Sandra Bullock is still dealing with the aftermath of a stalker breaking into her home in 2014 while she was there. The 57-year-old actress appeared on Red Table Talk on Wednesday and talked about the incident and how she underwent therapy to cope.
Joshua James Corbett was convicted in 2017 of breaking into Bullock's home in 2014, during which she hid in her closet while calling police. He was arrested inside her house. In 2018, he killed himself after a standoff with police when they went to his home to serve him a search warrant related to Bullock's case.
"It was the one night [my son] Louis wasn't with me," Bullock shared about the terrifying day in 2014. "It was the one night that our nanny goes, 'Let me just take him to my apartment,' which is up the street. And I went, had he been home, I wouldn't have run to the closet -- which is now my official closet, but it was his bedroom -- and it would have changed our destiny forever."
"I wasn't the same after that," she continued, noting that she hasn't ever been by herself since. "I was unraveling."
Bullock said she suffered PTSD from the incident and didn't want to pass on her fear and intense anxiety to her son, so she decided to undergo EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). According to the Mayo Clinic, EMDR combines exposure therapy with a series of guided eye movements that help you process traumatic memories and change how you react to them.
"I was so scared to do it," she acknowledged. "They use it for trauma and PTSD. It can be tapping, I had the paddles. It is literally the therapist going, 'Start where you first find yourself in the house,' and I was like, 'I was in the closet and I heard him banging on the door,' and then he says, 'hold that feeling.' And then he started vibrating the paddles and the paddles were inconsistent, so, in your mindset when your eyes are closed, I was going back and forth mentally to wherever the paddle was vibrating. So, what that is doing is rewiring your synapses."
Bullock said the therapy unexpectedly helped her work through not only the trauma she experienced from her home invasion, but from "unsafe relationships" and "unsafe childhood moments."
"When I got out of it I realized, I am surrounded myself, often, with unsafe people and situations and put myself there," she said. "And I have no one else to blame but myself because that was the most familiar feeling I had. ... So in that EMDR journey I had to take ownership of everything that I brought into my world because it felt comfortable and realize that it no longer had a place."
Bullock said that at the time, her body began to break down from stress.
"The timeline was crazy," she recalled. "Louis had had a grand mal seizure (a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions). He had a really high fever, I thought he had died. Two days later I had pulled my hair tight, went to the Academy Awards, pulled it too tight, a day later I was bit by a poisonous spider. My hair starts falling out. I have Alopecia spots everywhere. I'm like, what the hell."
"The break-in happens, and I literally had to take inventory going, 'If I don't pull it together, I'm gonna die,'" she continued. "Something's going to happen to my body that I can't control and I can control almost everything.' So EMDR, I sought counsel and I will seek it again and I've learned to ask for help. I'm not good at asking for help, it's not how I was raised."
Bullock credited her children, which aside from 11-year-old Louis also includes 8-year-old daughter Laila, for her breakthrough.
"It was my children who showed me that unless I pull it together right now, I'm not gonna be around to have the moments that I want to have," she said.