The 9 year journey started with stepping out of a shop onto a crowded pavement. The next thing I remember is the impact of the edge of my spectacles on the pavement and the thought, ‘Oh no! Not again!’ and a feeling of inevitability: this had to happen, and I can’t stop it.
I have found that, often, it is not what I remember that causes present trouble, but what I don’t remember. I don’t remember being on that crowded pavement, and I don’t remember how the man bumped into me or how I managed to fall with my whole weight on my head. And it is crowds and people walking near me and (Oh no!) even brushing by me that make me slow down, freeze, and get to the end of my walk up the street in a state of shock.
So . . the therapy involves finding and processing the memory. Last week, we tried to process walking out of the shop, using the ‘EMDR’ method. I got to the door of the shop in my imagination, but could not/would not go further. I went back into the shop and refused to go out! That has been behind my reflection on ‘denial’ these past few days.
Yesterday, my husband and I were about to walk out of a restaurant onto a crowded pavement, and the door went ‘bang’ behind me. I froze. I hung hard onto David’s arm and my body just refused to go further. I was back in that shop in Edinburgh, and I was NOT going to go out of it. But I took a decision: that fall did happen, and I am going to choose to accept it in my memory, and I am going to walk out of this shop. So, very shakily and slowly, I put one foot forward, and then the other, and tottered onto the pavement and through the crowd in a dream/nightmare state, hanging onto David with all my might.
We made it! We got home! I survived it without falling! Thank you, Lord!