Feeling "Insane" Is Normal




Today I’m continuing on with my series After Disclosure. The first two installments can be found here: 




You know how there are some memories in your brain that you can’t erase no matter how hard you try? You wish you could scrub them from your memory banks like burn marks with a Brillo pad, but you can’t. Those sucker are seared in there real good.



That’s how a majority of my disclosure days are with Devin. There are certain moments I can recall with such clarity, it’s like it happened yesterday, not so many years ago. I’m thankful that some of those painful memories have slipped away, but that ability to recall with such vivid detail what happened so long ago provides me with a good explanation why I felt so utterly "insane" for such a long time.



I had Relational Trauma. I suffered a form of PTSD and I had no idea that all I was going through; the anger, hurt, fear, hypervigilance, nightmares, panic attacks, loss of appetite, hyperarousal followed by not wanting to be touched or looked at, compassion for the addict, hatred of the addict, fear of certain places, and so many other things…were 100% normal.



Not only was it normal, it was expected. My brain was trying to process the fact that someone I had put my complete faith and trust in had betrayed me. I was trying to figure out how to make sense of my new world. In a matter of days, what I thought was my marriage, my future, had been flipped upside down. I was expected to have a whole new way of living. My life had been derailed and so had my brain. I was in shock.



There were moments, literally moments, that I felt compassion, then hatred for my husband in the days following disclosure. I wanted revenge, then I wanted to hug him and tell him it would be okay, we would figure this mess out together. I wanted to make love to him, then would be revolted by the mere touch of his hand on mine.



Those first few weeks were brutal. B.R.U.T.A.L. The myriad of emotions I experienced from moment to moment, hour to hour were so confusing, it left me exhausted, depressed, anxious, angry, confused and devastated.



The only way I know how to explain it is by comparing it to an egg. My brain was the inside of the egg. The shell was my world as I knew it before disclosure. After disclosure, the split happened and the egg cracked. I tried to keep my brain from oozing out.



The harder I fought, the more the egg white slipped through my fingers. I feared that my inner core, the yolk, would be next, so I held on as tight as I could to my emotions and tried to keep them from spilling out of the egg and through my fingers.



However, that Relational Trauma just doesn’t go away on it’s own. The nightmares persist. The anxiety attacks continue. The fear of going to places that trigger you still remain and I stayed stuck and thought I was bananas for feeling this way, until I read, Your Sexually Addicted Partner.



Inside was a list of all of my symptoms and then some. Ka Bam! I realized I’m not alone! I’m not "crazy" to feel the way that I do. I was elated! Beyond words. It gave me courage to move into action and not wallow with the people I had chosen to surround myself with. No more Negative Nancy’s for this chick. They were doing more harm than good.



Now it was time to do something about that egg I was trying to keep control off, but what? The hatred of Devin had gone away after the first few days…thank God. So did the desire for revenge, but I was struggling terribly with hypervigilance, anger, guilt, distrust, and my all time favorite: control.



I found that I needed help. I couldn’t travel this road alone. I sought out S-Anon, counseling, shut down my old curse-filled, negative blog and opened up this new one and the rest is history. I found that the egg didn’t need me to hold it together. That sometimes, when we break a few eggs along the way, add ingredients like a healthy recovery, the end result is a beautiful cake.



I only wish I had known that the emotions I’d been experiencing immediately after disclosure and for months afterward were totally normal.



What do you wish you had known?








Retreat

Retreat

I watch with tears as you retreat
never from the war’s front lines
only further into the recess of your mind

your thoughts are plagued by violence and death
and you wonder if suicide is perhaps the best
way for you to surrender to your pain

your mind is wracked with feelings of guilt
for the families of the men you had to kill
and the child who’s life you had to end

but he was only playing pretend 
as the sunlight struck the barrel of his gun
he thought it was the right way to have some fun

and honor those who protected his land
then his blood soaked into the sand
while his father wept along with you

but you did what you had to do
your men were in clear and present danger
such is the life of an army ranger

There is a part of you that knows
that sometimes this is how it goes
while you protected your team

they surround you now, a protective band
telling you they understand
but you’re lost inside your mind like a darkened cave

