abuse

All posts tagged abuse

Published December 12, 2017 by Chloe Madison

The last few days have been weird. Saturday was ok. Sunday was different. I woke up around 4am with a massive borderline migraine. I took my migraine pills and hoped it would be gone in time for church. Just as I thought I’d have to skip church, my headache started to wane. After church, I broke down crying with a friend. She sat there and listened to me for two straight hours- nothing but me pouring my heart out, fears, anxieties, frustrations, everything. I’m so grateful for her and her willingness to listen.

The rest of the day I was in the most massive haze. I wandered around a mall in a stupor. I have no idea what was going on. For the first time I found it hard to be in crowds. I’ve never had an issue with that before. I viewed about every other person as a possible threat to me. I don’t know why. I was so out of it. I went to write here multiple times and I couldn’t even compose my thoughts correctly. I didn’t have the energy to try to make my brain work. ??

Last night came and left with very little sleep. Part of it was my brain- it was chaos. It felt like a bomb was continually exploding in my head. So many different things running through my mind, yet nothing made sense. Pure chaos.

The other part of it was my little pup. He was pretty sick last night. I wound up running him outside 6 times because of diarrhea. I gave him meds, snuggled him, and all I can do is hope he feels better soon. I feel so helpless with him. 😣

I had a nightmare last night, but can’t remember it. I don’t know how I had a chance to dream because I only slept for two hours. I didn’t think that was enough time to enter REM sleep. The other night I had a weird nightmare. I was a hostage with a lot of other people who were taken hostage as well. We were inside of an empty multi-story building and they had separated us into small groups- except I had been kept alone. I remember being crouched down on the floor and staring at several bright red maple leaves on the floor. Each leaf had three lines cut into it, all lined up next to each other. (I have no idea what that’s all about) And then there was something about a parade inside the building with the other hostages. I can’t remember that clearly anymore.

I don’t know what the hostage dream means. It could relate to earlier trauma, but I think it might relate more to being locked up. The strong feelings I had in my dream were the same overwhelming emotions I experienced while in the hospital. Maybe me being crouched down on the floor in my dream is the same as when I would retreat to my bed and curl up and cry. I’m not sure.

I hate that.

I hate that time.

Nov. 3 will forever live as a horrible, horrible day.

I see myself on that day as one little square piece of thin toilet paper. All the trauma, abuse, rape, abortion, deception and betrayal…it has all worn me so thin. As thin and fragile as one piece of toilet paper. Getting locked up was like someone violently throwing a huge bucket of water on me. I just disintegrated. So quickly.

I don’t see how people get through stuff like this. I really don’t. This doesn’t get better. It doesn’t get easier. People are mean. People are not understanding. I don’t know what else to say.

There’s no coming back from disintegration.

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Published December 9, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Overall, this week has been really hard. It’s felt like a YEAR.

Sleep has been sporadic. There haven’t been many nightmares but there were two recent ones- one is far too graphic to share. It related to previous trauma. It was disgusting. Not going to talk about it. There was another one from last night that had demons in it. They made their presence known- they kept taking my phone out of my hands as I used it- that happened a few times. I also saw them coming through walls in a bathroom. In my dream, I was vacationing with a family and their little boy was trying to tell the family that demons were causing things to happen and everyone ignored him. This was all a dream, but it’s still disturbing.

Today a 15 year old girl repeated MY words to me- she was telling me how she wanted to commit suicide and she said, “I don’t know why God doesn’t just take me.” My heart went up through my throat. I couldn’t believe I was hearing this, coming from her. It hit me so hard- both of our pain. Her story is similar to mine. She was raped repeatedly by an uncle and her mom hasn’t been the best source of support. In frustration, her mom even told her she would give her up for adoption. I told her I’d happily adopt her. Seriously. I know her mom wouldn’t really do that, but it’s so cruel and damaging to say. I see over and over how people don’t understand and don’t have patience with those of us who have been gravely injured and are struggling. I know it must be frustrating…but all I see is people giving up on us. I know I want to give up on myself…so what can I possibly do to make others not want to give up on me?

She also talked about how God has given her too much to handle in life. Again, I nearly choked as she was saying my own words to me. I couldn’t agree with her more, but I HAD to give her every ounce of positivity I could muster.

