General EMDR and lurking darkness

C

ColinKevin

Fair warning… it’s not just EMDR… ANY kind of trauma therapy will cause an uptick in symptoms. How long those upticks last for? Varies person by person.

- Most people spike for at least several hours up to a few days with each session. Including a therapy “hangover”, that really/truly/actually feels like a “sleep it off” / there’s no powering through this level hangover.

- It’s usually a lot harder “in the beginning”… which, depending on the person, can be a matter of weeks or years.

- There’s often a highly predicitble arc where someone is far more symptomatic during the entire time they’re in therapy, in addition to the acute spikes.

It helps -in my experience, both as a sufferer/supporter- to think of trauma therapy like physical therapy, rather than feel-better-now normal couples/family/individual therapy. The months/years someone is in physical therapy rehabbing injuries & surgeries are brutal, painful, sweaty, exhausting periods of time. It’s perfectly natural for their to be anxiety & distress before the appointment, because you know it’s gonna hurt; and to be exhausted and in pain and short tempered after the appointment.
So helpful 🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂 thanks

I haven't done Emdr, but I would say processing is brutal. There is for me a perception of negative lurking, but not if it's not present. And if I sense it, it's possibly accurate, or just the past twisting my thoughts, perceptions and experience if ĺ let it.

I don't feel like a stranger in a foreign land, but I sometimes feel like a misfit or broken, - different (can't find the word I'm looking for). A different lived reality than many around me, different challenges, different beliefs, different way of viewing life, different fears and also different priorities.

Welcome to you.
Hello to you too 👋

So PTSD puts you at about 5-6 on the SUDS scale. Add EMDR stress and you are now 7-9 on the SUDS scale. Your brain uses the fear part to interpret the world and all your input. As you go higher on the SUDS scale - it gets really bad and interprets everything as a threat.
A perfect description of a really hard to understand, if you don't see the world this way, view on things. Thanks so much
 

Soleil

Learning
I’ve just started EMDR and have really struggled after my second session - lots of anxiety and mixed emotions, mainly sadness.

Do you have any tips/advice for getting through the aftermath of. sessions?
Also when things start getting better? Do you notice it after sessions or is it a gradual process?

I appreciate everyone’s different but my anxiety and PTSD made me cancel some plans I was looking forward this weekend. I just couldn’t handle it. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
I didn't go through that because my T ALWAYS makes sure we end on a good note. And if it were a rough one, we'd go over session a few minutes until I got to a good place.

If I were in your situation, I'd talk to my T and explain what happened, the undesirable consequences, and ask how you can together work to avoid that ever occurring again.

My T started our sessions out with EMDR, then immed after each new memory/thought/feeling/sensation, we did talk therapy using varying methods. Which worked great for me because that's how I'm wired. 😁

I need to understand the why and how and what- of what my parent SHOULD have said/done, the repercussions *I* now experience, and the psychology behind it all.

I should also state that my EMDR almost exclusively dealt with childhood traumas. But also current traumas as they came up and PTSD, numerous griefs and losses. Big and small. It's great for everything!

Hth. GL!😊💕

Great analogy of the broken bone, I wonder whether this explains the feeling they report of not being the same as they were.
Yes, for me I'm definitely not the same. I'm stronger. 😊 More integrated- memories for me, not personalities. More connected to my feelings (still have a long way to go there).

And still many more boxes to unpack in the hidden room behind Drywall painted to look like brick. In the root cellar, whose floor is dirt...which may be hiding another hidden room(s).

Hth. 😊💕

Always willing but sometimes it's, I guess, indefinable. Especially when it's having an impact and they are losing old unhelpful ways of thinking.
For me to understand it's useful to have a sense of the experiences of others too, as there is reassurance if knowing what the range of possibilities are. Or even that there is a massive range, cos that's what reading these forums has enabled me to realise.
Thank you for your question, don't know if ice answered it. But it helps me think things through 🙂
You did answer it and thanks. I just didn't want to make any assumptions. 😊😏

The reason I asked is the person with whom you're relating is *almost* always going to know more than we, what they're experiencing. The other person with the most insight is the T.

If you really want to understand, I would ask if either you can SILENTLY observe a session or if they'd video one and you can watch afterwards.

You also asked:
"Do you 'sense' that there is something seismic lurking and the fear of that can make you react without fully knowing what it is/might be? Or rather the fear of what it might be does.

The fear stems from the PTSD, which is subjective and will change from moment to moment. "Brutal," "hard" "excruciating," etc. These terms too, are also subjective.

