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Triggered by high profile case - trigger warning

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MegM posted 7/30/2014 19:33 PM

** Trigger warning **

Over the last few months I have found myself visiting SI more regularly again. As a 'lurker' and a little more frequently as a poster.

A part of me was feeling a bit stronger and in a position to support others and give back a little bit more.

There has also been something turning inside of me.

This morning I have reflected on why am I back here so much. What else has been running parallel and then it came to me.

There has been a VERY high profile legal case here in my home state. A WS was accused of murdering his BS - he was in the last month found guilty of 1st degree murder (v. likely he will appeal the verdict) I don't want to discuss the details of that case. but want to talk through what has happened for me. and need to give a bit of a summary to give context (sorry)

These events related occurred early 2012. One of the things that happened was that the BS 'disappeared' and that night and the WS claimed she had gone walking late at night after an argument (relating to his infidelity). the WS response was to go to bed and go to sleep. The BS never came home.

So when this all first hit the news it was only a couple of months after my D-day. It was a terrible trigger for me - not just the infidelity but the facts that this poor BS was in such extreme pain and left alone and at risk and her WS did not protect her or comfort her.

Why was it such a trigger - because this is exactly what happened during H's gas lighting and in early discovery. On three occasions late a night after hours of arguing and feeling crazy I left our home twice in a car (once after drinking) and once on foot. Each time I got within 1/2 a km of home and would realize I had nowhere to go.

Nowhere. the time I was drinking I realized I could not be on the road and pulled into a park - Both times in a car I sat in the dark and cried, slept fitfully and returned just on sunrise.

The time on foot (it was summer) I curled up in picnic shelter for hours.

And two of the three times I returned home - he was asleep. The first time (during gaslighting) he had locked the door behind me and I didn't have a house key.

These events damaged my faith in our connection.

In fact the first time it occurred was the biggest red flag that he was lying to me.

When all of this incident first played out in the media - I suddenly felt I was married to a monster at a level that hadn't hit me earlier.

So the replaying of all the events and allegations and the WS's claims in the media during the trial and verdict have re-stimulated this feeling of high alert for me.

I have had about three extreme episodes over the last 5 weeks.

I feel flat and not motivated to keep working on this marriage. I feel right back in 'it' with the shock that I had so little value to him.

That he had this capacity to be such a monster.

Sorry I know this is long and venty - I would just really value some SI support at the moment.

yearsofpain25 posted 7/30/2014 19:54 PM

Hi MegM, I see you are from Australia and I think I know the story you speak of. It has made the headlines here in our country as well and watched a news special on it just a few short weeks ago.

Anyway, I'm sorry it's such a major trigger for you and you did an excellent job of articulating why. Triggers are awful and sometimes they can sneak up on us subconsciously and make us uncomfortable without realizing why.

Now that you figured it out hopefully it will start to pass and you can get some relief as time gives you distance from the trial. Are you in IC at all? I myself have just started with a new IC that will hopefully help me deal with some of my triggers. I know what you mean when they get really bad. My last one that crippled me was back in Feb but I know is just under the surface lurking for me. I can certainly empathize with you.

Are you still with your WH? If you are, have you mentioned them to him?


BtraydWife posted 7/30/2014 20:08 PM

Someone is always here for you.

How is your R going? I ask because when things weren't going as well as I hoped they'd be and something like this came up it would send shock waves through me. It would remind me that I wasn't safe with this guy and all the pain would flood back in.

Since he has become truly remorseful he asks about infidelity related news events and talks through them with me if I need to discuss them. He acknowledges any similarities in our story, comforts me, and apologizes.

You said you didn't know if you still wanted to work on your marriage. Are you carrying the brunt of the weight? He should be the one doing that. Being the only one really working to get better isn't R. And it's painfully insulting.

It must be scary that you had so much in common and that man killed her. I'm sorry you have to deal with that on top of everything else.

Hugs to you. Hang in there but let it all out if you need to.

painfulpast posted 7/30/2014 20:15 PM

And two of the three times I returned home - he was asleep.

for this alone, I'm sorry. That's just awful.

Pentup posted 7/30/2014 20:37 PM


MegM posted 7/30/2014 20:48 PM

Oh thank you all for your replies, your kindness and support.


Are you still with your WH? If you are, have you mentioned them to him?
Yes we are still together. We have worked very hard. Still on our 'journey or reconciliation and not sure where journey's end might be or quite what it looks like. When there was coverage we did discuss the case. We particularly discussed that even if he was not guilty of murder that his abuse, unfaithfulness and alienation of her had certainly led to her death and in that sense he was morally culpable. At this point I can now recall seeing a cloud of shame and responsibility blanket my husbands eyes.


How is your R going?
Look overall as a whole journey quite well. We spent over 18 months actively working very hard. the last year we have been focused on a dear young family member who has been fighting life-threatening leukemia. H has been less 'conscious' in his healing - but to gear back was joint decision because of our families needs. He has recently (due to a couple of my extreme trigger episodes) started actively journaling. I could be critical of its content - but I try to stay focused on his effort. His healing journey should not be for my commentary as such.

A few weeks ago he went out for a dinner meeting that involved a lot of wine. I was home unwell. Instead of breaking the evening off early he came home very late, very drunk and had not msgd or called me at all. He woke me from a deep sleep and I reacted extremely - demanding he get out,... who was she ... with ringing in my years and blurred vision. It was like we were back in affair time again.

This has shaken him. He didn't understand that my pain still sits so close to the surface until that night.

I do think we both work for our M. in different ways. He 'fixes' and 'busy-bees' and tries to show me he loves me, tries to hold me and 'treats me'. And he tries to dig deeper and share this with me although that his not his natural way nor preference - he does it because it matters to me.

PP: thank you. It was (and still is) just awful. It remains an enduring pain - a wound that has not yet healed. I know his internal dialogue included enjoying the 'peace and quiet' of me not being there and 'barraging' him at the time. The last time (after discovery and her throwing him under bus) - he laid awake, walked the house was consumed by fear that he would be alone - that I would be gone. But was still too far removed from healthy and remorseful to be fearful of what might happen to me and protect me.

At the time I just wanted to be away from him and the pain. Only the love of my children and fear of them waking to me gone forced me to come home before they woke.

Please understand this sort of behaviour is not a part of our NOW, and the shock for me in his behavior at that time is never before this affair had he deserted me when I needed him.

thanks again for your care.


[This message edited by MegM at 8:51 PM, July 30th (Wednesday)]

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