I did my best to encourage this young girl and show her how much I care for her. I’ve only known her for four months, but she knows she has my support and undivided attention whenever she needs it. I wish I could do more for her.

I think about the words she said that are mine. I’ve written those very words here so many times. I’ve thought them even more times…. I wonder what God might be trying to show me by having this young girl say that to me. My heart hurts so badly for her.

I finally heard back from my old pastor whom I’d emailed. I told him how I was scared of being judged for having been locked up and his reply was amazing. Here’s part of his email:

That last paragraph… wow. It means a lot to me. When he didn’t reply right away, I was sure he thought I was crazy and didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I was so worried. So it’s really good to hear from him and to know I have his encouragement.

I feel like I’m wringing every single bit of support from people. It’s such a necessity to my survival. Even though I’ve asked for it from a few people, I’m scared to. I fear rejection and people backing away from me. I feel like that’s the response I’ve received from the few people I’ve asked. But I need help so badly. Just to feel loved, cared about, to be encouraged… I can’t do that on my own. It doesn’t work that way.

Another good thing happened. Two young people started a gofundme for my hospital bills left over after the insurance paid. They didn’t tell me about it right away. I was so touched they would even think to do that. They posted it on Facebook and tagged me in it so now a lot of people know I was in the hospital. I’ve been fielding questions all day long. I’m absolutely not telling people why I was hospitalized. But now people know I was in the hospital for something. So I finally made a post about it, giving a vague explanation for the gofundme.

This WordPress is anonymous…I’m not using my real name here. I’d like to keep it that way. It makes me feel safer. But if any of you want to help share the gofundme campaign, let me know and I can send you the link.

And then one more thing happened…I don’t think I wrote about it yet. I can’t remember. A friend introduced me to a friend of his who prays over people for healing and stuff. I kind of wanted to meet up with him in person, but he lives in Europe. We emailed a few times and talked once via Skype this past summer. He told me to get a book named The Bondage Breaker, to read through it, pray through it, and we could talk again after that. I had every intention of ordering the book, but never did. That was months ago during the summer.

Well, a lady from my small group at church told me she read a book and thought of six people who might need it. I was one of them, so she whipped out this book and gave it to me. Guess what the name of it was…? Yep.

Unreal.

I couldn’t believe it was the same exact book I was told would help me months ago. I even dug up old emails to be sure it was the same book. Eerie. I’ve tried reading it and can’t. I’ve flipped though it…stopped on a page that said:

And I immediately thought and said, “LIES!!” and I closed the book and put it down. I guess I’m not quite ready to look at it yet. 😞 I feel bad about my reaction, but I just can’t believe any of those things there. Not yet. Maybe some day.

Published November 28, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Overall, today was a good day. It was good to get back to work and see everyone. People told me they missed me over Thanksgiving break and that was a nice surprise to hear. Plus, I REALLY don’t do well when I have too much free time to let my brain wander and stew on my issues. So it’s good to get back to work and feel productive.

I woke up last night at 2am with a migraine. Stupid hospital bills stressing me out. I got another one today- another $6,000 something for the 5 days. I’m suspicious though that there might be more- how can 8 hours in the ER cost three times more than 5 days and nights in a hospital? Is that normal? Anyway, I’m worried there might be some more charges coming. I got additional charges for the ER doctor…and there weren’t any charges yet for the hospital doctors for the 5 days…(YIKES!!!) I’m worried that will be coming soon… 😨

I just keep repeating to myself, “don’t freak out!”

“Don’t freak out!”

“Don’t freak out!”

Gah….😓 I cannot handle this. I cannot handle any more strain on my life. I kept saying to myself over and over again today, “my life is not worth $16,000!!!”

And it’s not. It’s so true. 😦

Alright…what I’m thankful for: I’m thankful for having a good, albeit headache-filled day at work. I’m thankful for better dreams these last few days- I literally dreamed of puppies and ice cream and donuts! 😂 I kid you not! The puppies were drowning…but in my dream, we saved them all and got them all adopted. So it all worked out well. No nightmares last night either… but I was awake at 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep (even with sleeping pills). Hopefully, that won’t happen tonight.

