emdr take 2

“Note: I’ve been going through all my old posts – re-labelling, re-categorising etc. I came across this beauty. While the post itself is relevant to what was happening then; and I have come a ways since then: What made Me re-post this, was the comment from a Friend. I miss her and her advice dearly. But she was right 🙂 And what she suggests I tweaked and implemented – hence My 366 days posts – my photographic posts – my reflections, dissections and re-hashes. Heres what she had to say:

I can see how reliving a past tragedy in an attempt to change your perception of it might help re-direct the negative into the positive. Even if it is a false positive. Picturing yourself as a mythical hero at three years old would be hard, but with enough imagination, it could be done. These kinds of visualization exercises would create new memories in your brain, even if they’re just memories of your thoughts. I would think adding art therapy and external visuals would help with the mental visuals.

Logically, you were powerless, but visually and artistically, you can be powerful. And if you can’t picture yourself being powerful, even in your imagination, then you can picture some other child who was lucky enough to escape.

Maybe you could train your brain to flip a switch, like a conductor switching train tracks, from the positive to the negative. Then you could use this exercise to treat your panic attacks and phobias.

Why don’t you practice visualizing the times in your life when you’ve been successful? Triumphed over all odds, like Rocky (the movie)? Strengthen those memories and use them to combat anxiety and fear.

Important Notice: I am not a doctor. Read and believe at your own risk. 🙂

Now back to the post at hand :).”

***

Second session of emdr was just as mind fucking as the first.

Some of it is my own battle with what is logical and what is just freakishly not logical!

I like logic. It has helped me survive. I don’t like fairy land.

We started with the first memory that we had discussed in the first session. I found my ‘happy place’…hmmm and then we took off into the memory. ‘How does the recalling of this memory make you feel on the scale of 1 to 7, 1 being shit (my words), 7 being awesome (my words again).

We had a little discussion here…about disassociation…and I think this needs to be repeated next session…and reality. Because when I answered the previous question re rating…I stated that if I think about it hard enough the distress-o-meter drops out at a 1…if I don’t focus to hard…its a 7, happy happy joy joy.

Apparently the point is to recall the memory in all of its distressing glory…as a picture.

Here’s where I have the issue (one of many I know 🙂 ).

I can picture all sorts of shit and have no emotional reaction at all. Not in my body, not in my mind. The DSM’s have hypotheses to diagnose the type of dissociative disorder a peep has…and I probably fit into a couple of them. But they’re also having a raging debate about whether dissociation relating to childhood abuse, is a defensive or a pathological dissociation.

Really?

I wonder if they have ever really studied those that have been ‘abused’…actually ever listened.

Anyway…back onto my beef with it. My dissociative state is my norm. I’ve functioned that way…most of my life. I started having issues…anxiety manifesting as panic attacks and related phobias…when I was required to be PRESENT. Or not in a dissociative state. Yes I want to be reasonably present for the enjoyment factor…if there is one…but if this has helped me survive…is it not a defence mechanism that most likely shouldn’t be tampered with??

So the shrink, after my distress-o-meter analysis, decides that this is not a satisfactory ‘reading’ and starts questioning my recollection of said memory. She says, what would I like to believe instead of the belief I currently hold about this memory. I look at her like…what?? She re words things a bit, but the general gist is…if I could change how I view this event, how would I view it so I end up believing something different than…’I am powerless’.

Touchy thing right there…she’s talking about gaining control of the situation, back then, so I can believe something different. I’m saying, how does a 3-year-old do that?? Reality. She ends up back peddling a bit and says ‘its not the reality of the situation…or logic…its what you ended up believing about yourself’. Ok.

So if I believed I was powerless to change the situation then, then I’m powerless to change a certain situation, like that one, is the present time. I get it…but not. The reality, or my reality, is I could not have changed that situation at all…those around me, as adults had the power to do that. I came out with the belief that in a situation like that, where those around me are fucked, I have no power. Result – stay away from those that are fucked…and don’t put myself in situations I don’t have any control over.

Whew…fucked up shit.

I didn’t like not thinking logically though…well my logic. It is what it is. I couldn’t have changed that situation if I tried…which I did…I reacted as a normal 3-year-old would have…I screamed and cried and yelled and struggled. This was not the violation event btw. So my reaction was pretty well suited to the event and my age.

