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No memories: losing my mind?

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ChoosingHope posted 11/23/2013 16:19 PM

I'm burning up the boards here with all my posts - sorry!

Another post recently asked about memory loss, and I can't stop thinking about it. I cannot recall ONE conversation I had with my STBX during our 16-year marriage. I can't place events in the proper order either. These are events that occurred in the weeks leading up to my separation in 2011

I also can't recall the details of any of the other times during my marriage in which I "almost" caught him cheating.

I am trying, but as I sit here, I can not recall ONE conversation I've had with my STBX. Or fight. Anything. I feel very strangely removed.

I'm seriously a little worried about myself. I do think I experienced PTSD - i was married to an NPD sex addict (if you believe in SA), and our marriage broke up the day I got access to one of his secret email accounts. What I read in there is off the charts (according to me and lawyers and psychologists). He was leading a very dangerous and deviant double life, and I asked him to leave the house immediately.

But before this event, we had countless arguments that spring and summer about what he was doing - I couldn't prove anything but I knew it was bad.

Is this memory loss just PTSD? Did it happen to anyone else? And will my memory come back???

Thanks so much. I'm really wondering my sanity at this point.

Nature_Girl posted 11/23/2013 16:58 PM

I think it's PTSD, and I think eventually you'll recover the memories. I have gone through this same thing, although not to the extent you're describing. I have had people mention something to me that I had completely blocked because it was so painful. Once mentioned, the door to that memory was unlocked & the event replayed itself, remaining in my active memory after that. I'm actually STILL experiencing this from time to time.

When your divorce is final I want you to consider getting EMDR, okay? I will probably have it, I've heard wonderful things about it for PTSD sufferers.

hoya96 posted 11/23/2013 17:03 PM

You're not crazy, it's probably PTSD.

I was diagnosed with PTSD in the fall of 2010 after finding out that my ex was having a longterm affair with my best friend (he went on to marry her after our divorce). I really, truly cannot remember most of our marriage. I mean, I can remember events and "know" he was there (the birth of our children, holidays, family vacations, etc) but I really cannot "remember" how it was.

It's not uncommon with PTSD. I'm 3 years out from my divorce, and very happily remarried, and my marriage still remains a black hole in my memory.

I'm sad that I don't remember so much of my children's childhood but I honestly don't mind that I can't remember time with him. It's like I was a different person. It's another lifetime.

solus sto posted 11/23/2013 17:51 PM

The stressed mind can respond like this--even without reaching the proportions of PTSD.

It gets better. It sucks. But truly, it gets better.

Lionne posted 11/23/2013 18:02 PM

No words, just hugs. I haven't experienced this to the degree you have, but certainly some of it. Please take care of you. Your posts show you to be a truly interesting and wonderful person. I'd love to meet you IRL someday! Self care honey! Listen to Nature Girl!

Nature_Girl posted 11/23/2013 18:14 PM

EMDR in the NEWS

5 EYEWITNESS News Report on EMDR Therapy

Can You Benefit from EMDR Therapy

How EMDR Opens a Window to the Brain

ChoosingHope posted 11/23/2013 18:50 PM

Thanks so much everyone. Kat, right back at you.

I thought I was doing so well, had come so far in so many ways, was almost through this traumatic divorce. And then I realize that I'm just losing my mind!!!

My husband pretended to be someone he wasn't. He fooled everyone, but especially me. He first got caught in an affair in 2005. That OW contacted me on my work email to tell me she was pregnant with my STBX's baby. (This turned out to be a lie, but it didn't matter.)

The trauma was terrible. I think that event sealed things for me. I spent the next six years waiting for it to happen again.

In 2011, when I found his secret email account, I realized I had never known this man. He completely tricked me. He is off-the-charts sick.

So, I guess it's EMDR for me. Thank you so much, NG. I will do anything to get past this guy and not let him steal any more years from my life. Fuck. Just when I thought I was almost through, almost divorced. He just keeps stealing from me.

Thefly559 posted 11/23/2013 18:58 PM

I got it. The mind is amazing. It protects me. I don't want any memories of that pos to come back! My kids yes but her nope.

Thinkingtoomuch posted 11/23/2013 22:22 PM

Hi, Choosing. The lost memories are normal. I also found my memory getting "bad" in my first several months post DD and it really bothered me. I have known for a long time that stress can do this. Well I did suffer PTSD with this terribly painful hell. Some of the worse stress one can endure.

The memory loss scared me too. But there were other posters here that mentioned it back then and helped allay some of my fears. I still have some memories gone and I guess they're just gone, period. Some were much later and even this year and I don't remember them. Just too much terror on my poor pea-sized brain I guess.

I'm doing alot better but still find myself getting triggers at times and it's almost 3 years out. They can be some of the most insidious small things.

Have also had to deal with several other very big stressors since DD with minimal IRL support and am looking at one of the biggest life changing decisions looming right now. So am trying to take things one day at a time and let it all play out.

In other words, IMO, it's PTSD and some memory will return, sometimes I have to allow the memory, sometime work harder to focus and actually try to remember, but it may take quite some time.

