EMDR #19: Bad Memories

Throughout recounting these sessions, I reveal a lot about my own thoughts and emotions, and I’d like to remind anyone that reads these, that these are my own thoughts and the ways I interpreted things that happened in my life. It is no fault of anyone else that I reacted, felt the way that I did or thought a certain way whenever something took place.
We can break the cycle of projecting our problems onto one another as long as we can find understanding towards others and within ourselves…

Recount of Session: Sept 7.

My stepdad caused a lot of fear and trauma in my life and I wanted to dig deep into those feelings and see what came up.

I started the session by recalling the final thoughts and actions of my stepdad before he was removed from my life.

I remember my mom and stepdad had been fighting pretty intensely as they always did when the time bomb went off. My mom had been sleeping in the living room instead of the spare room as my stepdad’s daughter had been staying with us to try clean up her life. My mom had finally had enough and decided she was going to stay in the spare room where my stepdad’s daughter was as it was her house. She removed all of the daughter’s stuff from the room while the daughter was at work.

When the daughter got home, she was furious and called my stepdad and told him what had happened. He came home earlier, already a bit drunk and started losing his temper on my mom. He grabbed a bunch of stuff that my mom had thrown into the living room for the daughter and brought it back into the spare room which was next to mine. I was on my computer during all of this with my door open, just watching the madness ensue.

My mom went in and grabbed the stuff my stepdad had just thrown back into the spare room and started taking it back out and as she was walking with it in the hallway, my stepdad body-checked her into the wall. He was a 240lb man, who used to play football at a professional level and I doubt my small mother really appreciated the small nudge he gave her considering he’s twice her size. Before I could even do anything, my mother just laughed and said, “Must feel pretty fucking big eh? You saw that right son?” I acknowledged that I had and she walked away shaking her head.

My stepdad obviously knowing he fucked up, left the vicinity pretty quickly and started calling down the stairs to my mom telling her to fuck off and she’s a useless cunt just like her son (me) followed by a whole bunch of other pleasantries directed towards her and I. My mom (Bless her) tried to defend me but he just kept on it. My mom ended up calling her lawyer and at that time, my stepdad got enough courage to come down to yell face to face some more. Hearing that my mom was on the phone, he expressed “good, she can get the fuck out of here” Then turned his attentions over to me. He confronted me saying “You’re fucking useless just like your mother.” To which I said “Get the hell out of my room, I don’t want anything to do with you.” This was the first time I had stood up to him like that. The defiant tone obviously struck a chord with him as he started yelling “You will not disrespect me like that in this house!” I retorted calmly “Get out of my room…” and he left muttering something about me being a disrespectful shit. I was shaking from that, I felt so afraid and anxious but somewhat relieved I said something. I felt like I needed to get out of there. I grabbed some stuff and was about to leave when my mom came out of the spare room. She asked what just happened as she was on the phone. I told her and she told me to wait for her lawyer to call her back because she would be leaving too. I waited for the call and we both left. She went to get an emergency restraining order, and I left to go cry in an alley in my car somewhere.

Thinking back, before that moment, all the times that my stepdad has blown up and lashed out at my mom and I, I felt trapped, like I was worthless and it ultimately spiraled into despair. I felt so helpless, like there was no way to fix the situation I was in. Closing my eyes in EMDR, I could picture a younger version of myself in a corner just trapped and curled into a ball. I felt like I never had the skills I would need to survive on my own and if I asked for help, I would get the “I had to figure this out on my own” response as I had always gotten from my stepdad. There was nothing but a helpless child trapped in a bedroom back then and it hurt to go back to that feeling.

Suddenly memories came crashing down from my school years. Many memories that had hurt me and I had forgotten about or perhaps repressed… Memories I didn’t want to have to think about again.

I recalled being shoved into a locker when I was in junior high and locked in it; I remember being called names like Rudolph because I had bad acne on my nose; I was put into a cabinet for an entire class; I was kidnapped at lunch by students who bought mouse traps, armed and threw them at me, then gagged and tied me up and threw me back into class as a “prank”; I was told that a really pretty girl in school liked me and I turned it into a joke because I did not think that it could be true and it was just the person who told me, messing with me; I let someone punch me in the head with a chain on their fist; I let people put me in some tires and roll me around in a parking lot; someone I knew at school had wrote a parody of a letter of a kid who had committed suicide in our school and one of the though kids mistakenly thought I wrote it, and wanted to fight me and I didn’t do anything to defend myself at all. I was a victim of those around me, as well as a victim of myself, and I’ve continued being a victim my entire life…

My therapist was not happy that we had no more time to discuss this as the floodgates had been opened however I told her I would be alright until the next session…

The goal of sharing my story is to raise awareness of mental health problems that all of us experience and to break the stigma surrounding mental health. My belief is that we hurt each other because we have been hurt ourselves, but if we can heal past our own hurt that ends up causing us to hurt others, we can break the cycle of pain that we have been inflicting on each other for so long.

If you are looking for a start in your own journey of self healing, the best way to start is by talking to someone: If you are in Alberta there is a mental health helpline found at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh/amh.aspx or in the US, http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/finding-help. Usually a quick google search for help in your location will bring up a toll free number you can call. I also have a friend that practices hypnotherapy and has an affordable pay model for anyone seeking help. here is a link to his website, Healing Self. And if you’d like to contact me personally for any help or direction, you can use my contact page to reach out and I will keep anything confidential (aside from if you’re planning to commit a crime) and help to the best of my abilities.

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