But she still wants me to find something to change my perception or belief too. We finally come up with…instead of thinking or believing that I am not in control (which clearly I wasn’t), then I could be in control of myself. A bit fucking tree huggy I think…its like a pristine line out of a fucking story book.

But I rolled with it…or I’d be still there right now, with her waving her fingers in front of my face.

I’m not convinced about this shit at all.

But I had lots of dreams…not to disturbing ones.

And I’m more fucked off than I was last week.

Is that progress? I hope so.

Next session in a couple of weeks.

First Published on: Aug 12, 2015 @ 14:01 ❤ Thankyou Johanna 🙂

Advertisements

first session was…well, I’ve got issues with it

I 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, as I’ve said before, seems to be the ‘new’ kid on the block at the moment, for those fucked enough to receive it. I’d asked for Exposure Therapy, but apparently I was to fucked (my words) for that, for 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! Apparently you can’t be in any way disassociated, medical or mental…mmm she realises dissociation 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; language to an event, I believe is dodgy.

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 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 feeling-ish…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 was 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.

Hmmmm.

My next session is next Tuesday.

Hmmmm.

First Publish on: Aug 4, 2015 @ 13:46 ❤

tomorrow

I’m nervous.

Funny that.

Anticipation.

He’s a bitch.

1 year on …

It definitely doesn’t feel like a year since starting this particular ‘chapter’ of my awesome existence …. feels like yesterday when i was whining about not being able to get to the front gate let alone the shop without freaking out and having a meltdown of seismic proportions … ahhh the good old days.

Now, its the front seat of the car all the way to town…and back {hollah!} … and whining is usually only limited to something truly awful … like hanging out with the partner for faaarrrr to long … or having a particularly shit EMDR session … but even then … i’ve learned enough to know that if its been a rough EMDR, give it a couple weeks and there will be some kind of mindless improvement … weird, but true.

I’m still battling … and i haven’t completed figured out my reconciliation with this whole ptsd bullshit … but I am thoroughly pleased with myself (today) … and my progress (today) … and I can say that I look forward to seeing whats going to happen next 😉

yesterdays stuff: progress

The shrinks appointments aren’t as frequent as last year…think that’s called progress 😉

But we kicked off the sesh with the usual catch up, and I got to tell her I’ve dropped the ‘walking stick’; dropped the benzos; and dropped taking the pillow and blanky everywhere with me 🙂 … it’s all progress…

And that I’d done the front seat of the car and 4 shops in the neighboring town. She was pretty pleased. She can tick the boxes for ACC so they don’t cut my shit off just yet.

We also got into the, how to maintain myself during and after the dreaded panic attacks…cos they still happen, and can be hugely debilitating. While I’m not as freaked for as long and try hard to not let them put me off going places I want too…they are fucking horrible as they happen.

So we did the old EMDR on my waiting room ordeal and figured out that that same feeling translates to every other thing that sets off a panic attack. I’ve always known this really, it’s just hard to put it into words / frame it up.

When I feel trapped…which can be waiting; … I feel vulnerable … I start to feel anxious … the longer it takes to get a grip on it … the more heightened I feel … and then its over grover. I go dizzy, shaky, blurry … I can tell myself that I am alright; safe; not vulnerable etc. … but my body doesn’t give a shit about what I’m telling it … it wants OUT! Out, Out, Out … and that out feeling translates into a panic attack of seismic proportions.

The EMDR seemed to help a little a bit… but I won’t really know until I’m in that situation again…which in itself is fucked … it’s why I have avoided all situations that have produced this type of reaction … seemed pretty wise to me!

But, yes, it got so debilitating that I couldn’t go anywhere, at all. Not even to the god dam letterbox … and that is even more fucking annoying than the panic attack itself.

I get why I do this … why my body does this. But I am over it … I want to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I’ve become trapped by the trapped feeling. Hate that shit…

Anyway…progress. Here’s to it!!!!!

images2N1MVT92

1st sesh and shit, for 2016

I’ve had a break from the shrink and all the shrink things that go along with therapy, for about a month…Christmas, New Years stuff and all. I enjoyed Christmas and New Years in my own little, ‘coming into my own well-being’, way! I lessened the breather thingy and the use of my walking stick…I’m still rocking the headphones and music and sunglasses and small bag of tricks, for most outings. But on a whole, its been steady progress, without having to check in with the shrink.

