Patient perspective on EMDR therapy for PTSD and depression

Patient perspective on EMDR therapy for PTSD and depression

Patient perspective on EMDR therapy for PTSD and depression

 My great grandparent's cookie jar sitting in our kitchen. 1 of 2 things I have left to remember them by.

My great grandparent's cookie jar sitting in our kitchen. 1 of 2 things I have left to remember them by.

Mental health story #4

Well, you know what time it is.    Time for EMDR therapy story #4. 

Today our story starts before EMDR therapy when I decided to skip breakfast and drink copious amounts of coffee prior to my EMDR session.

In this mental health story I will cover:

Self-sabotage

Inside the EMDR session

Cookie vision

Great Grandmother memory comes back to haunt me.

Apology to my Great Grandmother

After EMDR session

Running towards the pain ( Final )

Self-sabotage

As usual, I was not looking forward to therapy so I think I decided I was going to make this as uncomfortable for myself as possible.

Don’t get me wrong I have seen the light, but old habits are incredibly hard for me to break.

Was I trying to set myself up for failure? Possibly.

Is this the type of thing that I always do when I am confronted with more stress than I know how to deal with? Absolutely.  If I’m going to be stressed and uncomfortable I might as well not half ass it right?

Inside the EMDR session

When I got to my EMDR session I admitted that I purposely skipped eating and drank coffee to become more agitated.  ( No need to make stuff up in therapy.  I love it!) .  My therapist asked me if I thought it was a form of self sabotage.  I said probably is but I know it’s more complicated than that. 

Looking back, I am wondering if it was manipulation to avoid doing EMDR and just do talk therapy.

It’s easier to hide behind words when you are the one controlling which ones come out of your mouth.   I guess I was a little bit desperate lol.   This stuff is NOT easy!

My therapist recommended that we continue with EMDR and I just went with it.

Good news, even though I was extremely agitated I was able to follow through with the EMDR and make some good progress.

 The cookie I saw in my EMDR vision

The cookie I saw in my EMDR vision

At one point a vision of a cookie came into my mind.  It had bright yellow & orange M&Ms, the generic type that my great grandmother had in her cookie jar.

They lived right next door and when I was young I would go over there and eat all kinds of things that were extremely bad for me.

Great Grand mother memory

Then it hit me thought of this cookie triggered another death memory.

I was kicked in the gut with regret and shame. I tried to tell her what I was seeing and feeling but my mouth was quivering so bad I could barely get the words out.  See, when my great grandma passed away I decided that I was not going to go to the funeral and no one made me go.   

I wish someone had.

It wasn’t because I didn’t like her, I loved her. I just didn’t realize how important it was to the healing process.  I have regretted that my entire life and I am just now allowing myself to feel those emotions for the first time.

After a while I gathered my composure and glanced back up at my therapist.   She gave me a nod of confidence.

I was asked to go back to the vision of the cookie a second time and noticed that the cookie noticed the bright colors of the M&M had faded.

Apology

Grandma Nekel.   I’m sorry I didn’t come to your funeral.  Please forgive me for not saying goodbye one last time.  If you want to come to hang out with us we will be on our beach enjoying the soft sun and calming sounds of the surf.   There is plenty of room and good company.

I promise I will take a trip out to Nebraska to come to see you and Grandpa.

After EMDR

After this EMDR session, I felt pretty good.  I feel like I am facing these painful memories making them weak.   I don't think they will ever go away, but now they have been heard and the tension has been released.  

Running towards the mental pain

I need to remember that avoiding pain is like avoiding growth.   I will continue to uncover these buried emotions, and run towards new pains to take them in, feel the feel, and then let them go.   

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I learned about death by accidentally killing something as a child

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