Nowhere to go from here
Nowhere to go from here
My Perspective on EMDR Therapy… can you relate?
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No matter the depth of damage and pain we experience, our truest selves have the capacity to vanquish those demons, never completely gone, but enough to have full, productive lives. That is not to say we ever forget or heal entirely from true trauma. I don’t believe in “forgive and forget…just let it go.” If something scars one deeply enough that the pain is carried for the rest of one’s life, it is then part of who we are, and we can’t “forget” or “let go” pieces of our own selves.
Those who’ve lost loved ones, suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or poverty and neglect, survivors of war, natural disasters - all experiences that leave us profoundly and permanently changed, into something new and strong or broken and shattered; or, for many of us, some combination thereof. From my perspective, it’s a position of profound privilege or denial to say that we are not forever and irrevocably changed by those moments, be they one, or hundreds. These events and emotions need to be acknowledged - seen, felt and heard - by ourselves, if no one else, before they can be set aside and managed as solely background info and context to who we are today.
Open up that little box, buried deep inside, where all the painful things get shoved and sealed away. Open that box, remember, grieve, rage, weep, let the emotions rack you, flow through you, and ebb away. When they’ve ebbed, gently close the box, tuck it back away to revisit another day. The next time you open it will be a little easier, as will each time after that. Think of that box as containing radioactive waste – each time its opened, some leaks out and goes away – leaving you and your toxic box a tiny bit lighter each time. But if it is never opened, it fills and fills, pressured from inside, to release suddenly one day in the most unexpected of ways or circumstances. Sometimes, people aren’t even aware that that little box of buried pain is the cause of their current response or reaction to something seemingly unrelated.
What we can do is find ways to live with and manage the pain, so that it becomes only painful memories and not defining moments in our lives, forever changing our potential or path forward for the worse. For me, the more I wrote, discussed, analyzed and revisited these stories, the less pain and power they held for me. When I began writing this, (shortly after leaving home at sixteen) my hand shook so it was nearly illegible and I struggled to keep my hand controlled enough to write for more than a few minutes at a time, before being overtaken by full body shakes. While there are still stories in here that evoke those physical responses, they are progressively fewer and less intense.
I have discovered that no matter how far one is pushed, and how many handicaps are thrown in one’s way, the human spirit is unbelievably strong.
I was born of a tornado, birthed by a turbulent, powerful and unpredictable storm. Raised in an earthquake – ever shifting, fracturing, unstable – I never stood on solid ground. My siblings and I, tempest tossed seeds – fragile, unformed, lacking roots – bound by genetics and bonds formed of chaos. Forged in battering winds and destroying fire, we all learned to dance across ever shifting sand under our feet – pulled hither and yon by implacable ocean tides. Like redwood seeds - enduring and beautiful beings – birthed only from fiery destruction.
Spirits embodied by Willow, Ivy, Orchid, Sunflower, Dandelion, Hemlock, each of us possessed of wildly different strengths and flaws. Twisted and broken in places, still we grew and survived into our predestined forms, shaped but not destroyed by the whirlwind from whence we came.