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Recovery from SA infidelity and abuse

skeetermooch posted 8/27/2020 18:57 PM

I've got terrible PTSD, debilitating anxiety and depression as a result of being married to a sex addict.

I go into freeze mode, where getting out of bed is near impossible unless I have to be somewhere. I've done meds and IC and I'll do more of course but I know they only do so much.

Longterm can I expect to be normal again? Will I always be fighting anxiety?

How long did it take folks to feel normal again? And any suggestions for recovery - I know exercise, eating healthy, getting good sleep are important - is there any other therapy that really helped like EMDR or Somatic Experiencing or ??

skeetermooch posted 8/28/2020 10:44 AM

Maybe this is the wrong category for this question?

EllieKMAS posted 8/28/2020 10:50 AM

Have you thought about joining the SA thread in I Can Relate? I bet you'd get some help with these questions over there - it does seem to have pretty regular posting happening.

crazyblindsided posted 8/28/2020 11:20 AM

I've also heard EMDR and Biofeedback therapy helps.

Have you read the Body Keeps the Score? I highly recommend it. It has helped me understand my PTSD and c-PTSD. In the book it says that Yoga exercises also really help.

I struggle with the same (((skeetermooch))) some of my PTSD stems from my childhood sexual abuse and it has not gone away I just recognize it.

skeetermooch posted 8/28/2020 11:52 AM

Thanks Ellie and CBS.

I'm on "I can Relate". I should get more seriously back into yoga. I'm just so tired of feeling frozen and heavy with grief. I don't want to believe this will remain to any degree.

I have other trauma and this has compounded it to where I'm barely functional. Doesn't help that I'm barely working currently, so too much time to wallow - not enough to drag me up and out.

I'll check out the Body Keeps Score. Thanks!

maise posted 8/28/2020 12:54 PM

Ive definitely been in the “getting out of bed is near impossible” place...I've tried multiple therapist and only one of them has been able to really help me. Im not sure what the name is for the therapy she provides, I messaged her to ask but she is on vacation. She has me focus on myself only, and attempts to get me to reach the parts of myself that I buried deep or blocked away thru various centering techniques. She’s taught me deep belly breathing as I focus on what she’s saying, she’s had me draw for her when I couldn’t figure out what I was feeling, she’s had me dance when I couldn’t get past a block in connecting to my body (due to traumas & criticism).

Sometimes one technique won’t work to get me there so she’ll try another. Sometimes when something isn’t working and we discuss it thru we land into another realization of something I may be struggling with. For example in her attempt to get me to connect with my body she had me do a meditative deep breathing practice with her that we’ve done often. Many times it’s worked, but for this type of connection for me it wasn’t working. In discussion afterward we realized it was due to an issue I had with feeling safe, and her usage of the word “safe” in attempts to get me there.

Anyway, I hope Im not rambling here. All of these things helped me - and it’s only been my experience with this one therapist. Other therapist in the past would try to get me to talk and would say, “try this at home” and it honestly felt more like...like a conversation I could have had with a friend. Not very helpful in connecting or getting me *there*.

I had really bad ptsd, depression, was sinking into alcohol abuse and was just...in a really bad space. I felt like I was a crossroads of falling into worse/destructive spaces with myself to avoid my pain, or saving myself and having the right guidance to cross me to that path.

Im really sorry you’re here. I know for me it was all about the right therapist. I can PM you the name of what type of therapy she provides when she gets back to me after her vacation if you’re interested. The only other thing I can say is, be kind to yourself. On those days where you can’t get out of bed, try taking it slow and do small things. I had a habit of only doing things “for someone else” or “if someone else needed me to” or “if someone else expected it done”. When it came down to doing it for me I simply wouldn’t and felt like I couldn’t. Remember this is for you. You deserve it. I started with cleaning the kitchen. If I made it to the kitchen and put away the dishes I’d be happy I did it, I did it for me...because I deserve a clean kitchen too. Take it little by little. Don’t be hard on yourself.

Sorry I couldn’t help further 😕

((skeetermooch))

skeetermooch posted 8/28/2020 13:13 PM

Thanks Maise.

I'd love a dm when you find out the name of the therapy. I also like the idea of trying different therapists. You're right, so many times it feels no different than having a conversation with a friend. I need to keep looking until something clicks for me.

I'm okay with doing little things like the dishes or straightening the bedroom for myself but I'm really wanting a normal life- where I get up, make the bed, start the day at a reasonable time, accomplish substantial things, work towards goals. I feel so guilty for doing so little, embarrassed by it. I've been living this way for so long now - a year at least - and things weren't necessarily wonderful pre-dday - that I wonder if I'll ever be normal again. I've never had anxiety like this - its so debilitating.

AnnieOakley posted 8/28/2020 13:24 PM

Has anyone taken the free Harvard online course about the science of happiness. I read about it a few months ago and it is still on my list to do. It became the school’s most popular course, which is why it is now offered to anyone.

You can just google and it comes right up...

skeetermooch posted 8/28/2020 14:01 PM

Ah this sounds great - I'm going to check it out!

