Epiphanies, Email, & EMDR

☆ February 1, 2017

Back in December, I was talking with a friend about being stalked. It came up naturally in the midst of our conversation, I can’t remember how or why. I was stalked throughout the summer and early fall of 2010, and have felt “over it” for years. At some point in 2011, I actually felt bad for the guy, because he was suffering from mental illness and the court system totally failed us both. (To this day, I hold enormous anger toward the courts, for two reasons: 1) he was found guilty, convicted of stalking, and was allowed to walk out the courthouse door the very next day; and 2) the psychologist who administered the required mental evaluation declared his condition “beyond the scope of my expertise,” yet no other eval was done by a more experienced person, no treatment plan was offered or even discussed, and the whole issue – which was the crux of the larger issue – was completely ignored by the judge, the county attorney, and his court-appointed attorney.) When I found I had empathy for the person who stalked me for months, who harassed me daily, who eventually showed up with a loaded gun, I declared myself Over It, Zeroed Out, Free.

Back to the conversation in December with my friend: I mentioned that prior to his arrest, the man who stalked me sent me dozens of emails every single day, sometimes 50 a day – and the moment those words left my mouth, I stopped short. I couldn’t finish my sentence. It was like I was thrown into that cliche movie montage when all past events join together in one flash when everything clicks.


THIS is my email problem. This is the source, the genesis. This is proof that, in fact, I’ve never gotten over it.

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know about my email problem. I’ve written about it a number of times, I’ve tried to brainstorm various ways to get a handle on it. I haven’t been able to keep up with email since Charlie went viral back in 2007, and while that unanswerable volume was a source of guilt, it never caused panic and anxiety. It was simply an issue of time. I still enjoyed reading email and answering what email I could.

While I was being stalked, email was the primary, daily, method of assault, and checking email became a source of panic. Dread. Physical tension. It’s never gone away. Now, like then, when I check email I feel my heart beat higher and faster. Sometimes I mentally shut down, and, for hours or sometimes days, can’t click on the emails that come in. All this time, I have thought my email anxiety, and the incompetence that anxiety caused, was my failure. All these years, I believed it was an area of life in which I sucked and couldn’t improve, no matter how hard I tried. Now I realize this is the f*cked up way that f*cked up experience damaged me. How it has affected me on a daily basis ever since, how it has affected my business and my ability to do my work. It’s been seven years, and I still can’t look at email without my autonomic nervous system activating a panic response. Until my random December epiphany, I never put it together, never identified the timeline when the task of email shifted from “too many to keep up” to “if I touch this I might die.” All this time, it was my psyche having a reaction in my body – a total and complete rejection of email – in order to protect myself.

This issue of protection is multilayered. There’s the obvious part of becoming conditioned to fear new messages, of not wanting to see what came in, of bracing myself for the awful and the disturbing every single time I sat down to check email. But it’s so much more than that.

In the series I wrote on stalking, the first installment of which I posted the day after his sentencing, I shared a lot of details. But I didn’t share everything, because I didn’t know if it was over. I didn’t mention that a friend who worked at Google put some code on my blog to track his IP address and activity, and that the man who stalked me had been visiting my blog over 100 times a day. That works out to every five minutes for ten hours a day, every day until he was arrested. I didn’t mention that I had knives stashed everywhere, indoors and outside, including a huge chef’s knife I kept in my shower (I had no escape route from my shower, what if he showed up when I was in the shower?). And the bigger part of this issue of protection is not wanting to bring this on myself ever again. This makes me cry as I type. Because the man who stalked me was a regular commenter on The Daily Coyote. I recognized his name, as I do with all regular commenters. He wrote me a totally normal email in the early summer of 2010, and I responded. And then all hell broke loose.

I wrote back. I wrote back. Might I have saved myself the misery if I hadn’t written back? If I hadn’t responded? For another woman, the thought that haunts might be I walked home alone or I didn’t want to be rude or I had that drink or I trusted him. Even though the violence we suffer is never our fault, where else do you put the focus – by which I mean, how else do you protect yourself from that day forward – when you can’t trust others not to harm you?