You refuse to remember all the lives you saved
and the men you helped live another day
the ones you comforted at night

when the terrain was void of light
you held their hands and told them to hang on
they’d be with their families before too long

they flock by your side 
to show their respect
but you continue to deflect

from your terrors to theirs
because it’s easier to hear their sorrow
than try to look ahead to your tomorrow

With the pill bottles dropped on the floor
you tried to say I can take no more
but God’s not ready for you yet

and we aren’t willing to forget
the person you were before this carried shame
while you continue to feel at blame

Kill a kid and save your team
now he resides in all your dreams
when you cry out into the night

and wish for a death we don’t want
but for one you desire
so you can escape the hell fire

never forget who’ll be left standing
over your grave

your wife, your kids, and all that you gave 

This poem is dedicated to my nephew.  He did two tours of duty before the PTSD got it's claws in him and caused three suicide attempts in less than a year.  The last was this week.  If you're the praying sort, please pray for him and for all of us.

To Trust or To Snoop?

from where else? Bing

Trusting your gut. 

Many of us do it without giving it a second thought.  Maybe you did it last weekend when you made your football picks.  Thankfully, my Giants didn’t have to play and I was saved that humiliation.  I can’t say the same for this week.

Let’s take it a bit further. Perhaps you trusted your gut on your way to work this morning and you left a few minutes early.  You don’t really know why, but your instinct told you it was best to walk out your front door five minutes earlier than normal, so you did.  You didn’t question it.  You just got in car and left.  Maybe you avoided a traffic jam.  Or even a car accident.  You’ll never know.

Many moms understand this on an even deeper level.  A mother’s instinct, that gut feeling, can tell you something is wrong with your child.  It can scream at times.  It alerts us before something has happened to our precious little ones.

Then, there are people like me.

I managed to screw up my God given gift.  Not through any fault of my own though. Mine was a wreck thanks to relational trauma caused when I found out about Devin’s sex addiction.  The PTSD from the trauma caused me to become hypervigilant.  I acted on every suspicion I had about Devin.

I never allowed myself time to relax and settle back down.  I lived in an almost constant state of anxiousness.  If I suspected Devin was surfing porn, I’d run to the computer and check.  I’d spend hours wasting away trying to dig up some kind of evidence of him looking at porn or having an online affair.  That led me to forums on sex addiction and betrayal.  I kept myself in a negative mindset.

Then, Devin would do something completely innocent but to me, it was a red flag.  I’d be back at the computer again.  Wasting my time and energy.  Every time I closed my laptop, I felt sad and defeated.  Sometimes, I was even disappointed I didn’t find anything.  At least if I found something, I wouldn’t have squandered away so much time for nothing. 

Eventually, it dawned on me.  I couldn’t trust my gut anymore.  I lost the ability to know when something was “off” with Devin.  Those of you married to an addict know they have “tells.”  Things they do or say when they are headed down the wrong path in their recovery. 

When I wasn’t able to quiet my mind enough to calm it, I knew things had to change.  I stopped being hypervigilant.  It was a difficult journey for me.  It meant entering a world of not knowing.  Not knowing what Devin was or was not doing was frightening.  It meant learning how to trust.  I had to begin placing my belief in him and in myself.

I had to hope he would come to me when things were headed down a slippery slope.  I also had to believe that I could trust my gut. 

In time, my gut instinct came back.  I could see clearly when Devin’s recovery wasn’t going as well as it should be.  I trusted my instincts and talked to him when I felt it was necessary.  Each time it’s been for good cause.  Then came the time I hoped for, he came to me.

I think it’s okay to trust.  It’s also okay to verify, with your spouse’s knowledge…none of this spyware crap unless you’re both on board with it.  To me, if you’re spying on your spouse because you’re afraid they’ll act out again or because they’re not working they’re program then you need to have a serious talk with your spouse. Not spy on them.  You’ll just drive yourself bananas.  If they want to act out, they will.   Not to mention, you’re expecting transparency from them.  Shouldn’t they get it from you too?

Devin and I have an agreement when it comes to trust but verify:  If I have a feeling he’s surfing, or I trigger and it results in me looking at any of his devices or tracking him on his phone, then I tell him within twenty-four hours.

