Sometimes You Don’t Need the Light

In her last post, Thriving on the Other Side underwent Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and began to experience insights into her feelings of depression, rage and helplessness. The therapy uses a “light board” to stimulate the eye movements associated with REM sleep. Here is what happened next…


I revisited that light board the following week, only to have more of the same behavior return. I’d have flashes of yet another heart-breaking moment in my life, usually associated with a betrayal by a man I trusted, and then I’d move back to the same response. I rocked back and forth, overwhelmed by darkness, powerless to bring myself out of the heavy sadness that filled every bit of my body and my spirit, with images of a black monster filling every nook and cranny of my body.

But the words that poured straight from my soul, never really passing through my conscious brain, were always the same: “I can’t take it anymore, I can’t take it anymore.”

The more I repeated them, the more desolate, powerless and bereft I felt. A wave of darkness and the deepest sadness I’d ever felt would overwhelm me during those sessions. But on the other side, I’d feel better. Exhausted, but better.

My guy was gone so much of the time these days, traveling around the world to meet customers and staff of the new huge company he was running. He’d been home this past week for three days and even though he’d worked much of the weekend, we’d had some fun moments again. The shadows were lifting. Finally.

We chatted on the way to the airport like old times. As I dropped him off, I felt hope for the first time in a long time — hope that we’d find our way back to the magical place of love and laughter we’d enjoyed for the first years of our relationship.

I went home and crashed that night. I knew he wouldn’t call from NYC and I was tired.

The next morning he called early to wake me up, as he always did. His voice was tentative, cautious. Something was up. We chatted for a bit and then he lowered the boom. “I can’t come home next weekend, BB. They want me to stay in Europe for a big meeting with a client on Labor Day. I have to be there.”

That was all I heard. The explosion happened before I even felt it coming. How dare he do this to me? We’d had plans. Again. This was the fifth time in as many tries. Did he care about me? What the heck was going on with our lives?

Rage and venom poured from me. I couldn’t stop myself. I crumpled on the bedroom floor and raged into the phone. And then, he broke through the rage.

“I can’t talk to you when you’re like this. I have to go. I’ll call you sometime.” And he hung up.

I curled up in a ball, wrapped my arms around my body and the rocking movements began again.

“I can’t take this anymore. I can’t take this anymore.”  This time I didn’t need the light board. I was devastated all on my own. I’d returned to that place of being powerless, overwhelmed and out of control all on my own.

And this time I knew I’d gone too far.

To read more from the ongoing story of Thriving On the Other Side, please visit her author page.

Photo Credit

“Sadness” WTL @ Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

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