I’m also thankful for something else. I thought a lot about my uncle yesterday and I meant to write that I was thankful for this yesterday, but I got side tracked when I got the hospital bills. I was thinking how he told people that my dad sexually abused him and no one believed him. Knowing that my grandma knew about my abuse and conspired to cover it up…I believe that she believed my uncle, but maybe acted like she didn’t in order to keep it all quiet and protect my dad. But, everyone else that he told… no one believed him. That makes me so sad. I was thinking about that and I realized that I haven’t had that issue. Yes, my mom and grandma knew all along and did nothing to help me or protect me…but I never told them. I never told anyone until I was 18 years old. That’s the first time I had the courage to say a word. I never had the experience of someone not believing me. And that’s what I’m thankful for. I can’t imagine how much more damaging this could be if I was told I wasn’t believed. It made me see that my uncle had more damage done by not having support when he sought it out. That’s so messed up. I’m so grateful that the very few people I’ve shared with have had my back….(minus my two friends who jumped ship recently).

When I think about suicide, I find myself rationalizing that I share the same fate as my uncle. I told myself that over and over. He didn’t survive what my dad did, why would I? He committed suicide, it must be my fate as well. Am I stronger than he is? No way! So why do I think I’d survive when he didn’t? He lived for decades and decades and STILL wound up succumbing to his psychological injuries. My dad will ultimately be responsible for two deaths…and for wrecking who knows how many lives!

…This is what I told myself and this is how I thought. And yesterday when I was thinking about no one believing my uncle, I thought that he must have had it harder. It’s must have been so much more difficult for him because people didn’t believe him. He saw my dad all the time and knew my dad got away with disgusting, evil acts. And HIS OWNMOTHER covered it up. I mean…mine did too. But still…

My fear of not being believed only manifested in one instance and that was with Joe. He had always physically, intellectually, and psychologically intimidated me. Before the rape occurred, he had already been physically violent with both myself and my little dog. So I had already been staying away from him. We were no longer friends because he broke the septum in my nose when he slammed my head against a wall. I had been tapping on something and it had annoyed him. That was the last time I ever talked to him. I was scared and stayed away after that. And months later, the rape occurred. And now…he’s an attorney. Geez…I feel even more intimidated by his occupation. There’s no way I could accuse him without massive fear and anxiety regarding retaliation on his part. I’m almost certain of it. So I see how a fear of not being believed can affect you. I can’t imagine how much that affected my uncle when he tried to confide in people.

I’m trying really, really hard. Things aren’t going well. I’m more deeply depressed than before…but I don’t know if that’s because of the meds or my nice little stay in the hospital that’s giving me a complex. I feel so ashamed of it. My one friend who visited me (and who drove two hours to do so) told me the other day that the hospitalization “doesn’t define you.” I really needed to hear that. I don’t know how she read my thoughts…I’ve been so down on myself for getting hospitalized and feeling like if people find out, they’ll think I’m a looney. It makes me so much more scared to share with anyone. I don’t blame people- I think they’d subconsciously judge me or hold it against me. Anyway, I need to internalize that idea- that this hospitalization doesn’t define me. God does, right?

That’s all I need- another identity crisis.

“Friends”

Published November 11, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Y’know, people wonder why I don’t want to share with others. People wonder why I’m so hesitant to reach out. Here’s why. 

I got drunk at home last Friday night, wrote a despondent blog here, cut to release (very superficially- it was NOT a suicide attempt), and promptly went to sleep. I decided I wanted to sleep in so I turned the ringer on my phone down low. Cops started banging on my door around 8pm maybe? 

A friend had read my blog, which was alarming to him, and texted. When he couldn’t get a hold of me, he called 911. Why couldn’t he just send a mutual friend over to check on me? I don’t know. Why couldn’t he call or text a few times instead of just once? I don’t know. Maybe I would have woken up. 

The police refused to believe me when I said I was fine. But I was intoxicated still and I’m not sure how I was presenting to them. 

They took me against my will to the ER. I was compliant and polite, but made it known that it was not my wish to go. To make a long story short, I was locked up in a mental health facility against my will because they thought I was going to commit suicide. 

For five days. 

Within a half hour of being picked up, I frantically started calling friends to help. My main concern was my dog. He just had surgery and needed his meds at 6am. I was so worried I couldn’t find someone to take care of him and make sure he got his medicine on time.

