So, after my pain popped, I can confirm, it definitely changed form in my body. The pain detached in a very obvious way. It didn't take away the awareness of the affair, but the awareness definitely was no longer attached to such immense emotional agony anymore. It was such a relief. After it happened, my body crashed. My poor, precious body literally could not cope with anything anymore. It's like it went into power save mode and just shut down. So I then had two weeks of headaches, neck pain, complete exhaustion and fatigue, depression and feeling like utter shit as my body adjusted to the new transition. *Sigh* I didn't want to write about that, as I've written enough blogs documenting that shit! No one warns you about the physical side of things. I've heard stories of people's hair falling out and all sorts. Bodies absolutely take a battering through all this, however, no one needs to read more of me whining on about my shitty physical ailments. But.....on the positive, I did eventually start to feel much better.
So then what? Well, since then I have been quite heavily into my counselling, we've had Christmas and New Year, my 14th wedding anniversary and I started a new job. I'll try and break it down for you.
Christmas, New Year and my wedding anniversary were great. Christmas was a little shakey as I navigated through a range of emotions. Because it was a really lovely family time, I was plagued with a lot of anger and disgust at the sheer pointlessness of it all. That is always followed by such a deep sense of sadness which I find very hard to avoid. To me, nothing in our family felt different to how we were before. To me, this is how our family was. The affair seemed to God damned fucking pointless. So much pain and heartbreak for what? I find that difficult, but I went with it. As we were pretty much all in lockdown (tier 4) we didn't do much but overall this period was chilled, happy and fun. Things with my husband and I, after the popping pain, were good. I still had my emotional moments, but I felt so much more positive and happy about us. He was making a huge effort to show his commitment for me and our family.
Our anniversary is on the 30th December and was very nice. For the first time since this nightmare began, our relationship, our marriage and our history, physically felt bigger than the affair. I literally felt that our good, everything good about us was more prominent. It was such a nice feeling. It felt like we were winning, that we were shining through. I felt the other woman and all those like her, shrink into insignificance. I felt strong in what she was up against and pitied that she ever thought she would ever be competition for what we have in our lives. We are everything and she is nothing, she never was anything and never will be anything to us, BUT..... and there's always a but, isn't there?! Every time I allowed myself to relax, every time I allowed myself to let go and get close to my husband, every time I let myself feel vulnerable and loving, the nightmares would start again, I would start feeling withdrawn again, I would feel myself retreating. So, I took all this to counselling and.....
What an eye-opener that has been.
First observation, there is a HUGE difference between my head and my body. My head is very logical and rational, but my body tells the story. My head knows he would never be so stupid again. My head understands that what he's saying is true and what he's showing me is proof. My body, on the other hand, DOES NOT! It recoils, retreats and withdraws when I try to let my head win. It will not allow me to relax. It will not allow me to let go. This results in a continuous yo-yo, rollercoaster ride STILL! Although it's not as painful, it's still as relentless. Up and down and in and out, with very little I can do to stop it. So I stopped trying and just accept the ride, albeit very reluctantly. The question here is....
...is this intuition or trauma response? Is my gut telling me not to trust again because it is sensing something off, or because it is reacting to what I have been through?
This led me on to delve quite deep into my experiences with trust, and I discovered this book. The one pictured above "Parents Who Cheat". This wasn't about what my children may be affected by, this is about what I was affected by growing up with a father who cheated. Another WOW! It's so weird because I thought I had addressed most of it. I thought I had reconciled my experiences and let it all go. Well, it seems like I hadn't! I've questioned E V E R Y T H I N G!!! What my dad's behaviour really meant to me, how my mum responded and how all of this moulded my unconscious awareness and beliefs about men, safety, family and relationships. It probably deserves a blog of its own.
This then led on to how I react with people in general. How fearful I am, how confrontational adverse I am, and if you knew me, that would totally be a surprise (and it surprised me!) as I have always believed myself to be pretty upfront and able to stand my ground. Turns out, not so much, I just have very subtle avoidant behaviours which have suddenly become very apparent to me! I generally feel, on most days like a rabbit in head lights, waiting for the house of cards to fall around my feet. Which is how I felt growing up, but didn't realise it. It's just normal right? Because of this, I don't trust anyone has my back, so have participated heavily in controlling and obsessive behaviours throughout my life as unconscious coping mechanisms. Woah, that is deep! How I, pretty much, am just a frightened little girl, most of the time.
No wonder I recoil! So I'm leaning towards trauma response.
I'm working on it.