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Newbies: Mind movies and dark thoughts - how to stop them

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minusone posted 1/25/2017 12:30 PM


SoFloGirl posted 1/27/2017 12:39 PM

Thank you! Last night my heart felt like it was gonna jump outta me, beating so hard...these "movies" are becoming less n less, but the intensity still is there..thank you for posting

SoFloGirl posted 1/27/2017 12:43 PM seriously convinced my next partner will have experienced this, the pain is so much i cant imagine being with someone who has never been cheated on

heartbroken_kk posted 2/10/2017 01:29 AM


heartbroken_kk posted 3/1/2017 02:58 AM


minusone posted 3/4/2017 20:52 PM


ForTheTeam posted 3/17/2017 12:36 PM

This exactly. I have used this technique in years past to deal with insomnia and I don't know why I didn't think of using it for this situation.

I'm in an airport waiting to go 'home' from a business trip. I have been torn up about calling that house a home because the A began while we were buying it and it feels ruined to me now. I don't have a good story developed yet but I do have an adorable shepherd puppy so I pulled up some videos and they immediately made me smile.

My insomnia story was to tell my body to go to sleep, body part by body part, starting at my toes. I would 'feel' my toes mentally and tell them to go to sleep. When I could feel them relax and tingle, I moved on to my feet, my heels, my ankles, and so on. Rarely did I reach my head before falling asleep.

heartbroken_kk posted 4/4/2017 22:22 PM

bumping for 1owner

kaygem posted 4/4/2017 23:05 PM

Thank you so much for this! The mind movies actually make my blood pressure go up for real. I was scared at how high it was going.

WS's are so cruel. Mind movies are one of the most painful things I've ever encountered in this life.

HairlessMonkey posted 4/5/2017 00:27 AM

Here I am at 1:30 in the morning, stuck in one of those loops. It's only d3, and I'm wondering if it gets better. Thank you for helping me get those damned movies to stop for the now. Maybe I can actually sleep.....

Foreverwondering posted 4/5/2017 08:41 AM

Thank you for this wonderful post. Im going to try it

minusone posted 4/12/2017 06:27 AM


anoka posted 4/12/2017 18:38 PM

These techniques strike me as new & exciting ways to rugsweep your spouses cheating.

heartbroken_kk posted 4/14/2017 01:14 AM

Hi Anoka, I can see how it might seem like rugsweeping, but I assure you it is different.

Rugsweeping is related to excusing or ignoring someone else's obnoxious behavior. It takes place when there is something painful that you don't want to face, so you pretend it's not really painful or a problem so you don't have to deal with the drama or whatever. Rugsweeping is about something external to you that hurts, and it's a ***pattern of excusing that hurt*** rather than confronting it. It's about never having the tough conversation. It's about never saying "this hurts me and I want you stop doing it"

Changing your thoughts is a deliberate decision to think about something else for a while, not to never think about something, not to never deal with something, not to excuse something, or pretend it doesn't exist. It's a tool to take control of your thoughts when your thoughts seem out of control.

It's about having a boundary inside your head, that you erect to protect yourself. You don't allow something to intrude on your peace. You put it aside, for now.

It's a useful and healthy skill. Many people have to be able to do this routinely, for example surgeons who must stay completely focused on the task at hand. If a surgeon is trying to repair a stab wound on a child, she can't afford to be having her mind drift off and start thinking about the violence that brings the child into surgery. She needs to think about anatomy and a bunch of other things. Focus. Redirecting her thoughts to THIS NOW. Later if she wants to write an editorial about violence she can put her thoughts on that instead. She can process her feelings and outrage at a world that would cause an innocent child so much pain. She can deal with it, make sure that she documents the wound carefully in her post-surgical notes so it can be used as evidence, etc. But she can't be writing the notes and imagining herself testifying to a judge in her head when she is holding a scalpel or a needle and thread. NOT NOW.

I suffered for several years with PTSD due to the way I found out about my XWH's cheating. I was very traumatized and I kept replaying that moment over and over on a loop. It kept me anxious and crying and raging and it triggered my depression over and over. That loop, that rumination, was very bad for me. I felt so powerless and overwhelmed. I couldn't hold a job, not even a simple part time volunteer job. I had to learn how to stop it. Getting control of my own thoughts gave me back my power. It was essential to my healing and recovery.

anoka posted 4/14/2017 18:01 PM

It's about having a boundary inside your head, that you erect to protect yourself. You don't allow something to intrude on your peace. You put it aside, for now.
Respectfully, this is the very definition of compartmentalizing - the heart of rug-sweeping. If you don't like the term "rugsweeping" than use "denial" because it's the same thing. It's the Scarlett O'Hara method of problem resolution....