This epiphany left me reeling. It was illuminating, and also depressing, and it made me really sad for myself and really, really angry for all the women who endure violence or assault or harassment, because violence against women is still, so often, minimized by men – just “twenty minutes of action.” Yet, this is the aftermath. I have been affected every single day since 2010 and, as I wrote back then, I got the shrapnel version! I was mentally tortured for months, but I wasn’t physically assaulted, I wasn’t raped.

Along with the shock and the anger and the sadness that came with this epiphany, I also felt thrilled. Downright giddy. Because now that I had determined the true root of my email problem, I knew I could fix it with EMDR.

The first time I did EMDR was after my apartment building in San Francisco burned down, which also happened to be my greatest lifelong fear. I woke one night, at 3AM, to the sound of my neighbor’s screams. Flames were everywhere. I called 911 but wasn’t the first to do so. I ran out of the building barefoot, and to get out of the building I had to run past windows that were exploding from the flames. Two buildings were destroyed and two of my neighbors died that night. Afterward, the smell of smoke – even the scent of a distant barbecue – would send me into full-body panic-mode. Two sessions of EMDR cured that; I love the aroma of wood smoke in the winter air, and am typing through a haze of smudge smoke right now.

The second time I did EMDR was after being invited to give the commencement address at CSU. I wasn’t about to turn down such an honor, yet public speaking happened to be my second greatest lifelong fear. Three sessions of EMDR (plus daily meditation and tons of practice), and I rocked that speech.

I love EMDR because it works fast. It’s like being in a dream. It’s often described as entering the REM state while being awake. And it works in spite of yourself.

I’ve done two sessions of EMDR for this, and have one more scheduled, and things are different. I still can’t keep up with the volume of email I receive. I still prefer to compose longhand than on a keyboard. But the fear is gone. The anxiety is gone. I don’t want to hide anymore.

Click HERE to find EMDR practitioners near you. Many offer a sliding scale.


55 Responses to “Epiphanies, Email, & EMDR”

  1. hello haha narf
    February 1st, 2017 @ 9:40 am

    reading “But the fear is gone. The anxiety is gone. I don’t want to hide anymore.” gave me chills. i hate what that person did to you. and i am so very thankful that you are finally on the path to freedom. best wishes and nothing but love to you.

  2. C in Florida
    February 1st, 2017 @ 9:51 am

    Dear one,
    So glad for you. You are great at doing what is right to help yourself, and so brave to persist and take on the pain of the attempt.

    Your sharing your experience is going to help a lot of people, me included. That’s the thing — you include us out here, and enrich us, and help us confirm ourselves and try to go on with life in a world that can be terrifying. We know we’re not alone anymore, ’cause there’s a whole farmily behind us to bring out the best memories we do have, and savor them. With today’s communication you have just given us a greater chance to free ourselves to yet become our best and happy, calm selves. I have nothing but glorious things to say about you, and glorious memories yet to build and overcome the terrors that plague us.

    Well, gotta run — there’s a picture of a Coyote in snow that I gotta look at and love all over again.

  3. Rachael
    February 1st, 2017 @ 9:52 am

    Where do I even begin except – WOW! As a long time commenter/reader, I recall all of these moments you posted about very vividly. I may have even shared my own stalker experience with you…But that AHA! moment is the stuff of gold; why humans are magical creatures indeed. I am SO thrilled for your ephiany and your healing process. I ought to look into EMDR for a driving phobia…

  4. marg
    February 1st, 2017 @ 9:55 am

    I’ve never heard of EMDR before. Thanks for the enlightenment and good luck with your healing.

  5. Amy
    February 1st, 2017 @ 9:58 am

    I have a lot of thoughts but not a lot of the right words. Just glad you’ve found a release and relief. The defensive crouch is an exhausting way to live!

  6. JoDi
    February 1st, 2017 @ 10:01 am

    I remember those scary days. Reading your account of it all was horrifying; I can’t imagine what it was like to live through it. I’m glad you connected what happened then to your email issues and got some help to process everything. I’ve always believed you are incredibly brave for not leaving the Internet entirely after what happened.

  7. Torchy
    February 1st, 2017 @ 10:13 am

    I,too,remember those awful days and hope any of the elected ones who so mis served you have been thrown out.

