I’m going to try to analyse my own case. I was sexually abused repeatedly over many years so my natural coping mechanisms became overloaded. As a result, the memories remained frozen in my brain and unprocessed, in a raw form. Every time I heard the perpetrator's name I would experience painful feelings such as panic and anger, those feelings were constantly triggered and I was unable to live in the present. EMDR enabled me to process the traumatic memories in a natural way and has enabled me to live in the present again.
In order to identify the aspects of the memories to be processed, I had to choose a statement that expressed a negative self-belief associated with the event, I chose: “I am worthless.” I then had to think of a positive self-statement that I would rather believe: “I am worthy.”
Towards the end of my course of therapy, I went away for a short break. One day, I was standing at the top of a mountain and shouted at the top of my lungs: “I am worthy!” If I ever have periods of low self-esteem in the future, I will visualise that image and how I felt. The fact that I was at the top of a mountain makes it even more significant because I was up high and feeling strong, mentally and physically.
Since finishing my EMDR therapy I feel that my eyes have really been opened. I’ve realised many things about myself and the way others treat me. Due to the fact that I believed I was worthless, it seems that some people also believed it. I’ve realised that I put up with a lot as a child and stayed quiet due to fear. As an adult I’ve often adopted the same coping mechanism because it’s what I know best, however, I shouldn’t have to live in fear as I did nothing wrong. What I now know is that I deserve respect in the same way others do, and I am worthy.