It actually took me several hours to find someone. 

I was so instantly distressed that within an hour of being in the ER, diarrhea started. It was incredibly embarrassing because they wouldn’t let me use the bathroom alone. My body began freaking out. 
I was in the ER for 8-9 hours before I was transported to an awful, awful place…which was chosen because it was the “first place that had a bed open.” In the ER, I counted 7 times that I had diarrhea. It continued and got worse as I began throwing up once I was transferred. I eventually held my vomit in- I didn’t want them to think I was trying to “harm myself” by puking. I was so scared they would hold it against me. 

I was stuck…locked up. I needed help. I needed support. I needed friends.  

My closest friends here are a married couple. I’ve known them for about 25 years now. They’re friends from my hometown church youth group. They were unavailable that Fri night, but I talked to her the next day. I asked her to bring me clothes to wear. I was still in my sleeping clothes from the night before. She said she would come the next day (on Sunday) and that I could wait, that I’ve “been through worse than wearing the same clothes for 2 days in a row.” (Wtf?!?!)  
I decided to reach out to a different friend whom I’m not close to- but who was much more willing to help. Sure enough, my friend didn’t come visit me on Sunday like she said she would. I messaged her on Facebook after waiting all day for her, asking if she was coming. I told both her and her husband  how much I needed their support and their visit. They refused. She messaged saying she supported me, but wouldn’t be visiting. What in the actual f*ck??? I messaged back, saying “Wow. Thanks for the support.”  

I was locked up for 3 more days after that- a total of 5 days. 

They refused to visit me for five days.

They STILL have not bothered to call or text or message to see how I am. For all I know, they don’t even know I’ve been discharged. 

I was in the BIGGEST crisis of my life and they refused to support me or even talk to me. Do you understand why I don’t share things now??

My friend who called 911… we spoke once on the phone when I was locked up and once after I got out. I was honest and told him I still (and always will) respect him and adore him, but at the moment, I’m mad and hurt by what happened. I told him I knew I’d eventually get over it…but it still hurts. 

I have texted him every single day now and he won’t respond. On Facebook, I commented on one of his posts, asking how his dog was and he didn’t answer me. He answered others though. I got so embarrassed that I deleted my comment. I guess he’s avoiding me now? I don’t know. Is this temporary? Is this permanent? I have no clue. 
But there goes another one. You can’t sit here and tell me people love me and support me when they choose to walk out of my life. 

THIS is why I don’t share. This is why I don’t open up. I KNOW I’m dealing with a lot. I know I come with a ton of baggage- even for friends. That’s NOT MY FAULT!! I know it’s a lot for others to handle. This is exactly why I’m so reluctant to share myself with others. 

Rejection. 
It’s the last thing in the world I need. 

People who know my whole story tend to wind up rejecting me. I don’t know why. 

What I DO KNOW is that I don’t need any additional negativity in my life. I don’t need rejection. I need support. 

I know all my baggage is too much. That’s why I come to a place like this. Where I can be myself and at least, not be outright rejected.

Friends- the good: 

-My two best friends who live across the country were a great support to me, they called every day that I was locked up, and one even offered to fly out. 
-Another friend drove an hour and a half to come visit me there and she called as well. 

-The second friend I asked to get clothes for me did so. She visited for a while that day and listened to me. She’s also the one who came to pick me up when I was discharged. I had no one else. 
The bad:

-My closest and longest friends abandoned me in my greatest time of need- in a CRISIS, they chose to not be there. I’m still stunned and don’t know what to make of it. 

-My friend who called 911 isn’t speaking to me now and it’s breaking my heart. He was my biggest supporter and encourager. I love him and his entire family so much and I fear I’ve lost them. I’ve told him this. There’s still no response from him. 

-I was told several times that my pastor would visit me when I was locked up. He didn’t. He called Thursday, 6 days after I got locked up and left a message saying he’d call back. He never did. 

Do you know how hard it was to sit there and watch person after person get visitor after visitor? This is why I feel so alone. I was locked up ALONE and left in there all ALONE. 

You can’t tell me people CARE. It’s fucking bullshit. I know I’m not making myself lovable. I’m not tying to…I’m simply trying to be myself and get through my own crap in my head and heart. As soon as people find out, I get rejected left and right. 