  8. Nova Lockhart
    February 1st, 2017 @ 10:16 am

    Dear Shreve…It saddens me to learn of the intrusion in your life by this stalker. I am glad to know that you have found strength to overcome your fears….. May you continue to heal…Thankfully I have never been stalked but have suffered from PTSD because of a very abusive marriage I was in fifty years ago. As a result, I know how hard it is to overcome the bad things in one’s life….Please know that I am sending you thoughts of compassion and encouragement.

  9. Ailsa
    February 1st, 2017 @ 10:19 am

    Shreve, I’m so grateful that you shared this today as I really needed to find out about EMDR for someone close to me. How fortuitous and a great testimonial that it can be helpful for others.
    Thank you.

    In regards to your experience of having been stalked, which I also remember so well reading about way back then, it makes sense to me that you would have given you a resulting aversion to email — completely understandable — perhaps even a version of PTSD. And talking about protection and the way in which *we women* take on everything, even the guilt that we accept when something has happened that is *not our fault*.

    When I was much younger and working at a cafe (one of the first in our city), I came home late on my bicycle one night and as I was putting it away, heard a car crash not even one one block away. I rushed over to find a car had hit a raised cement planter and two young men were sitting dazed and luckily uninjured on the sidewalk. I offered to bring them back to my house (!) and let them use our phone (no cell phones back then) to call the police or whomever. Long story short, the one who accompanied me ended up pinning me underneath him on the high school steps until I agreed to let him kiss me. 40 years ago and I vividly remember it, remember thinking how I couldn’t utter a word as I lay on the concrete unless I woke anyone, and not knowing how far this might go. I hesitate to even call it an attack as we tend to minimize these things in our minds….

    Anyway, years later and it still makes me mad that I felt I could not resist and that he took advantage of someone going out of their way to help.

    I’m so glad things are getting better in the email dept and hope improvements keep coming.

    All my best.

  10. Jane Cashion
    February 1st, 2017 @ 10:24 am

    I could feel your feelings as I read your article. I have been stalked but by a family member and his now-wife. I have had my identity stolen and also receive emails multiple times daily. I have thought of completely leaving the internet but I have so many friends from high school and my lifetime who I have been able to reconnect with. My heart pounds every time I log on to my email. What will be there and what will I have done now that they will be sending to me? I am over 60 and, honestly, have never been afraid. I live alone with my dogs and cats and had never had anyone impede on my space before all of this. I have even had jobs applied for in my name with all my personal information including tax info. I hate this!! Nothing is mine any more…NOTHING!! I have filed police reports and been told that they do things and take it right to the edge of being caught. Funny thing is I know who it is and they have made no bones about doing what they have done. Thank you for writing this and sharing. I just looked up EMDR for my region but there is nothing listed. I will continue to see if I can find this and do something about it. No one understands this terrible feeling that goes on inside our bodies, hearts and souls until they have experienced this…not that I want anyone to have to go through this. I wish I could get someone to help me with the email situation to nail it down to the people or person and make them have to face what they are doing. The police have tried to trace the email addresses but come up with nothing. The best they can tell me is to protect my personal information but it has been violated three different times in the past 3 1/2 yrs. There is a lot to this that would take too long to post but the bottom line is that it is terrible when someone enjoys taking away the freedom and innocence of every day living. Thank you, again, for sharing.

  11. Dogmom
    February 1st, 2017 @ 10:27 am

    My sister was a therapist for many years and a certified and licensed EMDR practitioner. She was so very skeptical when she was first introduced to EMDR but was amazed and thrilled at its efficacy and used it extensively in her practice to great results. So glad you are getting relief from the trauma of your experience, Shreve.
    All the best to you. By the way, I just loved the photo you sent for Tuesday this week of Mike (?) and baby Charlie! Charming and sweet.

  12. Karen
    February 1st, 2017 @ 10:47 am

    Oh my– thank you for your story. PTSD…. I don’t want to just bundle up your experience and stamp a label on it, but you were reliving the experience through your body even though the threatening emails had stopped. I think more people suffer from this than we know.
    I am so happy that you connected the dots and now have relief.

