However, I am having a really difficult time trying to stay in a good place mentally right now. I feel like every little thing is causing me to trigger. I'm trying so hard to take deep breaths and think of positive things, but I can feel myself slipping into that dark place again.
Any advice? This is his first birthday since the A and DDays. My birthday was five days after I discovered the A so celebrating is hitting me hard today.
Celebrations are so hard for the first year after D-Day. Last year, I don't even remember Thanksgiving or Christmas. All a big blur. Our anniversary this last August was not good either. For my H birthday, I took him on a parachute jump (was there a subliminal message there??)
Depending on how long it has been, your emotions can be all over the place, changing by the minute, or the hour. You might warn your WH that you are not in a good place mentally and talk it thru. It is possible that celebrating his birthday as a couple may not be something you are ready to do. If not, go out as a family. If you can't fathom dinner, there are always other things to do while you don't have kids... a movie, comedy club, a theater show, etc. where you can be distracted. There were times when just being around my WH was hard and he was the trigger.
Don't be hard on yourself.
You may be having a hard time celebrating him. He has hurt you deeply and quite profoundly. Celebrating him may be too much right now.
On my WH's first Bday, which was almost a year after DDay, I did nothing. Not a thing. The year before, he was over the A, but I hadn't discovered it yet, and I bought him a $400 bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. Not sure why, because on my birthday that year, I got a joke card and a cake. He got new clothes, a loving card, and expensive booze. His next birthday? It may have been any day of the year. I didn't even say happy birthday I don't think I was so hurt that I didn't want to do anything that would make him feel good or special.
If you aren't into celebrating, you don't have to. You are allowed to skip it.
I'm sorry you're hurting. Take care of you before worrying about a grown man's Bday.
If you are not comfortable celebrating, please don't put pressure on yourself to do so.
I suggest that when you start to feel a trigger, think of the word "patience". Remind yourself that it is normal to have triggers given where you are at in R. Acknowledge the trigger by reminding yourself that the birthday celebration is your current reality and the trigger represents fears from the past. Tell yourself, I will deal with this trigger after the celebration is over.
The important thing is to not fight the trigger or try to bury it. Acknowledge it, understand the fears behind it, and remind yourself it is ok to deal with it at a later time.
Triggers are driven from the primal fear centers of our brain and can overwhelm us quickly. Fortunately, our higher brain functions can regain control over the fear and calm the response. That's why it's so important to think of the word patience, or some other word that causes you delay an emotional response. You then give the logical mind the time it needs to say everything is ok, there are no immediate dangers, turn off panic response.
Good luck and try to enjoy your WH's birthday. Let him know you are struggling with the fears of the past, but you will be doing your best to have a wonderful time.
Remember, loving feelings follow loving actions.
I understand about your trigger. Maybe get him a nice card and then make reservations someplace YOU would like to go to for dinner.