Going back in time, if pain lives there, can be one of the most difficult things a person would have to do. Some can leave the past in the past and they are ok with that. I envy them for being able to do that. I would guess that the majority of us can’t. When it comes to our childhoods though the circumstances vary from person to person and even from one sibling to another, not a single one of us grows into adulthood without some scrapes to our tender emotions. No parent is perfect. There is always some measure of dysfunction carried into adulthood. Often it plays out on our own children but those of us who truly love our children can’t possibly imagine inflicting the same pain on them. Sometimes it is an unconscious impulse. Then there is regret and an attempt to make a repair with our child. If we don’t want our childhoods played out on our children then there is much work to be done on ourselves. That might take getting some therapy to work through it all. The length or severity of trauma will dictate how much effort we need to put forth to clear the pain of our past. It’s the brave who go back and do the work. It’s the ones who truly love their children that go back and do the work. It’s all of us who want a better life for our children and even a better world. We are the ones who do the hard work despite or fears. It is commendable.
If I had a choice to not do it then I would choose not to do it. But I don’t have a choice. My life is deeply affected by what I went through. The positive in going back is exposing the perpetrator for what they are… selfish sick depraved horrible beings that dare grace the term human.
Here is an example of an EMDR session I had a while back. We stuck with a single target memory until it was finished. That means taking all the charge off the memory so that it is just a memory without the pain or negative ideas that I believed about myself that just were not true. That’s how EMDR works. So I first watched her hands with my eyes causing the rapid eye movement and I could feel the powerful thoughts and feelings welling up in me and lo and behold, the waterworks started. I worked at that memory intensely all the while being cheered on by my therapist. Her compassionate guidance made such a difference. She would say, Linda, I know you can do this. It was one of the many rape experiences from my childhood at the hands of my father. She had me tell him whatever I wanted to tell him without restriction. I yelled at him. I called him a liar and a manipulator. I even said that I hated him, though I am not sure that I meant it. She was giving me some ideas of what I could say and even do to him which helped but I found the courage to say it in my own words. I gave those words power and I threw emotional darts at him with that power. It was a power that I really did not believe I had. The tears of pain fell from my eyes like waterfalls. I thought it would never stop but of course, it did. I probably have a lot more crying to do but for just this day I had accomplished a lot. I was proud of myself and grateful to my therapist for seeing the strength in me and drawing it out. It did not kill me to do this and I am here to fight yet another day.
P.S. Soon I will be back working on the memories again. Group therapy has given me the strength to continue. It was a much-needed break.