  13. kay
    February 1st, 2017 @ 11:06 am

    I find it kind of amazing that we can be so deep in reaction to fear without realizing it. I suppose it’s related to not wanting to face fear. I did EMDR for childhood trauma of seeing my dad die and it helped. But the deeper and more entrenched fear of connections and lack of them is something that had remained hidden most of my life, even while causing much pain. It all takes me to saying life is love, and embrace it wherever and however you feel it, regardless of everything…

  14. bonnie
    February 1st, 2017 @ 11:51 am

    how time flies. i’ve often wondered how you managed to carry on after all that — i kind of chalked it up to the healing power of defiance. but i’m not surprised that you have been experiencing fall-out ever since — i still get upset thinking about it myself, and all i did was read about it. to have such a direct and prolonged experience would have to leave some triggers in your body. i’m so glad you have found and recognized them!! and that you have a way to clear yourself. peace and love and comfort to you!!

  15. wright1
    February 1st, 2017 @ 11:57 am

    Thank you for sharing that, Shreve. I have a good friend who has had similar experiences and a fair amount of misfortune in her life, yet presses on with living her life with courage and immense compassion. I’m glad you had that insight and are making the most of it.

  16. Keri
    February 1st, 2017 @ 12:00 pm

    I admire you so much. I learn something new almost every time you post, and your posts always brighten my day and reduce my stress. Your writing has such a calm voice that it’s hard to picture anxiety and upset on the other side, and I’m so sorry that has been the case. Thank you for the tip about EMDR. I worked in the mental health industry for 12 years and never heard about it, and it sounds really interesting. Sending positive vibes your way!

  17. Sara
    February 1st, 2017 @ 1:57 pm

    EMDR has been immensely helpful for me too. I am so glad I found someone that practices EMDR among other types of alternative type treatments.

    I have been able to uncover a lot of issues and have felt true serenity for probably the first time in my life. And I love the fact that you can use it to help alleviate moments of anxiety as needed.

    Glad you are healing a very traumatic period of your life. It’s amazing how much we stuff and avoid and once we face it there is a huge weight lifted.

    Peace be with you.


  18. Kalen
    February 1st, 2017 @ 2:13 pm

    I did EMDR for the first time last year and it has been the only really successful, lasting treatment for my depression/anxiety. I still struggle with both of those afflictions, but I am able to manage so much better now. I wish it were more widely practiced.

  19. Jacquelyn
    February 1st, 2017 @ 2:30 pm

    I was recently introduced by my therapist to EMDR; I was quite skeptical at first. I am actually in a current processing – 3/5 sessions completed – about a trauma that I thought I was over for 15 years!! Your feelings in this post describe very familiar thoughts: sadness and anger that I didn’t realize that the trauma was still affecting me, that I had let myself hurt for so long. But, like you, once I realized that EMDR works for me, I felt lighter! I have faith that I can tackle that hurt and be truly free of its shadow. Thank you for sharing this – it sounds like there are folks who it has helped already!

  20. Jennifer
    February 1st, 2017 @ 2:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Shreve.

  21. Kathleen
    February 1st, 2017 @ 3:01 pm

    I remember that time very well as I’ve been here a long time and I work in a prosecutor’s office that handles crimes like this. I don’t know if you caught the bit about Russia decriminalizing domestic violence the other day but it seems rather synchronistic to this post. I’m glad that you’ve again been empowered and thanks for teaching me about EMDR. Very valuable!

  22. Rose
    February 1st, 2017 @ 4:25 pm

    Wow…I sighed.
    Damn! I cursed at the injustice.
    OMG…the fear creeps from your words into my chest.
    You GO! Girl…your resilience continues to inspire me, all the way in Oklahoma.

    Sending Love and Hugs, just not email. hehe

  23. Laura
    February 1st, 2017 @ 5:22 pm

    Shreve, SO GLAD you had these insights and can practice a way out of the hanging-on trauma. Such a helpful post, as I can recommend to a relative with similar (but different) trauma. We just don’t realize how much trauma still lives on in our bodies . . . but we can be freed; thank you for sharing a way.

    I hesitate to bring up my next thought; perhaps it is inappropriate on your blog, but then, no I think, it’s important. VERY. I just read Megyn Kelly’s book, someone for whom I didn’t actually have much fellow-feeling or interest originally. But your post set off another light bulb in my head. She was totally stalked for A YEAR by someone who is now our POTUS. She was relentlessly harassed, threatened, (“We will gut you”) and her whole experience was passed over, passed off, by millions of people including the press. Just ignored because for a journalist it supposedly “comes with the territory.” It is mind-boggling. Our nation is led by a mentally-ill stalker.

