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EMDR - Stately Homes related

(12 Posts)
Emmmder2015 Wed 17-Jun-15 13:12:55

I've NCd for this.

My therapist has recommended that I have EMDR for multiple/complex trauma. It goes back to some time before I was 5. And basically I grew up an outwardly happy, affectionate child, but terrified of my mother who was physically abusive and who told me that she had the right to do whatever to my body because she was my mother. She was also physically abusive with my brother - more so perhaps - and I can still hear it after nearly 30 years. I left home at 18 and then ended up being (date - if it makes any difference) raped by many of my boyfriends, on multiple occasions.

I thought I had PTSD symptoms before and had them under control, but they're coming back. It's awful, so I will go for EMDR.

However, I'm wondering if anybody has done it for multiple traumas, over many years and it's WORKED? I'm so, so scared that I'll put my hope in it and it won't work, because it's not a single event.

I also still can't attach what happened to me as abuse, it's coming, but not quickly, and I can't get the idea that I've been raped many, many times into my head: it's like it must have happened to someone else, yet I know rationally what happened.

If you had it, especially for similar issues, did your triggers really not trigger afterwards? I have lived my entire adult life dealing with them, I can't imagine not having any.

Well, I almost can and it's scary that it could be within reach, but then not make it.

BeenWondering Wed 17-Jun-15 15:07:09

What you're dealing with is enormous. I'm glad that you are seeking treatment but I'd urge you not to put to much pressure on yourself as it's an ongoing process of learning and coping. There isn't a cure-all so to speak.

The problem with triggers is that they can be caused by anything, even something innocuous, it's about learning how to process those triggers without letting them destabilise you. Have sought any other type of treatment too? Perhaps CBT?

I've reached a stage that I can look at my past traumas as 'other.' They no longer induce a sense of panic or anxiety within me, but that doesn't mean that everything is all roses and sunshine. It means I can control and focus my thoughts better.

Have you got RL support or have you spoken to anyone in RL about your past traumas? By predicting the worst i.e. Well, I almost can and it's scary that it could be within reach, but then not make it you are putting way too much added pressure on yourself.

DorisDazzler Wed 17-Jun-15 16:27:44

I've had it for a serious sexual assault that left me with severe ptsd.. It definitely worked. Thinking or talking about it now is no different to talking about the weather. It takes all the emotion out of it. I'd highly recommend it.

MollyMaDurga Wed 17-Jun-15 16:34:38

I have too and it has made a massive difference. Much less anxiety and no more nightmares. So the flashbacks have more or less gone. It does take that emotional charge out of it, it's really strange. Would definitely recommend it.

staffiegirl Wed 17-Jun-15 16:59:52

I have had EMDR and would also recommend it. I was diagnosed with complex PTSD. The EMDR sessions dealt with several single trauma events as well as multiple trauma events (physical and emotional childhood abuse and neglect).

In total I've had around 15 EMDR sessions (in addition to psychotherapy) and I'm amazed at the difference - huge improvement on anxiety, related nightmares have stopped, triggers practically erased.

It might sound dramatic, but I believe it saved my life.

Emmmder2015 Wed 17-Jun-15 18:08:14

Thank you all! I got tears in my eyes reading it - so nice to hear from people who know what I'm talking about (other than my therapist).

I have my therapist (she's a counselling psychologist, but she doesn't do EMDR) and she does different things, depending on what I need at the time. CBT hasn't worked for me because my issues are kind of complex (more than I've written).

People around me don't know. I live abroad and haven't lived in this country for all that long, but I do have some friends here. I just feel like it's too much to share with people who aren't life long friends/long-time..although I would like to have some more support.

My DH is supportive to the extent he can be - emotional issues aren't his forté and he doesn't like to hear of people hurting me. He does do more with the kids though when I'm having a bad day (and he's hands on anyway).

Smurfingreat Wed 17-Jun-15 18:21:00

I've also had EMDR for PTSD caused by a number of traumatic incidents over a year or so, and in combination with psychotherapy I am so much better. My anxiety dramatically decreased and I'm back to living a pretty normal life. I would definitely recommend it, best of luck to you OP.

BeenWondering Wed 17-Jun-15 18:29:51

Glad to hear you have a supportive DH in one-way or another. Does he listen to you when you have an episode or does he want to bury it and act like it didn't happen?

The problems you describe are obviously not openly talkable with casual acquaintances or friends. I think you have done so well going this far carrying the burden that you do. (Sorry I made up the word 'talkable' but you get what I mean smile )

I think it would help you to use this thread as a sounding board. What works for many on a day-to-day basis is to process those thoughts, don't fight them because they'll just come back stronger, but just look at them and then dispense them. Give them their time, as it were - an allocated tim. But when that time is up, go and do something else. Don't entertain them. They have a specific window - which will narrow as you continue with therapy but eventually you won't even have to carry them. And if they do occur to you, you will find yourself disinterested.

That's why I say go easy on yourself because you will get there, but there is no need for you to punish yourself over having those thoughts and feelings.

For a start, you've sought help. Recognising that and taking steps to deal with that means you are half way there.

I'm here to listen. I know it's not easy but you've come so far and as someone who has gone through past trauma I can assure you, you will come out the other end.

QueenofWhatever Wed 17-Jun-15 18:32:59

I had EMDR about five years ago for complex PTSD from a similar childhood to yours. It has been exceptionally effective (also had psychotherapy). It's not as intense or overwhelming as I expected, but the cumulative benefits have been significant.

I rarely depersonalise or disassociate now. Like you, I had done it all my life so it was my version of normal. I have so much more time now, that was an unexpected benefit.

I've also found Brene Brown's work on shame helpful. If you don't know her, start with her TED talk.

kittybiscuits Wed 17-Jun-15 20:09:38

EMDR is definitely an effective treatment for complex trauma OP, as others have testified. Good luck x

Emmmder2015 Wed 17-Jun-15 22:29:11

Thanks Been - and everybody (on phone so can't see names now).

I've recently got very comfortable in the feeling that I have no shame for anything that other people did to me. It's taken a while, but I really don't feel it now. I just feel burdened by not being able to talk about it and angry (increasingly so) that I'm essentially protecting other people's secrets - the people who did the acts. I don't want to report anything (just as well because it'd be impossible from where I live) but I really feel that by keeping my childhood a secret, I'm protecting my mother, not myself..and apart from some sentimental reasons, I think I've carried my fair share of the burden of HER actions. In fairness I did tell two family friends earlier this year (no specifics, just that she'd abused me) as they are people I'm very close to albeit from afar.

She told me, aged 12, to never tell anybody because she could lose her job and (as a single mother) we'd then have no income and would lose our house! She worked in social services (with adults and not a social worker - she didn't like them and now I understand why!).

If I read this on Mumsnet written by someone else I would picture and ogre, but that's not how others saw her. She's even quite pretty - or was younger - and at the time I never thought that, I just thought she was some big scary person (she's neither talk not particularly fat).

I'm just rambling I guess. It's not that I've just found out about any of it really, I just can't believe that it's about me, that my younger life wasn't like my closest friends'.

Everybody thinks I went travelling because I was adventurous, but looking back I realise it was because I needed to get away..and I wasn't frightened of many things, because feelings of fear didn't really register with me, they were so normal.

Emmmder2015 Wed 17-Jun-15 22:30:26


Sorry for length!

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