The darkness partially surrounds me with my closed eyes. It is tangible and I am almost able to hear it. Smell it — no — I can smell it. Rancid. Acrid — it makes the back of my throat burn like a chemical exposure, he coppery taste of blood mixes with the pungency of unwashed flesh. I cannot but begin to pull back within the barriers of the fortress I have built myself over the last 40 years of my life.
I gather myself, forcing my breathing and heart beat to a slow, regular rhythm, and look left to the blue light that encompasses most of my field of vision, and the light brightens at the acknowledgement. As I move my eyes to teh right, teh light follows, keeping pace until we come to the edge of the dull, tar-thick, light absorbing filth. I feel it on my skin; thick, oily, gritty — the kind of filth that can never be washed away.
The blue light pushes past my eyes to begin eating away at the edge of the darkness — like sunrise and the thick shadow lessens. Though the light does not chase away these shadows, I feel that the thickness of the dark lessens–it feels less than it was: less heavy, less sticky and less vile. The smell and acrid taste in my mouth becomes less prominent as the light absorbs the darkness. The blue light muddies to a blue-grey eventually and the inky blackness to a dark grey. Progress. I know that when I open my eyes again, and my mind begins to process this over the next few days, the light will again burn clean.
(B) and I talk about the experience and I close my eyes again to the alternate buzzing of the EMDR pads in my hands. I clear my vision of the corruption of the darkness and focus upon the light and begin to direct it toward my back and shoulders where the most foul of the presence of darkness’ grip now resides. The light feels like the warmth of the sun through a curtained window, so thick is this residue of hatred, shame and filth. But the light is directed slowly — so slowly — hitting point after point, my will focusing it on the thickest and most noisesome places then moving to the next. Eventually the darkness retreats to the point that I can feel the warmth of the blue light.
I play the light over and over my shoulders and back, but more of the thick, sticky black tar seeps from my pores and skin, trying to rebuild the layer of ichor and charnal house refuse that has surrounded me, molded to my body and soul since I was a child. The feeling is almost painful, the vision I see is that of black leech-like evil moving to blanket me again and I can feel the areas I missed; down my back, hips, butt and the backs of my thighs. covered with its filth. The pads stop buzzing. (B) and I talk again. She asks, “How would you picture removing the blackness if you were able to do so? What method would you use?”
I think a bit and churn the ideas around. Warmth and water. Cleansing forces, both. “I think a warm waterfall–the heaviness of the falls, the temperature of a hot bath,” I concede, thinking that this would combine the best of both worlds. She reassures me that it is my imagination, my image, and under my control. I think about the constant pounding of a waterfall to wash away filth and render myself clean?
I closed my eyes, and pictured the waterfall and nodded my head to indicate readiness for the paddles to start. As they started their intermittent and alternate vibrations, I imagined my waterfall–under a Hawaiian sky, Aegean blue water surrounded by jasmine and hibiscus flowers, lush greenery and fluffy white clouds demarking the difference between light and dark, echoing the blue and white of the light I have seen behind my eyes. The clouds reflect in wavelets on the surface of the warm water and I step under the falls.
At first, all i feel is the warmth on my head and neck, my left arm and lower legs, although i am standing up to my knees in the water already. I concentrate on each part of my body and can feel the inky blackness begin to soften and eventually, pieces flake off and molecular layers begin to wash away in the torrent of water. I concentrate for what seems like hours, though subjective time is much much less–only a few minutes pass as my mind travels through non-linear time to deal with the problems at hand. As the layers peel off more comes out through my skin, and the water washes away as much as it can as the onslaught continues from within. Eventually, the thick black darkness wears down to a thickness that allows me to feel the warmth of water on my neck and back. When the pads stop their buzzing, i can feel the inky slime oozing out from within again.
(When (B) and I talk again and she is up to speed, she mentioned how persistent the blackness was, how deep and insidious a hold it had. She has advised me to do my own EMDR “sessions”, imagining the waterfall again as I alternately tap my opposite knees with my hands.
I think I may change it up and put in another image–that of the sunshine’s warmth and the waterfall in order to penetrate, make it leak out quickly and dry up the tar inside while shedding the filth that is left, pulling more of the darkness from my soul into the light and rendering my skin pink and new.