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Question for old-timers - revisiting D memories

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burnt_toast posted 4/4/2013 07:22 AM

Hi there,

Recently I have been returning to IC because of some major stress caused by a conflict with co-owners of my plex (not the story here - in short, they are refusing to stick to their legal liabilities and physically threatening us). I was puzzled that I'd lose all my means for something my lawyer has in hands - in fact, it was making me re-live the trauma of the A.

With that and all the physical problems I've had since the D (2 years in a wheelchair and a bunch of musculo-skelettal stuff not healing as it should), the therapist suggested that I should return to the moment my X shattered my life - that some parts of the grief had been processed, but that mental pain is still present - heck, stuck within - , to a degree where it seems to have altered my solidity altogether - physical, and mental.

I guess I needed to share this and hear your experiences and your thoughts. Don't get me wrong : I've done the grieving part and I don't miss XH a minute, but it's like I never acknowledged / assessed the damage he's done, the trauma, and I need to process that in order to get on with my life. There'd be lots more to say, but let's start with that.


phmh posted 4/4/2013 07:29 AM

Not sure I really qualify as an old-timer, but in "Getting Past Your Break-up," Susan Elliott says essentially the same thing. That if you don't work through everything, it will continue to manifest itself in different aspects of your life, for the rest of your life.

I'm glad you're seeking out help and hopefully will be able to work through everything to find a happier life!

burnt_toast posted 4/4/2013 07:45 AM


I do think what the IC suggests makes sense, although it kills me to admit it. Right now everythhing feels like the last years were a strugggle to get past that broken feeling.

Sad in AZ posted 4/4/2013 08:32 AM

I'm definitely not a therapist, and I have to disclose that I'm personally not a fan of therapy (but I recognize that others can get relief from it.)

I made some huge changes in my life when I left the X, and I found that I could NOT get past the pain and sense of abandonment until I stopped reliving the pain that the X caused. It was making me blame him for every big & little thing that happened to me (my car breaks down,it's the X's fault. I get a speeding ticket, it's the X's fault--that sort of thing.)

Taking responsibility and control of my own life and letting go of the hurt has served me well.

I hope this works for you and you do find peace.

Newlease posted 4/4/2013 09:44 AM

I'm not a therapist, but I've done my share of therapy and it helped a great deal.

However, I think it is the nature of emotional trauma that it will rear it's head during new traumatic events. I think that's quite normal.

I don't think it means you didn't "do the work" - sometimes you do the work and get on better ground, feel healed and move on. But that deep trauma, that you can live just fine with most of the time, can resurface in the right circumstances.

That is why veterans can have such incredible flash backs years after the original trauma. They may be living very normal lives and feel like they are over it and then something triggers.

The good news is that you are addressing it now. You did not fail, you are smart enough to know what tools you need to move forward.

Sending strength and peace.


hexed posted 4/4/2013 10:28 AM

I think its a long process. I am over my X. I am quite sure that there bits and pieces I still need to process and deal with from that trauma.

I very quickly went in to survival mode. I'm an action person. I took actions to try and save M after DDay (finding SI, MC, outing the A, begging, pleading, plotting, leaving, going back ect ect ). I took actions to protect myself - (new accounts, new place to live, IC, new jobs, ect. )

Truthfully, I have healed and survived b/c I was busy doing other things. I've taken time to look at my role in the failure of our M. I've taken time to deal with what I miss about him and why I picked him. I really haven't done that much work specifically on the actual effects of trauma. I can see why you would need to do that.

burnt_toast posted 4/4/2013 17:46 PM

Thanks to all who have chimed in yet. Sharing experiences and thoughts is always helpful.

Sad in AZ, don't get me wrong : it's not like I'll go in and blame the XH about "ruining" my life. I've owned my deeds quite from the start, have enjoyed a great deal living alone and being my own caretaker. I dont feel the need to put the blame on an external factor, rather see why this experience seems to have fragilized me despite all my best efforts. We'll see.

Newlease, thanks for your kind words. There was indeed a deeply traumatic moment I can pinpoint during the A. I remember vividly what it did to me, and how I felt, etc. It makes sense that this still dictates my reactions under intense or similar stress (like another conflict involving some of the A psychological warfare - my neighbor is a major blamshifter and gazlighter). I do think the process will help me although there a scared little girl screaming inside "I don't want to go back there, to that awful place".

Hexed, what you are describing is very similar to my experience. I was active in saving my M, seeking IC, getting through the D, proactive in handling the clinical depression ensuing with proper life hygiene and socail networking, rebuilding my life... I thought being this way would get me through. I never expected this outcome, but it makes sense at the same time. Thanks for sharing, it really does helps.

It's reassuring having old-timers chime in and tell me that this can happen. I feel this is a very delicate topic to bring here, as we root for surviving infidelity and so often toot that "living well is the best revenge". Newbies are looking up at us to show them that this is all possible... so I must admit that I feel a little bad coming back here and admitting that D-Day still hauts me and that I've still to work on recovery.

vale posted 4/4/2013 19:30 PM

I could have written your post.

Similar situation.

Feeling very lonely and helpless.

I hope we will get over all this.

5454real posted 4/4/2013 22:17 PM

Technically, I think I would qualify as an old timer in both senses, though my entry to SI is recent. Current W is now a fWW. However, my first D was 18 years ago and I'm nearing 50 .

A lot of my feelings for XW were seared out of me during a protracted custody battle. Neither she nor her parents cared for the fact that I was awarded custody. They funded her battle through the supreme court and left me with 50k in lawyer bills. CS never even came close to covering that amount. I was basically a quivering mess at the end. That doesn't count the numerous threats to go back and contest it again.

That being said, intense conflict will almost always cause me to revert. I have an intense hatred of the court system in spite of the rulings in my favor. Loud disagreements will take me back. Not to that specific time frame, but O boy do I remember those feelings.

Have you considered PTSD? Not necessarily that you haven't processed the D thoroughly, but you might have residual trauma that hasn't been processed? Not so much the A, but the 'newly formed' stress reactors?

Learn/relearn to deal with stress in a healthy way? EMDR perhaps?

Just a thought.

burnt_toast posted 4/5/2013 08:16 AM

5454real : Makes sense. I can relate. Having a good lawyer is a pretty cold confort over having these pepole I own an asset with triggering my vulnerabilities. It's also more than that. It's like I'm off balance in a general way since the A.

Vale : I hear you. Are you processing this in IC right now?

FaithFool posted 4/5/2013 08:43 AM

this experience seems to have fragilized me

This ^^^^ is so true!

Burnt, I can totally relate to this. I just moved out of my downtown condo, and am now in a peaceful rental that took me a year to find.

Last year I had upstairs neighbours who liked to party on their balcony outside my window at 3 and 4 in the morning.

My reaction would be soaring blood pressure and rage, not so much at them but at my x for putting me in a position to have to abandon my home for an apartment again.

I thought about it a lot and realized that it was definitely PTSD related.

Hassles with neighbours (and co-owners -- even worse!) can really send you off the deep end because it gets you where you live and you can't escape.

Big hugs. You'll work through this. Move if you have to and find some assholes to rent your place out to.

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