"I won't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow..."

[This message edited by anoka at 6:01 PM, April 14th (Friday)]

heartbroken_kk posted 4/14/2017 19:51 PM


Compartmentalizing can be a healthy adaptation to managing stress, when it is essential to do so. Compartmentalizing is putting things in boxes so you can go from one box to the other and not drag things between. It can be a critical survival skill. Go ahead and google "healthy compartmentalizing" and see what others have written on the subject.

Compartmentalizing can be unhealthy if you never deal with the trauma you put in one of the boxes -- if you never consciously go back into the box, but what is in the box is still there and eats at you subconsciously. If you develop anxiety, have nightmares, choose alcohol or drugs to mask feelings that eat at you in the background, have trouble with angry outbursts or are prone to crying jags, if you feel disconnected from the world, etc.

Compartmentalizing can be unhealthy if it's YOUR OWN awful behavior you stuff in a box and don't think about as well. Psychopaths can be skilled at compartmentalizing to the detriment of everyone around them.

Stuffing things in a box and pretending the box doesn't exist, or that what's in the box isn't bad, yes, that is not healthy. When what is in the box you are pretending doesn't exist is another person's awful behavior, well then that is the definition of rugsweeping.

Rugsweeping is an unhealthy adaptation to managing stress, because it denies or minimizes the awfulness. It lets others off the hook and allows the awfulness to persist, it pretends, it distorts, it denies.

Choosing alternate thoughts, deliberately, as a way to escape recurring thoughts or emotions that hijack your brain is NOT RUGSWEEPING. It doesn't try to reframe the awful thing that other person did and morph it into something not-awful. It doesn't deny the awfulness! That's because it doesn't have anything to do with that awful thing that person did. It just puts that awful thing aside, and says "not now". It doesn't mean "not ever".

Meditating is also not rugsweeping. If you can sit and focus on your breath for 15 minutes, great. I can't. I've tried. It doesn't work for me. My brain wants to be attached to a thought, it wants to be engaged. My brain is overactive. It is constantly searching for connections, to link two thoughts, or three, or four. It can get really old when you play the same sequence over and over and over in your head, and the sequence is AWFUL.

So rather than fight myself and my own brain when I'm in pain, I give my brain something positive to work on, I give it healthy pathways to go down. In that way I get some relief from the awfulness, when the real, genuine, world-destroying reality I'm living in is not something I can cope with 24-7. I have to turn my brain away from the terrible loop it's in with the chronic replay of the movie I've seen 100 times.

Please respect that there are a number of ways of coping with the trauma of infidelity. If this tool doesn't work for you, that's OK. But try not to disparage it or mischaracterize it as something dysfunctional when it is a healthy tool for others.

minusone posted 4/14/2017 21:14 PM

I keep bumping this post because HeartbrokenKK's post was a life saving tool for not only me but for many who have been betrayed.

anoka posted 4/16/2017 14:02 PM

Please respect that there are a number of ways of coping with the trauma of infidelity. If this tool doesn't work for you, that's OK. But try not to disparage it or mischaracterize it as something dysfunctional when it is a healthy tool for others.

Respectfully, this is precisely what you are doing. You found a tool that works for you and you now label it as a good method to combat mind-movies. That's great. For you. Just because I disagree and call it what I see it as - rugsweeping - doesn't mean that I'm wrong and it's doesn't mean I'm disparaging it. Rugsweeping is the most time honored technique for handling infidelity in history. Every time you trigger you just package your feelings up and sweep them back under that rug. It keeps many couples from divorcing so - I guess that means it works.

heartbroken_kk posted 4/16/2017 16:24 PM

"Call it what you see it as." As if rugsweeping is a positive, healthy choice? Is that what you are saying?

I don't think you will find a lot of support for rugsweeping as a "time honored technique" here. Anymore than drinking is a "time honored technique." Or having a revenge affair.

Or are you saying that deliberately changing one's thoughts is equivalent to rugsweeping?

That's sorta like saying mashed potatoes are equivalent to vodka.

Insearchofme posted 4/16/2017 21:25 PM

Thank you Heartbroken. I am 11 months out and still suffer from the mind movies, anger and resentment. I stumbled across your post. Not sure what I was looking for in the Just found out forum. Apparently it was you! Thank you again for offering away to help others get relief from these awful thoughts...BTW...not sure why the one poster is critiziing a post that is clearly helping others.

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