Although, I can’t recall the last time I’ve done either of those things.  My gut instinct has been very calm.  I like it that way. 

The Powerful Subconscious




My weekend was not starting out the best.  Don’t worry, it gets better, but it started crappy, that’s for sure.

Devin and I argued on Wednesday night.  Yes, I’m backing up to Wednesday night.  It’s my blog so I can do that.  You do what you want on your blog.  It was over something very trivial but instead of discussing it before we went to bed, we ignored each other.  The next morning we each waited for the other to apologize.  That never happened.  High expectations led to resentments.

I figured we would sit down and talk about it when he got home from work.  That didn’t happen either.  He texted me and said he had to go to Home Depot, then the book store, then his old school.  He let me know he wouldn’t be home for dinner.  I asked him why he was at his old school but I never heard back. 

I glanced at the clock and saw it was 6:00 p.m.   I reasoned he was probably visiting the guys he worked with.  I was going to send another text but decided against it.  If he couldn’t be courteous enough to glance at his phone, who was I to nag him about it?

An hour later the PTSD from the relational trauma kicked in.  It was like I had Trauma on one shoulder and Healing on the other.  “He’s up there emailing random women right now,” Trauma would whisper.  “No, he’s feeling rejected at home and accepted up there.  It’s part of the sex and love addiction,” Healing would whisper in my other ear. 

For hours the two battled it out in my head but Trauma won.  I was convinced Devin was up to no good although my gut and my brain were telling me it wasn’t true.  I went to bed feeling defeated.  I woke up the next morning, Devin gone for work, and a text message from the night before saying “Sorry, didn’t feel my phone vibrate. I’m on my way home. I’ve been hanging out with my old co-workers.”  Just like Healing whispered in my ear.

The next day, we didn’t speak until he came home from his SAA meeting.  I explained my trigger and he apologized for not checking his phone sooner and causing me anxiety.  He described how being at the college with his friends made him feel like he belonged somewhere when he felt excluded by me.

We decided we have a lot of work to do in the communication department but I feel like we are always moving in the right direction.  He has an updated diagnosis of SLA (sex and love addiction) vs SA (sex addiction).  I really can’t say too much about it because it’s brand new to me too.  From what I’ve learned so far, it makes sense.  To be honest, it’s his journey to explore, not mine.  I’ll do a little bit of research here and there so I know the basics about it but I won’t obsess over it like I did SA.  The days of obsession are long gone.

However, the days of triggering are not.  We went to his company’s picnic yesterday.  For some reason, while I was getting myself all dolled up, I reflected back on his military unit’s picnic a few year’s back.  I suppose it was because this was the first time I was meeting everyone at his new company and that made me think of meeting everyone at his unit picnic too. 

During the time of the unit picnic, Devin was still acting out and I had no idea.  I thought he was just really into porn.  I didn’t realize he was having online affairs.  So, as I applied my make-up, I had to do some deep breathing exercises to calm myself down and then I did my Serenity Prayer and felt much better.

The picnic was very nice, until I met the woman Devin went to lunch with.  I triggered again.  What in the world was going on with me?  On the outside I was still composed and smiling but on the inside I was crumbling. 

When we got home, Devin asked if I was okay. I told him about the trigger and he asked what he could do.  We talked about his “walls and windows” a phrase from a book we both read.  He assured me his boundaries are in place at work. After some time alone, I decided I needed to hand this over to God.  I needed to Let It Go and trust my gut.  I had nothing to tell me anything felt “off” with Devin.  There are no red flags.

Then this evening, I opened up my laptop and saw the date.  It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since my first disclosure.  I guess my subconscious remembered, after all.  At least now I know why I’ve been so triggery!  Now that I know the why, I think the triggers will be old news.

The good news is, Devin and I decided to focus on just he and I this week and have a date night!  Shrimp scampi here I come!!


As The Clutter Clears


credit
“Here are the stack of Christmas cards from the last few years.” Devin said, as he handed me the large pile. “I kept a few from my Nan and Mom. Do you want to go through the rest and see if there are any you want to keep?”

