courage · fear · recovery

Light Dispels Dark

Methinks I may need to reread the Lighten Up! blog again
before I head out this morning, or at least take heart the theme.
Today, I will be beginning a process called EMDR (eye
movement desensitization and reprocessing) with my therapist in San Francisco.
It’s a therapy that is used to reintegrate and desensitize traumatic memories
by stimulating both sides of the body, either with eye moment, as the name
suggests, or tapping on both knees with your hands, or little alternating vibrations in each hand in order to help store those charged memories back in a way which more resembles the way we hold non-traumatic memories. 
Perhaps you can imagine, I’m a little … freaked out, is the
“lightest” word I can use at the moment.
I have resisted her suggestion to do this for several years.
But, it seems, and in fact is, time to
do this. I’m terrified. I terrified I’m going to hysterically cry and leave her
office a mess and get struck by a street car in my haze. I’m terrified I’m going to find
out things that I really don’t want to know. I’m terrified, mainly, and most
likely, that I will cry, a lot, and then I’ll be walking around for two weeks
til our next session with all of this “up” stuff.
To be true, though, a lot of the work I think we’ll do today
is actually about grounding in some positive resources. i.e. if we’re going to
talk about the most disturbing memories, we’re today supposed to talk about the
most positive and joyous memories. In fact, I was supposed to write them down,
but have felt like even that was too big a step toward “the final product.” So,
I’ll head into the city shortly and sit at a café and write my 10 best
There was the option to also write the 10 most disturbing,
and when she saw my trepidation (and terror), she said there’s always the option we
can do it in her office together, and so we will. I’m relieved for that.
As a blog, I feel that there’s some responsibility to care-take your feelings, reader, and let you know, don’t worry, it’s all okay, this
is all “normal” trauma, and I’m just particularly invested in spelunking my
inner caves and gutting them. But it’s okay, I’m okay.
But, I won’t.
I know that it will be okay. I know that in this moment it
is all okay, and I am safe. I know that somewhere under my solar plexus and
behind a sheet of iron walling, but outside of that? I’m … scared. And, that’s
okay. Feels normal. I trust my therapist. I trust the work that I’ve done which
has pointed me in this direction, in the direction of working on, and through,
and ultimately OUT of this stuff.
It’s just like anything else. Light dispels the dark. This
is a particular area of bogeymen who are particularly vocal and wear neon-green
shark teeth as necklaces around their craggy and sagging skin. They are
bogeymen. Just rattlers in the dark. And like anything else that I’ve addressed
and faced and dispelled, like the soldiers in the BART blog, they’re a protection agent.
Underneath my terror and fear and hesitation and reluctance,
I know there’s safety and compassion and freedom and light. I know, as my
teacher says in meditations, “It’s safe to go here because of all of the work you’ve already
done.” I know, as my post-it in my kitchen says, “I am able to go to scary
places because I have a firm foundation of love.” And I know too, that this is
a wound. My therapist is a doctor. And I can trust a doctor to help me heal. 

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