​At The Heart Of My Struggle

A little while ago, I told Lucy that I am afraid to continue with the EMDR therapy. She told me that this was understandable and asked me to continue to write and explore where my fears are coming from. This has been the source of my past few posts.

The fear of facing my past and what happened is very strong. I wasn’t expecting it to be this difficult or feel so much resistance inside. However, I think I have discovered an even bigger fear that is at the heart of my struggle.

Throughout the past few weeks, I have had a lot of conversations with my husband as he tries to understand why I am having such a hard time. While talking to him, I shared the following analogy that helped him to understand more deeply what is at the heart of my struggle. And at the same time helped me to understand myself better as well.

Here is the analogy I shared with him:

If there was a red circle on the floor and every time you stepped on it something traumatic happened to you, how would it effect you?

After the first time, you might step on it again. You might forget and even accidentally step on it. But if something traumatic kept happening several times in a row when you stepped on the red circle, there are no amount of words that could probably convince you to step on the red circle again. And why would you want to?

But if you needed to step on it again in order to leave your house or heal from a deep wound, life would be pretty difficult and complicated.

I wasn’t expecting it! I feel safe with Lucy as a person, as a therapist is where the difficulty lies. I like her very much. She has been a jewel of a find for me. My worries quickly subsided when I met her. I wanted everything to go well and I believed that it would. It is not Lucy, it is me and my past. I was very hopeful with her that the struggle would not be there. That I could start over and feel safe.

But seeing her, for me, has been like stepping on the red circle again where traumatic experiences have happened before. And I am afraid!

There is no escape, no matter how positive I am or how much I try, the fear is still there… because the wounded parts of me recognize the potential danger. I was here before and while it too appeared safe, it was not.

So the fear of Lucy and the process is like needing to step on the red circle again in order to leave my house and heal the deep wounds inside of me. Right now, this is making my life very difficult and complicated!

I don’t know what the solution is. I just hope there is one!

We can run from our pasts, but our pasts always go with us wherever we go. There is no escape because our memories, our muscles, our emotions, and our bodies always remember. And right now, I am keenly living and experiencing this reality!

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25 thoughts on “​At The Heart Of My Struggle

  1. I think I understand. I keyed an entire two paragraphs about my spot and my Lucy – and then deleted them. Take on your healing at your pace. I took small breaks, but never more than a week or two at most. For me, as painful, frightening, sickening, disturbing, haunting or very uncomfortable, as it has been, it has worth it. I don’t even care anymore that other humans know some of my secrets. I feel more in control now. Yeah, it’s odd in a world that’s out of control.

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    1. Thank you so much for this! I feel so emotional reading your comment. I do have a great deal of respect for you and your courage in doing this painful and excruciating work. I have already taken several weeks off, trying not to run. I will see her next Friday and hopefully we can find a way to make this work for me. Again, thank you!

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  2. I want to understand what you are saying so this next question is to clarify. (Plus, I know I have read some of your past posts but I don’t think I’ve read every single one of them so it may be mentioned in there) Did you have a bad experience with a previous counselor or are you talking about the trauma from childhood? I have had both and going to counselor, has at times, been like stepping on that huge red dot….scary, frightening…and why would anyone in their right minds keep doing that? For me, when things get really tough like that I tell my counselor that we need to slow down because I am feeling out of control. There was one time that I felt like I was losing a sense of myself and I needed to take a few steps back in order to process everything from a safe distance. Stopping the trauma work and talking to him about my fears and what I needed to strengthen in myself helped me tremendously. Trauma work can be re-traumatizing which is something my counselor wants to make sure we don’t do. Now, having a new memory is very upsetting and sends me back in time emotionally and takes a while for me to see that I am in the present but we have to take it slow and I need to be in a stable place before we do more trauma work. Thinking about you….

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    1. Yes, I have had some very traumatic previous therapist experiences. I don’t think I could tell you here, but I did write about these experiences in a post titled “An Untold Life.” Which is why I have gone for years just struggling on my own. I thought I was ready, and was hoping to avoid the fear I now have. I am sorry you have experienced this as well!

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      1. Oh, I hate that you have had that. (I will read that post as soon as I can) I kept quitting the next counselor (after the abusive one) because it would get to a point that I needed to trust her and I just couldn’t. So, now I drive 1 1/2 hrs one way to a counselor that I used to see almost 20 years ago. Even though we had a trusted counseling relationship back then it was really difficult to trust again. We have to stop often, back track, and find out what I am not trusting him about and talk through it. I’ve been seeing him now for three years and we still have moments where we have to bring the trust issue back up again. Have you thought about putting the EMDR on hold and just meeting about every day things and discussing trust for a while then getting back to it? Back when I was meeting with the other counselor (non-abusive one) even before we started doing trauma work I kept quitting. I am sooo sorry you are having to deal with that on top of the trauma.

