EMDR: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing- A letter to [L] (just incase it works)
They tell me EMDR is the answer, EMDR will make me not love you anymore. EMDR is the pixie dust that makes it all work. Faith, trust, and EMDR; I’ll live happily ever after in never-ever (again) land. It will make me a better student, I won’t be so obsessive, I’ll be capable of healthy relationships….. I will want healthy relationships? I will be a better mom, I’ll get out of bed EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’ll be a better person, friend, daughter, sister, all at the price of giving you away.
In layman’s term EMDR is f***ing hypnosis at the physical brain level. They rewire your past, they put you in a REM (dream) like state and ask you to relive memories, pull up pictures of past traumatic events: “You’ll see everything much more clearly than you remember it on your own right now”- just like nightmares and dreams feel so real compared to daydreaming- and they change the way you feel and think about your most defining moments.
But I still remember your face, your eyes, your sneer. I remember thinking: “just swallow the tooth, get it out of your mouth, you need to scream so someone hears you.” I remember seeing you, see my face under the street light. I had turned around to see how close you were, I was running out of energy and things were moving slower and all you said was “Oh shit”…. you started running faster towards me again- I wasn’t sure if it was because you realized what you had done and wanted to save me or if you wanted to finish what you started- I ran like hell. I remember what you did enough, I don’t need anymore remembering. I remember enough and I still love you…….. But they’ll fix that, they’ll take that all away, I’ll be “better”.
They’re going to rewire my brain, they’re going to take away my love for you….. AND I’M…..going to let them. I don’t think; no I know, I don’t have a choice. I’m in therapy because I need help getting away from triggers, and the desire for toxic things in my life. I’m in therapy so I can learn to get out of bed and make it through a day without chewing handfuls of [ANXIETY MEDS]- and then calling my doctor crying that I’m out of [ANXIETY MEDS] so she’ll give me more in the middle of a melt down. I need therapy so I don’t keep letting myself be abused by you. I need therapy because my problem of letting you abuse me “because I love you” can’t be fixed by you getting better- Even if you do get better and I truly hope you do- I need therapy to fix the parts of me that allowed you to continually hurt me and still came back. That’s why I’m in therapy, and they say this is the next step, I’m at a stand still. I’ve resisted, I’ve said “but I had a recent concussion” and “but I’m not ready to not love him yet” they say we’ll use a hand held device and me saying I’m not ready is definitely a sure sign that it’s time. Therapy and talking isn’t enough for me. I need EMDR to get rid of you…… EMDR will make me not want to take you back, I’ll be safe from myself. EMDR will dissociate you and love. It will put you=bad in my brain. It will de-stimulize sexual arousal and you. It will make me see the real you. It will take away the broken crumbled pathways in my brain and replace them with a whole new way of thinking-hiking trails to sidewalks. It will take away my idealized version of you and replace ‘you’ with the truth about the things you did to me. I say I know the truth, they say I don’t feel the truth yet. The real truth is I don’t want to.
EMDR is my way out of the trailer park that is my life, the constant tornados of feelings tearing it apart. It will take away my magnetic pull to chaos and turmoil; It will put me in a dusty school basement somewhere, it will “keep me safe”, with all the other dusty old things, afraid of the screaming wind- but they don’t see how I love the swirl of water, wind and power. They’ve never started into the unknown future with tears rolling down their cheeks and hair whipping around their face. But they say It’s unhealthy that I live for the calm before the storm, the moments of clarity in the eye, and the triumph of surviving on the other side: having seen beauty where others only see the aftermath and destruction.
They don’t know that being broken and fragile can be a magical thing, people who are grounded and whole are too heavy to get swept up in the life going on around them, they don’t dance on the bar and kiss in the rain. The fragile bird with a broken wing might be swept off the line and ripped apart by the storm, it’s happened to me once or twice…..and damn did it hurt- but that same little bird could be carried to new heights never explored by “grounded people” and they can’t tell me it’s not worth it; not until you’ve basked in the glow of the church on [RANDOM] street; lit up on a clear night by lights and a whole lot of ecstasy. Not until you’ve dodged fireworks exploding on the ground instead of the air-until you’ve been the firework too excited to wait to show the world what you are so you go off a little to early…. but then maybe they’re right……being up close is beautiful, mesmerizing, but people get hurt when you explode before you reach the sky.
EMDR will take away the little Dory in my head that sings “We see the undertow and we say: LETS GO!” and I wonder what adventures I might miss out on….. What if the person destined to teach me to speak whale is sitting on the highest [LOCAL SIGNIFICANT STRUCTURE] waiting for me to climb up into the lights. People who get out of bed ‘every. single. day.’ don’t stay up all night to watch the stars fall and see the sunrise. Who will I miss out on, what won’t I see. She couldn’t remember and I can’t stop remembering, every little thing……
I imagine this will all seem silly if EMDR is “successful” so I needed to write it all down before hand. I’m terrified of losing you but I’m more afraid of losing me, the only little part of me that I still love, that’s still alive…… they say suicide isn’t about dying, it’s about not hurting anymore. To me EMDR feels like humane suicide: I won’t hurt anymore, I won’t hurt anyone anymore, I might just fly high after all, but there’s no promise of sparkle and shine, and that’s what I live for. But here we go…. tomorrow is off to never-ever (again) Land.
Forever and Always, I Promise, Love
PS-Hey, maybe at the end of all of this I’ll actually like my whole name and won’t cringe at being called “[ME]” anymore. Maybe [ME] can be a who new person, and if you’re really finding God in there: say a prayer that she still has a little bit of sparkle……..
**Disclaimer- when I wrote this letter I was very very uninformed on what EMDR was and how it would change my life. I almost didn’t include it in my blog (I wrote it pre-blog) because it frames this as such a scary process. But for the sake of being authentic I believe you probably needed to see this. I was also terrified, and manic, and very very much inside my trauma the night I wrote this. I wanted to go back and edit it so badly before I posted it “erase some of my crazy” but if this is truly going to document my journey…. you need to see the ugly part of healing too. So here it is.