This is why I don’t share. I don’t want to be rejected. It’s that simple. 

EMDR

Published August 18, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I feel so weird. Extraordinarily detached. I’m not feeling a thing. My thoughts seem to float. Detached. No connection. The perfect time Too easy.

Shame is what we focused on- being ashamed of who my father is…that I’m so closely related to a sexual predator, a criminal.

I saw myself walking on the sidewalk next to the building where I work. This massive black tar-like substance began slowing oozing down from the entire building. It was one giant encompassing entity. I think it was shame. It suddenly changed from slow moving to a quickly engulfing tidal wave that swept me up into a whirlpool. A deep black whirlpool. I was caught up in the enormous swirling blackness. Then I noticed the sky turning white. It was a stark contrast to the blackness of the giant whirlpool. I thought maybe the white sky might be God. I saw a red rose floating around in a downward trajectory. I want to die so I laid back in the black whirlpool and floated on my back- giving up, wanting to drown or be swallowed up by this. 

The rose drifted down and landed on my chest. I was distracted by it- I kept looking at it laying on my chest, but also kept laying my head back and floating, in an effort to give up. I realized the rose was sticking to my chest- like the tentacles of an octopus. I tried prying an edge of it off- one rose petal- and as soon as I let go, it would reattach itself. 

I remembered that the red rose had made an appearance before, but I can’t remember what I thought it represented. This time I kept getting the phrase, “Word of God” over and over and I kept picturing my new Bible. So perhaps the rose that’s attached itself to my chest represents the Word of God. As I realize that, I think it begins to embed itself in me. 

I notice the black whirlpool begins to swirl with a milky white liquid, mixing with the blackness. The white seems to overtake the black and soon the whirlpool is white with only traces of blackness through it. 

The spinning of the whirlpool begins to slow. I hadn’t noticed before, but the level of it had lowered. The next thing I know, I’m laying on the wet ground- soggy grass wet with a milky white substance. The waters of the whirlpool had so gently dissipated that I barely noticed it. 

I don’t want to get up- I’m curious to see what’s around me, but I feel lazy, maybe just exhausted- I don’t want to even lift my head. I feel like God is telling me to get up and go. But I don’t want to. It becomes clear that it’s ok for me to stay there for a while and as I do, the grass becomes less and less soggy as the milky liquid is absorbed into the ground. 

I can’t remember correctly. 

I think I sit up and begin to look around and I see nothing in all directions around me. I see a weird scene as short, sharp grass seems to be in blue ground. The word “wasteland” comes to mind. There’s  nothing out there in any direction. It’s a barren wasteland. As I stand up, the landscape turns more and more bleak. There’s still nothing but everything continues to dry up- like the desert of Mad Max and the Thunderdome. I look down as I feel something heavy and awkward on my feet. I see sandals on my feet- but super old school ones like Jesus would wear. I feel something in my hand but I can’t see it clearly. It feels like a heavy Bible or something- but an old leather covered one. The ground has now turned into a dry orange sand.

I can’t determine which way to go- which way God wants me to go. No matter where I turn, every direction looks the same. I think God needs to show me which way to go. I also think this is a long arduous journey- one that will take a while and that I clearly don’t have much to survive with. I see a vertical sliver of light off in the distance and think that must be the way to go. I slowly begin to move toward it. Again, I look down at my feet, the old sandals, and feel this big book-like thing cupped in my hand. I feel underequipped for what’s ahead. 

As I move forward, two big masses of blackness come from either side up in the sky. They develop and swirl like clouds- but they reach from the top of the sky to the ground and even cover parts of the ground. They’re ominous and threatening. I can still see a path to follow in the sand though. I can still look above the blackness and see the little sliver of light to follow. So I continue. 

Then…giant evil faces emerge from the blackness. On both sides, I see deep red eyes and huge, deep red grimaces. They’re laughing at me and threatening me. I hear the word “black” over and over rhythmically and as I do, I picture my wrist, a gun, my wrist, laying back floating in the ocean, Chicago, my wrist, ….

I can now see nothing but blackness. It’s grown to cover every inch of the ground. The path is obscured. Images of suicide are everywhere…surrounding and engulfing me.

EMDR 2

Published June 12, 2017 by Chloe Madison

We started out with the image of my uncle, shot,  face down in the bloody grass.

