A couple of days ago, I had my first session of EMDR therapy.
I don’t know why, but for some reason, at the moment I’m very tuned into a sense of the world being magical. So I experienced the EMDR therapy as a kind of benign magical ritual – as emerald magic.
It was very ritualistic, in the most positive way it’s possible to mean that (I love and value ritual when it’s personally meaningful, an agent of change rather than merely a pillow of familiarity).
One way to see what happened is very mundane – I sat and called to mind a visual memory of trauma, while my therapist moved her fingers left and right and I followed them with my eyes, keeping my head still.
But how it seemed to me was something a lot stronger on a symbolic level: there are some memories in me that I’m afraid to meet, but I’m choosing now to meet them anyway – and I don’t have to do that on my own. My therapist is there as witness, celebrant, and companion, and the moving of the fingers was like a magical gesture, somehow a painting of something upon my mind, to loosen it and allow shapes to change.
I’m sure all that sounds pretty bloody weird. But this is the frame of mind I’m in at the moment – magical reality, the extraordinariness of the ordinary, nourishes me, so I’m inclined towards seeing things in that way.
Anyway, something changed. I don’t know what exactly it is, or whether it’ll last, or what. But the me in me who was used to being a terrified victim in the face of that memory found herself instead filled with huge outrage. Found herself thinking “How dare these people use me the way they did?”
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not comfortable with anger, habitually. But I’m enjoying this feeling – this me in me knowing that instead of being used, she can kick away the users, very powerfully away.
So now there’s a strange fight going on in me. Because it’s early days, and I still have the strong habit of believing my feelings are not important or valid, and that I should keep silence about how I was used. And against this is this new hot and juicy wave of outrage. And I find myself expecting to be punished for trying to overcome the habit of self-denigration, but at the same time I no longer fully believe in that, I am being slowly filled with something best named Fearless.
The tide is turning. Now I’m just afraid of losing this again. And I’m pretty churned up by a more realistic sense of just how messed up I’ve been left by those people who abused me, and how that’s messed up the lives of some of the people I’ve been close to. A lot of sorrow and anger accompanies this true thing. And some mourning feels very appropriate, since I’m letting something old and untrue in me begin to die.
It seems strange writing something quite this personal in a blog-thing that will be read by a smattering of strangers and friends. But this is also meant for other people dealing with the same stuff I am – so declaring against the silence, I want people to know what’s possible, to share in the Fearless.
I’m back with this again –
The voices of the hearts of trees
Have this to say:
Grow… but grow slowly
Grow slowly… but grow
[PS my favourite line from Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger (which I’m re-reading at this moment): “The truth is bioluminescent.”]