  24. Karyn
    February 1st, 2017 @ 5:25 pm

    Oh Shreve. I don’t really have words for the amount of empathy I feel for you, having dealt with similar stuff all my life. I’ve used EMDR, it’s amazing. But first you have to have that epiphany to know what you need to work on.

    As to the courts system – I share with you your disappointment, disgust, anger over how the system fails so many. And it is in all courts – criminal, family law, civil. And it’s so broken, I have no idea how to fix it.

    And I commend you on sharing your experience so others may hopefully have an avenue of healing.

    From someone who has at least 20 years on you, I can say it is a lifelong thing to identify what blocks us. Life just keeps happening.

    I am glad you have addressed this one big thing, as it is such an important part of you life.


  25. Leigh | Campfires & Concierges
    February 1st, 2017 @ 6:35 pm

    Hey Shreve – I have been reading your blog for years and remember all too well what you went through. It’s terrible that what should be a safe space isn’t.

    A lot of bloggers have virtual assistants to manage things like this. It’s something I’m considering as a next career option, so if you’re open to it, I’d be interested to see if I can help you manage your inbox. It’s something I do for myself (3 inboxes, actually) on a daily basis already, and I’m really good at it :)


  26. Penelope Bianchi
    February 1st, 2017 @ 8:09 pm

    Wow. Somehow I missed the stalking story. How totally scary.

    It is astonishing how epiphanies can come to us in an instant like that.

    I am so happy for you that you are able to get help like that.


  27. torre
    February 1st, 2017 @ 9:47 pm

    others have said it so well. your experience was horrifying; i tell people about it so they don’t discount those gut feelings. i’m so glad you made the connection and can work on that!

  28. Maggie Yount
    February 1st, 2017 @ 9:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing. J’s babysitter was physically assaulted by some girls at a college party and she’s suffering from major PTSD now. Your post is perfectly timed and I have shared it with her <3

  29. scotty
    February 1st, 2017 @ 11:38 pm

    it takes time and practice and carries with it an enormous responsibility but for me, concealed carrying works. the older i have become the better i am at identifying hazardous people and situations. also with age perhaps, it is much more rare for me to trust … anyone until much time has passed and i have personally vetted them. i have been tricked by people who are text book psychopaths and i have vowed never to be on the receiving end of all that ever again.

  30. Kiri
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 12:57 am

    Long time reader and though I rarely comment, I just want to say how thrilled I am to hear about this epiphany. It’s always great to know people can overcome the things that’ve happened to them and take charge of their own healing. Hope things continue to improve for you. ♥

  31. Patr
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 9:41 am

    So beautiful that you share with us these things. You don’t have too – but you do – and if it helps just one person – WOW – that is tremendous.


  32. Judy
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 10:18 am

    What a gift you have been and continue to be to all of us. Thanks for your transparency, truth and endless ability to educate. Xox

  33. Elaine
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 10:35 am

    THANK YOU for sharing about EMDR, I have never heard of this before and know a lady who has tried everything for her issues and I am going to give her the link and hopefully she will use it to get the help she needs. SO happy and thankful that you have used this “tool” to bring your back to a place of happiness and well being.
    Love to you and all the farmily!!! Loved the cowboy coyote cuddle pic!!! xoxoxo

  34. Alyxx
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

    Shreve – you are an amazing and powerful person; one of my idols. I am a MH professional (therapist), and want to learn EMDR because it seems to work so very well….trying to get my agency to pay for the classes!
    You go! you do what you need to be your powerful self!

  35. Julia
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 1:26 pm

    Zowie. I too had never heard of EMDR. Thanks for writing at length about this experience. There have been a few things in my life that have caused me lingering but low key anxiety for years after, and I just thought I had to soldier through, like I did with depression. And sometimes, like trying to diagnose a rattle in the car, you never get the cause right and so the rattle keeps coming back. This is so very interesting. I bet you have helped a lot of people you’ll never even know about.

  36. SiobhanMcC
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 1:27 pm

    Once again thank you Shreve. I was so humbled and moved by your post. Sending you love and healing. I’ve only heard of EMDR once before so I was inspired to look it up after reading your post. I sounds very powerful and healing.