Me personally? I went in with a "let's do this thing!!" attitude because I'd set aside time to "handle my shit" lol. I laugh because I had no f_9king clue how long it was going to take. (I'd never been to therapy before).

So absolutely there were many tears and pain, but it wasn't "brutal" or "excruciating" for me. It was definitely difficult to be that open and vulnerable with someone but it wasn't "hard" because it was literally what I asked for. 😊

And because I had a great therapist, and we were a great fit. He put me at ease first session. BEFORE we got into any counseling or EMDR.

P.S. losing old unhelpful ways?? Dude, that's progress to be celebrated! Congrats! 👏

Idk if that helps, but that's my experiences and insights. GL! 😊💕
 

Tinyflame

MyPTSD Pro
I think, paraphrasing a quote from Steve Jobs and to his credit, it's impossible to connect the dots forward but easier to see them bacKwards, A person can be healing and not realize it.

I love a lot of what @Soleil said. Ending on a good note and being optimistic and brave and proactive. I think the brutal (which as she said is a subjective part) comes from wrestling with it, holding the good note is what helps give grounding, progress and knowledge and a sense of safety to get through in the present and future. To change.
 
C

ColinKevin

I didn't go through that because my T ALWAYS makes sure we end on a good note. And if it were a rough one, we'd go over session a few minutes until I got to a good place.

If I were in your situation, I'd talk to my T and explain what happened, the undesirable consequences, and ask how you can together work to avoid that ever occurring again.

My T started our sessions out with EMDR, then immed after each new memory/thought/feeling/sensation, we did talk therapy using varying methods. Which worked great for me because that's how I'm wired. 😁

I need to understand the why and how and what- of what my parent SHOULD have said/done, the repercussions *I* now experience, and the psychology behind it all.

I should also state that my EMDR almost exclusively dealt with childhood traumas. But also current traumas as they came up and PTSD, numerous griefs and losses. Big and small. It's great for everything!

Hth. GL!😊💕


Yes, for me I'm definitely not the same. I'm stronger. 😊 More integrated- memories for me, not personalities. More connected to my feelings (still have a long way to go there).

And still many more boxes to unpack in the hidden room behind Drywall painted to look like brick. In the root cellar, whose floor is dirt...which may be hiding another hidden room(s).

Hth. 😊💕


You did answer it and thanks. I just didn't want to make any assumptions. 😊😏

The reason I asked is the person with whom you're relating is *almost* always going to know more than we, what they're experiencing. The other person with the most insight is the T.

If you really want to understand, I would ask if either you can SILENTLY observe a session or if they'd video one and you can watch afterwards.

You also asked:
"Do you 'sense' that there is something seismic lurking and the fear of that can make you react without fully knowing what it is/might be? Or rather the fear of what it might be does.

The fear stems from the PTSD, which is subjective and will change from moment to moment. "Brutal," "hard" "excruciating," etc. These terms too, are also subjective.

Me personally? I went in with a "let's do this thing!!" attitude because I'd set aside time to "handle my shit" lol. I laugh because I had no f_9king clue how long it was going to take. (I'd never been to therapy before).

So absolutely there were many tears and pain, but it wasn't "brutal" or "excruciating" for me. It was definitely difficult to be that open and vulnerable with someone but it wasn't "hard" because it was literally what I asked for. 😊

And because I had a great therapist, and we were a great fit. He put me at ease first session. BEFORE we got into any counseling or EMDR.

P.S. losing old unhelpful ways?? Dude, that's progress to be celebrated! Congrats! 👏

Idk if that helps, but that's my experiences and insights. GL! 😊💕
So much info here! I have read it and continue to process it. Thank you so much for your time

I think, paraphrasing a quote from Steve Jobs and to his credit, it's impossible to connect the dots forward but easier to see them bacKwards, A person can be healing and not realize it.

I love a lot of what @Soleil said. Ending on a good note and being optimistic and brave and proactive. I think the brutal (which as she said is a subjective part) comes from wrestling with it, holding the good note is what helps give grounding, progress and knowledge and a sense of safety to get through in the present and future. To change.
Wrestling has definitely been going on, alongside a new element this week which sounds like relinquishing maybe, terrifying but necessary they said. Feel so helpless watching it happen, I have my own therapy and butt out unless invited to talk/offered information.
 

Soleil

Learning
So much info here! I have read it and continue to process it. Thank you so much for your time


Wrestling has definitely been going on, alongside a new element this week which sounds like relinquishing maybe, terrifying but necessary they said. Feel so helpless watching it happen, I have my own therapy and butt out unless invited to talk/offered information.
Good for you for getting your own therapist! Proud of you! Sooo many people think that going to a therapist is weakness, when it's actually strength.

