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One year since D-day and diagnosed with Ptsd. Is there hope?

historyandheal posted 9/30/2020 09:31 AM

TL;DR: I was emotionally cheated on by my ex-husband in our entire relationship. I am diagnosed with PTSD from the cheating. I am incapable of intimacy anymore because I would be triggered. Is there hope?

覧覧覧覧覧覧 the story, just like any other here 覧覧覧覧覧覧

One year ago, I (26F) discovered in my then-fiance/husband痴 (30M) phone three years of intimate conversations/flirting with his ex-girlfriend overseas. We were together for three years and married for six months.

We were deeply in love. He was my best friend. We went everywhere together. We are both agreeable people and barely fought. All my friends spoke highly of him. Before him, I was physically cheated on by another ex with multiple women, and briefly dealt with the trauma, so my ex-husband was like that person that heard you, accepted you and then cured you with love. I had always known he still talks to his ex from time to time, but because he seemed so trustworthy, and reassured me again and again 鍍here痴 nothing, I never doubted him.

I don稚 apologize for looking into his phone. I respect privacy, but I don稚 think when you池e together and that close there should be any secrets. I would give him my phone any second because there痴 nothing to hide. In fact, I asked to look into his phone, he was pissed but still gave it to me.

Most of the conversations between him and his ex are normal bantering, except there痴 still a lot of vivid flirtation and intimacy. He asked her for photos and she sent selfies of her body from in a hotel room. Nothing explicit, but still very intimate. And he壇 give all the compliments, the same sweet things he壇 say to me, 田ute, 田urvy, 菟retty, 堵ood-looking. He spoke of her body in sexy gym outfits. When we had been serious for a few months, she asked him, 渡ow you have a new gf, what do you do with our old stuff, he responded enthusiastically 的 have kept all of them with me!!! Won稚 show them to her, haha. Then they went down the memory alley to fondly talk about their romantic gifts to each other that they still own.

I scrolled through three years of this kind of messaging. It overlapped with our entire relationship. No matter how in love he was with me in the moment, things never changed between them.

I was instantly traumatized. I won稚 repeat here the sleepless nights burning with extreme pain, intrusive thoughts, anger, and fear. The horrible nightmares. The incapable of functioning at work or performing basic tasks in life. I cried all day, all night while my ex hid away. Y誕ll know.

Cheating is abuse.

We tried to 努ork on things but it was too painful and we divorced three months later. I won稚 repeat how he tried to 努ork on things and what an awful experience it was, just imagine someone who guiltlessly did what he did for a few years, how little understanding he has of the matter, how little he knew how he was deceiving and abusing another human being, and what awful things he had to say to defend himself. Assholes never know they are assholes. He still insisted that they are just 途eally good friends, and I was overreacting. He refused to apologize because he thought he was not at fault. He said he has the freedom to make friends outside the relationship and it痴 渡one of your business. When I struggled with trauma, he complained about why I wasn稚 堵etting better. He said the most ridiculous things that hurt so much, caused so much secondary damage I壇 never forget.

覧覧覧覧覧覧 the present 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧

I won稚 talk more of him now. There are people out there who are inherently narcissistic and less empathetic than others. They still exist in the mass no matter if I bring one more to your attention. I filed for divorce, cut all ties with him, deleted everything, moved to a new place. I hated this man痴 guts and just wanted him and all his influence out of my life.

For a while I was in a lot of emotional agony. Quarantine hit and I had to deal with everything myself. I look back at the past few years and everything went to shit. I deleted all the love letters we poured so much heart and soul in, because I now see at the same time he was reminiscing his romantic past with his ex. The images of his ex痴 face and body was hard engraved in my brain, and I would get triggered by anything that remotely reminds me of it.

When I came out of the other side of the pain after a year, I can clearly tell there is a break in my personality. I used to be an open and trusting person. I befriend people easily and like people easily. But now I am a bitter nasty cynical bitch inside. My world view changed. I look at all men thinking that they池e either going to physically or emotionally cheat, both of which I have experienced. I look at men as though they池e animals that can稚 stop thinking about women (apologies to the good people here). The contrast between who I thought my ex was (a great, trustworthy man who deeply loved me) and who he actually was on his phone completely broke my system of judging people. I honestly don稚 know how I can tell if anyone or anything is real anymore. I was so sure he was different from that ex that physically cheated on me. I got married and committed my life to him. Look at what happened.