I almost immediately lifted straight up in the air and was floating over my uncle’s house.

I saw the events of the suicide play out from a bird’s eye view: my uncle barricading himself in the back bedroom, the police coming in through the front door, I see him leave out the back door of his room and run around to the front of the house. I see him come up behind the officers, the last of whom are still entering through the front door. I see him raise his empty handgun and point it at the officers. I see them shoot him. He falls and as they approach and pick up his weapon, they realize it’s empty. One of them says, “Ah, fuck.” 

The police take hours to write up their reports. One of my memories is staring at the circular burn marks in the grass that were made by the police cars idling on top of the high lawn.

My aunt is crying and my uncle is getting taken away on a stretcher. 

I go back into his bedroom, where he’d barricaded himself.

I feel like there’s something I need to see, something I need to find- a clue maybe. 

I’m drawn to the bed…it’s dark underneath- twice I see a long shot gun laying under the bed amidst the darkness.

I find sheets of paper between the mattresses – maybe a suicide note? Or some kind of communication from my uncle?

I hold the papers and a green vine grows up out of them toward the sky, like Jack and the Beanstalk. The vine quickly swirls upward toward the sky and soon, red blood trickles down the vine.

The trickle turns into a gushing of blood pouring down, like the elevator scene in The Shining, where blood gushes out. 


I jump out of the way as the blood pours down from the heavens. It pools on the floor. I keep up against the sides of the walls. I don’t know what to do. I slip out of the door to the bedroom, wanting to leave the mess behind. I feel guilty right away and realize I’m turning my back on my uncle. So I face the door and put my hand on white door and on the door handle, saying to myself that I’ll go back in. I just need a minute. 

Then a yellow light forms directly behind me and garners my attention. I’m drawn to the light but I keep wanting to go back to the bloody room. I hear, “Come to the light.” I think they say, “that’s not yours,” taking about the bloody mess in the room. 

I don’t want to leave the room- it’s my depression. I’m not sure I’m ready to leave the room/ the depression behind.

A hand reaches out from the light and takes mine and it makes me smoothly and swiftly move forward. I think I say something about how easy it is when you take my hand. ? 

It pulls me sharply through a membrane or energy field kind of thing- into a bubble filled with white light. 

Inside the bubble is bright but we can see through it. We float up again over the house. I see the dark room – blackness envelops the outside of the room and the red blood is still pooled in the inside. It seems they’re pointing me in the opposite direction of the room to find happiness. It’s not toward the bloody, black room- it’s elsewhere.

I look over to see what/ where happiness is and the place has green foliage with red roses and a blue ocean. I see the red roses vividly- they stand for life. It’s just the rose- no stem, no nothing- just the flower. Suddenly I’m out in the ocean and there are about 5 or 6 of the roses floating in the blue ocean with me. I question whether the ocean is truth like the other blue water was. It’s not. It’s darker, deeper. I see it as being how I describe depression and suicide- like an uncontrollable, wild sea overwhelming and devouring you. 

Like La Mer:


Like my twitter picture:


So I decide the ocean is not where the roses belong. I look toward the shore and see the white sand of the shore and the green foliage with palm trees. I think that’s where I need to move to. I pick up the roses floating in the ocean and gather them together and paddle for the white beach. Paddling goes on forever. I make it to the white beach, sit down, gaze out over the ocean, and set the roses down in the sand. As I’m looking at them, I realize they won’t flourish here. They’re life. And to make them live, they need to reach the green foliage behind me. So I pick the roses up off the sand and take them to the greenery. I see a small gentle waterfall flowing into a small cool pool of water in the middle of the green foliage. I think the roses might belong there so I put some in the greenery and I lay some on the water to float. I stand in the water and analyze the roses in the greenery and the roses floating to see which is better. The water is better. So I take the few roses from the greenery and put them in the water with me. 

I want to lay back in the cool water and float, but I don’t want to lose touch with the roses. So I take a rose in each hand and lay back and float. With the red color in my palms, it reminds me of Jesus on the cross. 

