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Beating the hell out of an enlarged photo of OW

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Patchy posted 9/3/2013 21:36 PM

I read Torn Asunder by Dave Carder a year ago, right after Dday #1 and several months before Dday #2. In the book he suggests enlarging a photo of the OW, or the OW with the WS, putting it on your bed and smashing the hell out of it with a hard baseball bat.

I never did that, but I did go to a shooting range one time and seriously contemplated using an enlarged photo of "her" to shoot at. But decided to just envision her instead, plus my sister wasn't so sure they'd allow me to shoot at an actual photo.

However, today at my IC session, 3rd or 4th time to this one, I started asking about triggers and how to handle them. Predominantly kissing (my WS didn't have sex with her . . . it was an intense EA with kissing and hand holding, etc.) My counselor reverted to all the anger and pain I clearly still have inside of me and suggested I do the very thing in Dave Carder's book that I just happened to have read about. The book specifically says to do this on the bed, but I like how she went a step further in explaining that even if they never slept together there or even had sex at all, to use the bed because the marriage bed represents the married couple's cherished intimacy that's been devastated.

She said she listened to a CD of Dave Carder explaining this exercise and he suggests being completely alone in the house, including getting all pets out of the house. Interesting. The reason being that this is your time to scream and rage and say and do whatever the hell you want to that picture. (And I guess pets can sometimes freak out!) I'd personally like to stab my enlarged photo of her, so I might have to figure out how to do that without destroying my bed!

She also recommended to plan that after you get through all this emotional turmoil you're planning to put yourself through, that you plan to do something for "you" after. Go out with a girlfriend where they know it's all about you. You might not talk at all, or you might talk non-stop about all your pain.

Has anyone done an exercise like this? What was your experience like and did it seem to help you?

She also suggested I go to places that are triggers . . . places I typically avoid . . . and journal. Don't just force myself to go there to be a trooper and try to create new memories, which is what I've attempted to do on occasion . . . and don't go there simply to cry. Go there and write whatever thoughts I have. She said if it's 8 pages of the F word, then that's what it is. And she said to create a block of time where I know I will stop sitting there by a certain time and leave. And again, go do something for "me", possibly with a girlfriend. Not with FWS.

So while I wasn't so sure I wanted to do this before, and couldn't even imagine going through the process of finding a photo, having it enlarged and having to look at her ugly face . . . with all the turmoil I'm still dealing with, I think I'm not only willing to do it, but actually looking forward to it.

avicarswife posted 9/3/2013 23:36 PM

I also read this suggestion in this book.

I have thought about it and WH early on offered to print out a picture of him to beat the crap out of. I have never hit anyone and even the thought of it on a picture made me feel uneasy. Besides I thought I'd probably tear my rotator cuff or dislocate my shoulder if I tried doing it.

The closest I got to it was printing out a picture of mOW#1 and rubbing it on dog-sh*t. It was great to see smelly brown stuff smeared across her face and mouth!
I didn't give in to the temptation to post it to her afterwards as I thought it might be seen as threatening.

I still feel I have a huge amount of un-vented anger in me - if you do do it and find it helpful, I would be interested in revisiting the idea again.

[This message edited by avicarswife at 11:36 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)]

DixieD posted 9/4/2013 12:44 PM

I didn't read that book, but I did do something similar. I printed a photo of my husband and his AP and taped it to a heavy bag and beat the hell of it with boxing gloves and a broom handle. Tore the photo to shreds. While doing so, I yelled obscenities that would make a drunken sailor blush, and described in vivid detail what I thought of both of them. I remember seething in an animalistic rage. I'm surprised I didn't have a heart attack.

Unlike what the book suggests my husband was present and in close proximity -- he held the heavy bag while I beat the hell out of it. Bravery or stupidity on his part. I didn't hold back. He got to see the full force of my anger and pain.

I know people say, the anger the BS feels for the AP is there to protect their feelings for their WS.....well I thought equally low of both of them and had lots of anger to spread around. He was not exempt from that.

I can't say it was a monumental turning point for me and that afterwards I was all better, mellow, at peace, or even remember it lightening much of the burden at that time, but I did get to act out aggression and not risk jail time, so that was good.

My anger stage was brutal. PTSD triggers were brutal. I don't think many 'healing exercises' would have done much for me. Specifically, EMDR was the therapy that helped me the most through that time, and FWIW, R is going well.

Good luck with whatever you choose to help you heal.

struggling16 posted 9/4/2013 13:37 PM

This sounds very cathartic.

I printed a photo of the AP and her house (where they did it the first time). I then burned them, all the while thinking evil thoughts and buried the ashes in my compost pile. It helped me a little bit.

Another member of SI taped a photo of the AP to the bottom of her running shoes and ground the AP into the pavement.

Let us know how this release goes.

Patchy posted 9/4/2013 13:53 PM

Thanks for all your stories. I enjoyed reading how you guys got your aggressions out.

I do have a thing about doing this specifically with the OW's photo. She's the one I extend all my rage to, I guess cause I love my husband and can't imagine smashing his face even if just a photo of it. When I think of what he did to me, while there is definitely some anger, it's mostly pain. When I think of her I want to gouge her eyes out and stab her repeatedly. I don't even want to look at photos of them together. And yet I'm trying to analyze that more and consider if it would be good to make myself do that. One of my triggers, of course, is mind movies of them together. Every time I see a couple kissing on TV or in a movie, I close my eyes or distract myself with my phone or something. When I see a couple kissing, I see "them" kissing, so maybe smashing an image of them both WOULD be therapeutic. I'll have to think about that one some more and maybe talk to my IC about it next week.

I'm thinking I might do this next Friday when he's out of town, my youngest is in school and my oldest is at work. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

thisissogross posted 9/4/2013 18:26 PM

Would one of those theatrical knives that colapses into the handle be satisfying? Or a big plastic saber? That way you could do some bed stabbing and definately not hurt yourself or your belongings, but still shred the pic with your mighty blade!

You keep mentioning stabbing (as opposed to beating) and I think if you're planning a rage release ritual-by all means personalize it. Good luck!

Patchy posted 9/4/2013 18:48 PM

Thanks for the encouragement, thisissogross. I think I'm going to do both. Get a bat and also do some serious knife stabbing. I think I'm going to get a cardboard box and tape the photo to that for the stabbing. Maybe print out two photos. One for stabbing and one for smacking as hard as I can with a bat. A bat that I guess I'll purchase for this purpose and then give away. We don't play baseball and I can't imagine having it around to remind me. On the other hand, maybe I'd enjoy seeing it hanging out in the garage and thinking of what I did with it. Haha! I don't know. Then again, WS would wonder where the bat came from and I'm not sure I intend to tell him I'm doing this. Not sure how he'd feel about it. Not that it matters how "he" feels in this case, but just wasn't sure I planned to tell him anyway. He lead his secret life. I can do this in secret if I want.

I guess that's actually another question for my IC. Whether or not I "should" tell him and why.

ILINIA posted 9/4/2013 19:20 PM

I just have to say that this post made me laugh and not feel alone, so thank you! I hate that I am part of this group, but I love the support & suggestions from all the wonderful folks!

[This message edited by ILINIA at 7:54 PM, September 4th (Wednesday)]

Compartmented posted 9/4/2013 21:41 PM

Now I don't feel so bad about my voodoo doll...

I'm interested to know how this works out. I have my anger all bottled up, and that's not healthy.

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