For so long I’ve seen my suicide attempt as a mammoth mega awful crime that I did. I’ve been swamped with shame and guilt and trauma around just my own self judgement about it. There has been compassion for myself in there too but not enough of it. But recently I’ve noticed a shift. And I know it’s down to EMDR. I’m remembering the event with a light of love and support and not the dark and intensely isolating and terrifying time it was. Because there was also a load of love in there too – a TRUCK LOAD. I can literally feel my brain reprogramming and remembering the event for what it truly was, rather than looking at it through the lens of my own deep & dark self judgement and the lens of my terror. Each time I rest these past few days, something else has shifted. The healing happens when you sleep, following EMDR. It does what REM sleep does. I wake up feeling like another little nugget has shifted, has healed.
Last night I had a proper sob about my missing of California. Fuck I miss it, a lot. It was the culture, the landscape, the people. There I felt like I was seen. In England I’ve never felt that, until now. Despite what happened I was in love with that place. My soul shone and so did the rest of me. But there was the wounded part of me that was struggling and had been for a long long time, and then crumbled and collapsed in the wake of speaking with my mom…and overdosed.
But what’s different is that the memories that are surfacing are ones where I had support to share the experience with too. Rather than remembering the times of terror, I am now beginning to feel the sense of support I had around it too. It was a truly terrifying and haunting time – one that brings a knot so tight I could hurl, when I think of the details – but it was also a beautiful and really defining time too.
Just how I can look back on my childhood and wish for it to be different, I could and have looked back at certain aspects of the overdose and wished for this too. This has been so painful. It’s like I’ve been unable to integrate the goodness and the pain, the love and the isolation. The memories of the time have felt so so so disjointed and so split – in many ways it was a terrifying nightmare but yet in other ways it was a beautiful loving and mindblowingly supportive time. But these two angles have never felt like they’ve met each other, and got to know one another…I’ve just felt lost in the waves of be aftermath. Not all shitty messy waves but all really split and confusing.
But now these waves are meeting and kissing the shore of health. They’re beginning to land on the beach and walk barefoot together, painting a picture of that time that closely encompasses all of it – the pain, the joy, the relief, the sorrow, the love, the support. Because, as with everything, there is always a combination of all of it, it just is healing enough to find it and let the waves meet at the shore. Sometimes we can do it ourselves, other times we need a helping hand from a therapist to unlock the anchors that had been rocking around in our waves for hours or days or years before.
And now, after all this wave talk, I just want a good surf.