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Triggers/negative stimuli everywhere...can't turn my brain off

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djla2929 posted 8/10/2014 00:23 AM

I'm sure I'm not the only one in here with this problem but I get triggered from just about anything that remotely ties to my wife's infidelity. My thoughts run wild, especially when my mind is not actively engaged; ie long drives, getting ready for bed, quiet moments alone, etc. I'm well aware of the trigger/negative thought, I acknowledge it, I'm aware of how it makes me feel, I try to accept the feeling, and I try to move on by trying to replace it with a positive thought...only to have another negative thought pop into my head shortly there after. It's like a perpetual negative thought cycle. I'm quite tired and am trying to cope with these almost constant thoughts. It's almost like I can't turn my brain off when it comes to thinking about her A. I thought I had accepted this crappy infidelity situation I'm in but maybe this is an indication I haven't truly accepted it. It feels like I need to have an "on/off" to my negative thoughts. If I had one I'm sure I'd use it often. Any advice on how to deal with and soften the blows of self induced or stimuli activated triggers/negative thoughts?

tfkeel posted 8/10/2014 01:17 AM

You're certainly not alone, we all have this, it's much more extreme in the early days after discovery.

What you're doing is right, replacing them with positive thoughts.

When I was going through it, I tried "immersion", forcing myself to think them, I really don't know if it "worked" or they just ran their cycle.

It seems to me they are somewhat like a summer cold, if you take the medicine, you'll be better in 8-10 days, and if you don't take the medicine, you'll be better in 8-10 days.

I think, also, that they are themselves a coping mechanism that releases the stress incrementally upon us, so we can survive.

[This message edited by tfkeel at 1:18 AM, August 10th (Sunday)]

djla2929 posted 8/10/2014 01:28 AM

Thanks, Tfkeel. Yeah, the negative thoughts feel crippling at times. From the sound of it (via your cold analogy) time seems to be the most effective remedy.

healingroad posted 8/10/2014 01:31 AM

tfkeel's experience is like mine.

The thoughts just would not stop. Every tiny little thing would be a trigger. Literally several times an hour, and if I wasn't being triggered, my mind would "spin" all by itself. Days would go by thinking of little else.

Over time (now about 4 months past the biggest d-day) things have settled down. I've got a pending D which is stressful but the triggers aren't as strong. Maybe once a day or so I'll trigger on something and it passes in a few minutes.

It seems to me (but I don't have proof of this) that there's some sort of fixed amount of pain and you just have to work through it. If you try to block it out it will just come out later. Fine to try to get through a workday but don't expect that you'll be able to go too long without having to deal with it.

My WW hated this: she wanted to think everything was OK and not deal with my negative emotions and triggers. Though I tried to put on a happy face from time to time generally I didn't, and this was good I think -- repressing these feelings seems really unhealthy to me. (Also SI is a great place to share and process this stuff!)

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that even though it sucks, it's normal and it will get better.


djla2929 posted 8/10/2014 01:42 AM

Mcha- thanks! I'm going through exactly what you describe. My ww wants everything to be sunshine and unicorns and try not to think of her infidel acts, try to think of things we're doing positive now, things/trips we plan on doing in the future, etc. But as you know (and lived) her actions will never be forgotten by me. I'm trying to get her to realize that point..and she does understand that to some degree.

Just as you described, I put on my happy "mask" and try to look at the positive things we have now but the bad thoughts of her infidelity are stronger than the positive stuff. She seems to have an easier time dismissing/dealing with /forgetting her actions. If I were in her shoes I'd probably do the same thing.

[This message edited by djla2929 at 1:46 AM, August 10th (Sunday)]

LoveIsDead posted 8/10/2014 02:56 AM

It's been around 3 weeks since I caught my WW, and I am the exact same way! I will be sitting alone, and all of a sudden BAM! I think about it. Everything triggers me. I was watching a movie and there was a sex scene, all of a sudden, I start thinking of my wife doing the same thing with this clown! Grrr even now, I am triggered talking about it.

I will admit, it does get better as the days go by. Well, not better, but you are triggered less and less. It doesn't happen half as often as it did when I first discovered the A, but it's still there from time to time. Night time is the worst for me. I have messed up dreams, it can be hard to sleep some nights, but it does become less frequent.

There is nothing wrong with what is going on with you, at least, from my limited experience, I wouldn't worry so much about it. There is nothing to really do about getting these thoughts out of your head. The only advice I can give is, limit any kind of contact with the WS. If at all possible, don't talk to them, don't see them. The longer you can do that, the better.

I wish it was so simple for me. We share a chiled, so I see my WW in person on a daily basis. When I don't see, I don't think about it. That's pretty much all I can give you. I'm still trying to find a better solution myself.

Good luck

ReconcilingWife posted 8/10/2014 07:42 AM

I like the idea of the fixed amount of pain that you just HAVE to go through.

