Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweet Dreaming

Part of the work I've been doing to overcome the birth trauma I experienced when Gus and Jack were born is attending EMDR therapy.

"Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma." ~from the EMDR International Association's website.

Basically, I follow a green light with my eyes as it tracks from one end of the panel to the other.  Dr. D controls the speed of the light and the pulsing of little "mice" that vibrate in my hand, alternating left to right.  Every so often she stops the light and asks me what's there.  I tell her what was racing through my mind as I watched the lights.  There's deep breathing, there's examination of somatic reactions, there's a scale of negative and positive associations, and there's a safe space in my mind to which I can retreat when the work becomes overwhelming.  Sounds weird, right?  Sounds iffy, out there, suspect, maybe?  I don't care!  It works for me.  

There was once a time when I would have been hesitant to admit I'm in therapy, but today I want to sing from the rooftops!  Shout from the mountain-tops!  Share on my blog!

I've had three sessions with my doc, two of those being EMDR.  I've processed my birth experience and the months after.  I also re-connected with my body.  I didn't realize there even was a disconnect-- never mind how all encompassing it was-- until I reclaimed it as my own.  I've processed my fraught high-school years, and I've connected expectations of myself I formed in college with my current reality.  I am a very willing and eager participant, and EMDR can be fast.  I'm not done with my emotional work yet, but I am happy with where I am along my path.  

And the best part of all this is the dreaming.  

I used to dream in vivid detail that I could remember upon waking.  But somewhere along the journey of bed rest and a life steeped in worry, I stopped dreaming.  I don't remember when, but it was awhile ago.  During the worst of the early months with colicky twins, I was sleeping at most three hours of every 24, and no more than one hour at a time.  There was no REM sleep.  Since then, as the amount of sleep improved, the quality of it did not.  

Until now.

I'm dreaming again!  It started the very day of my first EMDR session.  I have vivid, rich, whole dreams now even when I nap.  And my nights are filled with crazy sub-conscious processing, healthy, beautiful dreams.  This means I am getting REM sleep again, and it shows in my daily life.

I'm happier, and calmer, and refreshed.  Things are still amazingly chaotic with 13 month old twins, but I am better able to cope now.

And that is a dream come true.

Until they learn to take pictures of me while I dream, this will do.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you.

    I've been meaning to start therapy but I'm chicken.

    Keep us posted.