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.
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.
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.
It gets better. It sucks. But truly, it gets better.
5 EYEWITNESS News Report on EMDR Therapy
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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.
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.
[This message edited by Thinkingtoomuch at 10:27 PM, November 23rd (Saturday)]
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)]
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.
Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.
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.
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..
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.
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)]
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.