Digging in - Does anyone else do this? If so how do you work around it, or are you like me and you just live with the consequences?

Charbella

Learning
I’ve been seeing my therapist for a year and I really like him. We’ve done some EMDR and some has had some success but it seems when we try memories during my teenage years something goes wrong. Btw sex abuse 5-17 different people. We’ve done two memories with the teen and two with younger, the younger have been pretty successful with a bit of re-parenting mini-me. With the teen it starts out fine but ends with body memories and a feeling of being hijacked. T thinks the hijack could be a flashback but it does feel different than any other flashback. Anyway the last one was completely different with a weird fog to the memory and not being able to make any contact with the teen. Then I’m suddenly in it and can’t shake the feeling of being touched.

So the reason your getting the background is for the question.

He said he’s going to consult with someone else who does EMDR and I’m all kinds of in my head about it.

Does anyone else have issues with digging in? By that I mean you form a response and pretty much won’t move from the response. Worse yet I think it’s a trauma response because sometimes my auto response is sure I’m happy to do that and then being of my word I will, no matter the detriment. Other times I just don’t respond and the person is left to their own conversation. But often it’s the no, I’m not doing it and you can’t make me, which means that coaxing only makes me dig in further. I’d like to say I can work around it, knowing it’s a possibility but often it’s out there before any rational thought gets a chance. Just wondering if anyone else does this and if so how do you work around it or are you like me and you just live with the consequences?
 
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arfie

MyPTSD Pro
posilutely, i do something similar. i've never done emdr, so i am not sure we are speaking of the same phenom, but in my own case, i believe this trait is the dark side of one of my greatest strengths: perseverance. when i find something that works, i don't let it go, not even when it becomes counterproductive. it worked when i was 14. it should still work now that i'm 67, even if i can't remember how or why i started at 14. perhaps especially then. old habits die hard.

i don't work **around** it. i work **with** it. don't cure it, train it. when i approach the phenom as training, my natural perseverance remains an asset while i fine tune the places i have developed counterproductive habits in how i currently use this asset. the focus shifts from fuel for self-loathing to ongoing self-improvement.

additionally, my own inner child work coincided with parenting actual children. watching my real time children morph into adolescence greatly influenced my use of the parenting inner child theories. i came to believe that mini-me and teeny-me needed different approaches toward opening up. adolescence has a profound impact on the equation, past, present and future.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

gentle support while you sort what ^it^ is for you. be gentle with yourself and patient with the process.
 
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Friday

Moderator
sometimes my auto response is sure I’m happy to do that and then being of my word I will, no matter the detriment.
I make some pretty big distinctions between

- Agreeing to do something
- Obligating myself to do something
- Promising to do something
- Giving my word
- Taking a vow / Making an oath

1 - Agreeing (or disagreeing, for that matter) means I have every right to change my mind, at any time.

2 - I take responsibility very very seriously. Which means I also avoid it like the plague. 😉 But once something does fall to me, or I choose to take it on? MINE. Full stop. No holds barred. This one is very closely bound with loyalty & other core beliefs I hold, and hold deeply.

3 - I virtually never promise to do anything, because I’m far far to familiar with how life works. It used to drive my kid nuts, but he’s come to appreciate that if I promise to do something? It happens. Full stop. Regardless of any consequences. It doesn’t matter that 10,000 possible things, completely out of my control, could happen. If I’ve promised? I’ll die before breaking it. I’ll kill before breaking it. No hyperbole. So don’t ask me to promise something that is not worth dying for or killing over. Instead? Expect a series of plans to be presented in lieu of casual promises, plans can change/adapt/be accounted for, but promises are near impossible to keep if even normal life happens, much less anything extraordinary.

4. If I give someone my word? I am granting them limited authority over me. Limited to exactly what my word covers, as well as the right to (but not obligation to) seek retribution/recompense if I fail to honor my word. Ditto, in kind. In short, it’s a binding contract between them and myself. My choice to offer, although they can ask for my word on it; their choice to accept my word on it, or negotiate further, or reject it.

5. Vows & Oaths are sacred. Unless released from service to that oath it holds, binds a person/me -and my life/my honor- to the vows made within it.

^^^ I have very little patience, and almost no tolerance, for anyone who attempts to usurp my authority / agency over my own life, or right to know my own mind …by claiming my agreement or commitment (both 100% under my purview) is actually a promise to them, a binding contract, or a sacred duty that THEY have rights over. Nope.

My agreement, my responsibility/obligation/commitment, my promising, my giving my word, and the vows I make are no one else’s to take by force, decree, or assumption. The first 2 are entirely mine, and the second 3 require my consent & assent & active participation.

My exHusband tried every trick in the book, including manipulating me into doing it to myself (like if I agreed to something, I had no right to change my mind, but was in fact making a promise or oath that I had to be released from // ditto in reverse that any promises/word given/vows made BY him, obligated him to no one, and were not things he ever felt the need to abide by), but it’s one of those areas I am waaaaay too damn stubborn about for him to ever have found any traction with.
 
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Charbella

Learning
@arfie- I guess your right it is the dark side of something that when it’s working I do feel it’s a good thing.

@Friday- I have been manipulated into digging in so I completely understand that part. Knowing it’s happened I’m way more wary of people. I figure I spent my childhood manipulated I can’t let that happen anymore.

Thanks both of you, it’s good to know it’s not just me. I wonder if it’s an effect of a value system created because of the trauma we endured or just a personality thing. I guess that’s the really crappy part of a stolen childhood, there is no before so hard to know what’s an effect versus a who you are.
 
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