So all I’ve been soaking up really is the goodness that is beach life…the sun, sand, birds chirping, the occasional passer-by, good food, the garden, the ocean, the sound of the ocean, bright stars at night, warm fires…beach life!

And yesterday we floated off for my first 2016 appointment with the shrink; garbed in sandals and shorts and t shirts…feeling like we had just got off the plane from the tropics…we rounded the corner, heading for the city; and got met with dark and gloomy rainclouds…not the nice kind. I tried to remain positive…whilst sitting in the front seat! Yah Me! I tried remaining, in spirit, in the sunshine, we had just come from.

Then we entered the city.

Now on any given day…PTSD day that is… the city is a head fuck. But I was prepared yesterday, I thought. But the anxiety hit me as soon as I got to the outskirts…its hard to explain….

But it kind of looks like this….

THERESPEOPLEANDWALLSANDSOUNDSANDHOUSESANDFLASHINGLIGHTSANDSPARKLYLIGHTSANDMOREWALLSANDMOREPEOPLETHERESNOROOMTOBREATHNOBIRDSNOSUNJUSTCRASHINGANDBANGINGANDNOISETHATMAKESNOSENSEANDMOREPEOPLERUSHINGANDRUNNINGANDBUSYANDBLANKANDPALEANDLOUDANDLAUGHINGATNOTHINGITSMELLSFUNNYANDTHERESNOSWEETNESSORAIRORROOM……………….ANDITJUSTDOESNTMAKESENSE……………………………………………

Yeah, that’s what it feels like!

So we get to the office and I said to the partner; who is a whole lot better by the way (and that is another post!); ‘it’ll be an hour, please be back by 11’.

The shrink did all the ‘touch base’ stuff and we didn’t do EMDR, thank fuck. 11 o’clock rolls around and we’re finished…and I’m feeling pretty ok. Until I realised the partner wasn’t there to pick me up yet. So, I had to wait in the waiting room. Now this is the first time I’ve sat in the waiting room…for reasons that make sense to me…the receptionists voice is god awful; its shrieky and shrill; the phone rings, people come through, its suffocating…blah blah.

I sat in that waiting room for 20 minutes and had myself a delightful 8.9 on the panic attack Richter scale! I tried the music and headphones and colouring in book and breathing…..and it got worse….I tried to think clearly and reasonably and it got worse!

BUT…I rode it out; I got through it; and the partner got to me eventually! I’ve definitely still got issues with waiting…and that’s something I’ll take up with the shrink next week.

But, coming away from  the office and navigating traffic and collapsing at the daughters house for an hours nap…I got to reassessing a few things….

There’s a huge push to reintegrate back into the work force…be productive…be ‘better’…get busy…get going…move somewhere that will provide ‘opportunities for meaningful employment’….blah blah fucking blah.

Well, I don’t think that whole routine gels with a well being that is centred on well being! Not for me anyway! I don’t want a bar of it! And when I talked to the partner…after ripping shreds off him for being late and leaving me to wait and feel vulnerable…blah blah!!!…It turns out he was having a similar wave of thought! He had gone off, after dropping me at my appointment, to see a guy about paint.

Now here, where we live, when you go to see a guy about paint, it takes about 3 hours and involves discussion about where you all come from, the garden, the weather, the fishing, the guy down the road that fixes cars, the house that’s up for sale across the road…and finally, paint. Then you get a tin of paint from the guy and you walk home. But the partner…he sat in traffic for 15 minutes, got 2 minutes down the road and waited for the road works for another 15 minutes…rounded the corner and sat in traffic for another 10 mintes before heading off to see the guy about paint! When he got there…the guy was out! So he headed back…through all the traffic…hense being late by 20 minutes!!! The partner was surprisingly calm….but…he wanted to go home…back to the beach! He said, he couldn’t understand why everyone was in such a hurry…what was so god dam important that you had to be cutting someone off in traffic, speeding on by and tooting aggressively at everything! I have to agree! It’s no wonder there’s so many head fucked people around….im pretty sure there is no need for all that rushing about…and from what I know about adrenalin and cortisol now…its definitely not good for us!!!!

