What is EMDR and how can it treat PTSD?
“My youngest sister was nine. She asked my mom when we came home from the cemetery, ‘When’s daddy coming home?’ There’s four of us girls, and I think all of us suffered from it in some form or fashion. But he passed away from cancer, and it was bad. You know, he didn’t have time to fight. Everybody talks about, you know, the struggle and the fight. He didn’t have time to fight. He was gone in about 75 days from diagnosis.
So, the PTSD came in. My ‘shriek’ moment is when we walked into the funeral home and he was in the casket, and I swear I saw him breathe. And that just traumatized me for life. With me, I pretty much had tried everything else. I’ve been in therapy for years, and no one’s ever mentioned anything like this. So, for Shelley to have said, ‘Hey, I think you’re going to be a good candidate for this,’ I thought, ‘Let’s do it. I will try anything at this point.’ Because it was hard being sad all the time.
She started out very slow with me. You know, ‘Let’s see what happens.’ We were going to work on it the whole session if I wanted to go there. And we started, and it was kind of, well, like a rollercoaster, I would say. Because you start out kind of slow, and then you start to go up the hill but it’s still really slow, and you get to the top and you’re thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, here it comes.’ And just like that, we went over, and, I mean, it was amazing. By the end of the hour, I was amazed because I was happy.
I’m thinking about…like, places that he’s worked that I drive by, I cry. He was in the National Guard, and whenever I see the convoys going up the highway, I cry. I see a funeral procession, and I’d pull over and I would cry. And I don’t do that anymore. And it’s not that I don’t miss him. I do, I just don’t feel the enormous sense of loss that I did before. Since then, I can share stories with people when we’re talking in a group, and I can smile. ‘My dad and I used to do this, or my dad always said this,’ and I don’t break down and start crying. Or whenever someone starts talking about parents and vacations, or whatever, I would get up and leave the room, and I don’t have to do that anymore, which is awesome.
I would say absolutely consider it. Well, for me, I’m a huge advocate just because it worked for me and it worked so quickly. But absolutely consider it, because it’s another tool, and there are all kinds of tools out there, and maybe that’s the one that you need.”