So far all my therapy sessions have been the preparation for the actual processing of the memories. We have worked a lot on my timeline and the reason behind this became more apparent today.
This is a brief intro on what EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) is all about. Please bear in mind this is my explanation of it from my experience so far, not an official one. Whilst thinking of the specific memory, I was told to think about how it made me feel/think and rate it on scales. And then whilst thinking of that memory, follow my therapists fingers horizontally. After about 10 seconds of that, she would stop and ask if any other thoughts or feeling came up. I never actually made it to the processing part and so can’t comment on that part.
Going back to my timeline, my therapist explained that there was no point starting with recent traumas when I had earlier issues as this could potentially block the process. And also wanted to start on something not that bad to get in to the swing of how it all works.
One of my earliest memories was from about aged 6 when my mum and dad had divorced (he was violent and had numerous affairs). Me, my mum and my brother were in our new home when he came banging on the door. My mum immediately moved us in to the back room which had a lock on it (don’t know why there was a lock!!) and called the police. In the meantime my dad had kicked the front door in and was having a good go at the inside one that we were behind. Then the next thing I remember was the police being there and telling my brother and I to go to the park around the corner. As we set off I remember seeing my dad being put in to a police car. So ask you can see it’s not a great memory but I wouldn’t say it was life changing!
And then we began the EMDR, I told her I felt scared in the memory and we worked on that. After one round of finger following I didn’t feel any different. So we did it again, concentrating on the feeling of scared. And then it all unravelled. I had the thought what did I do wrong, I felt hatred and also the thought of why doesn’t he love me? By this time I was in tears and asked to stop.
The problem is, my relationship with my dad is pretty much non-existent but over the years has caused me a lot of issues (based on the how can someone who is supposed to love me unconditionally, hate me so much!). However, I had decided at Christmas that I wanted him out of my life and why was I so bothered what he thought of me. And so to bring up all these emotions about him at a time when I am really struggling with all other stuff has really messed my head up!!
Everyone has told me to expect to feel worse before better with therapy and I thought this would be true when I spoke about (or using whatever therapy) it all. However, I didn’t expect it so soon and over a minor memory when I was 6. If we use that as a start point, I have a lot of traumas in my life and I don’t think I want to go in to them all like this.