  37. Cristy
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 3:36 pm

    Thank you for writing about this. All of it. Too often people minimize the impact of trauma. We ask them to “get over it.” Healing requires identifying the root cause of the triggers, which can take time. It’s not easy to do.

    I love EMDR. It helped me with healing during and after infertility and my miscarriages. It’s an incredibly powerful technique. May it continue to be helpful to you.

    And finally, though you know this, you did nothing to bring on the stalking. Absolutely nothing.

  38. Mirjam
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 3:45 pm

    Wow, that is fantastic. I am so glad for you. Well done!! :D

  39. JaneK
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 9:18 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. I hate that you have this awful experience, but am glad for you that you are finding relief and thankful that you did share b/c it can help so many others. I suffer from anxiety. I have what I call “free floating anxiety” or “congenital anxiety” but it has been made worse by a horrible relationship I am slowly dragging myself out of. The panic when the phone rings and other triggers cause anxiety. I looked online and there is a reputable group in town that has some practitioners that use EMDR. It is fascinating to read about and I am going to give it a whirl!!! So, thanks. It’s awful to feel stuck.
    And on a lighter note…. I open my web first thing in the morning and check out the few blogs that I follow…. I am often still fuzzy with vision and brain function in general. I first thought the title of the post was Elephants, Emails, and EMDR. hahahahaha! I clicked expecting to see a picture of an elephant :) got a good chuckle!

  40. Laura
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 10:41 pm

    Dear Shreve, thank you once again for sharing a deeply personal story with us. I was not aware of EMDR. My nephew has PTSD from serving in the Army; I wonder if this may help him. It’s kind of an amazing feeling when you have that moment where things fall into place and you realize why you do something a certain way or react in a particular manner. But knowing what to do to help yourself after that moment-well that is truly amazing. You are such an inspiration to me. Sending healing thoughts~~

  41. Steve Penny
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 10:54 pm

    You are brave and generous, to share your pain and fear and paths to healing with us. Best wishes and thanks.

  42. Steve Penney
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 11:02 pm

    Your input to the world is something I feel a part of. It is difficult to explain. For a few years now I have been enjoying,admiring, being grateful for you, and being envious of your being in Wyoming, having and nurturing a Coyote. You are unique, and a treasure.
    Thank you for being vulnerable to us all, and helping us to fight through the pain and fear that Life can place on us.

    Thank You Shreve.

  43. Kate Lenthall
    February 2nd, 2017 @ 11:22 pm

    My dad had EMDR when he was first in therapy, and through it (or perhaps just prior to it, I can’t recall) he unlocked deeply buried memories of being sexually abused by a family friend when he was 12. This ended up being the root cause of his combination PTSD/bipolar disorder, and why he’s emotionally and mentally stuck at about that age, in everything he does. But he’s since gone off meds and back on and then off again, and has been in and out of therapy and seems to be of the personal opinion that he’s stuck where he is and there’s nothing to be done about it, so perhaps I’ll suggest more EMDR to him, if we can find someone locally. I hadn’t really read much about how it actually works, but it sounds like a real life-saver. I’m glad it works so well for you, and I’m glad you had this revelation about the emails!

  44. Colleen G
    February 3rd, 2017 @ 6:46 am

    I had never heard of EMDR until I read your blog. I love the idea of it and I pray that it continues to help you find peace within.

  45. Katie H
    February 3rd, 2017 @ 10:20 am

    I completely identify with the feelings of sadness and depression when you realize how deeply something has affected you, despite feeling generally “over” it. I’ve experienced this lately with both trauma and heartbreak (which happened within the same six months, over a year ago). I usually feel powerful and happy and have shaken most of my anxiety, but every so often I have a “oh shit, I am still hurt from this” moment. As always, thank you for your generosity in sharing your experiences and solutions- they have helped me immensely personally, and I am sure others, as well.

  46. Theresa Szpila
    February 3rd, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

    Shreve, I remember the stalking as if it were yesterday and tremble with fear and anger every time I think of it. Not only did your stalker “get away with it” despite his conviction, he was given his damned gun back! And it wasn’t just a gun, it was a bloody cannon! Knowing he was “out there” and knowing he had that gun with him has always filled me with dread on your behalf.

    Having been through traumas of my own, and still suffering whether I always realize it or not, I will definitely check out EMDR.

