Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wednesday Word Hug: Trauma


  1. wow. this. I've been feeling like I am not the same. I miss some of the old things, my ability to imagine a happy ending, for example (that sounds bitter,but it is not what it sounds like). I just can't or won't picture endings at all now. I think I'm much more about accepting that I just don't know how anything is going to turn out. I miss the security, imaginary as it was. And now I struggle with letting myself feel safe, even though everything is telling me that I am.

  2. I read this article yesterday and it truly resonated with me as I've struggled to find any "tools" to help me when I get seriously triggered. I read the article yesterday morning and late morning I went shopping in a new center. As I walked along the sidewalk and looked around I could see in the distance a sandwich sign advertising MASSAGE. Ugh, those signs often make my head spin in negative thoughts and memories and I recalled this article. I slowed my steps and got out of the way of others while I just took a couple of deep breaths and repeated quietly to myself, "If I was not having this feeling and memory of the past, what would I be experiencing right now?" I did as the author described and looked around me at all the new sights, the beautiful Sonoran mountains, the clouds and sky and then I became aware of a mother and her toddler sharing some giggles." It was enough to jolt me out of my physical/emotional negative spiral and bring me back to reality. This took less than 2 minutes I suspect. I was able to go into the store, do what I came for and then greet my husband who had gone for gas with a smile. What might in the past have been a day of lingering rumination instead turned into a wonderful day for both of us.

    1. Beach Girl - thank you for this. I so needed this today.

  3. As usual, Elle, your posts have uncanny timing. A year in now, and in my beginning I was smart enough to know that this was not something I was ever going to get "over." I remember hoping it was something I could get "through." I knew I had been changed way deep down and would likely change more as I went through the process of recovery. A sweet SAnon friend recently gave me new wisdom, new words that more accurately describe the process.

    I am learning to live with it.

    And thanks for that tip/question, Beach Girl, and sharing the link. I am going to try that. (That word "massage" also bothers me.)

    I have also really tried to latch on to Elle's advice in the other post: "Feelings are largely beyond our control. Thoughts are slightly more controllable. But, it's Actions where the real change occurs. And, it's Actions that can often shift our thoughts."

  4. Elle,
    I have followed your posts through last August or so and have emotionally come a very long way. My husband of 14 yrs who is also a functional alcoholic cheated on me last year and also physically abused me. Most of last year, I was contemplating filing for divorce but couldn't follow through due to my kids being very attached to him.
    He finally had another drunken outburst on DEC 27TH and hit me badly and now I have kicked him out for good. Now he has started going to AA and is begging and pleading me to not file and take him back/give him one more chance. I have told him NO and have also initiated the divorce process. What my kids saw the night of 27th was absolutely devastating and I don't want them to grow up in that kind of fear.
    I feel like the chances of him getting better are 1% because he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is an alcoholic and has abuse issues. There is no way he can overcome all of those in my opinion.
    My kids seem to be doing well with my decision as well.
    Your blog has helped me come a long way! I am making the right decision, right?

    1. Anonymous,
      You are safe. You are away from someone who's unpredictable and dangerous and abusive. You have removed your children from an environment in which they have watched their mother be abused. You are doing such a brave thing that you have likely been told for years that you shouldn't do. You are prioritizing yourself and your safety over his wants and comfort, which likely feels really uncomfortable to you. So it's perfectly normal that you are doubting yourself. But yes, you are doing the right thing. There is nothing about this man that compels you to stay with him except that your children love him. And they are free to continue to love him. But that doesn't mean you have to live with him. You are keeping yourself safe, emotionally and physically, which is your most important job. You are valuing yourself. You are modelling for your children what self-respect and self-care look like, which they are going to need to learn for themselves. You are showing them that THEY are worth protecting. In all these ways you are strong and brave and a really fierce mom. I am so proud of you. And I really REALLY hope that you are proud of yourself. I hope when you look in the mirror you see someone who's doing something really difficult under challenging circumstances. But you're doing it.
      IF he gets sober, IF he gets his personality disorder under control, IF he gets his anger under control, that's all great. But that doesn't mean you owe him anything, especially a commitment to stay married to him. You can root for his recovery without it meaning that you're going to stay married to him. You can root for him to become the best dad he can be without ever wanting him as a husband again.
      This is your year, Anonymous.
      Brava to you.

    2. Anonymous- So proud of you! Such a very hard trauma to endure. It will take some healing, but as Elle says, “you made the first right step!” Take things day by day. Hug your kids and love their closeness. You got this! Keep coming back and unravel here when needed. We all have our ups and downs and it’s life changing. For many, it reveals a better life after you push through some very hard stuff. ((Hugs))

  5. Elle,
    I almost cried after reading your response! It's time go non-anonymous now! I am proud of myself for doing what I have to and the fact that my kids are doing great only adds to my strength everyday. I hope they turn out OK in all this as their well being has always been my prime concern! I am still trying to co-parent and let them meet their dad whenever they feel like. I am literally doing everything in my capacity to protect and nurture my kids and I always put them first through all of this! I hope they turn out to be good human beings!

  6. I think this is what I expected least being changed for ever but yet I’m finding that most of the changes are good for me. I’m pretty sure that life in general changes us but betrayal cuts through the heart and tears a hole in our opinion of ourselves...I’m pretty sure that I was one of those wives that knew she wouldn’t stay with a cheating h that lying was so easy for him but here I am four years later....



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