What is EMDR and why am I undergoing this unusual mental health treatment?

Editor’s note: I dropped out of EMDR after only a few sessions. I did not trust the therapist, who seemed to be trying to put words into my mouth. She also wanted me to abstain from medical cannabis two days before each session, which I deemed a wholly unreasonable request. Finally, if you are the victim of a violent crime, they will throw out your testimony if your memories vis a vis the crime are tampered with via EMDR. We never got past my childhood Florida trip, when my morbidly drunk dad threw the empties into the flatbed of his truck with no AC as we barreled down the interstate.

This was going to be the blog that “kicked butt and named names,” so to speak.

But after seeing Dr. Lash at Southpark Psychology a couple of times, I don’t feel the need to do that.

Besides, if I gave everything away now, nobody would buy my book. So maybe I will only give away a little bit.

I have begun a mental health treatment known as EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It took me a long time to decide whether to do this. Because my trauma involves being the victim of multiple crimes – at least I considered them crimes and reported them to authorities – I wasn’t sure whether it would be a good idea to tamper with my memories.

In a nutshell, once you have this done, if you ever are called to testify about a crime, they essentially declare your testimony null and void.

That’s fine with me. I’m never going to be called to testify about anything anyway because the people who hurt me clearly are untouchable.

What is EMDR?

What is EMDR, you ask?

It’s different. Click here to get the full explanation from the EMDR International Association.

From the website:

“Processing does not mean talking about it. Processing means setting up a learning state that will allow experiences that are causing problems to be digested and stored appropriately in your brain.

“That means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded.

“Negative emotions, feelings and behaviors are generally caused by unresolved earlier experiences that are pushing you in the wrong directions. The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions.”

Can you see why I signed up?

The treatment, I think, is more important than the process, which is intense and a bit unusual. It’s difficult for people like myself not to rant, but that’s not how this works.

The process involves following LED lights in such a way that it literally frees your brain so that you can look at things differently.

It may sound strange, but scientific research has proven the efficacy of this treatment.

Dr. Lash speaks passionately about how she got into EMDR. She was at the APA Convention in New York City and EMDR founder Francine Shapiro was giving a presentation that had spilled outside of the ballroom.

This was back in the 1980s, and Dr. Lash pushed her way inside as opposed to being content to just listen in the overflow, where a monitor and speaker also had been set up.

I am incredibly grateful to have access to this kind of treatment, especially in the Quad-Cities, where mental health services are abysmal for most people.

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Story about jail heat gets me steaming

The trigger that pushed me over the edge and caused me to see Dr. Lash is the story making the rounds lately about the Rock Island County Jail’s broken air-conditioning system. Check out Chris Minor’s report for WQAD-TV 8.

These worthless politicians for decades have been irresponsible and corrupt with taxpayer funds. Now the county is broke. There are still almost 30 members on that board and they have repeatedly demonstrated their incompetence to the taxpayers.

All of them, as far as I’m concerned.

Are we supposed to feel sorry for them that they have opened themselves to litigation? They’ve done it repeatedly. It would be interesting to know just how much they’ve paid out in settlements in just the past 10 years, actually. I chose not to go that route and share my story instead.

I was held two years ago in that jail, stripped naked in solitary confinement, on no charges at all. My story never has changed one bit.

You can read about it here.

And here.

Despite GPS evidence and phone calls by pastor, no justice

I essentially want to re-process what happened inside the jail to create a different reality. It’s so haunting I need it wiped from my memory.

While my story of what happened inside the jail is extremely complex, several damning facts have emerged that those close to the case understand adds much credibility to my entire story.

If anyone in authority cared about what happened to me in the Rock Island County Jail, they would have called my pastor by now to confirm what we know to be true: She called my phone at least twice while I was held in the jail on no charges at all, and a Spanish-speaking person answered.

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We also know from the GPS history of my phone that it left the jail. You can see it for yourself in my blog post regarding what happened in the jail.

Why was the phone on, why wasn’t it in a locker, and how can anyone think anything about my story doesn’t ring true with these two pieces of evidence alone?

I don’t mean to put the pastor in a bad situation, but look what I have been put through. To say or do nothing is not the right thing to do.

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She ministers to pillars of the Rock Island County establishment, including a Rock Island County board member who I also have known quite well for many, many years.  The board member not calling to apologize to me on behalf of the county is wacked as far as I am concerned.

But again, all of them are worthless as far as I am concerned. The entire county government is a systemically corrupt malaise from the view I have.

Disgraceful county owes me, pastor apology

The pastor has been a wonderful person to my entire family, a faithful spiritual adviser, and trusted friend. The entire county board should apologize to her, too, as far as I’m concerned. For multiple reasons.

To the best of my knowledge, they have done absolutely nothing about any of this but stick their heads in the sand.

Some people actually say I should take personal accountability for what led to me being taken to that jail.

To them – and there really are only a handful of dishonest people who still are trying to play that card – I suggest they take care of the heaping pile of stink on their own side of the street, and not worry about people who have finally challenged their rapidly crumbling influence.

I could play the victim and succumb to the terror of what happened the two days I was held inside that filthy, incredibly unprofessional, God-forsaken jail. Some would say I have, but I don’t buy that. Someone playing the victim would have done just that and kept their mouth shut.

I’ve shared my story with the proper authorities. Now, I’m doing EMDR.

And I have faith it’s going to help me rewrite the history of how the trauma I experienced inside that jail affects my life from this day forward.

Besides, my story already has a happy ending.

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