Friday, July 23, 2010

First experience with EMDR

I said in an earlier post that I would try to keep you (who??) updated on the therapy thing. Last night I went for my first experience with EMDR. First, I was brought into a very relaxed state, completely relaxed, body like lead, eyes closed like drifting off to sleep.
The tapping began - yes, tapping - instead of moving the eyes following something, I tapped. Left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right. Let my unconscious mind wander through frame and frame and frame of early childhood. Sometimes he would say, "Stop tapping. Where are you now? What do you feel there?" And I would respond, as though in a dream. He would wait a few seconds and then say, "Continue tapping."
At one point, I deviated from the "norm" of EMDR, which seemed to please him. He asked me, "Where are you now?" I responded, "I-now went to me-then and said things to comfort." He said, "Continue tapping."
Later in the session (40 minutes passed like a blink), he decided to go along with my deviation from the "norm", and encouraged me to go to one place that I had spoken of, and to talk to me-then, that little child, to hold her and comfort her and then to bring her out of that place. He asked me to tell the me-then that everything was going to be okay, that I was there to protect her, that I would never leave. I did, and it was something of beauty. I cannot describe the picture to you, (who?) but it is so vivid in my mind. He said to me, "Wait. Before you take that little girl out of there, stop and say, as the adult you are now, what you would like to say to the adult in that place." And me-now, holding me-then to my chest, turned to that adult and said so many things, my face so angry and my voice so firm, and then we turned and began to walk up stairs into consciousness. He counted, "One - you are leaving that place. Two and three - you are bringing the child with you. Four, five - you can hear the sounds in and around the room now. Six, seven - everything that you have experienced and said will stay with you into consciousness. Eight, nine - you can feel the weight of your body against the chair, the bracelet on your left hand, your feet on the floor. Ten - you may open your eyes at any time."
I did open my eyes, and tears poured out. He asked me, "How do you feel now?"
I said, very quietly, "So tired. So tired." Each time I blinked, tears came out, although I was not sobbing. He offered me a tissue and I said, "My nose isn't running, only my eyes."
I asked him what that was, what we did that was not a part of EMDR. He smiled small, but did not give me a name for it, only said that he couldn't bear to leave that child where she was for any longer, and that he felt I had been strong enough to take her from that place.
I could have slept then, in his office, in that chair. I closed my eyes, but knew that he had another client after me. The tired that I felt was so intense, more than having driven all night, more than crying until there are no tears left to cry. It was a heavy, dizzy sort of tired, and all I could think of was going to sleep.
I asked him what I could expect for the coming days. He said that the tired would follow me for awhile, and that perhaps new things might come up for me to deal with, but that also I would feel a new sort of freedom and lightness.
In two weeks, I go back again, for another round of EMDR. I am not afraid any more, only hopeful and still, very tired.


  1. Wow, Bonnie. I feel awed being able to imagine that process with you. There are things I wish I could say to my ten-year-old self too, the broken parts of her that I still carry around with me as an adult. It's crazy how complex we are! But anyway, I'm so happy to hear that this is a positive experience for you!

  2. I am so happy for your Bonnie that you are choosing to deal with things like this! Its so easy to ignore them and hope that we don't have to deal with them but it seems they just wait for us in the shadows otherwise. I am sure you will get to a place where you feel at peace with your past and your present.

  3. I looked up EMDR very interesting then to read your experience. It is wonderful you are doing this now not waiting for another 20 or 30 years. I have found when I take Jesus back into those times (He was really there anyway) He is there to pick me up and just hold me as a little girl. I often go to sleep when times are troubling in His arms. There is no place as wonderful. The song "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" often sung at funerals isn't just for after we die but for now too.