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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:45 pm
Posts: 45
Hi All,

It has been more than two years now post discovery. I've been in therapy (both group and individual). I've increased self care behaviors (finding joy, doing yoga, being grateful, meditation, etc.). I've reached into my soul for as much empathy as I can have for my partner at the present time. I strive for a respectful friendship with the father of my children. I believe he is doing his best at recovery but I don't ask because I don't want to invest or take care of that. It's all I can do to deal with my own trauma. I am still pulling every tool out of the tool box to get through most days.

I thought with all of these methods, my trauma would lessen over time but actually it's almost like I find even deeper ways this has touched my life every day. I'm NOT trying to create trauma for myself but sometimes it feels like it. I don't want to get into victim thinking, but I literally know/understand/feel more trauma effects now than I did upon initial discovery. I'm still frozen. I hate how this event has shaped my past and i don't just mean the past with my SA. It's made me insecure about much of my growing up past. It's made me question former dating interactions, sibling interactions, etc. It has made me question more than just the interactions I have had with the SA. I get that "I'm alone in the universe… I'm a small piece of nothing…. it's all meaningless" feeling a lot more than I should.

I say constantly to myself "I choose peace" but there is no peace.

How many years does it take before you are in "trauma neutral"?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:50 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Dear Liveauthentic - I feel for you and for all of us. I know what you are saying. Sometimes it feels like I will never get better. It's been a couple of years for me as well from my intial discovery with ongoing discoveries. I think part of the issue for me is that I want to "return" to feeling like someone I once was. But, I can never go back to that person. I really don't want to go back since I don't want to repeat my past. But, that feels....weird, kind of like I lack a foundation of strength. That's not true, of course. When I read your post and think about my experience and the experience of other partners, I realize how strong we are.

Like you, I do start to question my past in ways I never did before. I'm still in individual therapy, and I am addressing these questions. For me, I really needed a very good trauma therapist. And, as I posted before, it took me four tries to find the right one. I do believe that I will heal, and heal from all sorts of unaddressed trauma, if I stay with this therapist long enough. How long? Gosh, I don't know, but I am making progress.

I think we will always be scarred. But, that doesn't mean we will be destroyed, or that we will not experience joy. For now, I celebrate times during the day that I am not feeling bad. I try to expand those times. I think I can beat myself up for not making fast enough progress, for still feeling bad. I think that can create a vicious cycle. In those times, I try to do something healing. In my case, it might be going out in nature, spending time with my dogs, taking a walk, breathing deeply, going out to lunch, going shopping, calling a friend...

With compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:29 pm 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:36 pm
Posts: 1291
liveauthentic, I too feel you and understand what you are saying. One thought that comes to mind is you could be experiencing your trauma deeper because you have stablized enough for it to come to the surface. I know for me, during the crisis itself, I am unable to do much more than survive day to day.

All the tools you mention are great. Maybe your reaching out because you need new tools in your box.

liveauthentic wrote:
I thought with all of these methods, my trauma would lessen over time but actually it's almost like I find even deeper ways this has touched my life every day. I'm NOT trying to create trauma for myself but sometimes it feels like it. I don't want to get into victim thinking, but I literally know/understand/feel more trauma effects now than I did upon initial discovery. I'm still frozen.


I totally get the idea of not wanting to just get into victim thinking. But have you allowed yourself the room to acknowledge the pain of what has happened to you? I cut myself slack regularly because what I have gone through was painful and hard.

I have been reading about trauma lately and came across this article. It summarizes key points in Patrick Carnes book called Betrayal Bonds. I don't know if it will resonate with you like it did me, but some of the tools listed under the trauma types might give you some ideas. http://www.markmeans.com/clientimages/3 ... course.pdf

For me, it was eye opening to read that article. So much so, that I immediately got the book and have worked through as I can. It's intense work and I can't do it without some breaks.

_________________

"What day is it,?" asked Pooh.
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:32 pm 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Quote:
I think part of the issue for me is that I want to "return" to feeling like someone I once was. But, I can never go back to that person.
I can relate to this. And you are right—we can’t go back and unknown what we know (well, we can, but it would require denial and self delusion). Besides, I'm with dnell-I wouldn't want to. Knowing what I know now is one of the silver linings in all of this. Further, I do not want to invalidate what I have gone through by wishing it away.

