In 2015 I went through EMDR. It was excruciating, but I saw tremendous improvement in the months that followed. I was told right from the beginning that it was not a cure, as such, that everyone responds differently and that ‘wellness’ occurs at varying degrees.

Lately I have been experiencing flashbacks. They are quite intense, but in a different way to those I endured before EMDR. Often these flashbacks are not related to overt violence or threatening situations. They’re usually about all the ways in which I was manipulated and coerced.

People often don’t realise that coercion is actively abusive, but in many ways it is equally as damaging as the more obvious kinds of abuse, and may in fact be more destructive *because* it is less easily identified. Coercion and manipulation work in such a way as to make the victim feel he or she has no choice. Coercion attempts to make the victim a willing participant. In certain situations this coercion is also known as ‘grooming’.

Sometimes it is as if I experience the situation all over again. It makes me sick. Nausea and a goose-pimply feeling of horror and disgust wash over me. At that point all I can think is: ‘I hate him. I hate him. I hate him.’

But my faith is my rock. As the flashback lessens and common sense drips back in, I tell myself that it is a sin to hate. Hatred eats away at you, making you permanently miserable; no room for love. My God says to lay all my burdens on Him. My Jesus stretched His arms wider than the earth on that cross.

I pray, “Lord, I can’t help feeling that I hate him, but I know you don’t hate him. I give my hatred and I give him over to You. Seventy times seven. To the power seven. And then some. Please keep him away from my family and from anyone else who is vulnerable. Don’t let him hurt anyone else. If you can reach his heart, I pray that you do. You tell me to pray for my enemies so that is what I’m trying to do. I don’t know what else to do but to reach out to you. Seventy times seven. And then some.”

I write because this is my testimony of what faith actually looks like – not pretend faith that avoids the nasty stuff. Life is hard. But God is always good. God is ALWAYS good.

The Way We Were

I came across the video below while looking for a definition of ‘information superhighway’ which was mentioned in a novel called Fear the Sky by Stephen Moss (I remain a dyed-in-the-wool ‘hard’ SF fan). Way back in the 90s I used to curl up on the settee next to my dad to watch Tomorrow’s World. I remember being utterly captivated by the idea of cyberspace, to the point that I wrote a science fiction novel (sadly incomplete) set in a time where hoverboards were the norm (thank you, Michael J. Fox), using magnetic strips in the roads with the rider’s hoverboard containing an opposing magnetic force, people communicated via wristwatches which doubled as fully interconnected computers, inter-planetary travel was possible and Mars had been made partially inhabitable. My central character was a teenager who was one of the second wave of Martian settlers. Strangely, many of these things are not too far from the truth! Anyway, I’ll leave Maggie Philbin (remember her?) to it:


Oh, the joys of 20:20 hindsight!



There’s a Spirit in the Air

There’s a spirit in the air

Telling Christians everywhere

Praise the love that Christ revealed

Living, working in our world…

When believers break the bread

When a hungry child is fed:

Praise the love that Christ revealed

Living, working in our world.

~ from ‘There’s a Spirit in the Air’ by Brian Wren, a lovely hymn I grew up singing. I am deliberately recalling good memories as EMDR leaves one bombarded with memories for days (weeks, even) after a session, and they’re often the ugliest kind :-/

Anyway, there are only a handful of videos of this joyful song on youtube. Despite its being embedded in my subconscious it’s obviously not as well-known as I’d thought, so I share it now for you to enjoy šŸ˜€


My series of EMDR sessions is coming to an end. I can’t say what a relief that is. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity, but I am clinging on at the moment by sheer determination (which is helped a great deal by a thoughtful, hard-working, kind and very patient husband). It is draining to have memories jumping into your head unanticipated in the days following an EMDR session. Seriously, they spring out of nowhere. I’ll be idly stirring a teaspoon as I’m making a cuppa and suddenly, vividly, there is an image, sometimes accompanied by sounds and (worse) smells, of – er –Ā things I don’t want to write about let alone think about, especially not when I’m minding my own business making a cup of tea. My 9-year-old is talking to me about Harry Potter andĀ boom! there it is again and she wonders, reasonably, why I’m not listening to her.

Sleep brings no respite because strange dreams are made ever-stranger. I never seem to wake up refreshed; I just wake up thinking how glad I am to not be asleep, to not be living through whatever I was dreaming. EMDR is the therapist’s mangle: it squeezes out every last drop of what you don’t want but it completely destroys any semblance of the human form (that was rather a good metaphor there, I thought) and it takes some time for the thing to even begin to look ‘normal’.

Memories, memories, memories… it’s like having live, uncensored news from a brutal warzone broadcast two feet away from your head, at full volume, 24/7. Will someone please switch it off? I’d like a bit of Gardeners’ Question Time, please. Or the shipping forecast. Or Dan Cruickshank explaining in detail the structure of the Roman Pantheon.

Still, I’m not giving up. I’ve only got three sessions left, but dear Lord I will be thanking You when it’s all over. I am reminded of the words of the psalmist:

‘Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Saviour and my God…

Deep calls to deep

in the roar of your waterfalls;

all your waves and breakers

have swept over me.’

Psalm 42:5,7 (NIV)