I was impressed by this small step in progress.  Devin was taking another inch forward of letting go of clutter and paper. Weighing the difference between sentimental and not. His medicine really seemed to be working.  I continued to remain cautiously optimistic.

I laughed as I found my mom’s card from last year.  Her handwriting done, best she could manage, an incomplete sentence and “Love Mom” at the bottom.  Best card ever!  I kept another from an aunt who recently got some disturbing news on the health front and put a few others aside as I divvied up the pile.

I came across a small, black Christmas card signed “Merry Christmas! then her name.  (Her husband's and children have been omitted).  I read the card again.  All of our names were listed and all of their names listed then the flood of memories came rushing back. 

She was Devin’s first affair partner.  The first person he crossed the physical line with.  No sex was involved, not even kissing. A flash and a touch but you don't do such things when you are married, sorry folks.

The memories of disclosure came flooding back.  The memories of Jessie and her family spending the night in my home as they traveled down the east coast flashed through my mind.  Her kids playing with mine, me cooking for her family while being deceived the entire time. 

Quickly, I took some deep, calming breaths.  I thought of the present, the here and now and took a mental inventory of where I was. I remembered all of the progress Devin and I had made in the  time since the disclosure, his remorse, his empathy and it grounded me.

I handed the card to Devin and asked, “Why is this in here?”  My heart still beating like a drum but calming just a bit, but no tears were nearby.  Then couldn’t help but snap, “Really?”

Devin read the card, his expression one of confusion and worry and then it clicked, he realized who the card was from.  I could tell from his reaction he assumed the card was someone from my side of the family, someone he didn’t know.

“I didn’t know, I’m so sorry.”  He got up and threw the card into the kitchen garbage and came back and hugged me tightly.

“I know you didn’t mean to hurt me.” Was all I could muster for the time being.  I went into the bedroom and prayed for strength.  I grabbed my affirmation cards and read them several times until I remember just how damn strong I am.  I am stronger than my triggers. 

Ten minutes later, I was back in the living room and feeling just fine.  I let him know I was doing great and thanked him for doing the right thing and let him know I knew he probably thought it someone from my family which made me feel better, it showed she meant nothing to him.

Then it was Devin’s turn to hit his emotional rock bottom.

It wouldn’t hit him for another twenty-four hours and as I type this, I am grateful he was able to find the strength to overcome it.  I have never seen my husband so hopeless before, so emotionally broken.  It was scary.  It had me frightened enough to call our counselor on Monday, the day of his appointment and share my concern with her.

I was concerned his recent increase in his medication had caused this depressive state.  The things he was saying he hadn’t said since disclosure week and no matter how much I tried to support and love him, he was still sinking into a pit of despair. 

It wasn’t until after his appointment with our counselor, I realized his meds might actually be allowing him to reflect, to think, now that the confusion has died down.  Seeing me trigger, without having that noise in his head, may have really caused him to focus on the core issue:  his addiction, which he’s been avoiding lately.

Either way, after his appointment, he came home and we talked for a very, very long time.  He admitted he has a lot to think about and he needs to communicate better with me, the kids and his sponsor.  He’s been happier ever since.  So, my rockin’ counselor – thank you!

Stopping The Loop


Okay my Hooligans, you know I like to give you plenty of warning when a post is going to be all serious and stuff or when it’s going to be lengthy – this is one of those posts.  Consider yourself warned.  Click away now.  Don’t feel obligated to comment.  You guys should know by now I don’t work that way.  I have lurkers who are here for stuff like this.  I promise not to be offended!!  Be well and I’ll be over to your blogs in a bit (I may have an appointment with my counselor today, not sure yet).     =)



^^^^^

***first, my disclaimer-I’m not a doctor, I’m simply a person who has been through it and still deals with it.  I also want to state, I am not equating my relational trauma PTSD as being anywhere equal to combat PTSD. I love and support our military vets***



Relational Trauma PTSD

First, a little bit about the PTSD, I promise you, you are not crazy.  I spoke with someone yesterday who didn’t realize that her mind has created a loop.  A pattern that must be broken.  I recommended a book I found a year ago that assured me I wasn’t bat shit crazy for doing the things I was doing and feel; it let me know that while it wasn’t healthy, it was still a “normal” part of the process.  

