Wednesday, July 8, 2009

EMDR

So, the grief counselor decided to try something called EMDR with me. It stands for eye movement desensitization and processing. It sounds really strange, but it's actually not. They use it to treat a lot of different things, but in my case they are using it to help me process the trauma of the moment when my water broke and watching each of the babies die-probably having to tell them they could take off life support, too.
Anyway, we had our first session and it was an hour and a half long and it totally wiped me out.
So, how it goes is this. She has me start in the first moment that gives me despair or fear or sadness. For me, this is turning on my right side and hearing the "POP!" of my water breaking. I remember the ride to the hospital, knowing it was over and hearing B say over and over "It's going to be ok. It's going to be ok."
So, each night when I go to bed, I lie down and wham-I replay that moment and it's like I'm living it all over again-EMDR is supposed to give me strategies and resources to teach my mind/brain to know that that moment is over-it's in the past-it's NOT happening now and that it's only a memory.
Ok, getting back to what she does. I have to start in the worst part, bring up that fear/terror/whatever emotion, and then when I'm in the thick of it, she does a series of hand movements that I have to follow with my eyes. She does it until I "calm" down and then she would ask the question, "Where are you now?"
So, I have to tell her the next thing in the series of events that brings me one of those bad emotions. This was the hardest hour and a half I've had in a while because I'm talking/storytelling, giving details. There were a few points that I was crying so hard I was close to throwing up. I had to immediately throw out my contacts when I got home! A few times, also, she had to stop and say, "Christy-you are safe now. This is the past, it's not happening now."
I know that anyone who has ever been through a trauma knows exactly what this is like-something triggers you and it is literally like you are right back there in the moment. And not like, oh, I remember where I was sitting when I found out Princess Diana died (unless she is your mother or something) but you forget the present and go directly to the past like you are reliving it.
Unfortunately, my traumatic event happened at home and so my trigger is every single night when I go to bed.
This all sounds a little hokey when I write it, but I'm really hoping this works-she said that after I start this, my brain is going to start working on processing all of these events as memories so that it can file them away. One way is through dreams, so she said I could have some very strange ones or some very scary ones. So far, I haven't remembered any of them, but I know that I have been having them. We'll see!

4 comments:

Just Breathe said...

Christy, you poor girl, I pray that this treatment works for you. The mind can be such a strange thing. My mind can remember the exact moment my husband left me yet I don't have allot of memory for the beautiful things that have happened in my life, those are very faint. I hate that I remember the bad over the good. My daughter (28) had OCD/BDD and she is in cognitive theraphy now.

Catherine W said...

I really hope it helps Christy.
It must have been awful to relive the experience over again. You were very brave to try it. xx

iamstacey said...

Oh, wow. So much to go through! You are SO brave! How overwhelming to have something as simple as going to bed each night be a trigger for something so awful. Keep us updated on how it goes! I'm so excited for you that you're taking this amazing step!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I know this post was a long time ago but I am starting EMDR nxt month for miscarriages and childhood trauma. I am interested in finding out from you how it all worked out, and if you think it was effective for treatment.