Frozen

Sometimes I wonder if therapy is worth it. Maybe it’s better to wander around in the effects of abuse then try to deal with it. Dealing with it brings in a whole new set of problems that I have to deal with.  It’s like being caught in a between a rock and a hard place. Ignorance is not bliss but knowledge isn’t bliss either.

I kind of like not remembering most of my childhood.  Although not remembering makes my behaviours and reactions a mystery to me.

Last night I had another session with EMDR.  This time I chose the anger I feel when my boss is tearing down fellow employees when they aren’t around.  Of course one thing lead to another and some memories surfaced.  They didn’t only surface during the session but also afterward.  It was like finding a piece of string buried in the sand and you slowly pull it out of the sand following it to see where it goes.  And each pull brings something up.

The memories themselves weren’t that bad. What bothered me was the reaction that was happening when I was experiencing the situations.  The first memory that came up was my parents hauling me out of bed in the wee hours.  They would be drunk of course.  Then the interrogation would begin.  It was only one question as far as I remember.  But that one question would terrify me.  “Who do you love the most?” I knew deep down whatever answer I would give would be wrong.  Besides they were both my parents, how could I choose?  I couldn’t hurt anyone by choosing plus I would never choose my father over my mother. That would be trouble so I would stand there mute and frozen while I watched them yelling at each other hoping all the while it wouldn’t turn physical.

Then the next memory came waltzing in uninvited.  It wasn’t an abusive situation.  As a teenager I used to baby-sit and help out this couple sometimes for days at a time.  To make a long story short it was a very dysfunctional family although I wasn’t aware of that at the time since I was living in one myself.  A number of things went on in this family.  But the strongest memory that came up was their fighting.  It was also violent and they would ask me questions to try to get me to side with one or the other.  And again I was mute and frozen. I would end up going to my room with my heart pounding, every nerve tingling, feeling physically ill and cover my ears and make noise. Anything in order not to hear what was going on.  Who knows why I didn’t just leave.

As as was thinking about these memories I became aware of something that happened to me in my session.

She was asking me for some sort of decision and I couldn’t seem to come up with one. For some reason I vaguely remember thinking oh crap now she’s pissed at me and she needs a decision. Every thing within me stopped. I froze and became mute.  I wonder if she noticed because I didn’t at the time.

This is where it gets complicated.  I know in my mind that her being pissed is probably not be the truth (she was only wanting a decision) but I have a feeling that my body doesn’t know that. It just freezes. Then I think what happens is that my body over rides my rational mind and makes it irrational.

It seems my body response is automatic and instant. It’s strange that I wasn’t aware of this before.

I’m not sure what to do with this new knowledge.  It sucks and it makes me feel like crap, this apparent lack of control.  And it makes me feel like I do everything wrong especially therapy.

I have probably walked through my life frozen.

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8 Responses to Frozen

  1. LIAM –
    I wondered the same thing many times – is therapy worth it – particularly now that I have shared my story as I know it and feel relief from that. I talk about this frequently with my T – most days I find comfort in knowing that she is there.

    Regarding your session – after the EMDR – did you still feel frozen? And did you feel safe? I’m realizing from my reading that EMDR will not be a “quick” fix.

    OLJ

    • lostinamaze says:

      My T also told me it wouldn’t be a quick fix. Although I wish it were so.

      I did feel safe even with the fairly overwhelming revelations that were happening. And most of these revelations happened outside of the session.

      I still felt frozen even though we tried to work through it. Now in the days following it’s more of a distancing from the feelings that came up.

  2. Harriet says:

    Therapy has definitely made my life harder, but I’m hoping in the long run it will make it easier. When that long run will happen is anyone’s guess. As for your reaction when you freeze and become mute, that is a great insight. Once you recognize that that happens, you can get to the root of it and explore it and then possibly, hopefully, change it! Realizing that reaction means you are doing everything right, not wrong.

    • lostinamaze says:

      Yes, it’s the long run that I wonder about as well. I have been slowly learning its not so much the destination but all about the journey. But I hope that it will get easier. I also hope that I can change something that seems to have been a life long reaction.

  3. JBR says:

    At the beginning of my t. I thought the same way as I felt I had nothing to say. So why bother going back. But, in time, there was always something that came up. Nothing is by accident in a session, I am learning.

    • lostinamaze says:

      That’s a point of view I haven’t looked at, that nothing is by accident in a session. These days I’m not happy with what is coming up even though I know it’s stuff I need to work on.

  4. Hey lostinamaze

    I just wanted to say… I’ve hear of a thing called ‘body memories’ where it is possible that your body remembers things even though your mind doesn’t.

    Not sure if you’ve ever heard of this but thought you might want to check it out if you haven’t.

    x

    • lostinamaze says:

      I have heard of other people talk about it in relation to themselves but I have never thought about it when it comes to myself. I don’t really know much about it. Thank you, I will ask my t about it.

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