Quote:
One thought that comes to mind is you could be experiencing your trauma deeper because you have stablized enough for it to come to the surface. I know for me, during the crisis itself, I am unable to do much more than survive day to day.
I firmly believe that we won’t experience what there is for us to experience—the challenges that will take us to a deeper level of growth—until our subconscious knows we are ready and able to deal with it. This belief gives me strength to keep on keeping on, despite whatever the circumstance. I have recently been wondering when enough will be enough, but I know that something won’t give until I have learned all that I need to learn. Despite having a big breakthrough in terms of seeing myself inside my marriage, I know that I still have a ways to go. Either that, or I will slip into complacency.

I am reading Melanie Beattie’s The Grief Club. What resonates with me is the necessity to find meaning in the situation. I think that to be able to find meaning we must first accept: Accept (life, your relationship, where you are in your healing, etc.) as it is and as it isn’t. I understand that it is easier said than done. This is what I strive for.

I second the Betrayal Bond. However, I caution that is very confronting (at least it was for me) and yes, the exercises are intensive. I saw betrayal bonds where I never would have thought (e.g. with past employer, with friends). It challenged my sense of self in these relationships but it also empowered me to disengage from the betrayal bond relationship.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:53 pm 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:36 pm
Posts: 1291
CoachMel wrote:
I second the Betrayal Bond. However, I caution that is very confronting (at least it was for me) and yes, the exercises are intensive. I saw betrayal bonds where I never would have thought (e.g. with past employer, with friends). It challenged my sense of self in these relationships but it also empowered me to disengage from the betrayal bond relationship.

I completely agree with this. I have yet to finish reading it as it is very challenging.

_________________

"What day is it,?" asked Pooh.
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:45 pm
Posts: 45
Thank you all for your very thoughtful responses,

I celebrate times during the day that I am not feeling bad. I try to expand those times. I think I can beat myself up for not making fast enough progress, for still feeling bad. I think that can create a vicious cycle. In those times, I try to do something healing.

I appreciate this reminder to notice and be grateful for all the times I'm not feeling bad. If I were to graph my day (e.g., collecting data on feelings every half hour) I'm quite sure I'm not feeling bad every moment.

I firmly believe that we won’t experience what there is for us to experience—the challenges that will take us to a deeper level of growth—until our subconscious knows we are ready and able to deal with it.
I had never pondered this point before. It gets back to the issue of trusting myself and knowing that my body and soul intuitively know how/when to heal.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:45 pm
Posts: 45
I found this video by Dr. Frank Ochberg comforting. I also liked this website for answering in depth questions about PSTD.

http://www.giftfromwithin.org/html/Webc ... rever.html


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 322
Hi liveauthentic. You said
Quote:
How many years does it take before you are in "trauma neutral"?


I asked myself this many times post dday. And in earlier times in my life too, when I had terribly emotionally painful experiences. So I can share a bit of my own sense of this, as someone who has had this kind of experience too, with the pain going on and on, me feeling numb and too immersed in just getting through the day to experience much of any sort of feeling, and all that.

I think Autumnrose is right in suggesting that maybe you are finally able to feel more deeply, and so it just seems that the trauma is getting worse, when in reality, you are beyond shock and numbness and now getting into feelings, which of course are extremely hard to cope with.

But looking back on what helped me, I really have found that when I do self-nurturing things and fulfilling things, that maybe I don't feel better right away, but the cumulative effect has been tremendous and I look back and discover that amazingly, it all added up and made a big difference. For me, it doesn't have to be major things either. Sometimes, just doing something simple like wearing a different outfit (eg putting certain clothes on at the same time that I never tried wearing together before) or going to a new place for tea and treating myself to a different kind, that sort of thing -- the things I did to please myself whether anyone else approved or not -- I found these to be really empowering and big source of joy.

RN inspired me to do this. So now, instead of trying to get others' approval, particularly the SA in my life, but instead doing things that fit my own values -- well, now I can honestly say that since I am putting the focus on me much more than ever -- I now have a growing collection of self-empowering things that I do, and they are all replacing the trauma (and yes, it was indeed very traumatic for the first two years post dday before I found RN) with good memories of the nice things I am doing.

So regardless of what is not going right in my life, I also have a lot of things now that ARE going right, because of my own effort to make them go right, and these make me happy or at least happy enough to help me manage.

You said
Quote:
I am still pulling every tool out of the tool box to get through most days.
The thing is, that you are doing this! It might be hard, but you are being proactive and at least getting through the day. At times like this, I think that in itself is a big accomplishment and I hope you will give yourself a congratulations for hanging in. Hopefully in time, knowing you did what you could, will bring you a sense of fulfillment and personal empowerment. Hang in there. :g: And thank you for sharing. It helps make ME feel not so alone with this too.


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