So, in a nutshell….the shrink session was abit blah…everything after was enlightening but fucked!

Shrink next week….the art of WAITING???!!!!

completed

The partner left yesterday afternoon and went in for the removal of the ‘unwanted mass’ this afternoon. According to ‘Libby’ of Ward 6, the partner is nauseous and in pain, but the surgery itself, was reasonably quick and straight forward; thanks for that Libby.

It’s been a head fucking day, but I remained positive and active…to remain positive and active pfft.

It’s a daunting thought thinking the person you’ve grown to love and hate at the same time, might not be alright…might not be around to argue with; or take the piss out of; to laugh with; to eat with;…I think that’s what ‘attachment’ is all about???? Not one of my stronger points…

I actually thought I’d be crawling the walls more than I was…possibly all the training from moving out of one place into another; lumps in the breasts; hair falling out, you know, just all that run of the mill shit…this time though, I just kind of tried to go with the flow…seemed to work. I might try more in future.

Oooohhh

And then the shrink came this afternoon, for our final session of the year – Yah … not.

But

I made a breakthrough…of sorts.

It was a really uncomfortable EMDR session…physically and mentally. I went dizzy and then numb; butterflies and headaches; sore throat and tired. And finally…bucket loads of tears that freakishly came out of nowhere…well, not out of nowhere; the bastards came from my eyes…you know what I mean…anyway…

My breakthrough came as we were doing the, ‘I am safe now’ routine…the crux of the whole fucking thing…and the panic attacks and anxiety and PTSD bullshit. The shrink asked me on the scale of 1-7; 7 being very true, how much do I believe that ‘I am safe now’ statement. I went from 6, to 6 1/2, then 6 3/4…just couldn’t quite hit the 7.

Then the tears came…

When I realised that ‘I am big now’…

I might not ever completely believe that I am 100% safe anywhere, with anyone…but ‘I am big now’, and I can deal with it!

It’s been a long day.

And I’m tired…good…sore…and tired.

the dreaded emdr…done

I had the session of EMDR yesterday, which I must say, I prepared pretty well for. It’s taken all day today though, to recover from my well-prepared-ness!

So, the shrink moves offices every week, and this week we were in a ‘child friendly’ zone; which I thought was pretty spooky actually. Lots of books and kids toys and affirmation cards…you know, “I am special”, “I am loved”, “I am safe”, type things. Gave me chills lol.

Anyway, I breathed through the first and worst…focusing on the memory…rating it from 1 to 10 on the disturbance scale…then we were off with the finger waving thing…which is rather disorientating and hard to focus on…but I breathed, and breathed.

This time, my head hurt like fuckery…the front and sides and after a couple rounds, the back of my head. Then my face, sinuses to be more specific; then my shoulder blades. Throughout the whole thing too, I had this horrible butterflies feeling throughout my tummy and chest. I didn’t like that. After about 20 minutes, I went numb and really, really tired.

I don’t really get it all…in theory I sort of get it…we’re replicating sleep, dreaming and the processing that happens. I get too, that the body holds onto memory, or trauma, even long after the event has been and gone. But this…the finger waving, non talking, headachy shit that happens…I don’t really get it.

What I do know though, is that because I don’t get it, it’ll probably work. I have this fucked up sense of trying to make sense out of everything I come across. And I’ve probably worked myself into this state of having to ‘get it’ before I participate in it, so much so, that I don’t participate in anything. And I’ve gotten so bundled up with anxiety and fear that I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll try virtually anything just to get some relief…well I’m sure there’s some shit I wouldn’t try…

But, when we finished this session I felt like I’d been run over by a train. And we haven’t finished processing this one completely apparently. The shrinks gonna come out to me next week…It’s gonna be a busy week.

I went and hung out with my youngest daughter and moko after the shrink …that was cool. They’re both beautiful for the wairua (spirit). I tried to have a nap but that didn’t work…moko wanted to ‘chat’ ;).