Here's the book I recommended:



I cannot express to you the value of this book in my recovery.  Even now, a year and a half after disclosure, I turn to it.  I have pages marked and highlighted for quick reference of the behaviors that are “normal” but need to be stopped in order to heal properly.  These pages provide me the reassurance I need sometimes to know that I'm not alone.

“A relational trauma often occurs when one person betrays, abandons or refuses to provide support for another with whom he/she has developed an attachment bond.” from Your Sexually Addicted Spouse – How Partners Can Cope and Heal

So, what happens as a result of this PTSD?  I’ll spare you the really long list and give you a short list:

          Reliving the event           Sleeplessness          Nightmares
          Intrusive Images              Hyper Vigilance       Anxiety
          Panic Attacks                  Withdrawing           Phobias
          Flashbacks                      Denial                    Oversensitivity
          Depression                     Restlessness            Rage

That’s my list.  That’s what I went through for months after disclosure and what I’m pulling myself out of now after his relapse. Thankfully, I'm healing much faster this time around.  I have better resources available, Devin is more understanding and my triggers aren't nearly as often at they were before.

Does it matter that it’s normal for the PTSD symptoms to occur?  As I sit and type this in a mind full of complete clarity, yes, it matters very much that it’s normal behavior to want to check his email account or his browser history or dig through his files and use the computer skills that I mastered in college and got even better at during my hyper vigilant period after disclosure. It assures me that these things are “okay” to feel.  It's better knowing that I am NOT doing these things which tells me I'm in a better place mentally than I was over a year ago.

However, when I walk into the bedroom and see Devin at his computer, hear the click of the mouse and catch the glimpse of a window closing on his computer screen and my mind can’t rationalize that he’s simply doing his homework, not closing out of porn…then it doesn’t matter that it’s a normal trigger. 

All that matters is that my mind has jumped. I'm in a tailspin. Gone from A to Z, not from A to B to C.  I've lost the ability to rationalize.  Then I’m angry at myself because I’m unable to rationalize my thoughts, put them together properly and I know it.  That’s the worst part…knowing that I’m being irrational.  And, I can’t stop it from jumping to Z.  It just happens.  

What to do??  How do I stop the loop??  How do I calm myself down so I don’t end up on the kitchen floor without knowing how I got there (I lost an hour (I think) crying and wailing from a trigger once because I had been suppressing them for so long).

Stopping the Loop


  • First, I take my rockin’ counselor’s, advice.  I allow myself to feel the trigger without trying to figure out the cause.  Without trying to self analyze it to pieces because that in itself is taxing.

  • Next, I take deep breaths from the gut.  Breath in, breath out.  Slowly, to calm myself.

Then I choose from the following:

  • My affirmation cards.
  • Guided imagery – a great tool that I use for Migraines too.  I imagine myself on the beach.  I feel the sand, smell the ocean, hear the seagulls, feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, the sand in between my toes, slipping through my fingers.  I transport myself there because it’s my favorite place in all the land.  My calming place.
  • I read Footprints – it’s my favorite writing and I have it hanging in my bathroom – don’t judge, it’s where I usually end up when I’m crying.  =)
  • I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I am strong, I can handle this.
  • I pray. A lot.
  • I drive to my favorite spots with a pen and paper and vent out my rage then shred it and toss it in a garbage can somewhere on the drive home.
  • I blog, although now I try to avoid blogging while to upset because I end up saying things like I’m getting a divorce!!!  And then change my mind and to delete the post
  • I take an Epsom salt bath with lavender bubbles.

^^^^^

I hope that some of these things have helped at least one person out there.  I understand you can’t comment because you wish to remain anonymous and I respect that completely.  I began this blog with the hopes that it would help someone through the roller coaster of emotions I felt the first few months after disclosure. 

Please understand, you’re not alone.  Whether you choose to stay or leave, you are strong and only you can decide what is right for YOU.  No one will ever understand what you are going through, the push and pull of emotions, until they have walked the same path as you.  Never give up on YOU.

