So, yesterday was my first EMDR session but first we spent most of the session talking in more detail about my history and how BPD affects me. My mum was there to fill in the gaps of my childhood I can’t remember.
As you may remember I had quite a lot of anxiety about EMDR so I asked “What will I be like without the disorder, what if I don’t like the ‘real’ me?” she proceeded to explain to me that although it’s called a personality disorder its more about emotions rather than personality.
She told me that BPD is the result of trauma in childhood (mainly losing a primary attachment) and the brain goes into hyper vigilance, looking for any signs of threat from any person; this is what makes us so sensitive. This state hinders the growth of the brain so instead of moving forward every time a situation triggers the brain automatically refers back to its old “coping” mechanisms. So its like the brain repeatedly hit replay instead of next (does that make sense? I came up with that one)
There is also the fact that with BPD the emotional and logical side of the brain can’t work together at the same time its an either/or thing like mostly everything with BPD. So she said EMDR is about retraining the brain so that both sides can work together better in times of distress. My personality will still be the same but I’ll be more emotionally stable and less intense. Personally I can’t imagine that for me that means being completely numb but that’s mental illness/disorders for you, if you have it long enough you don’t really see life without it.
Another worry I had was that I would have to relive old memories however my therapist said that she wouldn’t make me talk about anything if I didn’t want to as she knows that triggering those memories would more likely retraumatise me rather than help me. So I think EMDR was more like meditation/hypnosis for me. When I was doing it my therapist told me to visualise a safe place and good things; somehow toward the end of the session I ended up reciting this song to myself in my mind…
Thank you for reading,