I shouldn’t be awake right now. I should be sleeping… but I’m haunted again by one of my worst memories. My eyes try to release it as much as they can. My tears understand. My pillow is damp. I’m frozen. I can’t sleep. I won’t sleep until I let this out.
I wanted to leave my body behind to break the news. It was over for me. I had a plan, but it failed.
But it’s what happened on the other side of my consciousness that truly keeps me trapped.
My therapist and I are starting EMDR therapy. For those who don’t know what that is:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
It’s going to be a long road. I’m not sure how I feel now. In this moment, I feel weak and exhausted. My therapist warned me this is going to be hard and I will experience heightened emotional distress (as if being borderline wasn’t enough). I hope I can hold onto myself. I need an anchor.
Why does the night bring these deep waters? It’s as if misery lingers around me constantly, but when the lights turn off, it slips into my bedroom through my window and wraps itself around me. I’m chilled to the bone. I feel it soak inside me.
The sun will rise again, there’s no doubt about that. But in this moment, my god… it feels like forever. The moon doesn’t try to hurt me. But for some reason, all the ghouls and monsters hide until the light goes to sleep. Are they too afraid to show themselves in the light? Would it blow their cover? Would they just be like everybody else in this world? I don’t know what these things want with me. I feel their energy. It’s cold. I’m afraid, and yet… it’s familiar. I know it all too well.
For 6 years, I’ve tried to get through it. I thought I was past it. I thought it wasn’t such a big deal. I was able to talk about it with people if for some reason the subject came up. But alone and curled up under the covers, I cry, shake, and I drown in the uncertainty.
How has 6 years passed and I still don’t have the answers? I don’t know why I even ask myself that question. I will never have the answers. I tried getting the answer… but all I got in return was “I was stupid.”
It’s all I have:
“I was stupid.”
I was beyond repair and so distressed.
I tried to end it all.
I faded away.
I woke up.
I was alone.
Everything came out of me.
I could hear it.
The house was silent.
Except for one thing.
I could hear him.
I could hear him breathing.
He wasn’t near me.
…He was asleep in the other room.
And all he could give to me two years later was “I was stupid.”
I can’t forgive him. There’s some things that can’t be forgiven.
In that moment of my distortion, I realized that I meant nothing. I wasn’t important. I wasn’t worth a phone call to be saved. He came home and left me there to die. And even though I didn’t die… why didn’t he try to save me?
There are so many holes in my memory. Things I’ll never be able to fill myself. I have to live the rest of my life like this.
The EMDR therapy is supposed to help with this. My therapist said this, amongst other things, are “complex traumas.” This will take some time. I’m not even sure I’ll heal completely. It’s been such a long road living this way, I’ve grown used to it. I’ve minimized it. It’s just another mistake in my fucked up story called life. Why make a big deal out of it? I know not everyone tries to kill themselves and their boyfriend ignore it as it’s happening, but is it really something to fuss about? It’s over. He’s gone. I’m still alive. I’m still breathing. Isn’t that enough?
And even if it doesn’t work, I won’t be angry. It’ll just be the same as it is now. Is doing the EMDR therapy a mistake? Should I just leave things the way they are now?
I had to create a place for this memory, and for other memories that are to come that will also be placed in here. They need a place to live, instead of running around my mind unattended. So I conjured up a glass box in my head. It’s pretty. It has colorful jewels embedded around it. It’s something I would’ve loved as a child… but now these traumas are to reside in it. Is it ugly now that it’s forced to hold such tainted memories?
Is unlocking this fragile glass box inside my mind worth it? Letting out the memories laced with poison is going to be difficult. My mind is fragile right now. I’m afraid the glass box will shatter if I’m not strong enough.
I don’t share these kinds of things with people I know really. How do I talk about the progress? Do I? Perhaps I shouldn’t. No, I won’t. This is my journey inside the dark parts of my mind. This is one path I must take alone. I can’t begin to explain this to people. It’s too exhausting to even think about it… but I have to do this, for myself. I have to heal. This is something I have to do. I can’t crawl away from this.
This is meant to happen. I can’t run.
I must open this glass box on my own and free the shadows that darken those parts of my brain.
“I was stupid.”
Actions really do speak a thousand words. Nothing you said could relieve the pain that consumed me. Even if you were here in front of me now, and you said all the things you could’ve and should’ve said would not heal me now. I kept breathing you in. I let you continue to burn me. You shattered my soul. I gave you all of me, you gave me nothing at all.
But I found my way out,
I don’t know you anymore.
You’re just a misguided stranger,
and I’m tearing you out of my core.