I am 10 weeks post D-day and have found that this aspect has certainly improved with time. (I would have gone out of my mind by now if that were not the case.) But I will say it's not strictly linear--I can feel pretty good for a few days, and then I'll have a day, or couple of days, that are wretched again. I suspect it's just that over time the wretched days will become fewer.

I find the endorphins released in exercise help a bit.

And the whole pretend things are all unicorns and fairies? Any time I do that it gets worse. My WH seems to understand he just has to suck it up, that I'm not going to do much happy mask.

still-living posted 8/10/2014 07:51 AM

I changed my routine. Got into lifting weights, running, and exercise, and listening to news and comedy radio when traveling back and forth to work. Watched different TV, Oprah. I also wrote things down when they came up, and committed to a time later in the day for "thinking" about it.

djla2929 posted 8/10/2014 10:19 AM

We're all in the same boat and share the same feelings/situations. It's good to hear from others that have weathered the storm. I too have sought running as a way to help cope..,I've run miles at 2/3 am just to get my mind off things. It's funny though, even when running ill trigger...throw out a loud yell or curse. If people saw or heard me it'd seem like I had turrets syndrome:). Lol

When I trigger and the wife is around she does her best to soothe me (with a simple touch or hold my hand). But even that comforting sometimes leads to another trigger/negative thoughts of her saying or doing the same thing with the other dude. I might ask her to verbalized things when I trigger ("I love you....I'm committed to you...I choose you...thanks for a second chance....etc"). I think hearing and seeing her (re)commitment back to me seems reasonable...but sometimes it feels (to me) that' doing so is a burden to her. However, it feels (to me) as if she would want to bend over backwards to do whatever it takes to provide comfort when I'm in pain...I mean, she is the one who gave her body (my piece of mind, our sacred marriage bond/vows) to someone else. Here's to better days for everyone:)

[This message edited by djla2929 at 11:40 PM, August 10th (Sunday)]

tryin2havefaith posted 8/10/2014 13:42 PM

I used hypnosis to help lessen the emotionally paralyzing trauma and effect of triggers. (PM me if you want info on it.) No, it does not make you forget the event, just changes your response. I downloaded it to my phone so I always had it with me. Also worked on meditation and yoga.

djla2929 posted 8/10/2014 21:26 PM

Tryin2- thanks for the suggestion. I can't PM since I've yet to reach 50 posts, but I did run across your hypnosis page on your profile. I'll look into it...Our MC tried some PTSD mind stuff on me with little effect. I'm leery of stuff like that, but will try anything to see if it helps. Thanks for the lead.

fromthisdayfwd posted 8/10/2014 22:05 PM

I 'lost it' when we watched 'The Incredibles' once. When the wife is saying goodbye to the husband who is leaving in his fancy new car, wearing his shades, acting cool and she is so sad. I totally lost it.

I know how you feel. I am so sorry. The only thing that really helped me was time... sorry.

tryin2havefaith posted 8/10/2014 22:14 PM

Djla--Its not my page. Its somewhere/something that I found in my searching, something to help. So I decided to share. I remember too vividly the feeling of looking for something/anything to help ease the paralyzing pain. For some reading the books helps, or ADs. Those did not do enough for me. I didnt like how i felt on the meds. IC helped a lot, but that was intermitent. Since I could meditate, I tried looking into the hypnosis. Came across this, and gave it a try...figured it was worth a try. It worked for me!!
It truly enabled me to get my life back. For awhile the triggers had me. Now, I am truly living again. Truly happy. So I put it out into the SI universe to pay it forward. I hope it helps.

Lark posted 8/10/2014 22:39 PM

I spent the first month just cycling through it over and over and over in my head. I could barely function, could not work. The triggers were awful, and my husband got rid of the biggest one after dday (his truck).

I still trigger. Yesterday I was signing my daughter up for swim lessons and the area where her lessons are is the area my husband would meet OW2 for sex. We live in an urban area, so for the most part I'm removed from the areas, but seeing that I'd have to be driving through that community just made me feel nauseas. I spent the rest of the day angry and raging.

I have a few approaches tot he triggers, one is to just feel. You can't move past a feeling if you aren't processing and feeling it. So feeling it... and then when the cycle starts to wane, i try to think "what can I get from this? what can I do with this pain?" And yeah there's nothing. But just asking in that way helps redirect my thoughts to what I *CAN* do. Sometimes I face the triggers head-on. Sometimes it's to say "look it happened, I can't change it happening. I can only control right now." And then shift to a different thought process or what I can do to help heal me.

It sucks, sorry :(

djla2929 posted 8/10/2014 22:40 PM

Tryin2- thanks again. Which particular lesson/download do you use?

djla2929 posted 8/10/2014 23:22 PM

Lark- great advice. The trend from everyone is that it's time and brute force (take the negative feelings head on)that helps us endure & cope. And yes, I agree, it does suck...but we shall overcome:)Peace and comfort to all:)

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