Tuesday, May 3, 2011

EMDR and shifting out of the past

For the last several sessions, my counselor and I have been preparing to do some EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) work on childhood beliefs, things that are stuck in my knowing of myself that no longer serve me. These beliefs are attached to emotions in my body, and we think they are related to panic and anxiety, which have resurfaced in some unpleasant ways in the recent past. To anyone looking on, the process seems pretty bogus. The therapist moves her fingers or a pen rapidly from side to side and you follow it with your eyes while staying present to thoughts or feelings or physical sensations. But something starts to shift and ease and a lot of emotion got released for me today.

One of the things that came up is that I'm interested in coming to a place of clarity and forgiveness in my relationship with my mother, in teasing out what was hers, what was mine, and what is now mine to take care of. Today during the process, I felt a real desire to love my mother in a way I haven't felt for a long, long time. I guess to love her anyway even though she was unable to take care of me the way I needed. During the session, I felt a lot of sadness about all that, but when I left, I felt angry, angry that it's me having to clean this up, angry that I'm the one doing the work. I felt 10 or 12 or 14 again and pissed off at my mother. I think that in itself is a breakthrough. I've always been afraid to be angry with my mother, afraid on a deep survival level. Maybe I'm finally coming to a place where it is safe to do that.

1 comment:

sorella said...

Dear Jill,

I myself did some EMDR, and found surprising relief from it. It sounds like you had a big breakthrough! I agree that you felt safe to feel anger at your mom. What a huge shift that is for you, brava.