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        1. The whole thing is VERY hard to face or talk about. I have taken a few weeks off, but I will see her next week. Hopefully we can work something out. Thank you for sharing your experience!

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  3. My counselor has been suggesting EMDR therapy pretty consistently for about 8 months now. Never pushing it or telling me I have to but really wanting to try it with me to see if it can help. I will not commit. I’m too nervous. But I’m softening my resistance and considering it now. But I still have reservations and fear about what else may come up or what I will need to relive. I sometimes already feel like I’m out of control and I don’t want to get worse or fall deeper into the darkness.

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    1. Maybe it has been good that you have taken your time. And if you are able to tell him that you need to stop or go slow, that will be a big asset to doing EMDR. Thank you for sharing your experience!

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  4. Thank you for writing about your life and your struggles! Being stuck and feeling alone is soooo difficult! I hope you feel healing, love and security. I am sending you a hug and a pat on your back and telling you that I am proud of you! Thanks again for sharing! xoxoxoxo

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        1. Lyn that touches me deeply. And I feel this with you too. It is very powerful to know that someone else understands. I wonder if you suffer greatly because you had to work so hard to keep everything together for you and your children, that now it all is like an after shock that is hard to relate it to those moments when you should have been able to have these appropriate feelings. This disconnect that now exists makes it so easy to just feel as though something is wrong with you. It takes away our ability to have compassion for our own emotions. I know that I have suffered far more than necessary… with panic attacks and overwhelming anxiety quietly and privately. This is just a private hell! I hope so much Lyn that as you write your book you will open yourself up to these connections that can give you the insight to at least understand yourself and your struggle more. You are such a wonderful writer. It is a gift that can help you as it blesses others. Our emotions cannot stay locked up forever! xoxo

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        2. thanks so much blue! You were so right when you wrote about your body and mind and soul feelings these things even if we try to forget them! I think you are right about the anxiety and I hope the book helps me and others. xoxo

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  5. You are the person with the most knowledge of your situation of all 7 billion of us. I know you can find a solution BBS – you have all the resources you want with the asking. Ask God for His help too and you will be able to beat this. Know you are loved. HUGS

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    1. I think you have just reaffirmed my dilemma: I do have tremendous insight, which I discover through my writing. And I am aware that knowledge is half the battle. However, what gets missed, and I am also aware seems crazy (and it is) is that you can KNOW something in your head while your feelings and emotions and body don’t compute. I think this is at the heart of everyone who struggles from being abused no matter what walk of life they are coming from. Maybe if I didn’t have such insight and wasn’t articulate, I would be understood better, and maybe it would be easier for me to get help! I do have faith in God. Abuse changes who you are. I certainly am giving it my all! I do need someone much smarter than I am to help me do something with the insights I have. That is where I am counting on Lucy to help me. I think the greatest lies we tell, are the ones we tell ourselves. It is a painful journey to be this honest and vulnerable with my struggle. I am hoping this counts as doing my part. Thank you for the encouragement!

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      1. Interesting response BBS. I agree that we are built to have the capacity for faith in what we cannot see. This is the very first time anyone has ever mentioned that that faith had been corrupted to bring fear when it was designed to bring love and hope and integrity. I think if you ask God for that extra bit that allows love to triumph over fear and hate that he’ll give it to you. After all He built us and designed our responses so he would be able to do that.

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        1. One thing I can be proud of myself for is that I have been able to keep my faith and light and love inside of me. Many people lose hope and faith when they have been abused or suffer as many losses as I have in my life. And that is understandable. I am sure God has and is helping me. I don’t think the answers are always simplistic. God doesn’t always take our struggles away, but He does walk with us through them. We don’t expect someone who broke a limb or was shot to just trust God to get better. Abuse breaks you at your core…. it is easier for a broken limb to mend than to heal your sense of self when someone killed your chances to feel or believe that you belong.

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        2. God is amazing in many ways and you are right He takes us right through our challenges and helps us to solve them. He is always with you and loves you BBS, I can honestly tell you that I am as acutely aware of that at this moment as I have ever been in my life. You see i was dead last Saturday and by Tuesday I was at home blogging away like I was sane. I just finished a post that will be published over at Mark Bialczak’s on Sunday/ Drop by, it is an eye opener. It happened during a simple and commonplace surgery when the surgeons accidentally perforated the main vessel leading to my heart. I died and they did emergency surgery while machines kept me from the grave. I healed so quickly that I was tubeless and off pain killers by Monday overnight and was discharged, much to the doctors’ total disbelief on Tuesday morning. God is great and we are fearfully built BBS, believe me, I know. Ask for his help and it will be provided.

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