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Using a diary for EMDR therapy

Maybe with starting EMDR and a whole new wardrobe, I can reinvent a better version of myse

I’ve been having a lot of childhood related dreams since starting EMDR
Ya, that's pretty common. It's a good thing - it means your brain is processing

. It was exactly how I felt when I was sent to stay a week with my grandfather when his wife died. He walked around the house naked the whole week and abused me every night but I was so guilt ridden that it was my job to make him feel better that I couldn’t tell anyone I wanted to leave. I w
This is so sad/horrifying. No child should ever have to endure this :(
This is so sad/horrifying. No child should ever have to endure this :(
This is how I felt towards my daughter in the dream! Now, if I can just learn to internalize it for myself. My mind keeps replaying what I said in therapy “he hurt ME” and “nobody helped ME” but I’m still numb about it as if it was no big deal. Picking up there at my next session is slightly terrifying ?
Another night of processing through dreams and waking up a lot. I REALLY don’t like this. I’m struggling to want to go to therapy today for fear of the dreams getting worse. I think I could tolerate them better if it was me as the child in my dreams but it usually plays out through my daughter and I can’t stand seeing her struggle like I did. I just want to get EMDR over with!
EMDR was awful today. I’m getting to the worst part of the memory and I’m having a lot of resistance that is keeping me from connecting with the memory. I did ask at the end of my session if she thought this was working and she said yes she can see the changes in my thought process around the memory but I guess it’s pretty subtle cause I don’t feel like I made any progress at all today. She did suggest guided dreaming to help with the dreams. I’d never heard of that before but I want to try it. I’d much rather be dreaming about being on vacation than about trauma. Oh, and I did tell her I feel like I’m taking longer than I should with processing one memory but she just asked me where the timer was and said there is no set time. She made a good point with saying we are breaking through years of avoidance and dissociation so it’s okay that it takes as much time as it takes.
If it helps, I'm at 2.5 years and counting. ya-I'm special that way. :laugh:
We had to go really really slowly because I had so much in my head that just kept popping up at random intervals. So ya, it takes as long as it takes. You might find that you can resolve one 2 minute thing over here, then a 3 minute thing over there, but only 30 seconds on the third. There is no right or wrong - you have to learn to trust your brain to take you where it needs to go.

It's ok to ask your T to slow down if you are getting overwhelmed. But once you get that first big win, where the horrible event that haunts you becomes just an unpleasant thing in your past you think about with some sadness, it will all be worth it.
Feeling really discouraged tonight. Maybe it’s just the after effect of today’s EMDR session, but I think it’s more that I feel like EMDR is not working for me. It’s starting to feel more like exposure therapy every time we do it. I find this confusing because my therapist said exposure therapy will only make my parts independently stronger as it puts them in high alert to confusion and what they believe is a current threat. She said hopefully we can get some relief next week. I pretty much stayed at a 9-10 distress level the whole hour today. I guess I thought it was supposed to decrease the stress with each set of eye moments so when it stayed super intense I felt like a failure. My whole body hurt by the end of the session, especially my shoulders from being so tense. But the emotions are still not coming. I’m in the worst part of the memory and still feeling numb. Megan, my six year old part was panicking because she thought we were going to get the 3 year old out of the situation without removing the crayons from her and they would be stuck there forever. How can I see something like that play out and hear Megan completely flip out and still feel nothing?!?!?! I guess the positive that is coming out of EMDR is that I have gained the ability to say certain words and talk about things out loud that I’ve never been able to do before. I guess I’m starting to wonder if EMDR can still work if the emotions never come...
The emotions will come - it just takes time. Your brain is protecting you by only letting out bits and pieces. For me it goes memory>physical feeling>emotion and that process can take weeks depending on the memory. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

You are right though ---it shows that it is working because you can say the words even if you can't feel them.

The stress is pretty normal too - it's not a sign of failure. But talk with your T about that. She may need to spend more time grounding you afterwards.

I won't lie. EMDR sucks. But it is worth it.
For me it goes memory>physical feeling>emotion and that process can take weeks depending on the memory. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
. Thank you for this!! So helpful. I felt like I was going to cry for a second last night out of frustration that it feels like maybe I’m not a good candidate for EMDR but that would suck because it feels like my last real hope of healing.
It’s been a hard day. My daughter started middle school today in a new school district so she didn’t know anybody. She has a social anxiety disorder so it was really hard to watch her get out of the car so terrified but she handled herself well. I’ve been busy with my own classes so I haven’t had much down time. But now it’s Monday night and EMDR is tomorrow at 11am. I can feel the dread creeping up on me. I think I’m my last post I talked about feeling numb. I had EMDR on Thursday and it wasn’t until Saturday evening that I realized that my throat felt tight and was burning. I think I was possibly feeling the body sensations like I was about to cry even though nothing was sad. It was something and feels like progress. I’m going to see this through the end of the year and then re-evaluate if EMDR is helping enough to keep going. It has helped so many people so I’m thinking I’m just a marathoner. I get that I want to curl up in a ball under a blanket feeling when I think about tomorrow’s session. But all is well, I am thankful for the opportunity even when I’m whining about how bad it sucks.
EMDR was different today. It didn’t seem near as hard because we only focused on the new feeling of anger that was starting to surface instead of the abuse. At one point t asked what I noticed and I said “I noticed that I wanted to throw these paddles across the room!” I am not familiar with the kind of anger I felt today. It felt buried deep in my gut and like it was trying to come out but fear of losing control was holding it down. At one point I noticed a lot of heat in my chest and a pressure as if something was pushing against me trying to get out. I couldn’t tell if it was a part or an emotion but I was definitely feeling something. At one point I kept thinking this bad, this is really bad, if I don’t stop it now it’s going to turn into rage. It was all still deep inside and nothing actually came out but it was a big difference from being numb. I’m so thankful people encouraged me here that the feelings will come so that I didn’t give up too soon. Thursday we will pick up where we left off and see what happens next. My t was really happy with today’s progress.