The saga continues. Except, you know, without the giggles.
So, two sessions after the nuckfut debacle, I’m here to report on the good, the bad, and the absolutely #$%$ing horrible.
Session 3 we worked on “Intrusive Images”.
An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate. [… ] Intrusive thoughts may also be associated with episodic memory, unwanted worries or memories from OCD, posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or psychosis. Intrusive thoughts, urges, and images are of inappropriate things at inappropriate times… (etc) – Wikipedia
My intrusive images are of two different things. One set is of my youngest daughter dying. The other is ways in which I could lose Miss L. They aren’t quite ‘flashbacks’ because I’m not always seeing something that happened, but seeing something that could happen. They happen several times a day, they strike out of the blue, and they can knock me on my (figurative) ass. They can suck all of the joy out my existence, in that 10-20 seconds, quicker than you can hit “convert to grayscale” in Adobe Camera Raw.
Needless to say, having to let your mind do exactly what it needs to do, and let bad memories come to the forefront means I was a snotty, sobbing mess in her office. But I stuck with it, and, y’know what?, by the end of the session I was actually feeling better when I thought of at least one of the hugely horrendous ones (in fact, the one that sent me running to a psych in the first place.).
Here’s what a complete and utter freaking bookworm I am though… So, during the process, you’re supposed to visualize a way of distancing yourself from the emotion/memory/clusterfluck that is your current bad place. Her suggestion of trying to imagine it on a movie screen didn’t work for me. The moving train didn’t work for me. But (my idea) imagining it being typed on a type-writer as part of a book? Totally did! When added to it, I imagined ripping the thought out of the type-writer and crumpling up the page and tossing it away (complete with actually wadding up and tossing an actual paper for the physical feel), it helped immensely. Suddenly it was on a level I could handle it.
Those intrusive images became the detritus of a rough draft. Words that were written, but didn’t have to become part of my life’s story. In yanking them from the type-writer and throwing them away, I was acknowledging that they exist, but also refusing to let them stay in my final copy.
Now, for the really rough stuff involving memories of my youngest – it doesn’t completely work yet. Apparently that’ll take a few sessions. But just the fact that it helped me with some of the intrusive images involving Miss L was HUGE.
So, overall, even though bad stuff was thought, it was a good session.
Session 4 was supposed to be a Sleep session, since EMDR is apparently helpful with that.
Session 4 flippin’ sucked. It was beyond freaking horrible. I mean, we ‘made progress’ or whatever, but sweet baby jesus. Some of the stuff that came up in the process were things that I’d buried so far deep down in my mind that I hoped I’d never see them again.
I don’t even know that I want to go into big amounts of detail with this. So lets see what I can say..
So, the negative thought that started everything was “I’m tired, but I can’t sleep”. Taking me through the steps led me to “I can control my mind and fall asleep.” However, in the process, because you are supposed to let your mind wander and do what it wants to do, the thought of “I’m so damned defective I can’t even sleep well, let alone make a healthy baby.”
……and that started the meltdown. Because trying to focus on that thought to desensitize myself to it brought up the nightmares. The nightmares that no momma should ever have to have. The nightmares that make me want to scream, even now, just thinking about them. I won’t describe them because no one needs those images in their head, so I’m not going to foist them off on anyone else.
There was no way we could work through that in what time we had, so we had to call it to a halt with some happy-talk.
Needless to say, that’s only a taste of what’s to come to move through it …
and I have an official diagnosis of “Severe PTSD”.
So, yay. *eyeroll*