Where does one begin? Researching revealed to me, there are conflicts about the efficacy of EMDR. Where does that leave a survivor of childhood sexual trauma? The pro is that EMDR lessens, or helps the Frontal Cortex process what’s been hidden in the Amygdala region. The con is that EMDR inhibits some more than it helps. I’m a father, actually quite into the other side of middle age, and I woke to my full onset cptsd from being raped age 16, the summer of 2016. That was 39 years after the fact. I need help, and my research weighs toward trying EMDR. I’ll eventually discuss it further, I have a story to tell first. Preparing for EMDR is best done by writing one’s narrative. I’ve got a lot to share.
The awakening manifested from being a prolific reader of blogs and news. There was so much in recent years about Jacob Wetterling. They had a lead, were following it and when I finally read something that sparked my woken state, his murderer was convicted! At the time, I hadn’t seen the correlation, other than, there it was, ongoing news of childhood molestation! A trigger!
I awaken:
One day, I read a blog post from a father. He recounted how eventually his instincts as a father led him to act upon suspicion his daughter was being sexually abused. He and his wife were separated or divorced, but his awareness, his sensitivity, his love and compassion to act upon his daughter’s trauma cues; that affected me viscerally. I had not had that, a protector, though living with one or the other of my divorced parents, neither noticed how distraught I was. How I changed. I guess, I didn’t change enough?! My story might help me figure myself out as well as prepare for EMDR and other therapies.
The past is what it is, my history is more than half played out. I have been married longer than before I married and I have one grown, and one 13 year old child, by the same partner. When I woke, with visceral emotion to my rape, it was 39 years after the fact, it hit me with a mind storm, wracking emotional upheaval, and dread. Part of my first word to describe it were “the two perpetrators were foreign students, and long since gone”. I didn’t know their names. Most of that is now processed, what’s not processed are the things introduced to me about healing. Those include Dissociation, compartmentalization, physical memory, sensorimotor therapy, parts of self or stored memory, survival mode, etc…. I’m editing this post from a previous post, and since that time, I have learned a great deal more about those topics.

EMDR:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, is best explained by those in the field. Read this link: http://www.emdr.com/
What I’ve begun to do, after reading what to do to prepare, is start writing. This is about having a level playing field in my thoughts, to process deep emotional distractions and impediments. I’ve decided to work on it in public. This will be the third place I’m doing this. I think it can trigger some survivors and sensitive people. I also think it might seem an invitation to those who perceive a weakness in someone, to behave oddly. That will be discerned and the person will be ignored, thoroughly!
This beginning is the prehistory of my story. It’s parts of my story that relate how I perceive myself growing up. It’s just facts, I’m not working on emotions with this, that is done with EMDR. This is a story is as early as I can recall, to just before I recount ages 12–13. I stop before the real trauma enters my life. I will post Part II when I’m ready.
Thank you.
Part I:

Getting started I’ll need to be specific to recall the memories I have about parts of me. I want to list all the possibly difficult memories I can recall

  • Staring into a large mirror, while standing on a couch. I was alone, I looked at myself and the reflections of the room behind me. I was 3. This is 1964.
  • Another age 3 memory, is laying in bed for a nap at my grand parents. The headboard had a lamp with a pull chain. I would make it sway, and sometimes pull it on and off. I was careful with it, I didn’t want to hurt it.
  • My earliest Spanking memory is with a belt, age 4–5 yrs old, 1965–66.
  • I would often go off on my own for a walk through a bog near my house. I might also stay in the basement looking around, or hang out in the back yard. I had two siblings, but my memories are few about playing with them.
  • Those same years, I recall seeing my dad hit my mom in the kitchen. It appeared he was beating her on the back? I was about 5 yrs old and that means about 1966-67.
  • We moved to Mpls., Mn, and may have moved twice before that(?). I recall being afraid after seeing 2 women inside a smashed car. They hit, or were hit by a garbage truck. There was blood all over them, and I’m pretty sure I saw bone. I was walking by, probably from school. I happened to be there, and looked into the car. I was probably 6. At least 3 schools by now.
  • What I recall at about age 7–8 is a very bad fever for about 2 weeks. I stayed home and took care of myself. I made soup or a sandwich. I took aspirin. I watched some t.v. and laid on the couch or bed.
  • Not long after that, I had a bad reaction to something and my legs locked up one morning. A neighbor lady looked after me that day.
  • During this same time-frame, and this is a memory and reflection of what and why I did this, I tried to do things that made me a good boy? I stayed up and cleaned after my 2 siblings went to bed. My mom went out (a lot), apparently to play piano for pay? I organized a large end table that had two large drawers. I then organized the piano bench sheet music and I wiped the bathroom sink. this would still be around age 7. Probably 5 schools thus far.
  • There is a nightmare that started around this time too. The nightmare recurred at least a decade. I would be walking on the sidewalk away from the house to the street sidewalk. A hole would suddenly open up and I would fall in. It was just narrow enough in diameter that I could put my arms out to stop my fall. But, unseen hands started grabbing my ankles and pulling me down. I would awake before being dragged down, but never saw myself taken out of that hole.
  • 3rd grade, the 6th school, has quite a few memories. The first is probably where my dad showed up and I didn’t get to see him, he talked to mom outside. I watched through the window! I hadn’t seen him for about 3 years. I really didn’t know why he was gone?
  • Note: I did get to watch the Moon launch, and later the Moon Walk video from the summer of ’69.
  • Soon after my dad’s visit, my mom was gone for about a week in the hospital and my grandma took care of us. It was confusion, because at the time we didn’t know why she went, nor that it was certain she was coming back. I see now, that neglect was a pattern, and the idea of care giver in my family was the presence of an adult, being fed, clothed and housed.
  • During this time I made a few friends. It seemed there was a small amount of positive this year. However, I also have 2 bad memories.                                                 1) I wasn’t allowed to get up from class to use the bathroom and peed myself. I     walked home, or to the babysitter, I don’t recall? I know I was very embarrassed.
    2) I think this used to be a stronger memory, but has faded. I was molested, part of a small group that participated with some guy. I think he did things to himself, but we were in various stages of nakedness? I have no clear memory of any of this. It’s been a vague memory now, for many decades.
  • 4–6th grades, is the longest stay at one school, it’s the 7th school. During this time I became isolationist. I did make a few friends, and had a fairly easy going pattern of doing things, but was alone more than not. I played some sports and seemed to enjoy it. I tried to do well in school. I recall how I needed reassurance from the teachers that I was doing things right. I also recall that I tried to explain I was doing good things. A reflection about this extended stay in one school, is why don’t I recall names of more than two classmates? Why don’t I recall any teacher? In me, the reflection leads to an idea that I didn’t believe in permanence. Things are always transitory, don’t get too close.
  • 7th-8th grade, 8th school(?), are two years I label a living hell.
    To be continued –

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