And the pain - however hard I try, every other day or so I would fall back into the pain of having my whole belief system turned over. I would re-live the moment of discovering the texts over and over again, and become extremely upset and uncontrollably cry.

I致e tried dating, but I only came to see how broken I am now. Whenever I started acting intimately with someone, even just to tell a cute joke, flirt a bit, act cute a bit, like how I used to act around my ex, my brain would halt and I can稚 function. It痴 like that open, trusting part of me permanently died. When a man flirts with me, I would be reminded of the sweet, sweet things my ex texted the other woman, and feel nothing but disgust. I am not capable of intimacy anymore.

Last week, about a year after D-day, I was diagnosed with PTSD from the cheating. It was a huge relief, because I was starting to recognize I needed professional intervention for the trauma. But it痴 also depressing. PTSD means there痴 permanent change in your brain. I don稚 know if I can ever fully recover from this, and escape trauma痴 long tail. I致e been cheated on twice now, every time worse than the previous time. My dad cheated on my mom their entire marriage which is why, my therapist says, I am so susceptible. I知 scared of relationships now. I don稚 want to be with another person 20 years and find out they cheated. I honestly don稚 know if I can live through that. I read stories of people murdering their significant other after being betrayed, and I honestly can relate. I don稚 know if I am ever capable of trust or love anymore.

Does it get better? Can you fully trust and love someone else again, so carefree like nothing had happened to you? How do you even find a person to trust, since it痴 practically impossible to identify a cheater? Can you recover from the worst?

fooled13years posted 9/30/2020 10:28 AM

historyandheal, I am so sorry for the reason you came here but will you find support as you go through this.

Is there hope?

There is always hope.
I scrolled through three years of this kind of messaging

I can't imaging experiencing reading everything that transpired between the two of them.

Based on that alone I would say that you are a very strong person.

No matter how in love he was with me in the moment, things never changed between them

He may have said that he was in love with you but there are many here would argue, including me, that a person cannot love the one they betray.
All my friends spoke highly of him

Every wayward person I know or have read about are very good at deceiving and concealing who they truly are and what they are capable of a willing to do to suit their own selfishness.
When I came out of the other side of the pain after a year, I can clearly tell there is a break in my personality. I used to be an open and trusting person. I befriend people easily and like people easily. But now I am a bitter nasty cynical bitch inside. My world view changed

Last week, about a year after D-day, I was diagnosed with PTSD from the cheating. It was a huge relief, because I was starting to recognize I needed professional intervention for the trauma. But it痴 also depressing. PTSD means there痴 permanent change in your brain.


This type of trauma, and for you twice, has a way of fundamentally changing a person.

Take heart though, while this trauma may temporarily rewire a person's brain, with the proper professional trained in this type of trauma repair a person can learn how to reestablish a majority of the wiring that previously existed.

BearlyBreathing posted 9/30/2020 19:35 PM

There is definitely hope. Find a therapist who specializes in trauma. I致e been working through mine, and it is MUCH better. But it takes time.

You will be better- our cheaters scarred us for sure, but we will be okay. Different maybe less naive certainly, and less quick to trust - but you can get that back.

Don稚 despair, and don稚 lose hope. This is still fairly early in the process.
(((HandH)))

SoEffingTired posted 9/30/2020 22:18 PM

I知 so sorry for what痴 happened to you. I知 going through something nearly identical myself, the second time in my life it痴 happened. The first time broke me. Very much as you describe. No trust. My self-worth was gone. My heart was truly broken.

After the first time it happened to me, someone gave me a great piece of advice. 哲ever give away more than you池e willing to lose. Even though I知 going through this again with a husband who痴 hurt me by cheating, I know that I loved him fully for the last 15 years. I also loved him responsibly. I didn稚 give all of myself away this time. I kept parts of me to myself. I kept parts of me safe. And it痴 those parts of me that are getting my pieces through this new nightmare. I say this as proof that it痴 possible to move past. To heal. To have loving reciprocal relationships. But it WILL take all your strength.

