Author Topic: My Story Babe Gets Real  (Read 1304 times)

Online TreasurTopic starter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5995
  • Gender: Female
My Story Babe Gets Real
« on: February 10, 2019, 03:18:52 AM »
Old thread https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10624.0;all#lastPost

Not sure why but I think my last couple of threads have closed on big shift moments. Like an internal soap opera lol.

Perhaps my legacy as part of this group is to raise some discussion about trauma.

Losing someone you love who no longer loves you or a marriage you valued or dealing with enforced changes in your lifestyle or the life you wanted for your kids...these are all hard painful things.
But they are not the kind of life-altering trauma I have been talking about.
Which is not to dismiss the pain of them one jot.
But I think it does explain why the trajectory for some LBS is different than for others.

Milly asked at the end of my last thread if part of my trauma response was linked to old issues for me.
And tbh, it wasn't. That wasn't part of my life experience for the first 50 years. The closest I can get to it is a time as a teenager when my mother had cancer and our family life was uprooted by it. I think that wired in some coping skills around stepping up and being 'strong', some of which have served me well and sometimes less so.
Actually the real issue for me is that my life was a 'yellow roses' one and I simply had no template for this at all. None. I was like a toddler with it. The bad thing about that was that I had to learn from scratch; the good thing about it was that it never felt normal or as if it was my fault. Well, some of my toddler incompetence in how I responded was my fault...but not most of the events or the rather dark stuff behind them.

When I read posts here, I can sometimes sniff the ones that are not just about pain and loss, but feel like PTSD bc I know what it smells like. That feeling of disconnection from One's own reality. And how the struggle with it lasts much longer than any issues related to a marriage.

I think for some of us the gaslighting effect of our spouses' behaviour, or the trickle truth of multiple BDs with shocking information or the simultaneous impact of other events like illnesses or violence or bereavement creates a profound wound. When we simply struggle, sometimes for years, to know what is really Real. When we lose faith with our own ability to even know that.
And sometimes the GAL/pave the way/lighthouse mantras not only don't help, but can feed that sense of unreality.

Recovering from deep spirit-rending trauma - whatever it was caused by - is a different game altogether it seems to me. About much more than a marriage or divorce or finances or ow/om. Most LBS come here in shock...but not everyone stays in trauma like that for quite so long.
But some of us do.
And being honest about that with yourself is not about being a victim, it is about being a fighter and a reclaimer.
Finding our own sense of Real again is at the heart of that battle, I believe, and it isn't an easy one to either see or fight.

So I hope my posts will help others who recognise that, for whatever reasons, they have deep PTSD like wounds to address and that doing so matters much much more than an MLC spouse or taking up jogging.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 03:48:25 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD)
No kids.
BD Oct 15. OW since Apr 16?
H filed Jan 17. Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

Grateful for any appearance of the tiny karma bus  
"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline Acorn

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2408
  • Gender: Female
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 04:28:20 AM »
Quote
Most LBS come here in shock...but not everyone stays in trauma like that for quite so long.
But some of us do.
And being honest about that with yourself is not about being a victim, it is about being a fighter and a reclaimer.

There you have it, Treasur.  I regard ‘being a fighter and a reclaimer’ for LBS herself as a true GAL that eventually leads to healing.  You are doing that, dearest Treasur.   Following your story.

Feb 2015: BD 1. H has a Nuclear meltdown.  The next morning arctic cold descends.
Oct 2015: BD 2,  ILYBIANILWY. “We should not have gotten married.”
Apr 2016: Affair discovered
Never left home
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

Online TreasurTopic starter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5995
  • Gender: Female
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 04:42:42 AM »
My rainy walk this morning made me reflect on some other things PTSD.
And this is based solely on me as a sample size of one, so appropriate caveats  :)

I think the perfect storm of grief, depression and anxiety pushed me into PTSD.
PTSD is a different thing from grief, depression or anxiety...it is what your brain does to cope with those things, but it is different even if some of the behaviours look the same, more entrenched somehow. Which is why the standard treatments for depression or anxiety don't quite cut it. I think I was depressed/anxious etc for about a year but then it became PTSD in about 2017.