So, another sesh down. ..and I survived 😉

SaveSave

many thoughts…the bad…

AND then I went to see the shrink – (who by the way, I called ‘the shrink’ in her office, and she was slightly offended lol…she said she isn’t a psychiatrist…to which I said, ‘so what? Shrink is easier to say than ‘the psychologist’…she got it. BTW, she is a forensic psychologist which I think is rather cool lol)….so back to the shrink…It was really hard to get in to her this time. I had about 3 size 5 panic attacks on the way there and so by the time I hit her office I was a bit of a quivering mess. But I did it! There’s that! We did the breather thingy…and talked a bit. Turns out all the things that are happening with the partner are weighing heavier on the mind and body than I thought. I’m not sleeping very well…6 hours has dropped back to 2…and I can feel my heart beating most of the time and it takes all my energy and concentration to try to relax my shoulders. So I breathed and breathed and rebooked my next appointment.

The next appointment is EMDR, – first and worst memory. Apparently they’re usually separate…but mine are one in the same. I have no recollection of some things, I only know they happen because of what has been pieced together from other people’s versions of events. I only remember one incident…I’m not sure of my age, and I’m not sure whether I’ve actually meshed about 3 incidences together as one. Either way, I have no interest anymore, in trying to ‘remember’ more. I figure if my ‘being’ could deal with it then it would remember…what I do remember is way more than enough.

Needless to say I’m not really looking forward to the next session. I said to the shrink…that I don’t mind talking about this sort of shit, I know its necessary and I’m willing…very willing…however, it’s easier to talk about what causes panic or nightmares etc and how to deal with those…that feels like I’m talking about the 2nd cousin of it, twice removed…she got it. But when we start talking or referring to the actual event…my insides start to shake and then they go numb. It frightens me.

But, I’ll do it…I have too. When my girl and me were talking, she asked me something interesting. Both girls know what happened to me; I’ve always been pretty open and up front with them. But my girl, she asks…”who helped you to understand what happened to you when you were a kid Mum?”. Sweet girl…I told her that there wasn’t anyone and that’s what I’m trying to do now. She cried for me.

Hey, to add a little bit more shit icing to the rather intense cake…on the way to the shrinks office…the partner got a phone call to say that his surgery had been booked in for the 14th…of this month. O M fucken G. It’s a good thing I think…but, but…but…

catch up…

Feels like I haven’t been here for weeks, but its only been a few days…

It’s been busy (well busy for me), blurry, painful, glorious and enlightening. Like I said the other day, learning what I have recently about the pedo cunt hasn’t been a bad thing…slightly disturbing, but not a bad thing overall.

I finally got to say it all out loud…to the shrink. Did well to hold onto it for that long without it taking up to much space in my head…thanks to blogging and breathing 😉

My appointment in town with the shrink yesterday, is the third I’ve attended. And I’m finding it’s slowly getting easier…still uncomfortable, but I’m learning to pace it all so it’s not so detrimental I end up in bed recovering for days…just a few hours now lol.

Anyways, this time I did the front seat of the car for 20 minutes and made sure I moved myself to the back before I felt too drained. Little lesson learnt from the previous trip where I thought I was super awesome and did the entire 40 minute trip and then freaked out when we got into town. (Traffic lights are one of my ‘I hate waiting’ places). But I did this one…and actually enjoyed what I did…and that’s where I’m trying to leave these ‘experiences’…on a pleasant note!

So back to the shrink. We did a recap and 15-20 minutes of that bio feedback breathing thing…and that’s seems to be improving too. I can get out of the red a bit quicker, and stay in the blue/green a bit longer…Yuss! So during all this, I recounted the fucked up shit I’d found out. She was disturbed which made my disturbance not seem so bad. She’s feeling the sadist theory but of course is more focussed on how it all affects me and how I’ll process it. So next week it’s back to the EMDR for another round of finger waving.

So my achievements…which is what I’m trying to focus on here…are that I did the front seat of the car…and enjoyed what I did…I made it to the shrink appointment, in better condition than the other sessions…I got to see my daughters and my mokos; I got cuddles and kisses and read stories and loved every little minute of that…recovery time was about 8 hours instead of 48 hours…I didn’t freak out too much when the partner got side tracked with other stuff and interrupted my schedule…I remembered to breath…

Love and light to me