I was struck by a car crossing a street 20 years ago. I spent months in the hospital and then more time in a wheelchair. When I tried driving my car again, I had panic attacks and was diagnosed with PTSD. At the time, I had two young boys just starting school. As a busy working single mom, not driving wasn稚 an option. So I got into therapy. I was told it was possible to retrain my brain out of this particular trauma by repeatedly forcing myself to drive. Over and over again. It was terrifying. I truly thought I was going to have a heart attack. But after a few weeks it got better. The fear kicks in sometimes as mild anxiety. But it IS manageable.

I guess I知 trying to say that there痴 hope. If you get strong enough to firmly grab the reigns of your life once again. Let people you love be there for you.

historyandheal posted 10/1/2020 19:20 PM

Thank you, fooled13years, BearlyBreathing and SoEffingTired, for the kind words and sharing your stories! It's so comforting to see people who've gone through this, possibly in more devastating ways, and got close to fully healed. Tomorrow is my first CPT treatment session. I'm ready to give this my best, I'm ready to cry some, but walk out of all this with a smile on my face.

GraceLove posted 10/7/2020 14:18 PM

I'm so sorry to read what you have been through. And I want to say that yes, there is hope.
I was diagnosed with cPTSD (that just means complicated PTSD because it wasn't a one time event like a bomb going off or something).
It takes time, and for me it's been 3 years since d-day and i still have it. I'm integrating it better though. I think it will always maybe be there, but not as pronounced.
I don't believe in just talk therapy for this though. My own personal opinion. EMDR works well. One of the best therapies is something called somatic experiencing. THe trauma gets physically stuck in the body so all the talking in the world, alone, doesn't help integrate or get rid of the trauma. That's why I"m not a fan of just talk therapy, even though that's usually a good place to start.
The things that help me most in the moment are recognizing that I've jumped out of my body, telling myself I"m safe, breathing, and letting others know what I have. THat was TOUGH. My family thought I was weird because I would scream at the top of my lungs when someone startled me. It made me feel like a weirdo. Especially when it happens in public. So there is hope. I needed to feel safe. Especially in my new relationship. I told him very early on that I had it. I have support people that I can call and talk to in the moment. Meditation has helped, art mindfulness, conscious dancing has been really key to helping me with cPTSD. That was and has been huge. Getting into community helps, especially with others who are in the same boat. And getting braver about talking about it. I still feel like a weirdo but it's getting better as I am more open about it. HArdest part is trying to figure out what to say when I scream at the dog park cause a dog unexpectedly comes up to me. I HATE that! People will ignorantly say...he won't hurt you, he doesn't bite...ug.

The1stWife posted 10/9/2020 04:36 AM

How was your first appointment? Hope it provides you with some hope.

Anna123 posted 10/9/2020 09:54 AM

I致e tried dating, but I only came to see how broken I am now. Whenever I started acting intimately with someone, even just to tell a cute joke, flirt a bit, act cute a bit, like how I used to act around my ex, my brain would halt and I can稚 function. It痴 like that open, trusting part of me permanently died. When a man flirts with me, I would be reminded of the sweet, sweet things my ex texted the other woman, and feel nothing but disgust. I am not capable of intimacy anymore.

The act cute a bit, like how you used to and the open trusting part dying are not broken or lost. You have grown. Flirting at the cute level is not really mature for you anymore in the same way as much as it felt natural for you before. It is part of 'growing older' but in a healthy way. Open and trusting, the same thing. This is good. You will no longer be a target for those types of people and I am not just talking about men and relationships. Women and men in other relationships as well. Somewhere between 'no trust' and 'complete trust', you will find your comfortable area. And you will be able to find intimacy again with a good match. It's okay you aren't finding it currently.


I hope your session you are trying is helpful! If not, there are plenty of other avenues to help you through this. You will grow and be stronger for it as well.

Take care.

[This message edited by Anna123 at 9:57 AM, October 9th (Friday)]

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