AnnieOakley posted 8/29/2020 11:39 AM

I’m moving it back towards the top of my list too, thanks for the reminder Skeeter!

siracha posted 8/29/2020 13:04 PM

The only thing that really helped me was reading and sports
Exercise is always great but when you have a passion for something high octane like running or raquet ball or horse riding etc it takes up so much space in your head it pushes out everything else . Anxious people tend to obsess anyway its very easy for us to get addicted even to healthy things
I ve never tried group exercise but cycling clubs are ubiquitous nowadays

skeetermooch posted 8/29/2020 13:51 PM

I just started the Yale Science of Wellbeing class - it's free and looks really good.

Siracha, I used to get obsessed with various sports things but with age it seems I'm less able to. Maybe I can think about this and come up with something. I used to love horseback riding so maybe that's something I can revisit.

sunwillshine posted 9/7/2020 01:59 AM

Have you read the Body Keeps the Score? I highly recommend it. It has helped me understand my PTSD and c-PTSD. In the book it says that Yoga exercises also really help.

This book helped me with my complex ptsd, too. I ended up going to inpatient treatment. That was the best decision I have ever made. Ptsd does not go away on its own. The book made that pretty clear to me. There are numerous therapies discussed in the book. Some of the therapies I used before inpatient therapy were helpful. I did equine therapy, went to group therapy for partners of SA, did individual therapy. My doctor recommended an alpha-stim. I used it daily for about a year. I still use it when feeling a little anxious. It works well.
I fully believe ptsd is curable with the right treatments. I also did emdr. I started that at inpatient treatment because my IC wanted me to be in a controlled environment to start emdr. I continued emdr after inpatient.
At the treatment center, they used group therapy, acupuncture treatments, emdr, equine, yoga, art therapy, movement therapy, writing exercises.
Good luck with your healing.

homewrecked2011 posted 9/7/2020 06:27 AM

Beginning- I went to a 2 week outpatient program at a treatment center. Highly recommend. We had IC, group, and many days of working on tools to help us after the 2 weeks were over.
I hit a low time again after a couple of years, and I went to a tanning bed for 2 months. I started to feel better, stopped the membership, and then stared sitting outside every day for 15-30 min to get the energy from the sun.- vit D?
After that-swimming at the Y, and soaking in the hot tub.

skeetermooch posted 9/7/2020 14:30 PM

Thanks all for the great suggestions!

Ratpicker posted 9/7/2020 20:17 PM

Skeetermooch. I found a number of things that helped. The most effective was elusive. Time. And quite a bit of it.

In the meantime I did find EMDR helpful. And in between sessions, I used a technique called tapping. It was quite useful, by doing it regularly, I could use subtle pressure in a pattern even when I was experiencing anxiety in public.

sleeplessincali posted 9/8/2020 06:25 AM

My first 2 years consisted of extensive self care. I battled extreme anxiety,
sleepless nights etc.. I did a lot of Bible reading, journaling. I did things to slow my mind. Art journaling and brush lettering. I took lots of walks and went to therapy. I'm almost exactly 5 years out. Still have some anxiety and sleeplessness and The stress of Covid 19 has caused some set backs, but I'm doing a lot better. I need to reestablish some of those things again. Life is manageable and it does get better.

It will get better over time.

Shehawk posted 9/13/2020 20:26 PM

For me it did get better.
Every day I am away from a brutal betrayer whose actions almost cost me my life is a day I can practice yoga, get stronger physically, dig deep, invest in and experience healthy loving relationships/experience healthy connection, breathe, forgive myself, take baby steps toward surviving like even brushing my teeth or getting out of bed at first.

I am hoping to participate in equine therapy. I do exercise. I pray and practice spirituality.

I am considering emdr.
Time and distance have been good to me. I am choosing to tell my story. So far so good on that!

((Virtual hugs))

skeetermooch posted 9/14/2020 14:20 PM

Thank you all for sharing.

I did tapping a long time ago and it was very helpful but the practitioner moved. I should look into that again. I'm signed up for equine therapy but covid side tracked it - hopefully that will happen eventually.

Self care is a great thing because it can be small acts that I can accomplish at home - a hot bath, doing my nails, sitting in the garden, meditating.

I'd like to do yoga and walk. The anxiety has me a bit agoraphobic these days. I'm never sure if I should push myself or allow myself to stay home. Sometimes when I get out I'm happy for it and other times it's overwhelming and I can't wait to get back to my safe space.

I guess the sad reality is it is going to take time, and a lot of it, more than I'd like it to. I hate giving this relationship more of my precious time but I don't have a choice.

Lionne posted 9/14/2020 15:29 PM

It was five years from (what I thought was) last Dday when I realized that I was no longer perseverating on the situation. I have had further ddays, porn related, and I have been angry, furious, but I dealt with those in ways far kinder to me. I think now that you are separate from the dysfunction, you'll be able to heal faster.
Don't avoid the negative feelings. Rant, break dollar store dishes, scream and pound the steering wheel. Those dollar store dishes, in a woven grocery bags, beaten with a hammer was amazingly effective and the bag prevented me from cleaning up the glass. You have to process the pain in order to heal from it.
Build self care rituals into your day. Yoga for sure, add a bubble bath with luxury soaps, a single glass of wine, fresh flowers, window shopping, the occasional massage, etc. Find small things that bring you joy and find time to get out in nature, that has been shown to help with depression and PTSD.
You'll get there, but don't be hard on yourself if you slip into negativity.
I'm holding you in the LIGHT...

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