My Affirmations and Reminder





My Affirmation and My Reminder


I am strong

I am beautiful

I am confident

I feel good about my body

I am worth only the best

I am thinking loving thoughts about Devin and myself

I am unique and special

I am stronger than my triggers!!!

All is well in my world

I am calm

I am relaxed

I am at peace

I trust the process of life

I am supported and loved

I can handle this

I trust in God

I am powerful


*******
I didn’t cause it

I can’t cure it

I can’t control it

But I can take care of myself

By communicating feelings, making healthy choices

And celebrating myself.


(all written on index cards and kept within easy reach)
^^^^^^^^^^

The above affirmation and reminder is just one of the tools I use to help me get through a trigger when it rears it’s ugly head.  I thought I would share it with those of you who may be dealing with this as well.  Never forget, you are never alone.  For over a year I did very well with my triggers.  They were so seldom, I was blessed enough to almost forget how horrendous they truly are. 

I know that time will come again.  I’m already moving forward in my healing and in my recovery because I’ve got some fantastic tools at my disposal and I’ll share them in detail tomorrow.

My triggers are lessening, and yours will too.  I’m happy to see that you followed me from my old blog and I hope that you’re doing well.  Many heartfelt hugs go out to you guys.




My Eyes Were Wide Shut

can't give proper credit - it floated around Facebook for a few weeks so I'll guess Fave Quotes?




How fantastic was yesterday?  I've never been so excited to see the banter and the comments go back and forth on my blog before.  It was like being DezAnne or Pat for a day (with 1/8 of the following)! Tons of fun!  I seriously don't know how you guys with a big following do it.  Thank you to all the new people who stopped by to say hello to me and to my Hooligans who went and visited Dez.  

******

Here's that disclaimer I'm kind enough to provide: this post will most likely be long and rambling; it will be one full of jumbled thoughts because I'm sorting through some emotions since Devin's relapse and my decision to stay through the summer and see if his attempt at recovery improves.  It's been some what of a hit and miss thus far.  So, now's your chance - RUN to another blog - quick - if you're looking for humor or something quick.

*******

As I cleaned yesterday, I realized I never would have asked Devin for the divorce had he not relapsed.  For had he not relapsed his behavior would not have changed so drastically that we were unable to communicate for those few weeks leading up to that horrible weekend.  I finally understood that he felt cornered by me and was not stable enough in his recovery to react in a healthy manner.  Instead, he withdrew from me.  He told me what I wanted I wanted to hear, then did what he wanted to do regardless of my observations of shifting addictions.  This caused me to become angry and then we fought and entered into an unhealthy cycle of fighting which pushed him further away until he finally slipped then relapsed.  The red flags were there but because he had been sober for so long, over a year, I refused to fully see them.  My eyes were wide shut.  (Totally stole the movie title there.)  

Where does that leave me now?  I'm dealing with the exact same thing I was dealing with a year ago:  How will Devin handle his recovery?  The answer is clearer now than it was before.  Yet the answer is the same:  On his own.  I can't be his helping hand.  No more gentle reminders to call his sponsor (he forgot last night because he was doing his homework), or leading questions about reading his literature (which he did after his homework) or working his program (hasn't done since Friday but who's keeping track?).  

I have put his recovery back down before him.  Completely.  Mentally.  In my head it's in a brown box, taped shut and Devin stands before it...all he has to do is pick it up...it's all his now.  I'm done.  There's a box right next to it, wide open it's contents scattered across the ground.  That one is mine.  It's my recovery.  It looks pretty messy but it's not.  Everyday the box is packed and unpacked; affirmation cards read, prayers said, eyes looked at in the mirror and a mantra of affirmation of beauty and strength said, deep breaths completed...whatever else pops into my head done for the day.  That box is frayed from much use, overuse....because PTSD from a partner's sex addiction is a bitch.

***********

The hardest thing to recover from is broken trust.  There was no cheating during this relapse.  If there was, I'd be long gone.  There would be no Summer of Elsie, there'd be How Fast Can Elsie's Car Drive Away From Here?  And while the wise ass in me wants to say "Hooray Devin for only looking at porn" the reality is, "a lie, is a lie, is a lie."  You told me you were sober, dammit!  For a month!

