PTSD & EMDR

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HeadlightsMom, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Hello, everyone. Some of you may remember me, some may not. I haven't been on this site in eons. In fact, I feel a bit like a novice again just posting this thread. :)

    In the past, I've focused mainly on my son's issues. In the present, I'd like to focus mainly on my issues -- due to those years of 38 calls I made to 911. Whatever our son wrestles with, I now wrestle with PTSD because of my experiences with him.

    I'm here again because my Pandora's Box burst open again -- when I wasn't even expecting it. This tells me it's still there, only semi-hidden, only semi-reconciled. But that's just how life works sometimes, eh?

    Brief synopsis..... Our son is nearly 28, significant drug issues, significant mental health issues, numerous arrests (variety of charges) and numerous treatments (in- and out-patient). He has been out of our lives for the last 6 months or so.

    In the years he lived with us and the years since, we experienced 38 police-worthy episodes. Yep, I counted. As I recall, many of you can relate. While I'm so sorry that any of us had to experience that, I'm grateful that at least we have each other for expression and support. Our struggles are enormous, valid, and life-altering. And, often, just plain brutal.

    Fast forward to now -- I work with physically and intellectually disabled adults. On Dec 2nd, we had an emergency while on a boat and I had to call 911 for one of our participants. I called. It was a 90-minute episode and I felt I handled it fairly well in the moment. I went home just fine. But the next afternoon (nearly 24 hrs later), I crumbled into inner chaos and hyper-arousal. I bit off everyone's head around me -- including my boss, who didn't merit my bark. But, bark I did. Bark, bark, B-A-R-K at everyone and everything for 3 days straight. I was absolutely stuck in Fight-or-Flight mode and I knew it. Even in my chaos, I knew I was stuck. Jittery. Heart-pounding. STUCK.

    I reflected on that feeling of being STUCK in Fight of Flight. Such a familiar feeling. Where did it originate? It didn't take long for me to recognize it was the same Fight or Flight urgency I felt trapped in while living with our raging son all those years. Same sensation. But no one was raging against me or threatening me. In fact, I had several others helping and supporting me (paramedics, participants, families and co-workers). I was slathered in support. Yet............I was STUCK in Fight of Flight (hyperarousal).

    I took a week off of work, took time/space for myself, and got real that I needed to address this. When a counselor said, "PTSD" to me several years ago, I addressed it in individual and group therapy. But, if I'm being honest, I didn't address it long enough or thoroughly enough. I mean, I'm Super Woman, right? HA! Long story short, I became aware of 2 friends who both use EMDR (1 friend is a practitioner, the other friend is a heart-felt buddy). I have begun working with a counselor whom I like a bunch so far. Knock wood, this tone and format continues.........so far, so good.

    EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) is a fascinating concept to me. I'm not far enough into it, yet, to say how effective it is long-term. But, so far, it does seem to be helpful in reducing hyper-arousal for me. That and EFT (Tapping).

    I do need to find better ways to cope with my past and my present (my position at work sometimes places me in position to call 911 -- I work with medically-fragile participants in our program and this is my 3rd 911 call in the last 1.5 years).

    Has anyone in this forum ever used EMDR? If so, any input to share?

    Thanks, in advance, for your input and your listening hearts and ears!
     
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  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad you have support now when you go through episodes where you need to call 911. While it doesn't help you deal with the PTSD, at least it can help by not making the trauma incredibly worse.

    My daughter went through EMDR and had wonderful results. Her therapist was really good with her and worked so that she coped with a lot of the problems caused by the violence from her brother. J really felt the EMDR helped her quite a lot. She didn't feel so scared all the time, and she stopped getting that panicky feeling when people did or said certain things that reminded her of past abuse. We saw real changes in her behavior in a just a few months. Changes that lasted.

    I hope you stick with EMDR and that it helps you. I know other people who have had great results with EMDR. One is a relative who had several abusive marriages after childhood abuse. It wasn't until she really worked at EMDR in combination with other therapy that she was able to break the cycle of bad relationships. Now she is in a great relationship with a wonderful man. It is a joy to see. I want similarly positive results for you (not the relationship, just the positive changes in your life!).
     
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  3. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I have done EMDR and also felt it was beneficial. I did feel like I had been hit by a train after each session, but there has been a permanence to the results that I hadn’t had with talk therapy alone. The science/theory behind it makes a lot of sense.
     
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  4. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I have been considering trying EMDR and will be watching this thread closely.

    I have such a horrible startle complex and it triggers anxiety. PTSD sucks.

    HLM I am only 4 years into this ride and I am a train wreck most of the time. You are not alone.

    If you stick with the EMDR docket me know how it works out.
     
  5. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Susiestar, Sam3, Littleboylost -- Thank you all for you thoughtful and insightful replies. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm encouraged by all of your comments. The science behind it makes sense to me, too. Will keep you posted on my EMDR thoughts.

    I'm only 2 sessions in with EMDR, but, so far, it feels noticeably helpful. I'm encouraged, just wanting to remain in "wait and see" mode to see if it's permanent. So far, no backsliding. Just many more 911 episodes to work through. Feeling optimistic. EMDR is an interesting sensation so far. I always said our years of traumatic episodes felt like my brain was laying down new "tracks" (picture railroad tracks) of hyper-arousal -- not my brain's usual pathways beforehand. After my first EMDR, I had an interesting visual arise in my mind -- visions of small segments of railroad tracks detaching in bits and free-floating so I could dispose of them however I chose. I like that visual. For me, it always helps to have a visual.

    My best wishes are with you all during this holiday season. I have fun extended family plans (without our son -- it's just how it is) for Christmas day. Fortunately, our family members roll with our family scenario exceptionally well after all these years. Whatever's going on, I believe in trying to find and to express Gratitude (with a capital "G") wherever I can. Not always easy -- sometimes temporarily REALLY difficult. But it's snowing now, so we're Grateful to be looking forward to a white Christmas!

    May all of your Christmases unfold in whatever ways feel healthiest for you at this time. Sending a virtual hug your way. :)
     
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think your visual is AWESOME! Many therapies work much better if you have a visual of them. I hope you stick with EMDR and it is a very helpful thing for you.

    Merry Christmas!!
     
  7. I've had several sessions and found it very helpful in releasing trauma. I've been even more unconventional and had energy healing and biofield tuning with tuning forks and they've made a huge difference in my life! I'm now a certified practitioner in Eden Energy Medicine and working on my certification in Biofield Tuning so I can help others release their trauma. Don't be afraid to try new things.
     
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