I'm so sorry for your pain. I don't know when your D Day was, but it sounds like you stbxw is your trigger right now. That's sounds pretty normal considering she nuked your life. The trauma of betrayal is so huge that many people develope PTSD or symptoms very similar. That could be what you are experiencing now.
Are you in IC for yourself? Have you seen your family doctor and discussed what's going on? Sometimes getting the right medication can help with the emotional tsunami and help you regain some mental/emotional stability.
Also, if you haven't already, check out the Divorced/Separating Forum. There are wonderful, supportive people there who have navigated these waters too. You are not alone.
Time is time, not much you can do about that. Distance, however, is under your control. Go No Contact with her to the fullest extent possible. Not seeing her, not hearing her voice - every bit of distance helps.
Arrange hand offs with the kids to be in public and/or from a distance, or with a third party between you (such as school/day care or a trusted friend or relative).
Don't text, phone, or talk face to face with her. Period. Make all communications in writing (email) so you have time to process things before you respond and you also get a record of all that was agreed upon.
You can do this.
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
― Pema Chödrön
Think pod people.
Think alien in a familiar meat suit.
And hang in there.
I don't show her the pain but when I pull away I go nuts and flood with emotions. Tell me this is normal and goes away soon.
I am so sorry, but know that you are not alone and it absolutely is NORMAL. I am ten months past D-day, divorcing, and detest her for what she has done. Yet like you, all I have to do is hear her voice or worse, see her, and there are are all the emotions, fresh and painful as hell.
It's just not reasonable to expect that feeling forged by years spent with someone will just click off. So, soon? Unfortunately no. Very very gradually--or so say all the people on SI who have gone through this and come out on the other side, emotionally healthy and detached from their ex. They have been consistently right about everything. We must have faith that they are right about this--for both of us.
I don't know when the reactions will go away. I can tell you that for me the ache is not nearly as intense as the months go by.
And as everyone always says, keep NC as much as possible. It's really all you can do. Let time do its thing. And yes, always remember WHAT she did to you and your family. This will keep anger alive (healthy righteous anger) and nudge you through this excruciating ordeal.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
What I struggle with now is accepting that this is indeed my life and that all the dreams we shared and built over 21 years are gone.
Hang in there, Fly.
Take from me, that freedom from your pain is in your mind. Let go of everything and take care of only your needs. Focus only on you and any small challenge you accomplish for yourself.
Let it out, let it go. Your ocean tide is swiftly pulling you out to sea, don't try and stand your ground. Give in to your fears, all of them. Even if you fall you won't fall through. There is love all around you, catered just to your current needs. You must let go of everything to see what the tide brings in for you. Please remember, you're my friend, you're everyone's friend, everybody could love you if you let them.
I spent over 20yrs with XWH#1. We had dreams and I thought we would be together forever. It didn't happen. It took a while for me to accept that. Only when I went totally NC with him did I start to see that I could build a new happy life without him. It made me see him for what he had always been instead of who I thought he always was. Now when I see him or talk to him on the phone about the kids (not very often since they are now grown) I feel nothing other than a little pity that he threw it all away for his own selfish needs. You will eventually get there too, once you just let it go and move on with your life. (((HUGS)))