When you float and water is in your ears, you can’t hear most of what’s happening around you. So I think it’s not safe to float because I can’t hear if anyone or anything approaches. So I sit up to see if anyone is there. I spin around and do a 360 and see no one. But I feel like someone is there so I say, “who’s there?” At this point, I think my dad begins to come forward- a faded figure with a belly. I’m not sure though. As he emerges, it becomes clear that it’s definitely him. I see his jeans and his red and white plaid shirt.


 I recognize his body, but his face is more blurry. 

I think he’s there to finish our conversation. I go to get out of the pool to hug him/ greet him. But I stop. I picture wearing wet clothes and think because of him and his past, that might not be appropriate or safe. So I remain in the water. He sits on the edge of the pool with his feet in the water. I want to talk so I say, “Is there anything you want to say?” He says, “I love you” and then says something about if there was ever any doubt or there shouldn’t be a doubt. I think he says something else but I can’t remember. 

<I think something significant happens here, but I just can’t remember what… >

I apologize, but I bluntly tell him that I just can’t trust him. I see a picture of the clown painting and a bird briefly enters the picture. I think the clown painting (representing grooming or deceitful, manipulative actions) might represent why I have doubts. 

I just don’t believe him.
I ask, “Can God say that to me so I can believe you?” But I feel bad right away and drop my head, thinking of how you shouldn’t ask God to prove things to you. 

Jesus comes almost immediately, full on in all His glory. No shadowy figure- but a bright white and yellow, very clear image of him appears. He gets in the water with me and stands right in front of me. It’s almost invasive how close He gets…but it makes me realize He’s there for me, how close He is to me.

He holds his hands out toward me with a red rose in it. The red rose turns into the red sacred heart. 


I think I hear “Jesus is life/ I am life” and “choose life” over and over and over again. Jesus takes me by the hand and I say how easy it is when he holds my hand. I grab? His other hand and ask him to never let go. We embrace in a long, strong, very safe hug.

I don’t know if I ask him if my dad loves me or not. My dad is there off to the side waiting. I explain that I love my dad and I think I’ve forgiven him. Jesus answers by saying, “I love you” with the implication of isn’t that enough? Or isn’t that all you need? Inside I know it is. I don’t answer out loud. I cry a lot (in real life) while this is happening.

I think I still want to know about my dad- what to do. When I asked Jesus to never let go of my hands he didn’t…until this point. He turns me around to face my dad and puts his hands on my shoulders. His hands feel huge and they grip strong so I know he won’t let go of me. He’s got me, is supporting me- he’s got my back, so to speak. I feel a gentle nudge forward, towards my dad- Jesus asks if I’m ready to move forward. I hesitate. I don’t know. I feel I’m not ready and I don’t know if I should accept him or what. ? 
The therapist says she sees the Holy Spirit all over this. She said something similar the last time too. I wonder if she just says that to everyone. 

I didn’t want to go today. I was crying before I even went. I’m so angry and so overwhelmingly sad. I’m surrounded by love at the moment, but all I want to do is get away- run away. I just want to disappear. On multiple levels.

EMDR session #1

Published June 10, 2017 by Chloe Madison

You’re supposed to focus on a picture of the most distressing part of the issue you’re dealing with. Then, you decide what’s the biggest negative feeling you have about it. I wept throughout this entire session- not sure why.

I have a picture in my head of my uncle’s suicide- his body laying face down in the grass, the stark contrast of the red blood on the green grass. 

The feeling I have is that I should have been more understanding of him, I should have known (what I didn’t know yet) about his abuse by my dad. I should have been more compassionate. 

I feel pain in my heart and chest- it blows up, swells, and feels like it’s going to burst. The pain moves up through my neck and into my head. I feel like my head is going to explode as the pain swells greater and greater. I feel like the explosion will come out of my eyes and my head will shatter. 

So I turn away from the sight because I can’t deal. I keep trying to move away and I feel like I start to float away from the scene. As much as I turn my head in that direction, wanting to move away from the scene of the suicide, I feel obligated to return. It’s the right thing to do. It’s like I just can’t turn my back on my uncle- it’s not his fault. 

I feel like I need to talk with my aunt to tell her the truth. (In reality, my uncle had been sexually abused my my dad when they were younger- my uncle told several people, but no one ever believed him. He spent most of his life depressed and eventually committed suicide). So I feel like I need to tell my aunt that my uncle was telling the truth. But I don’t want to because I’m afraid it will crush her. I see us talking in fast forward with no words.

