Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Broken is also Enough

For about a year, I've been having some seriously vivid dreams. I often wake up in a cold sweat and some nights it happens repeatedly. During the day, the dreams interrupt my thoughts and I remember how something smelled or felt in my hands. (I dream in all five senses.) I started writing my dreams down because they seemed important, but I couldn't see any themes or patterns. 

In my darkest, most painful dream I was a nuisance because of my new diet so I was sold into sex slavery and then dumped when I was too weak to be profitable. The most haunting part was after I was dumped. I was tattooed with my pimp's symbol, looking skeletal and trying to get a drink from a gutter. 

When I told my doctor about this dream, her face went sad. She said, "I believe you have unresolved trauma," and recommended EMDR. It stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and was developed to help veterans to process trauma on a physical level. She explained how it comes at your trauma from a different angle than talk therapy and can really help. 

She also explained how my fatigue is related to my elevated levels of cortisol. "Your body is in stress response all the time. It believes there's shit around every corner."

I know! 
How do I tell it we're okay now? Apparently, EMDR. 

I didn't pursue it right away. It was a money thing, as I'd spent more than we had on lots of other treatment. The dreams kept happening and I felt hopeful about EMDR, but I just kept writing them down and going about my business.

Then one summer night, I experienced a conflict that triggered me. I wasn't sure what was real or true. I could only sleep two hours that night and shook for two days. It was a hit to my body, but it was what it took to get me into EMDR, money or not. I also started reading the book, Rising Strong, where Brene Brown talks about how to get up from your "face down" moments.  

I'm several sessions into EMDR now and just finished Rising Strong. The book is genius and a part of me felt like, "I should be able to follow this process when emotions hit me and be okay." And as if Brene read my mind, this was at the end of the book: 

Today, I'm thankful for this blurb. What a relief to see this in black and white. Because of my trauma, I need more than a self-help book to get my feet back under me. And that's okay. 

I'm a survivor with so much repressed in my subconscious, I get scared shitless over nothing.  

I can't find the strength to set a boundary, even when I know I need to. 

I want to find my voice, but it feels like my dad's still got it in his back pocket.

And I'm STILL enough. 

It's enough to know you're broken and it's a big day when you get some help.


  1. Brave post, brave woman. I am praying for you as you rise strong.