    God bless you and yours! And thank you for your endless courage!

  47. Lindsay in Oregon
    February 3rd, 2017 @ 8:16 pm

    Shreve, I am so so so glad you are finally finding true healing from such a traumatic series of events. I remember when you wrote the series of posts about your experience, and I felt so much fear for you but also some relief that you’re safe in spite of what could have happened. You’re an amazing and strong person and wish nothing but the best and continued safety and healing for you.

  48. Miranda
    February 4th, 2017 @ 4:11 am

    I’ve used EMDR and I know it works. It was the silliest thing when I first tried it; hard to believe something so simple could have such a profound effect. Glad it worked for you!

  49. Miranda
    February 4th, 2017 @ 4:11 am

    I’ve used EMDR and I know it works. It was the silliest thing when I first tried it; hard to believe something so simple could have such a profound effect. Glad it worked for you!

  50. Marya
    February 5th, 2017 @ 10:55 pm

    I want you to know how much I appreciate you writing your stalker story back in the day. It made a (positive) impact on me and I shared it with friends. You never know who you are going to help by sharing — it could be giving someone insight, it could be strength, it could be diminishing stigma around a topic people are afraid to discuss. Your posts were like that.

    This is how this post is, too (with less stress reading it). I have something that is a huge obstacle in my life and I’m always getting down on myself about it. And I’m in a cycle of repeat repeat repeat. Reading your post today was maybe not a complete aha… but it was a light in a dark room. There’s gotta be something going on that I can’t see. I’m going to do some work on it.

    I’ve done EMDR for a couple of things in the past and I don’t know how it works, I don’t know why it works, but it is effing magic. I think I’ll make an appointment for this week. Gracias, Shreve.

  51. sarah malaby
    February 16th, 2017 @ 7:28 am

    Shreve – this post brings me the most joy of any that you have written. I am so happy that you have found your answer. WAY TO GO. Aren’t conversations with Friends incredible revealers – and innocently so. You don’t start out to figure out issues, but the back and forth with a good friend can lead to so many good things. Carry on!

  52. Linda Lasch
    February 16th, 2017 @ 7:32 am

    EMDR saved my life from being a daily torment of global fear and confusion as why it was there. I,didn’t relate it to any specific event because, after all, I was a functioning, successful adult. I was just weird on the inside. Until one day my thoughts traveled back to the many verbal and physical assaults I endured during my childhood and early adulthood. I had to pull my car to the side of the road as I sobbed and was blinded by tears.
    Long story short, I had EMDR performed by a recommended therapist. I thought it was a little too woo woo for me but wth. It was a defining moment to feel an actual physical response to this woo woo experience. The cause of most of my fear lost all its power. It was no longer driving the bus. I can now talk about those traumatic events without an emotional response. Freedom

  53. Kim Owen
    April 13th, 2017 @ 12:36 pm

    Shreve, glad you found EMDR. I went for EMDR in Midland, TX. The lady used a light bar, pulses in hand held things & ear pieces for sound. I could literally feel my brain tingling. She was very good & I processed 2:10 traumas. I have complex PTSD and it still affects my health and life. Once I got back home to Richmond, VA, I could find no one that used the equipment she did and the other methods didn’t work for me. I have often wanted to go to a group for civilians w/PTSD, but none here. I can’t tell enough people about your 1st book which I just finished. Glad to know you still have Charlie. Wish I had your courage. Kudos.

  54. Cat Chandler
    August 24th, 2017 @ 6:50 pm

    7 years. Wow! I remember when that all happened. Honestly, it is no surprise that it has taken 7 years to have this breakthrough–I am continually having breakthroughs regarding my anxiety about things that happened years ago. Many Ah-ha! moments, and many cringe-worthy moments too. I have been doing a lot of acupuncture this year, which has helped with anxiety, but am feeling the need for something deeper to help with trust issues–I’ll look into EMDR. Thank you for sharing!

    Also, I really hope that stalker got the help he needs. So often those types just move on to the next person of focus without getting help.

  55. Rachel ONeil
    November 22nd, 2019 @ 2:18 am

    I’ve never heard of EMDR, why haven’t I heard of EMDR! Why are there so many therapies most people don’t know exist. Argh.

    Thanks again for your openness.

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