For the past few months my therapist has been reminding me that we need to dig in and start using EMDR and Brainspotting to work on the trauma of the physical abuse from The Narcissist. I haven’t exactly been avoiding it per say, I have just had some really good and positive things going on in my life so the trauma hasn’t been at the top of my mind. Early on we spent a lot of time using EMDR & Brainspotting for the emotions and the feelings and the depressions, but we hadn’t gotten around to the physical trauma yet. As with most things, life has a way of showing you when it is time to deal with the stuff you’ve been holding onto.
This week we started in on the physical abuse for really the first time. It was prompted actually by watching The Girl on The Train and explaining to my therapist how I felt triggered by the scenes and what things were causing me a physical and emotional reaction. For me, this wasn’t a bad experience – it was just a friendly reminder from the Universe that I still have more work to do. It’s almost as if my brain packaged up these experiences because it knew I couldn’t process them properly at the time they were happening. They got placed in a protective bubble and pushed to the back of my mind to be dealt with later. The triggers can be anything really, a memory, taste, sound, smell, or feeling that reminds you of those memories and allows them bubble up to the surface when you have the mental capacity to handle them.
For me there was something about that kitchen scene in The Girl on The Train with the emotional abuse and physical abuse that reminded me. The fascinating thing is that I didn’t instantly remember the event, or the abuse, or the pain, or the emotions of what I was dealing with. What I remembered was the feeling of laying on the kitchen floor with so much tears and snots in a puddle around my head and all over my face, and the feeling of having my hair stuck to my face and sobbing. That was my trigger memory… cold floor, wet face, tears, snots, hair.
The good news is that the first session went really well, and the events I was focused on now feel much further away and much less intense. This has been my experience with everything that I have worked through with EMDR, which is why I am such a fan of this version of therapy.
I’ve really become fascinated with the process of how your brain and body process trauma. I actually started reading a fantastic book this week as well! I highly recommend it if you have experienced trauma or are living with someone who has experienced trauma, its sciency but very digestible. ❤