This post was inspired by a post I read yesterday by one of my special blogger friends, Alexis Rose, the author of this book…
Here is THE POST which inspired me to write this. Alexis and I both have histories of severe trauma (satanic ritual abuse,) and in this post Alexis described the role writing had played in her healing from trauma. Like me, Alexis is not “healed”. There is no finish line to healing. Our trauma has shaped us as people, and healing continues [maybe forever to some extent], but somehow we managed to turn out pretty damn AMAZING given the dire circumstances of our early lives.
One thing’s for sure, we would certainly not be as far on in our healing had it not been for our writing.
Although Alexis has a book out now (WHICH IS A BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN AND COMPELLING READ,) she wasn’t always a writer, and only began to write once it was suggested by her therapist that she journal.
By contrast I have always written (my myself, for my eyes only) in diaries since I was a little girl. Journaling or emotional diary keeping is one of the few positive life skills that was passed onto me by my mother. Maybe she knew I’d have a lot to write about, in the way of trauma, as I grew up (as she knew what was happening to me), so subconsciously she encouraged me to journal? I was also a big letter writer and used to be praised for my letter writing skills.
To be able to write for self-therapy is a great asset. Some people naturally really struggle with this, and I wouldn’t want to be one of those people. Writing is one of the most satisfying life skills there is me thinks…And to be able to write, and the person reading to enjoy reading your writing is even better :)
The encouragement of me by my mum to journal is why I blog today. If I hadn’t had all that practise at writing diaries from the age of a young girl, I wouldn’t be able to blog as [awesomely!?haha] as I do today.
I do actually think I’m a good writer…DID SHE JUST WRITE THIS ON HER BLOG THAT IS SOON TO BE PUBLISHED ON THE WWW??!!! WON’T HER READERS THINK SHE IS THE MOST ARROGANT PERSON ON THE PLANET?! Well, yes, obviously I did just write that…you’ve just read it ;)
I do believe I’m a good writer :)…but that is probably why I write well, because I feel so bloody comfortable in myself whilst I’m doing it. I have NO INHIBITIONS whatsoever about writing anything, nor do I lose any sleep over how I might be perceived. I am secure in my skin that what I write feels good to me, the person writing it, so I hope my relaxed comfortable style is comfortable to read also (except for the one time when someone read a post when I was hypomanic in mood and they said I’d nearly induced a cardiac arrest in them LOL!!!) BEST BLOG COMMENT EVER! I’m loving that kind of reaction!!! haha
So get on with the point girl…
…well I’m most at home with the written word. Anyone who has watched my vlogs will see I’m not as accomplished at speaking yet, but I know I’ll get there. Speaking on vlogs is an art form very similar to the craft of writing, which I perfect and hone anytime I write anything.
So where does trauma come in? And what the heck is EMDR?
Well, EMDR is short-hand for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. When trauma happens our mind is overwhelmed and bombarded by sensory stimuli, and memories of the traumatic event (s) are encoded and stored in a fucked up and incomplete way. The processing in our brains of traumatic memory is partial and incomplete, so the memories, in a neurological sense, are not processed as they should in the factories of our minds. The memories remain unprocessed and flashbacks continue to happen. When you have a flashback, you re-experience the sensation and emotion of how you felt exactly at that time, as though it is happening. Because you have not adequately cognitively processed the meaning and true reality of this situation, you continue to be haunted by it…
AND OVER, AGAIN.
EMDR employs bilateral stimulation as part of the treatment. The person is asked to speak about the trauma memory, while bilaterally stimulating the brain. In plain English, you concentrate on an activity which requires the left and right hemisphere and stimulates both hemispheres simultaneously.
You may be asked, for example, to track with your eyes the movement of the therapists finger as the therapist sits in front of you and their finger moves from left to right. Or you might have to throw a ball from your left hand to right hand. When traumatic events are recalled in these bilateral stimulation phases, it simply breaks down the memory and frees the memory from it’s frozen state,
ALLOWING YOU TO LET IT GO LET IT GO haha! I had to bring Disney into this didn’t I ;) Couldn’t resist! BOOOOM!
So the left to right thing means the memory begins to be processed properly for the first time, so you become less upset and less prone to flashbacks when this treatment is repeated. It’s clever isn’t it :)
[*Note. I haven’t had EMDR yet.]
But then I read Alexis’ post and she said her therapist advised her to type, rather than write free hand when she journaled… as it activated bilateral stimulation more effectively.
And when I read this my brain went PING like this
and I had a bright idea
And I thought, OMG, so blogging is like natural diy EMDR for me!!! This is why it helps me so much and I can write about such upsetting things and not get too upset.
In the past I always wrote with a pen and paper. Computer keyboards weren’t invented. [Yes I am that old. ]
And writing with a pen and paper during my breakdown used to make me cry every time and bring on horrendous flashbacks.
I have noticed that since I began to blog, I am happier when I write. I used to think it was because of the interactive element with other bloggers when you blog compared to when you journal, but maybe it is also because everytime I blog about upsetting things on WordPress I am stimulating myself bilaterally as I type, and this is why I have the balls to write about all the horrible things I write about on here.
This is GREAT NEWS and represents a eureka moment for me…as I realise I am effectively doing D.I.Y EMDR everytime I post about a traumatic subject. Woop woop!!
I am freeing that memory from it’s FROZEN state, and it is getting processed properly.
OH YEAH BABY! Why needs the NHS when you got EMDR on WordPress.
I used to email the Samaritans when I was really poorly several times every day. The responses I got back were lack lustre like only the Samaritans can do ;) but it was the art of typing my thoughts which meant I could write some really heartbreaking stuff that I know I couldn’t have hand written.
So thanks to Alexis for making me see the value of typing rather than writing my words, and how typing does allow you to peek into the darkest corners of my mind and blog my way through them, bringing all that scary stuff out into the light and then clicking publish, letting that shit go.
I am not healed yet. I still have a way to go… but I’m stronger now than I have been for a very long time, and maybe it’s the self administered bilateral stimulation of my blog typing that is processing these bastard mother fucking memories!! It all makes sense now! I have been processing my past with do it yourself EMDR. Why knew! This is awesome :)
Here is Alexis’s post in full…https://atribeuntangled.com/2016/11/11/why-i-write/