We move into her house and we begin to become submerged in blue water that’s all throughout the house. The water stands for truth. We soak in the water up to our mouths- our entire bodies are submerged and part of our heads- up to the level of our mouths. We don’t talk anymore, we just soak in the truth. I can tell it’s going to take her time to take it all in (just like it took me time to digest everything). 

As we’re soaking in the blue water, I notice the sky turns a deep red. It becomes a dark maroon, like something foreboding is coming. But there’s a lighter, circular spot that develops in the sky. In the deep red sky, this lighter spot turns into an orange color, then fades into yellow. I feel like Jesus is going to come through that spot on a chariot or something. 

But I don’t let him. Even though I don’t have the power to stop God, I push back and don’t let him come out of the sky. The sky begins to turn a deep purple. I feel like it’s a signal that Jesus is permanently leaving. (The therapist says at this point that it’s our choice to follow Jesus and allow Him to work.) 

So I realize the mistake I’m making and I say, “Sorry! Come back, come back!” I don’t quite remember, but I think the sky turns from purple to orange. I rise up out of the blue pool to get a better look to see if Jesus is coming back. I keep rising up and as I do, I’m spinning and floating upwards, looking all around. I don’t see Jesus, but I get the feeling that he’s all around me. I look up, directly overhead and I see a circular area that’s made up of a whiter light (this reminds me of the very end of Twister when they look up into the middle of the tornado). I’m floating up into this white light. 

I feel like it could be God carrying me up into Heaven, perhaps for a visit. I want to visit my uncle and think that maybe I’ll see everyone there. I see the shadows of all my family members who have passed on. But then I see all the shadows of everyone fade and back away. One person floats forward (he’s a dark shadow with a bigger belly) so I think it’s my dad. I never see him clearly so I’m not sure. I wanted to check on my uncle so I keep thinking my dad will fade and my uncle will come forward. But it doesn’t happen. 

My dad keeps coming forward. He puts his arm around me, his hand on my shoulder and I think he says he needs to tell me something. He says, “I’m so very sorry.” Well, this is all I’ve ever wanted to hear! So I wonder if it’s real or imagined. I think I asked him if he apologized to my uncle…I wanted to make sure they’ve resolved things. He says, “I never meant to hurt you.” I think he said I love you. I don’t seem to receive these messages too warmly as I find myself still preoccupied with wanting to know if he’s resolved things with my uncle and if my uncle is ok. He asks me for forgiveness. I kind of hold off answering, almost like- well, if you apologized to Uncle Gary, then yes- if you didn’t, then no. I’m preoccupied with the injustice my uncle dealt with his entire life. Then my dad says, “Justice is not yours, it’s the Lord’s.” It makes me think of academy and wanting to help others get justice because my uncle never got it and I never did either. 

I tell my dad, “Of course I forgive you. I always have.” We go to hug, but I pause in the embrace. I question if it’s safe. I hold off hugging because I keep questioning the safety/ protection of the situation because it wasn’t safe before. I then see another person’s face- a giant sized face just floating there. This is a safe person, but I try to push that face away because it has nothing to do with the situation. The same giant face comes back again- this time the face itself is faded, but I recognize other facial features. I push it away again, thinking it doesn’t belong (except for the fact that it is a safe person). I can’t quite remember what happens next. 

I don’t know. I think we never fully hug. I think I inquire about my uncle again. My dad answers with something like- he did or said what he had to/ needed to me. (I notice we’re running out of time in the session.) I keep thinking my indecision to embrace or my indecision about whether hugging my dad is safe or questioning about my uncle is making Heaven impatient with me. The white light we’ve been in turns dark purple and I feel like I’m running out of time. They’re going to send me away. 

I descend back to Earth, back toward the pool of blue water. I look up and see my dad’s hand is reaching down to me. I reach up to him, but we’re too far away. God doesn’t let us touch or let us have more time. I keep descending and his hand fades away. 

I can see my aunt again in the water with me. I ask her if she understands now. There’s no response. I’m distracted by the sky turning orange. I see a light circular spot developing again in the sky. I think it’s Jesus coming back. I can’t remember, but I think I decide that  I don’t want to push him away again. 

I think it ends there. I’m not sure. I don’t remember.