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User Topic: Dealing with an affair 25 years later
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Default  Posted: 6:49 PM, February 23rd (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hey there norabird,

YOP, just curious why you are so resistant to acknowledging multiple traumas, and insisting on only having one. Does it make you feel too damaged or overwhelmed to see yourself as having so many different events in your past? Are you still denying, minimizing what you have been through to be 'strong' and try and suppress the past?

I've been discussing this with my wife over the weekend and also with a friend of mind Sat night. Yes. I do feel too damaged. I do feel overwhelmed at seeing those "traumas" all spelled out. Bus mostly, to me I really don't think all of it is that bad. Yes everyone says I'm minimizing and the C says I have a knack to minimize anything about myself as a coping mechanism. It's part of my "dissociative disorder" and "depersonalization disorder".

She asked me what I thought if someone else had the same issues (traumas) happen to them how would I view them. Of course I would have empathy and see them as traumas. The fact that I can't do that for myself is part of my coping mechanisms. I also have a hard time with labels. Further, I would associate the above mentioned disorders withe someone who suffered much worse traumas than myself like a rape victim. Or I associate my PTSD with a combat veteran. I wouldn't associate those things with me as I don't think what happened to me is even in the same ballpark. Not even in the same book. Therefore I couldn't possibly have those tings. Yeah, yeah, yeah, deep down I know I do. I can sort of see me having those things I guess. And I don't want to admit to them either. Really I'm not that bad off.

25 years and counting of pain caused by mother's infidelity. Aftermath: 1 deceased sibling, 1 lost family, 3 lost souls.
"Each new day I am just glad to be alive and have survived all that I did." Ashland13

Posts: 2343 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Northeast US
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Default  Posted: 9:38 PM, February 23rd (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great you're thinking so much about this!

We are usually so much less willing to give ourselves permission for something (anything) than we would be to give it to someone else. It's easier somehow to be harder on ourselves and compassionate with others.

I wouldn't say you 'have it so bad' either because you are clearly smart, have a great wife, have like all of us the amenities of modern medicine, electricity, the many things to be grateful form from the way we have so much access to information, luxuries, even just everything at the supermarket...basically we are fortunate in a million ways! But no one thinks you are ungrateful or spoiled if in the midst of the real blessings of your life there are also real struggles. You are entitled to struggle. I don't mean that you should, or that people ought to spend their lives complaining--it's not that type of entitlement--but instead that having good things on one side of the scale does not mean that the difficult things on the other side of the scale simply disappear or that you can't acknowledge them. Both can be very real. Ideally, the negatives can be handled in such a way (through IC for instance) that they stop impeding the good parts; that they start to weigh less, to keep with the metaphor of a scale.

Thinking of a scale is also useful when getting into the question of different types of trauma or PTSD. Who is doing the measuring here? I'll answer my own rhetorical question ( ): no one is, unless it's you. You aren't stealing the thunder of people with combat or sexual assault trauma, or implying that those are not awful experiences, or claiming those people could never understand suffering. It all coexists--there is no competition. There is no maximum capacity that can't expand to encompass what happened to you.

No one will ever accuse you of having a victim mentality YOP. It is so obviously not who you are! You seem to fear straying into that category, though. Don't! Give yourself permission to acknowledge and validate your past traumas, without judging your motivations for doing so or whether they are 'bad enough' in some big picture. No one is going to be pitting your experiences against those of say a rape victim and then turning around to accuse you of having over-estimated the burden of what has happened to you. It's not a zero sum game.

All that said take this at your own pace and see what feels comfortable and where you end up. I'm not going to force you into a label and I doubt your IC will....maybe you will try it on for size, take what is useful, and discard the parts that don't sit right.

Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4203 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
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Default  Posted: 11:33 PM, February 23rd (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That's good stuff, Norabird!!!!! I agree, YOP!

Me: 40s BS, Him: 40s WH
M 21 yrs - 3 teens
LTA = 2+ yrs, Dday = 2/10/13, he moved out, he officially moved back in 1/25/14 and our work continues...

Posts: 736 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: MidWest
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Default  Posted: 7:38 AM, February 24th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for sharing your painful experience with us. That must have been hard for you to write. You are one courageous person. I'm glad that you are here.

BS/Me WH/Him

"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." -Unknown Wise Person

Posts: 345 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: North Carolina, United States
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Default  Posted: 6:38 PM, February 24th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you - You have made a difference in my life in a positive way - again Thank you.

Posts: 39 | Registered: Aug 2010
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Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the continued support norabird and stillstanding1!!

Great analogies norabird. I know deep down you are correct, I just don't know how to think that way for myself. I have a fog all my own I fear. I know I don't have a health way of thinking about all of this.

SadInNC and lostjem thanks for listening.

25 years and counting of pain caused by mother's infidelity. Aftermath: 1 deceased sibling, 1 lost family, 3 lost souls.
"Each new day I am just glad to be alive and have survived all that I did." Ashland13

Posts: 2343 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Northeast US
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