The other reality is that aside from the fact that my trust factor meter has been set back to a big fat zero.  I also have to deal with Devin being in the world of readjusting to sobriety again.  He swings from complete understanding to complete self pity. I either want to hug him or hit him.  In a matter of moments. It angers me to know that all it took was me putting pressure on him for him relapse, then I sit and think no...it was him not applying himself fully into his own recovery that caused the relapse...then I get angry.  

Then, I think...why am I angry?  I didn't cause it.  It's not my fault.  I can't control it.  Only he can take control over this and then I focus back on me and back on what I plan on doing this summer...the Summer of Elsie.




>>>I have a doctor's appointment - so I'm going to hit publish, hop in the shower and take off...I'll be back to comment on your blogs this afternoon


O' Christmas Tree

image from: themeparkradio.wordpress.com


 No sooner did the Christmas displays start showing up in the stores, then my triggers starting creeping up on me again.  Little whispers of emotions playing tricks on my brain, reminding me of last year's final disclosure days.  My week of hell on earth, ending with me conducting a formal interview of my husband, complete with pen and pad, collecting the details of his affairs.  Looking back, I know that this approach was a mistake, that the psychiatrists are right, it does cause unnecessary trauma.  I also know that given the chance to do it over again, I'd do it exactly the same way.  It's who I am, right or wrong, I have to know every last detail or be tormented by the unknown otherwise.  It was the unknown that kept me up at night, crying out in my sleep, yelling myself awake.


As I move closer to a year from my disclosure days, my anxiety levels are rising despite all the distractions I have in place.  For once I'm going to take my counselor's advice.  She told me to just "go with it".  When I feel the trigger approach, instead of squashing it before it starts, or analyzing it to death, just allow myself to feel it, to process it and roll with it and see what happens.  Since Devin is open to my triggers and willing to help me through them, she suggested that I also get him involved whenever possible too, instead of trying to protect him from them.

Today I did just that.  In an effort to create new memories and traditions, we took advantage of having our son home from college and began putting up Christmas decorations.  I intentionally avoided the ornament the kids gave us to celebrate our anniversary last year, but Devin took down the tree he kept at his office to get to other boxes.  No sooner did I see the box and the ornaments that went with it then the memories came rushing forth like bile.  I asked Devin to put the box back in the closet, I told him I couldn't look at it this year and went into the bedroom and allowed myself to be angry at him and then cried for a few minutes. Devin came into the bedroom to check on me and told me he had taken the tree, the ornaments, and all the decorations that he used to have in his office and thrown them in the garbage outside.  He got on his knees, wrapped his arms around my waist and simply said he was sorry for all the pain he caused me.  Then he got up and walked away and let me be alone....it was exactly what I needed.

I needed to know that he was sorry.   I needed to know that he understood that I was being reminded of him cheating on me with a co-worker by seeing something from his office.  I needed to cry.

Most of all, I needed to feel the trigger so I could get on with the rest of my day which went splendidly well.   My tree is up and I am content.

Revisiting Old Emotions (March 2011)

The night before last I had a rough night.  It was full of nightmares and then finally settled into insomnia.  With that insomnia came wandering thoughts.  The wandering thoughts started to become unhealthy and then downright damaging.  I began feeling such rage and hatred towards the man lying asleep peacefully beside me.  I thought I had left those feelings behind me months ago, but there they were rearing their ugly heads.  I started doing my relaxation breathing.  Doing my FRC (a technique I learned from Candeo online - a great recovery program for SA), then tried guided imagery.  Nothing worked.

The thoughts became so ugly and vile I found myself full of resentment for what he had done.  I was repulsed just lying there next to him.  I finally got up from the bed and went into the bedroom and hoped and prayed for sleep.  It didn't come for a long while.  I ended up lying there and the mind movies took over.  Again, something I hadn't dealt with in so long aside for some flare ups when we are being intimate.  I imagined him in the dressing room of the department store with his skanky whore going down on him; flashed to him showering with his co-worker; another mind movie of another woman on her knees....cycling these blasted mind movies over and over again.  I wanted to post on here but was afraid the post would be so full of hatred and be so vile....I'd regret posting it.