“I missed you at the last class, how are you doing with your husband’s intern?” I read the message and had to stop. Honestly, I haven’t even thought about it in weeks. I was a bit shocked. My old pattern would have been to obsess about it. I would have been sick, unable to really do much of anything. What happened? Why was I not obsessing?
Then I had an a-ha moment. Maybe the EMDR with my new counselor had cleared part of the trauma. As I thought longer I could feel a small ping of worry, but it was only that. A small ping. I smiled!
Why I tried EMDR
When I was going through my divorce I was seeing a counselor that I adored. I had heard about another counselor that did EMDR, but really thought nothing about it. One day as clear as if the voice was standing next to me I felt Heavenly Father tell me that it was time to go to the EMDR therapist. I listened and that is where it all began.
My First Session
I didn’t know what to think that first session. Buzzers, lights, head phones…What? What about talking? I felt a little awkward but followed and trusted that little voice. I am so glad that I did. As the weeks changed into months I began to change. Things that were very traumatizing for me slowly moved to be bad memories.
I remember early in EMDR I was in a hotel room with my parents, the TV in the background. I heard the word LasVegas and I froze. It was like the world became blurry, my chest felt heavy, I couldn’t think and became quickly irritable. All my senses were heightened and it was too much. (You know the visual of when a super hero is overwhelmed and taken over) that was me. Even the word Las Vegas had become so powerful that it would knock me out at the knees.
I had learned about triggers and it made sense to me. Vegas is where my husband spent many nights, drinking, gambling, doing drugs, and keeping company with strippers. If he had his phone he was rude when I called. Most of the time he would intentionally forget his phone charger so that he didn’t have to answer his cell phone. He disappeared into another world, and I would be left home alone at first, then with one small child, then two, then three. The feelings of being inadequate and not wanted were powerful. I felt so alone, yet somehow faked being all together to protect my children and meet their needs.
Yep! Total sense that Vegas would be a trigger/trauma.
I have to be honest. I still don’t like the word Las Vegas, and I don’t care to ever go and visit again, but because of EMDR, the word does not incapacitate me. It still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but the poison does not take me out.
Seeing it work
EMDR has changed me, and continues to make me stronger. One day my therapist said, “EMDR is not for the faint of heart, it is hard.” She was not kidding. It is really hard because you go back and revisit dark places and the most painful memories. Yet somehow each time you go and visit the EMDR pulls the poison from your body and the memory is no longer as toxic. Just like in the case with the Intern. I really hadn’t thought about her again. Something amazing happened when the counselor had me go back in time and revisit my darkness. I look behind me and see that I have come a long way. I still have a long way to go, but my work is paying off.
If you have trauma I strongly recommend finding a good EMDR therapist. We can make it through trauma, and we can heal. One day at a time.