Good luck.

[This message edited by Thinkingtoomuch at 10:27 PM, November 23rd (Saturday)]

Thinkingtoomuch posted 11/23/2013 22:38 PM

Thought of something else. I do everything I can think of to help brain health. Eat lots of blueberries, nuts, walk, talk, coffee, tea, friends, IC.

Are you in IC? My IC left 1 year later and I was not ready. But IMO IC is very important to help deal with this. What you found out about your STBX and the instant change to your perception and life was such a shock to your system. I told mine it was absolutely crazy making. And I see when you registered, but all the other days of your relationship with him were days of coping you learned to adapt to that were stressful regardless of your awareness at the time.

I also like thefly's take on it: our minds are protective and it's probably ok to not remember alot.

Just my thoughts.

[This message edited by Thinkingtoomuch at 10:40 PM, November 23rd (Saturday)]

sparkysable posted 11/24/2013 14:54 PM

I had some major PTSD and memory loss. I swear it changes your brain chemistry permanently. I'm still not the same.

Also, and this might be it in your case, I might not be wording this right, but your unconscious brain will protect itself until it feels that you can handle whatever it is. I believe that.

jjct posted 11/24/2013 18:00 PM

This might sound silly, but I'd like to tell you a way to not worry about the memory loss.

Embrace it instead. Thank you mind for not allowing you to recall evil. Be grateful about it.
Learn to relax and chuckle at yourself about it.

I know it feels at first like you're 'tricking yourself', but it has the potential to take the pressure off - and that's all I'm working at here.

As an aside, it sure as heck can be PTSD, no doubt about it...just beware of that appearing as a diagnosis on paper next to your name. I'd even go so far as to ask that it not be.

homewrecked2011 posted 11/25/2013 04:09 AM

For 15 years that man walked in the door after work, I can't remember one of them. I do remember being "disassociated" with him for a, long time because he was turning into a big perv and I tried to enjoy my day while he was at work, and avoid him when he got home.

I have memory problems, also, and they are current: like, telling someone about something and then I forget the next day I have already told them the story..

curiouswiz posted 11/25/2013 06:36 AM

Me too. I talked with my attorney one day, he was walking for exercise and I stopped to offer a ride. I often ask neighbors that I see walking if they need a ride. We talked for five minutes. So he says.

The next morning I ran into him in a deli getting coffee. He asked if I had set a walking schedule to get started to feel better. I cocked my head and said "HUH?!" I had no clue I had talked with him the afternoon before. None. Not even a hint of memory. It scared the wits out of me!! I talked with my doctor about it and she thinks the same thing others are saying. By poor brain is trying to protect itself.

homewrecked2011 posted 11/26/2013 18:44 PM

Yall are making me feel better that I am not the only one with this issue.

PhantomLimb posted 11/28/2013 16:36 PM

I had the same exact thing. It was crazy-making. I can even remember the moment the memories slipped away. I was teaching a class the day after DDay and there was a lull in the discussion. I had this image in my head if him slipping away from me and dropping down out of sight. I felt something sort of snap in my head and a rush of some kind of chemical and boom! The memories were gone for several months.

About three months later they started coming back. I think my body was just protecting itself. I'd say I'm about 60% back now. But I don't push it. In some ways, it's better. I still have snippets of memories, but they are fuzzy... Like it was someone else. That's fine with me for now. I was so in love with him, I don't want to be reminded of the loss.

I saw several ICs after DDay and they said it was PTSD. I've been working hard at just feeling my pain and letting it pass. Embracing the loss. It's agony-- but I think it's the best way to more fully process this so that I never look back in the end. My IC says it will take a full year, maybe a little more, before I recover.

Best of luck to you! ((Hugs))

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 4:37 PM, November 28th (Thursday)]

homewrecked2011 posted 11/28/2013 21:08 PM

I also felt something snap in my head, it was like the left side of my brain stayed in place and the right side kept going,,, like a shifting gear that skipped a gear.

debbysbaby posted 11/29/2013 07:37 AM

I used to have a picture-perfect memory...remembered everyones phone numbers (days prior to cell phones) all appointments without a calendar, etc.

I also have lost huge chunks of my life. I don't remember YEARS. I don't remember imprtant events, entire school grade years of my children's lives. I can remember that they did certain things (like school plays) and I remember going, but nothing else about it at all. Nothing. It is terrifying. And sad. I look at pictures I don't even remember taking.

My whole marriage of almost 15 years was one d-day after another about every 18 months (dear god, why did I stay? Heck, in the end HE had to leave ME). So my guess is that I was in a constant state of PTSD. I couldn't get "over" one affair before he slapped me with another one.

I have been divorced for 8 years and have come to accept that the damage is permanent. My life is stressful for different reasons now. Single parenting, constant money stress, work stress. I have to write down EVERYTHING or I forget. I can't remember meeting people, telling people things, and I hate that I will tell my kids something (like give them the okay to do something) and then not be able to remember! It sucks, but I have no solution.

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