Keep on keeping on. 👍💕
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
OMG I did the same thing! T said "it might take a couple of years to get you thru this" and I responded "I don't have that kind of time to waste" 😁
Yup, I was the same. Read it should take 20-30 sessions of EMDR to clear it up so should take a year or so right? Then trauma 1, trauma 2, and 1 goes from simple to complex, then 2 goes from simple to complex AND there's 45 years of crap between them to deal with......................................and now in year 3 of EMDR seems like there is as much in front of us as behind.....yippee...

Critical thinking for me says - most important thing is - giving yourself space to think. When you think you can decipher what your PTSD is adding to what you percieve. To know it adds fear and darkness to all your thoughts and that you need to decipher whether its real or not is the biggest key to being able to do what I will do when my T says "So how are you doing?" tomorrow - which is to start laughing, because, amazingly - I'm still here.......
 

Njay

New Here
You are all such inspirational people!
It’s amazing to think that so many of us go through such horrid things, and yet we have this strength and resilience within to continue to push through and keep going!
Reading your comments have given me positivity and power this morning..
have a wonderful day all!
Sending love, light and blessings! 💜
 
C

ColinKevin

Lurking darkness update: a massive lynchpin moment during childhood was processed during EMDR. Leaving them to recover right now, but they knew this was in the pipeline. I now understand why they were so exceptionally emotional last week.
Again, I am in awe. So tough, yet so resilient.
 

Soleil

Learning
just my brain puking up past memories so I can move past them.
Omg, I LOVE this perspective! Thanks! 😊💕

Yeah, I'm in year 5 too. Because of many traumas, and new traumas created because of the cptsd Lol, and because we've discovered that ALL of my repressed feelings are attached to a big trauma. So we keep chipping away at it like an iceberg.

And I too, stick with it because it works! Maybe one day even, I'll actually remember my childhood LOL

I don't feel like a stranger in a foreign land, but I sometimes feel like a misfit or broken, - different (can't find the word I'm looking for). A different lived reality than many around me, different challenges, different beliefs, different way of viewing life, different fears and also different priorities.
ALL of this. The first time I walked into an ACA meeting was the first time I've EVER felt normal.

I stopped going to ACA meetings for a few reasons, but for me it was the first step in understanding that my issues were the NATURAL RESULT of the trauma I lived through...rather than there was something wrong with me.

Keep travelling. You got this! 😊💪💕
 

Soleil

Learning
why do I feel so sad and low when I’ve dealt with what happened with CBT? I thought I was emotionally, over it and had accepted it. It feels like I’m physically and emotionally drained and exhausted by it all but worse than before when I realised what happened during that trauma?
I suspect it's because you processed *intellectually* during CBT rather than *emotionally.*

And/or you've only addressed the tip of the iceberg.

I too, thought I was "over it" re my childhood but it's because 1. I did it on my own, 2. I repressed my feelings vs actually feeling them, and 3. I didn't understand the process.

It's completely natural that you will "feel worse" because it's likely you never fully felt the feelings before. I'm reminded of the scene from The Matrix where Neo asked Morpheus why his eyes hurt. "Because you've never used them before."

Keep going. Keep providing feedback to your T and even during your session. Don't be afraid to say "ok, I need to stop for a minute" and talk it through. Our T can only help what they know about.

It WILL get better...eventually. You got this!! 😊💪💕
 
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Njay

New Here
I suspect it's because you processed *intellectually* during CBT rather than *emotionally.*

And/or you've only addressed the tip of the iceberg.

I too, thought I was "over it" re my childhood but it's because 1. I did it on my own, 2. I repressed my feelings vs actually feeling them, and 3. I didn't understand the process.

It's completely natural that you will "feel worse" because it's likely you never fully felt the feelings before. I'm reminded of the scene from The Matrix where Neo asked Morpheus why his eyes hurt. "Because you've never used them before."

Keep going. Keep providing feedback to your T and even during your session. Don't be afraid to say "ok, I need to stop for a minute" and talk it through. Our T can only help what they know about.

It WILL get better...eventually. You got this!! 😊💪💕
Thank you so much… In my latest session my legs started shaking uncontrollably for almost an hour and I’m told that’s natural and my body releasing the trauma. The CBT did work through it emotionally but physically the trauma remained stuck.

I hope the therapy is worth it, as progress so far has definitely given me a little ray of hope that I can work through and relieve the ptsd- even little by little. I will overcome this 💜🙏🏽🙌🏽
 
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