. i have safe moments as memories…and i’m trying to remember more of them to balance the other stuff out. but the world is a desperately shitty, violent and fucked up place. period.
so, i told her this, and she persisted. so the best i could come up with, was a person that i had spent about 2 hours with, a few years ago, that had made me feel quite safe and protected in the environment that i was in.
that became the ‘safe place’.
so she’s waving her fingers, i’m following with my eyes, trying to ‘feel’ the safe place; and then she asks me to recollect the distressing memory, all the while watching her fingers; and then the safe place.
hey presto – ‘how do I feel now’.
dizzy was my response. so she did it again. how did I feel after that? …tired was my response.
and apparently that’s what I should feel.
and as the distressing memory makes its way from the front of my brain somewhere, to the back…the re-processing bit…i should be okey dokey after that. as I re-process the memory ‘properly’ and trade in the distressing for the safe…i ‘should’ be good.
and thats what i have issue with. the ‘shoulds’. i feel like a guinea pig.