08/29/2023

So before I went into my appointment I sat in my car and thought about what things I wanted to talk about. In our previous session we did EMDR about my squeamishness. We focused on a specific memory and I wanted to be prepared with another one to work on this session. I came up with the following list:

  • c-sections, spinal block/epidural, staples removal, cathiter installation and removal
  • needles/ getting blood drawn and passing out at hospital with my mom
  • dentist
  • children bloody noses
  • Mason tripping on our camping trip
  • my brother Joe dissolving his tongue
  • waiting for dad at his work when I split my head open
  • hospital trip as a result of leap frog
  • fence hit my face and crawling on the floor crying
  • dance tour feeling sick/lonely

I narrowed it down to the following:

  • waiting for dad at his work when I split my head open
  • fence hit my face and crawling on the floor crying
  • needles/ getting blood drawn and passing out at hospital with my mom
  • c-sections, spinal block/epidural, staples removal, cathiter installation and removal

The more I thought about it the more I realized that I have two issues I need to work on. The first is my belief that “if something happens to me, no one will help me and I will die”. The second one is “someone I love will need my help and I won’t be able to handle helping them and who will help me help them?”.

We ended up focusing on when I cut my head open. I was around 5 years old. We had a white astro van. The sliding door was open and I was getting in and I missed the step and fell and hit my head on the step and cut my head open. For some reason I was wearing multiple shirts that day so my mom used some of the extra ones to absorb the blood. My mom drove me to my dad’s work to pick him up on the way to the hospital. When my mom went in to get my dad I remember sitting there staring at the wall of his work building. Me being 5 years old, in pain and bleeding, it seemed like my mom took hours to come back with my dad.

So we focused on this memory and started our EMDR session. Throughout the session, there were times where my default mechanism of intellectualizing things to prevent feeling emotions kicked in. We had to talk through things quite a bit to get in touch with my emotions again before we could continue.

We ended up finding out I have this negative belief: “I am unloveable when I inconvenience people”. As we talked more about this, she asked if my children inconvenience me, does that make them unlovable? I said no. So we realized that I can love people who inconvenience me but I can’t be loved if I inconvenience people. We worked to replace it with this positive belief: “I can be loved even when I inconvenience people”.

We ran out of time in our session before we could finish processing everything and so we had to put the emotions and things that we had not finished processing in a container to save for later so I would not have to deal with them myself throughout the day.

When I was done with my session, I sat in the car for a bit to think about what had just happened. I realized how much of a core belief this is. During the session, I felt physically tense from holding still the whole time because I felt that it would be an inconvenience to stop and ask for a break to stand up and stretch/wiggle. This is silly because I am paying for the session and I should be in control of what happens. Why do I struggle so much with inconveniencing and – as we have seen previously – disappointing people? As I thought more about this, I was able to think of several memories where I did not want to inconvenience others and so I suffered through whatever was bothering me/ wrong instead of taking control and changing my situation. I am hopeful that next session we can dig into this further to be able to make me prioritize my needs over the needs or inconvenience of others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *