Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Powerful Subconscious




My weekend was not starting out the best.  Don’t worry, it gets better, but it started crappy, that’s for sure.

Devin and I argued on Wednesday night.  Yes, I’m backing up to Wednesday night.  It’s my blog so I can do that.  You do what you want on your blog.  It was over something very trivial but instead of discussing it before we went to bed, we ignored each other.  The next morning we each waited for the other to apologize.  That never happened.  High expectations led to resentments.

I figured we would sit down and talk about it when he got home from work.  That didn’t happen either.  He texted me and said he had to go to Home Depot, then the book store, then his old school.  He let me know he wouldn’t be home for dinner.  I asked him why he was at his old school but I never heard back. 

I glanced at the clock and saw it was 6:00 p.m.   I reasoned he was probably visiting the guys he worked with.  I was going to send another text but decided against it.  If he couldn’t be courteous enough to glance at his phone, who was I to nag him about it?

An hour later the PTSD from the relational trauma kicked in.  It was like I had Trauma on one shoulder and Healing on the other.  “He’s up there emailing random women right now,” Trauma would whisper.  “No, he’s feeling rejected at home and accepted up there.  It’s part of the sex and love addiction,” Healing would whisper in my other ear. 

For hours the two battled it out in my head but Trauma won.  I was convinced Devin was up to no good although my gut and my brain were telling me it wasn’t true.  I went to bed feeling defeated.  I woke up the next morning, Devin gone for work, and a text message from the night before saying “Sorry, didn’t feel my phone vibrate. I’m on my way home. I’ve been hanging out with my old co-workers.”  Just like Healing whispered in my ear.

The next day, we didn’t speak until he came home from his SAA meeting.  I explained my trigger and he apologized for not checking his phone sooner and causing me anxiety.  He described how being at the college with his friends made him feel like he belonged somewhere when he felt excluded by me.

We decided we have a lot of work to do in the communication department but I feel like we are always moving in the right direction.  He has an updated diagnosis of SLA (sex and love addiction) vs SA (sex addiction).  I really can’t say too much about it because it’s brand new to me too.  From what I’ve learned so far, it makes sense.  To be honest, it’s his journey to explore, not mine.  I’ll do a little bit of research here and there so I know the basics about it but I won’t obsess over it like I did SA.  The days of obsession are long gone.

However, the days of triggering are not.  We went to his company’s picnic yesterday.  For some reason, while I was getting myself all dolled up, I reflected back on his military unit’s picnic a few year’s back.  I suppose it was because this was the first time I was meeting everyone at his new company and that made me think of meeting everyone at his unit picnic too. 

During the time of the unit picnic, Devin was still acting out and I had no idea.  I thought he was just really into porn.  I didn’t realize he was having online affairs.  So, as I applied my make-up, I had to do some deep breathing exercises to calm myself down and then I did my Serenity Prayer and felt much better.

The picnic was very nice, until I met the woman Devin went to lunch with.  I triggered again.  What in the world was going on with me?  On the outside I was still composed and smiling but on the inside I was crumbling. 

When we got home, Devin asked if I was okay. I told him about the trigger and he asked what he could do.  We talked about his “walls and windows” a phrase from a book we both read.  He assured me his boundaries are in place at work. After some time alone, I decided I needed to hand this over to God.  I needed to Let It Go and trust my gut.  I had nothing to tell me anything felt “off” with Devin.  There are no red flags.

Then this evening, I opened up my laptop and saw the date.  It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since my first disclosure.  I guess my subconscious remembered, after all.  At least now I know why I’ve been so triggery!  Now that I know the why, I think the triggers will be old news.

The good news is, Devin and I decided to focus on just he and I this week and have a date night!  Shrimp scampi here I come!!


30 comments:

  1. Backing up to Wednesday, geez, such a cheat haha you need to get a blow torch for those things on your shoulders, I hear they take off moles hahaha the cat has to get his digs in with you hiding away at the beach with all the canadians all the time. Never knew love was added to it, interesting indeed. Glad all is back on the stairs and you are climbing away.

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    1. I know, those chips on my shoulders, oh wait, you meant the voices, ha ha!!

      You damn Canadians, taking all the good parking spots, all my cold cuts and snacks! Go Home!!!

      The "love" was just added to his diagnosis about a month ago. This is the first time I shared it on the blog.

      I'm getting my exercise with all my step work!!

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  2. Such a roller coaster of emotions. But at least you know how to keep your balance and hang in there until things settle and you can sort out the facts from the imagined truth. :)

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    1. It's almost, almost, good this happened. The roller coaster of emotions reminds me what it was like in the beginning of my recovery. It's a way to look at how far I've come.

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  3. Enjoy your date night! The subconscious can be a very powerful thing and I wouldn't be too surprised if the date had something to do with how you were feeling. Hard to believe it's been three years since then and the pair of you are still going strong and, if you can acknowledge that there are no red flags and get through all of this, will continue to get stronger.

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    1. I'm looking forward to Tuesday night! I agree, our subconscious can be quite powerful. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I knew the date was coming up but didn't really acknowledge it. It doesn't seem like three years. Sometimes it feels like forever ago and sometimes it feels like yesterday. There are some moments I can recall with the utmost clarity while others have thankfully faded away.

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  4. I'm so pleased that he continues to devote himself on recovery. A lot of guys would quit after a few months. Enjoy your date night and here's hoping you have a much better week!

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    1. I am too, JoJo. It's an on-going process for us both. Without continual work, we both would lose the recovery we've worked so hard on. I really believe it has to feed all the time to grow. I'm looking forward to date night. We need it!!

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  5. yay on your date night this week...and you know...we walk through these times and learn things about ourselves....and you know now you have to work on communication, so there are good things that came out of it...hope you both have a great week...

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    1. I'm excited for date night. We used to be able to have date night more often but his schedule changed and now it's not as easy. It's true, I did learn about myself and now with more recovery I can see with gratitude what I learned rather than with pessimism that the trigger occurred. Thank you, Brian!! I loved your poem yesterday, it was beautiful. It really lifted my spirits!

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  6. I think it's a sign of your healing that you didn't notice it was your first disclosure day until after you looked at the calender. You're no longer consciously marking it as an "anniversary". Your subconscious remembered it though and if Devin keeps on the straight and narrow, one day your subconscious will forget it as well.

    Have a good date night!

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    1. I think so too, Anne. I knew it was coming up because my son's birthday is around the same time but I didn't focus on it, I let it go but I guess my subconscious didn't do the same. You're right, I didn't highlight it as an anniversary or feel the need to schedule anything to distract myself from the day like I used to and that's progress. I look forward to the day when I don't remember it at all!!

      I'll have to do a post about my wonderful seafood dinner. Yummy!!

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  7. Enjoy your date night! I'm glad you're feeling better now after that whirlwind of doubt. I think that's the worst thing about having a great imagination... is how much it can go haywire when you suspect something is up.

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    1. Now I'm really craving some seafood and it's not even 10:00 a.m. How sad is that? What a great way to look at it, Bryan! It's a sign of a great imagination! I'm going to use that thought the next time those blasted negative ideas try to creep in. Thanks!!

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    2. I couldn't agree more with the imagination running wild. Happens to me constantly. My mind is always creating these scenarios that my wife is being unfaithful and everything becomes clues to support my theory. But I always end up the ass when my false claims are proven wrong.

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  8. Well, first of all I just want to give you a great big hug. Those triggers can wreak some serious internal hell. Second, kudos to you both for working through this together and being so open and honest about it and YAY for date night! Date nights are a must in all relationships, IMO. Enjoy and have fun! Cheers!

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    1. Your hug is warmly accepted! I love hugs! Yeah, triggers suck major ass. I have to say, if Devin wasn't so helpful with my triggers, I don't think I would make it through many of them. He's been there through most of them - when I finally let him in. There was a time when I had a wall up and tried to do it alone...not a good idea ha ha! I agree, MiMi, date night is a great time to reconnect with your partner!! Just holding hands and talking about fun stuff! Thank you =)

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  9. Yeah realtional PTSD sucks!! I am so proud of you for thinking through the feelings, even thought sometimes we fail. I am going through a lil bit of it myself to, so I empathasize.

    You are so courageous!! Enjoy date night:-)

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    1. Xena!!! How are you, my friend?? You of all people know exactly what I'm talking about and I'm so very sorry that you do. Hugs to you!!!! I don't think we fail so much as we learn and grow. It's progress not perfection. We'll get there!!

      I hope you are doing well!! Thank you!!

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  10. I agree with Mark, the subconscious can be a very powerful thing indeed. I love how you worked through all these emotions...it takes some serious introspection to be able to do that.

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    1. It's very interesting how the subconscious is always at work even when we are shut down for the night. Bryan brought up a very valid point. I'm very creative and have a wild imagination so when I trigger - my mind just goes bananas!!! Thanks, OE!!

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  11. Have a good date night and the mind can be a funny and inventive little bugger!

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  12. It is interesting how the body/mind remember things. But my gosh girl, this is a lot you are dealing with. I wish you the best. Here's the shrimp night being a good one. Cheers and boogie boogie.

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  13. I've always been amazed at how things from years past have a tendency to sneak up and whack us in the head. They're a lot like relatives that way.

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  14. Oooh, a date night... we do like the sound of that...

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  15. Hope that you guys have a great date night Elsie. I hate reading about how paranoid you can get at times, and that's genuinely not paranoid in the sense that implies it's not justified either, I just hope things get better soon and your trust for Devin continues to grow and grow.

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  16. Wait....what day is it? And seafood? What the hell is that? Not allowed in my house because some woman who sometimes calls me baby is allergic to seafood. :(

    Poor me, deprived of my shrimp, crab, lobster...all the delicious things that come from the sea!

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  17. Every time I read what you have to say, I am amazed with how strong you are!

    And now I want some shrimp scampi!

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  18. We all have those moments ~ But that is some progress for both of you ~ Have fun with the date night of shrimp scampi & wine ~

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