This is the list of things I brought to talk about today:

  • blood/gore
  • Emotional eating
  • Project life vs fancy life
  • How to not have Sheralyn meet all my needs?

We only ended up talking about my squeamishness with blood and gore. I mentioned how I had watched Black Hawk Down since our last session. I watched all of it except the one scene where they are trying to do surgery on one of the injured soldiers. I could not handle that scene so I fast-forwarded it. I was surprised that I was able to handle the rest of the movie. It was still gross and had a lot of gore and blood, but it did not make me pass out or get super anxious as it would have in the past. We talked about how I was able to disassociate from the characters and not think about the events happening to me.

I also shared that Sheralyn and I tried watching a C-section video and I was not able to watch it. As soon as it started I turned away and Sheralyn watched it by herself. My therapist asked why we would watch a C-section video and I explained how Sheralyn is full-didelphic, which means that she has two uteruses and two vaginas. As a result of that, she has to have C-sections to get the baby out. With Sheralyn currently being pregnant, I will be in an operating room experiencing a C-section in the near future and I would like to be able to handle that situation better. This made more sense to my therapist and they wanted to talk about what happens or what feelings I get when I am experiencing blood or gore. I explained that I feel fear and anxiety and like I am going to die, and then I pass out. We also talked about how I feel pressure to be in the operating room to support Sheralyn, which makes it more stressful because I am worrying about passing out and not being able to be there for her.

My therapist suggested we try EMDR to help make my memory of these events less distressing so it would be easier to discuss and work through. I said I was hesitant to try it because even when thinking about those memories, I start to feel like I am going to pass out. She explained that passing out would not be the end of the world and said I would probably just slump down on the couch and nothing bad would happen. She asked if I felt safe enough to try it and I agreed. My one caveat was that I wanted an escape hatch in case I was feeling like I was going to pass out to stop the session. She agreed to this and said to just raise my hand if I am needing a break.

We agreed to these terms and got situated and she asked what memory I wanted to start with. I was still a little scared of passing out so I brought up a memory that was less distressing for me. When I was in high school, I took Wood Shop class. One day we were doing a safety training and the teacher started explaining an accident that had happened where a piece of wood had shot out of a saw and stabbed into a students arm. I had imagined that happening to me and I blacked out. Luckily, only one of my close friends in the class noticed. But it was still an embarrassing and distressing memory for me. So we started our EMDR session with that memory.

The session went well. I was surprisingly calm during the whole thing and it felt like I was looking at the memory from different angles to get a new perspective of what happened. The negative belief we were working on was the belief that “If I get hurt, I will die”. Eventually we got the distress down and we started working on replacing that belief with “Even when I get hurt I can trust that people will help“. As we went through the session it became clear that my fear was not so much about getting hurt or bad things happening, but the question of if something bad happened, what would happen to me?

I am able to think about that memory now with no distress and I can rationalize that accidents are rare so it is not likely that I would have one. But if I did, there would be people there to help take care of me. For example, the wood shop teacher. As we ended the session, my therapist suggested we do another EMDR session next time we meet. She suggested that next time we focus on a C-section memory, or she said we can focus on the future C-section and think through what might happen and how it will make me feel so I am more prepared for it.

I feel like this was a really productive session and I am proud of myself for being brave enough to try working on things that might have resulted in me passing out. I am excited to see how much progress we make next time and I am excited at the fact that I might be able to experience a C-section without almost passing out or focusing on calming myself the whole time.

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