I think shame is part of the PTSD experience too bc it feels as if some bit of you is not entirely under your control, that you are not normal somehow or weaker than others bc you have it.
So, at least for me, being honest enough to say out loud that I did was a big step. Made I think bc I knew I was stuck in something beyond me and I was tired of it.

What makes some of us get PTSD when others don't? I'm not sure but my gut says it is about some combo of three things:
- a link to an earlier unresolved similar trauma (not the case for me)
- the scale of traumatic events either breadth or length of time so it just is too much for our bandwidth (definitely so for me)
- the extent to which it challenges our defining core beliefs about ourselves or how the world works (partly the case for me)

And why does PTSD look different in different people? Again, idk, I just see that it does. The fight, flight, freeze default seems to be different so some show rage, others run, others disassociate and go numb. Or a bit of all three. My default is to freeze which surprised me. All my previous experience of me under stress would have suggested that I would fight. Not in an aggressive way but in a keep trying different options way. Which is what I did for the first 12-18 months actually....but none of them worked....and actually everything got worse....and then I froze.

On a more Babe-ish note though, it is worth saying that the only reason I can post about this at all is bc I am recovering. PTSD is still here but it is on the edge of me not in the core of me as it was. That is a big difference.

And that looking back the few big things I did that really helped me were from my deepest gut instinct, often not always entirely logical, but they were good tangible things to do. Running away from our old home to rent a house by the sea to feel safe. Refusing to 'chat' or meet my h to 'talk' after mid 2017 bc it would not serve me.  Going Atomic NC a few months ago. Finding the allotment. Learning to trust the 'post it note' moments again and follow them. Trusting those bits of quiet faith that God would carry me when I fell. Accepting the kindness of strangers. All good things.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 04:49:56 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD)
No kids.
BD Oct 15. OW since Apr 16?
H filed Jan 17. Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

Grateful for any appearance of the tiny karma bus  
"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline Bewildered survivor

  • Subscriber, 6 Month
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 337
  • Gender: Female
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 07:24:37 AM »
Attaching Treasure 

I work with people with PTSD daily.  So many people experience trauma- its our brains shutting down when something terrible happens because of the shock which leaves the memory unprocessed and we relive it.  There are so many factors involved.  I still have things that trigger flashbacks from BD time. It just takes soo much time to process.  If it hasnt after a while on its own I would recommend CBT or EMDR.

You should not feel any shame as its purely biological and we have no control over how our brains react.

Online TreasurTopic starter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5995
  • Gender: Female
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 07:35:23 AM »
I am doing EMDR right now since October and it has been nothing short of a miracle, Survivor.
Yup, took me a while to be able to nod politely to my little reptilian brain...Lucy the Lizard I think I called her...and to accept that it was a physiological thing and that PTSD kept me alive actually long enough to get here. My brain obviously decided that numb and unprocessed with some memory glitches for a couple of years spanked the bottom of suicidal and overwhelmed lol.

But it is a strange thing to experience and just as strange to start moving away from. Good but strange.

And I do feel a little flicker of shame nonetheless bc this is so far from who I was and how I would like to be and see myself. A bit of me even thinks I don't 'deserve' it compared to war veterans or rape victims or people who have experienced much worse. And as you probably know from your own professional experience, pretty difficult to explain in RL to others who haven't experienced it. Being honest about that stops the shame being more than a flicker.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 07:37:47 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD)
No kids.
BD Oct 15. OW since Apr 16?
H filed Jan 17. Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

Grateful for any appearance of the tiny karma bus  
"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline gman242

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1689
  • Gender: Male
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 08:18:27 AM »
attaching too! :)

Offline Bewildered survivor

  • Subscriber, 6 Month
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 337
  • Gender: Female
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 08:21:37 AM »
I am doing EMDR right now since October and it has been nothing short of a miracle, Survivor.
Yup, took me a while to be able to nod politely to my little reptilian brain...Lucy the Lizard I think I called her...and to accept that it was a physiological thing and that PTSD kept me alive actually long enough to get here. My brain obviously decided that numb and unprocessed with some memory glitches for a couple of years spanked the bottom of suicidal and overwhelmed lol.

But it is a strange thing to experience and just as strange to start moving away from. Good but strange.

And I do feel a little flicker of shame nonetheless bc this is so far from who I was and how I would like to be and see myself. A bit of me even thinks I don't 'deserve' it compared to war veterans or rape victims or people who have experienced much worse. And as you probably know from your own professional experience, pretty difficult to explain in RL to others who haven't experienced it. Being honest about that stops the shame being more than a flicker.

