I think my body is trying to tell me something

I’ve had this thing going on the past few days? longer? A week? I feel like there’s something going on in the back of my brain. My brain is processing something in the background. I’ve realized only today that it might be why I’ve been hit with sudden terrible world stopping fatigue more than once. Sometimes my body is so tired it wants everything to stop. No input, no output, just stop.

I can best describe this as feeling as if my brain is trying to tell me something…. But that doesn’t seem like something anyone can understand. I think it’s related to EMDR therapy. Maybe. Probably. I don’t know. Previously I’ve felt this compulsion to sit down and write about my past but then when I sit down there are no words. So now I try again.

(CW for references to childhood trauma)

I suppose I cannot explain this clearly enough for anyone to understand. I’ve thought about my past childhood trauma from when I was a tiny helpless baby. How I learned at an early tender age to dissociate to deal with my physical and emotional pain. I’ve thought about my CPTSD diagnosis and how my multiple physical diseases are physical manifestations of my psychological diseases. I’ve thought, again, about how if I had an entirely different first five years of life I’d be an entirely different person. What if I hadn’t been neglected or sexually abused. What if adults in charge – foster families, social workers, judges – had a better understanding of the effects of trauma and stress on children? Would I be better able to love and to share my feelings? Better able to reciprocate? But I’m not – not that person, as much as I wish I could be. I’m broken, cracked. Only I can repair the damage …. but only so much damage can be repaired …. and I don’t know where to start.

I’m so tired of being different and knowing how different I am and not knowing what to do about it. 

I experienced such stress and trauma, such upheaval in the first five years of life that .y brain was irreversibly changed. My love was damaged and stunted when I was severely neglected as a small baby. I witnessed things that children should not be exposed to. Still a small child I learned that adults aren’t to be trusted and that everyone leaves eventually. Abandoned so many times I’ve come to always fear it, in the core of my being, even when the fear is thoroughly unfounded. Even my ability to adapt to new situations has been permanently hobbled as my body became consumed with survival. 

I’m so tired of all of my psychological diseases manifesting as physical diseases. So long as a child I was asked to be brave, told to be quiet, left alone by different adults – foster parents, social workers. So long growing up did I push all my feelings and fears and worries down and deep. So long I pushed everything down for fear of retaliation. So long have I worried, wished and wanted, not knowing why. 

And now? Now I don’t know what to do. What I should do. What I can do. I’m stuck doing the same pointless actions day in and day out. Wishing I could be something more and left wondering what I could have been if my early life had been different.

It’s beginning to feel like it’s just depression

Which actually makes me feel better. Strange as that sounds. I was hoping I wouldn’t end up with winter/time change/holiday depression since changing my medicine in the first half of the year but apparently I’m not that lucky. Saw my psychiatrist yesterday and she commented that “The thoughts are cutting but you aren’t cutting.” and that’s a pretty good way to put it.

I don’t have a lot of family or things to worry about over the holidays so I feel like I shouldn’t be upset or triggered or stressed or what have you but apparently it’s not that easy. Holidays are a void I struggle with instead.

I’ve spent more time staring at my knitting thinking I should be working on something than actually knitting. I have one gift project started and a few others that have been planned but those also feel the weight of that word ‘should.’ Hmmm. Working on those gift knits would help with that aforementioned void. I bet.

With doing EMDR therapy over a month now, which is for my PTSD and dissociation and childhood trauma, I think my mood has been a little “off” as well … so add in the time of year and things have gone … somewhere.

I’m also doing NaNoWriMo but it’s kinda been a failure. I haven’t even hit 10,000 words and halfway through the month I should have at least 25,000. More words than I had November 1st. And no blog posts for over a month too! That’s a sign depression has creeped in.

Oh and can’t bring up writing without mentioning anxiety! Anxiety that won’t ever go away. Anxiety leading me to avoid things I usually like doing. Didn’t realize that was a thing I might do until recently.

My chronic diseases also haven’t been helpful but I guess they never are are they. It’s more like they’ve been more overwhelming than usual. I’ve had more back pain all the month of November so far – which doesn’t help a writing schedule one bit. I’m trying to taper down on my daily prednisone from 5 mg to 4 mg and after 2 and a half weeks maybe I’m getting back to normal. Back to normal in this case is not needing an hour nap almost every day. Still tired, but I’m mostly functioning at home.

So it’s probably not something medical, it’s probably just depression. It’s weird to hear myself say “just depression” but …. that’s how it is. At least right now. I think I get through this by going through the motions and pretending. Yea, I think that’s it. Right?

And here’s some wisdom from inspirobot. Thanks inspirobot.

Talking about EMDR

I want to write a blog post about my experiences with EMDR so far but I don’t know where to start so I’m just going to talk about EMDR for a bit. My experiences are different from others since my memories are very fragmented and my flashbacks are mostly emotional and my intrusive thoughts are for more recent events. I can access very few memories of my childhood. 

EMDR therapy is weird and hard. It can also be interesting to see what thing pops up in my brain when in the middle of EMDR therapy. There’s lots of details to the process that you can find with a simple Google search. It’s harder to find information on how it will make you feel. It took awhile for my therapist to decide that I was ready to start EMDR. Based on my experience with my therapist, you don’t start EMDR until you are ready to start EMDR. I had to get better at self soothing before starting. 

I dissociate during EMDR but I’m not reliving a specific memory/event so that’s something else that is different from what other people understand – if I understand this correctly. I’ve fought through worse episodes of dissociation too. In fact it’s different because I’m not fighting my brain to stay in the present, my brain is leading. And I’ve been okay to drive home alone after.

I’ve had 3 sessions of EMDR and none of them have been severe or distressing (yet?). I’ve also (already?) started to have memories come back outside of EMDR. That part is weird an uncomfortable but since I’m better at self-soothing and my meds have helped my nightmares it hasn’t been terrible. I’ve been nervous before each session and I don’t expect that to change. However, after the last session dealing with the post EMDR brain isn’t as hard as the time before…. So that’s obviously not going to be the same every time. 

Right, post EMDR brain is hard. The day of my appointment I end up feeling like I did something strenuous – because I did. I compare it to completing a final in college – the kind that takes like an hour in class and you walk out relieved it’s over. It’s draining because your brain is doing a lot. Last time I ended up with a migraine – but that’s not guaranteed either. I’ve had to take it easy after every (full) session of EMDR. Less focus is pretty common for me. 

Overall I can say that EMDR isn’t as scary as I imagined it but it is as hard as I imagined it to be. But healing isn’t easy.