Sadielady3's Diary

Sadielady3

Confident
I have a little respite before the next group of angry children attack so I thought I'd gather my thoughts for my therapy session.

I have no idea how sessions work now and if we spend the whole 45 minutes on EMDR or if we spend some of the session talking about other things. I'm good with spending the whole session working on whatever for EMDR. But I think if we do some talking before we kick off the EMDR, I want to discuss transference with my T. I know the feeling surges I get towards my T are 100% transference. I know the transference is making him the target (not the cause!) of the feelings that I feel towards my mother. Since limiting my contact with her, those feelings have diminished. But the other place that those feelings pop up are towards my chaotic boss. And this transference is based a lot more in reality. My boss is around the same age as my mom (she's definitely over 60) and is manipulative and loves to gaslight people. Because she reminds me so strongly of my mother, I am deeply afraid of her without real cause. She doesn't actually even have the direct power to write me up. She has to convince someone else to do it. On top of that, the district liaison for our school remembers me from my very first school where she was also my boss and really likes me. I'd have to mess up catastrophically to be in danger of losing my job.

My T challenged me in the last session to picture having a phone conversation with my mom when she is being nasty and to be able to end the call without it having an effect on me. I've made improvements in this area with my boss but mom herself is still a trigger. I wonder if the ways I've started being able to handle my boss can be broken down and applied to this visualization. Maybe that's bonkers, I have no idea how these crazy brain things work.

I am also considering discussing some weird inner doubts I've been having. I have these memories of the bad, abusive things happening. I have memories of being left places or left home alone for far longer than I should have at certain ages. Lots of neglect. But sometimes I wonder if I'm somehow making all of this up. Friends have commented that I have too many significant behaviors to have had a normal childhood and that I don't really display crazy or erratic behavior, just maladaptive. But I have this super creative brain that loves to daydream. It feels strange to me, like it happened to someone else sometimes. Because I don't always feel secure in my memories and experiences, it's hard sometimes to believe anyone else will too. It sometimes feels like so many crazy things happened to me and who is really going to believe all that? I only barely do.

Those are the two topics I might like to discuss. I think either one will be hard. I think I'm rooting to just jump into EMDR stuff, if I'm being honest.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
EMDR can be very very intense. Hope your T spends time grounding before you leave his office. And if you have any questions Sadie, ask them!!! Maybe I am misreading and did not see where he has spent a lot of time explaining EMDR to you.

I'm not saying you can't do it. I know you can. Just please ask questions if you have any. EMDR is not a magic therapy pill. Just voicing concerns because it is so much you are reluctant to share with your T. This is NOT a criticism, it is a concern. And I hope you hear it that way.

Much success today!! Will be thinking of you.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
@ladee , I don't think we're doing actual EMDR yet today. Last time we started working on the grounding techniques and we identified that we want to work on changing my core belief of "I am unlovable". We haven't even started discussing the memories and events that contribute to that belief yet.

When people are concerned, it means that they care. I appreciate that.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Well, I was wrong. I often am. We did actually start EMDR today. I wasn't expecting that. But I chose to go with it. At the moment I feel okay. I feel a bit like I'm floating. Very strange sensation.

Targeting that core belief of "I'm unlovable", he asked me to think to the worst memory I had of my mother making me feel unlovable. I couldn't come up with a specific one. He told me to focus on the way my mother made me feel after my suicide attempt. He told me to let my mind wander while focusing on that feeling. My mind went back to the time when my mom was moving us away from my dad. She didn't tell him we were moving. I saw him standing in the road behind the moving truck. He didn't know we were moving. I tried to get out of the truck, to run to my dad but my mom grabbed me and threw me back into the back seat and wouldn't let me get out of the truck. She said it was my fault we had to move because I was such a bad kid. I watched out of the window as we drove away to see my dad just standing there in the middle of the street.

When I focused on that memory, I got a lot of flashes of images that I can't make sense of. Things I don't understand.

When I went back to the original memory again, this time it took me to when my grandmother died. My mom had blamed me for her death.

When I focused on my grandmother's death, it took me to a summer when my mother dropped me off to my grandmother's campsite and I ended up spending the whole summer with her. I remember her dressing up as a clown to entertain the kids. This memory actually made me smile.

We spent the last ten minutes doing container and safe space exercises. I feel a bit strange, like I'm floating or something.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Very proud of you Sadie!!! You never think you are brave and have courage!!! Today proved that to not be true. Welcome to HEALING. Lots of gentle hugs.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Woke up feeling sick today. I have a nasty headache and my stomach can't seem to decide if it's nauseated or starving. According to Google, these seem like common side effects of EMDR. I'm very glad that I took charge of my appointments and have them on Fridays from this point on. I'll make it through the rest of today and tomorrow but it'll be good to have the weekends to recover in the future, I think.