Treasure even though I work in mental health I felt shame with how I totally fell apart after BD.  I was a nervous anxious, wreak and definetly had reactive depression. I still ave my moments.   It wasn’t helped by the fact that a really stupid person from RL said they were surprised I wasn’t stronger being a therapist!  I now see how ridiculous that is.  This person was a Herat surgeon & its like saying im surprised you had a heart attack (she didnt but if she did) being a heart surgeon. 

Online TreasurTopic starter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5995
  • Gender: Female
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 10:14:55 AM »
Just bought myself a Valentine's gift online...a beautiful metal seed row line marker which is an identical replacement for the one my former beloved bought for me and that was stolen from the allotment.

Some treasures you can't replace...but some you can! Gift for me and gift for the allotment too  :)

This evening getting Real with linguine and red wine...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 10:16:35 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD)
No kids.
BD Oct 15. OW since Apr 16?
H filed Jan 17. Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

Grateful for any appearance of the tiny karma bus  
"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline OffRoad

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3115
  • Gender: Female
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 11:23:51 AM »
Gaining a life should not be discounted, although there might be a better way to put it. I 100% encourage any LBS in the beginning stages to find something, ANYTHING they can enjoy or that dissapates the anxiety and stress. Walking/hiking in those early days used up energy that was coursing through my entire body since my brain would not shut down. The only way I could sleep was if I exhausted myself. That didn't SEEM  like taking care of me, yet it was. Driving off road gave me a sense of control, over SOMETHING, ANYTHING and introduced me to people who don't leave anyone behind. Could that have stopped the anxiety from turning to PTSD? Who knows? But if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone then, I can guarantee you I'd be a different and not as strong person now. As far as I am concerned, finding anything to do, no matter how small, that can bring you relief or peace that does not endanger your life or physical or mental health, or that of your children if you have them, is a positive. Even if that is taking up jogging. Or finding an alottment. :) Both of those are steps towards gaining your OWN life, one separate from the MLCer. It's a good thing. Maybe we should call it "Take charge of your life" or "Find things that calm you" or even just " Do things that distract you".  That is how I interpreted GAL, but that term did not offend me. Getting outside of my head and doing something I decided to do saved my sanity. Telling me to take care of myself was useless. I didn't know what to do that would be taking care of myself. I couldn't rest or sleep.  I couldn't eat. But, hey, exhausting myself by walking was actually taking care of me. Who knew?

I also believe some can have PTSD, not realize it, and make it through without therapy due to personality, circumstances, outside forces, etc. While we all got a similar experience with BD  and the accompanying realizations, shocks, upheavals, etc, some got a bigger helping than others. Some got out and went NC faster as they knew they could not help their MLCer.  Might PTSD  come back and haunt them later, even if they aren't experiencing it now?  I believe the answer is yes, there could be something that triggers it later. But is there a way to stop something that hasn't happened yet or may never? I always wonder that. Am I not a PTSD type of person? Am I just so used to crappy things happening in my life that this was just another blip on the radar?  Did I already go through it and make it out the other side? Will it appear sometime later?

I almost feel like newbies need the "You have just experienced a major shock to your mental and physical health. The next few months to several years are going to be difficult to navigate. Here is what I did that worked for me to get me back on an even keel and here is what didn't work. Your mileage may vary" from every LBS.
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

Online TreasurTopic starter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5995
  • Gender: Female
Re: Babe Gets Real
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 12:09:11 PM »
What you say makes huge sense to me, OR.
Radical self care with boots on is what is needed. Maybe there should be an 'in An Emergency, Open This' sticky...because ironically often when we need it when we are at our most weakened, so hard to see. PTSD or not, what happens to our spouses for most of us attacks the core things that most of us build our lives on - relationships, family, kids, money, physical and mental health.

It was simply my misfortune that I also lost my parents and had cancer  at the same time. I have often wondered if I would have got better quicker if I had not, if 'all' I had needed to deal with was my then h imploding.
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD)
No kids.
BD Oct 15. OW since Apr 16?
H filed Jan 17. Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.

Grateful for any appearance of the tiny karma bus  
"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk