How many of us can admit that we are our own worst enemy? That we judge ourselves more than we judge others? That we self-loathe, self hate, self deteriorate? Everyone who suffers from Depression can answer these questions with a blunt, “ME, I do!” This part that harshly judges me, I’ve dubbed my Inner Bitch and she has been in control of me for so long.
While recently battling my demons that were deeply buried from my Postpartum Depression and Anxiety days, my EMDR therapist has also been trying to tackle a plethora of Blocking Beliefs I have. I am proud to say I have been able to reprogram myself to remove many of them including the belief that I don’t deserve to get better. The biggest one I have been tackling lately has been, “It has been so long, I don’t think I will ever get better!”. Oh, this is a biggie and guess who keeps beating it into my brain… yes, my Inner Bitch. It is now sixteen months and while there is massive improvement with my thoughts, there is still a bit more to go.
My therapist had discussed when I first started EMDR several grounding exercises we would do at the end of each session to help me relax and get calm (these 2 words aren’t in my vocabulary). The one he first used was the Container Exercise. In this exercise, you are supposed to think of a container, anything you could put something in, place whatever was discussed in that session in there, cover it and (hopefully) forget about it until next week. Well this seemingly easy exercise took a turn for me. I had the perfect ‘Container’. The Room of Requirement from Harry Potter. Only problem is he didn’t tell me to NOT place myself in this room, just to place the memory. I am stuck in this Room. I had written about this in a past post: Room Of Requirement – Part 1 . This post is dated December 11, 2015. I am still not able to step out of this Room. I am stuck. My feet are glued down to the stone floors with a muck-like substance. Stuck in this room and on Month 5.
I’ve been able to turn my body at my waist and been able to lift my feet with tendrils of muck attached to them. That’s about it.
Two weeks ago, my therapist had me once again staring into this room. Eyes closed, I could see out of the corner of my left eye the sunshine from the Gothic window opening. In front of me was an old wooden shelf unit, nicked from years of wear and tear and covered with a nice layer of dust and cobwebs.
“I’m staring at something straight in front of me at eye level. I can’t make out what it is, it is too covered in dust.”
“Okay, just go with that,” he said. This phrase is constant throughout our sessions.
Out of nowhere, Sophia, at her present age, appeared between the bookcase and myself. She’s smiling up at me but I am too focused on what is on the shelf behind her.
“What do you think this means?” my therapist asks with a newborn smile on his face.
I don’t want to admit what it means, but with each round of EMDR we do that I don’t admit the truth, Sophia’s smile slowly turns into a huge frown. At last, “Sophia represents the present. She is upset with me that I am so focused on what is behind her, and not in the present.”
“Ah, that is very interesting. Out of curiosity, let’s try this… do you think this Room of Requirement could be a metaphor for something else?”
I instantly knew and presented the answer at this week’s session, “The Room is a metaphor for my brain. The items within are memories.” This puts a smile on my therapist’s face. Apparently, now we are getting somewhere. When we started the first round of EMDR I was once back in this room battling with my brain, yelling at it to let me out of this Room already. I was done, exhausted, so tired from the last 16 months. Desperation was setting in. I saw myself fall to the floor of the Room almost in the fetal position.
“Do you notice anything else?”
I held the Tappers in my hands, closed my eyes and saw myself on the floor like a wilted flower. I was crying. I no longer cared so strongly about what was on that damn shelf. I cared about me. I cared about how drained I was. I cared about how sad I was. I cared about how sickly I looked. I cared about my pain.
My therapist asked me what I saw or felt and my response was:
“I seemed to have developed compassion for my Inner Bitch.”
The days since this session (it was last Monday), I have seemed to turn a corner. This revelation has made me happy and content. I have had enough of my Inner Bitch and realize that she was the one stuck in this Room, the one I left crying on the floor exhausted. Now that she is weakened, I can take back control. I can become the beast I once was, the beautiful self-confident inspirational Warrior and I can’t wait.