I'm also really glad that I'm medicated to prevent nightmares. I have some negative flashes from dreams from last night but nothing I can't handle. I can only imagine how bad the nightmares could have been if I didn't have medication. My psychiatrist said that I can double the med if I need to and maybe I'll do that.

Despite how awful I feel at the moment, it's nothing I can't handle so far. If this is what I need to weather to heal, so be it.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I've been getting some interesting memories coming to me throughout last night and today. I was fascinated by them and then wondered if I was a freak. I've mostly felt disturbed by physical side effects from EMDR but not so much emotionally. I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong. So, I went to my friend Google and saw that a lot of people doing EMDR are excited by the new memories, that that's normal. It's not that I'm glad these things happened to me but I'm starting to understand my story. I think I'm truly fascinated by how brains work at the moment.

The first set of memories I got back are very fragmented. They start around age four. I'm missing a lot of information here. I have a memory of being woken up and put in a frilly dress. I know from things that other family members have said that my mother put me in ridiculous dresses every day. I remember seeing a few pictures to this effect. I remember going down the stairs and standing on a lower step with my hands on the banister. I stood there silently and without tears. I know that expressing pain or tears is not allowed. I do not have any memories of this conditioning. Rational 40 year old me knows that something happened, likely repeatedly, to train me to just soundlessly stand there. My mother would brush my hair. It hurt a lot. I had really long hair. I also had thick curly hair. It was difficult to brush. It feels like I was standing there having my hair pulled for hours. Then I would put my gloves on. I had to wear gloves with the dresses. Then my mother would ignore me. I would leave the house when she wasn't paying attention.

The memory shifts to my mom screaming at my dad about how I ruin all of my dresses. I don't know all of the words she said but I remember the word spoiled and I remember it was about me ruining dresses. I remember my dad putting down his newspaper and telling her, "Well, then stop putting her in those dresses." I remember her saying, "But she won't grow up to be a lady if I don't teach her."

I remember being forced to do multiple dance classes and gymnastics. I simply remember that I hated going. I wished I was home reading a book or playing outside somewhere. I remember thoughts and feelings here more than I remember specifics.

I remember mom putting a lock on my door. She said it was to keep my baby brother out but she made me go inside my room before she locked it. Not sure how old I am here, maybe five or six? I remember crawling out of my window onto the roof so that I could go pee. Wearing dresses all of the time made this much easier. Sometimes I would sit out there with a book. I liked being outside.

I remember going camping with Nana. I remember coming home to find all of my toys had been thrown out and replaced with dolls. I remember my room was now cotton candy pink. The carpet, the walls. Even my toy chest was now covered with fake pink fur. I had a new bed- a large canopy bed with lots of lace and flowers. I hated that room. I still hate the color pink today because of how sickening pink that room was.

I remember going camping with Nana. There was a beauty pageant one of the weekends and I entered. Not sure why. Somehow I won. My mom snapped my plastic tiara in half when I went home and was really angry. Not sure why. The next day she took me to Fantastic Sam's and had all of my pretty hair cut off of my head. She told me that it was too difficult to brush.

I never had long hair again until I was an adult. In high school, I fought my mom on having my hair cut short. With naturally very curly hair, I looked like a Q-tip. I still get nervous when I go to the hair salon that it'll get cut too short. A little over a year ago I had waist long hair but then I bleached it to go purple. All said, I probably had to cut about a foot of my hair off to get rid of all of the damage. It's still past my shoulders but it feels really short to me.

When I told A about these memories, her comment was that it sounded like my mother wanted a doll instead of a daughter. When I had no interest in doing "girly things" and being "girly", she just couldn't like me or love me or something. I didn't fit the description of a good daughter. I wasn't at all lady-like. I liked to read but I also liked playing outside. I liked running around and getting dirty. That's not how living dolls act.

The other memory that came to me was one I had already sort of been poking around but now I really remember it well. When I was 11, mom started dating her future third husband, step dad 2. In our living room we had a love seat, a couch, and a chair. I liked sitting in the chair. I could sit sideways on it and hook my knees over the arm with my head resting on the other arm. The arms were overstuffed and it was really comfortable. I had always sat there, long before he came into our lives.

