During my last two EMDR sessions the strangest things have started popping up! Like making up dance routines with my little brother when we were very young or me chewing all the feet of my barbies in a bid to reject the girlie girl persona my stepmother insistently tried to drive into me. I couldn’t fathom it, my therapist just told me to go with it… so I did.
As I was just letting all these forgotten memories run amok in my brain the feelings associated with them started to bubble up and all of a sudden I was sobbing, great big snotty gulping sobs, it was like a great big rusty key had been thrust into the depths of my subconscious and as it was slowly turned bits of rust started to painfully flake off, instead of hitting the floor to be swept away and forgotten they burst into the forefront of my mind!
In the most prominent one I find myself watching a 5 year old me playing with my 1 year old brother, as younger me is playing with him he started to be sick, all of a sudden my stepmother appears at the door screaming and shouting, telling me to get away from her son and saying she was ringing the police and I was to get out of her house… 5 year old me is stunned, bewildered, worried and anxious!! I came to realise as the session and the thought carried on that I was recalling the very first time I felt anxiety and the very first time I felt like an awfully bad person.
I was 5 years old and I was getting accused of maliciously hitting my baby brother on the head.. my brother is severely disabled and for years I was made to think I had caused it. everyone was so angry at 5 year old me. My stepmother didn’t want me, she hated me, my grandmother said I was evil and she didn’t want me, and my dad was so angry with me he sent me to my Nana’s and didn’t come to see me for days I didn’t have a clue what had happened.. I didn’t hit my brother I was just playing with him when he began vomiting. I didn’t cause his disability either, he has cerebral palsy which he had from birth, I was 12 when a teacher told me I couldn’t of caused his disability. 7 whole years of feeling like I had took their toll.
I could feel all of the feelings I went through as a child, panic, confusion, helplessness, fear and a feeling that I was bad. My therapist asked me what was coming up and I managed to mutter that I was feeling sorry for myself. In my head I was scooping up little me and holding her as tightly as I could.
To be able to process and put that early memory away is amazing. I didn’t realise I hadn’t processed it, but all those feelings are so similar to what I felt when I was put through my most recent trauma and the same feelings that drown me in nightmares and flashbacks.
Now I know where they come from I’m not so afraid of them. It makes perfect sense… when I experienced those feelings as a child, nobody helped me, nobody talked to me I was just labelled as an evil child therefore those feelings became associated with traumas from the very beginning. It makes perfect sense to me now that when I get those feelings I straight away try to shove them away and I chastise myself, because that’s what I’ve learnt, it’s what I’ve always been told.. my feelings don’t matter and they must of been caused by something I did wrong.