My series of EMDR sessions is coming to an end. I can’t say what a relief that is. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity, but I am clinging on at the moment by sheer determination (which is helped a great deal by a thoughtful, hard-working, kind and very patient husband). It is draining to have memories jumping into your head unanticipated in the days following an EMDR session. Seriously, they spring out of nowhere. I’ll be idly stirring a teaspoon as I’m making a cuppa and suddenly, vividly, there is an image, sometimes accompanied by sounds and (worse) smells, of – er – things I don’t want to write about let alone think about, especially not when I’m minding my own business making a cup of tea. My 9-year-old is talking to me about Harry Potter and boom! there it is again and she wonders, reasonably, why I’m not listening to her.
Sleep brings no respite because strange dreams are made ever-stranger. I never seem to wake up refreshed; I just wake up thinking how glad I am to not be asleep, to not be living through whatever I was dreaming. EMDR is the therapist’s mangle: it squeezes out every last drop of what you don’t want but it completely destroys any semblance of the human form (that was rather a good metaphor there, I thought) and it takes some time for the thing to even begin to look ‘normal’.
Memories, memories, memories… it’s like having live, uncensored news from a brutal warzone broadcast two feet away from your head, at full volume, 24/7. Will someone please switch it off? I’d like a bit of Gardeners’ Question Time, please. Or the shipping forecast. Or Dan Cruickshank explaining in detail the structure of the Roman Pantheon.
Still, I’m not giving up. I’ve only got three sessions left, but dear Lord I will be thanking You when it’s all over. I am reminded of the words of the psalmist:
‘Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God…
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.’
Psalm 42:5,7 (NIV)