A situation out in public caused me to feel off-kilter; dressed up in my sunblock garb to take a tricycle ride, I was returning home when I had someone obviously taking my picture as I crossed in the pedestrian crosswalk and he jogged at me when I made it to the other side of the crosswalk. I peddled as hard as I could to get away; I didn't know if he wanted to talk or to attack me. I couldn't take the chance. That situation? It's just this week's situation; I could tell you quite a few stories of blatant discrimination. At least my characters can't physically hurt me.
One of several diagnoses I have is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); yup, I've experienced enough trauma in my life to have PTSD even though I've never seen combat. Sighs, I got through the first paragraph and the former sentence and my ability to focus on the topic evaporated. Of course, the rehearsal of writing this post before bedtime last night isn't coming back to me. Trying to pick up the threads- I said to a friend today, “While hypervigilance is listed as a symptom of PTSD, what if my hypervigilance is reasonable?” If I leave my house, I really don't have feel I have a guarantee of my personal safety; if I'm with my Master, who's a big man, I feel a bit more relaxed.
I tried to at-home therapy things and I'm wondering if any of my characters would be helped enough that I should include them in a story. Skin brushing and EMDR.
Skin brushing is also something called a brushing protocol. I've found a named one after Patricia Wilbarger. Since Sensory Processing Disorder isn't in the DSM yet (praying for that to change), there's no way to get insurance to cover occupational therapy. Thus I'm doing skin brushing on my own to work on tactile defensiveness; I don't want to hope that it might decrease my sun sensitivity- an anti-depressant that's helping other issues isn't helping with the sun. I bought a pet grooming glove and have been using it on myself (way more often than the recommended “every 2 hours awake,” but I'm hoping my use will encourage my cat to let me use it on her too).
Circling around specifically to the PTSD, I went looking early one day this week for treatments that could help PTSD. I eventually hope to get a service dog, although my family is too poor for one currently, and my med manager offensively called them “a crutch.” I'm already working on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with my therapist and it's slow going. The mass of behaviors, symptoms, and such that she found in my 39-year-old self was a lot; she and my daughter just got me through another nervous breakdown and I do hope CBT can get me somewhere. However, I wanted something to use alongside CBT; I really look at any and all possible tools to help me function better. The tool I found was EMDR.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. On YouTube, I started off searching “EMDR” and then found “EMDR self-administered”; I recommend you doing the same if you have had any traumas in your life. So I read on one page that an average session of EMDR with a therapist is 60-90 minutes; I'm not able to focus on most things that long- the 5 to 10 minute videos I've found are working great right now. I just spent some time with one video because my daughter wanted my attention and that distracted me too much to get back to writing; she's 19 and it's seldom life-or-death matters she's bringing to me. Before that, I tried a longer video to work on a core belief (Writing down 4 core beliefs was a CBT-related assignment from my therapist; I came up with 5 and they'll be the subject of a #TherapeuticThursday post in July). My mother did a good job planting the belief that I'm worthless; now 40-years-old, I'm still trying to uproot that false belief.
So what do you think- EMDR and skin brushing used by a character in a story? I have some ideas flitting in my head :D