He decided that the chair was the place for the man of the house. He didn't even live there. Not yet anyway. He came over one night and demanded I get out of his chair. I ignored him. He walked back out of the door. I continued to watch TV, hoping that maybe he was just leaving. He came back in with a shotgun. He pointed it right at me and said, "I told you to move you little bitch." I flew off the chair and ran to my bedroom. He had been blocking the door. He followed me down the hall and burst into my bedroom. He pointed the shotgun at me again. He said, "If I tell you to do something, you do it. You don't say no and you don't ask questions." I nodded. Then he fired the gun at my wall. He blew a hole through the wall to the outside. He looked at me and said, "Just in case you ever think it's not loaded, it is." We lived in a cheap trailer. The hole wasn't large enough to put my hand through but I could see through to the outside. He left my room. A few minutes later, my mom came in and looked at the mess that the gunshot had made and the hole in the wall. She started screaming at me. If I would have just listened to him, this wouldn't have happened. She then told me that she wasn't paying to heat the outside and had step dad come back and plug up the heating vent to my bedroom. I tried hard to fix the hole with some plaster or putty or something but it never really worked. The only time they would unplug the vent was when house inspectors would come and look at our trailer. Mom would hang something over the hole then as well. I wasn't allowed to hang things on my wall and she would take it away after they left.

And now I'm sitting here questioning the housing inspectors. We didn't rent the trailer. I'm wondering who those people were. It seems weird to have had people inspect our trailer every couple of years. I can't remember well enough to know this though. I just remember what I was told.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I've been feeling a lot better today. My stomach is calmer and more stable. I still have a headache that comes and goes. I took a nap for a few hours yesterday afternoon and still slept for at least 8 hours last night. Now I know, plan to sleep a lot after EMDR. At least for awhile. I guess the symptoms get less as time goes on.

I've been wondering if regular talk therapy will resume after EMDR or if EMDR is the end game for me. I also wonder how long we'll do EMDR for. These are questions that I want to ask my T in two weeks when I see him again. At least I should ask how many sessions of EMDR he thinks we'll doing. I was reading about other people's experiences and some people did EMDR for over a year weekly. I'm doing biweekly and don't know if mine would last that long.

Talked to M today about my experience. She said that I sound a lot happier than I have sounded in a long time. At the very least, I feel less chaotic because I feel like I'm starting to understand some of my story and that maybe things can shift a bit.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I woke up this morning with an incredibly strong urge to watch "Drop Dead Fred". It's definitely one of my guilty pleasure movies. I've never really found the movie funny but I've always loved it. Today, I knew why.

I hadn't watched the movie in awhile and the last time I watched it was before October- before I remembered my trauma. I never had an imaginary friend as a child but I always wanted one. I was jealous of other kids who had imaginary friends because they had someone to talk to. My childhood was so similar to Elizabeth's. I may not have had Drop Dead Fred to blame my mischief on but I did plenty of normal kid things that my mother deemed inappropriate. My mother blamed me for her divorce. And most importantly of all, she has tried to control me.

My husband is far more like Mickey than he is like Charles. My husband would never cheat on me and is loving and accepting of me as I am. I've dated plenty of Charles-type men over the years though. Glad I dodged that bullet.

I was reading about some analyses of the movie while I was watching it. A lot of in-depth analyses claim that Drop Dead Fred is really an alternate side of Lizzy, a part of her, that longs to be assertive, self-destructive, and seen. Not sure any of my impulses are nearly as crazy as all that but there is definitely this fear inside that keeps me from acknowledging my other feelings and standing up for myself at times.

For the first time when I watched that movie, I saw a great deal of myself. To me, the scene where she confronts the people in her life and sets her inner child free represents therapy. It won't be nearly as easy as that scene in the movie is but it's all about overcoming your fear and, with the tree part, growing enough to be able to get to that point. And when it's over, I'll say goodbye to my real life guide, my T. Unlike the movie, I don't intend to kiss him goodbye though. If I ever tell him about my movie revelation, I'll make sure I tell him that. Wouldn't want to spook him.

The very last scene though, when she says goodbye to her mother, is the one that hit me the hardest. That's what saying goodbye should look like. Lizzy isn't angry. She's actually quite compassionate, all things considered. She hugs her mother and tells her to get a friend. Then, she leaves. That scene right there is what I want it to feel like, what I need it to feel like. I'm not ready yet. I'm still trying to grow my tree.

I'm sure if I asked Lizzy's mother, she would say she loves her daughter but she also makes it clear many times that she feels like Lizzy ruined her life. You can't love something and feel like it ruined your life. Those ideas don't go together.
 

Sadielady3

Confident
Ugh, it's been a day. I was watching my beloved Buffalo Bills lose badly when, at halftime, I got an email about an emergency staff meeting tomorrow morning. I texted L to see if she knew what was going on. She said that one of our students was shot and killed over the weekend. She sent me a picture of him and he looks familiar but I never taught him. Then proceeded to watch the Bills get pounded mercilessly during the second half.

Before all of that, I need get a little bit of work done. Not as much as I should have but at least I was a little productive. Been getting some of the paperwork stuff under control. No IEP meetings this week, so that's also nice. Already had five this month. Trying to get as prepared as possible for the weeks ahead in case the EMDR gets too intense. My T says it gets worse before it gets better. I'll find some armor and get through the fight but planning ahead is still a good idea.
 
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