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Neurofeedback?? EMDR??

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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 7:46 PM on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

TLDR... anyone have experience with or insights regarding neurofeedback to help with recovery? (ETA- or EMDR?... i’ve read more about that but would be interested in more firsthand experiences).

I finally found a new MC for FWH and I to try. We have an appt next week. I would still like him to find a new IC for just himself. Perhaps she can serve that role if he likes her and trusts her. I chose her partly because she has particular interest in treating first responders and veterans. I think that is more related to trauma, but I figure that gives her insight into his mindset. He feels his career has affected his approach to coping (or his approach to coping makes him good at his job, I guess I could go either way!). Because she does a lot of work with trauma, she puts a lot of emphasis on EMDR and neurofeedback. When setting up the appointment they made it sound like doing the brain mapping and neurofeedback work is just part of the package. That it helps her treat the individuals better when she has that insight and evaluation to go along with it. This is all unfamiliar to me. I am open to any kind of new ideas to help me with the trauma of recovery, to help him if he’s willing to try it, and to help us as a couple. Does anybody have experience with neurofeedback? I sort of understand EMDR but I don’t understand that at all.

I don’t know if I’m looking at the possibility of a creative new solution, or a kookie doctor holding a hammer who sees every problem as a nail. Lol! She had a number of great reviews and recommendations on a local mom group when I asked anonymously, and she encourages me to continue seeing my IC regardless of what work I do with her. My IC supportive of me trying any additional treatment that I think might help.

[This message edited by GTeamReboot at 3:10 PM, November 27th, 2020 (Friday)]

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8611888
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 5:19 AM on Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

I chose my current IC bc she did neurofeedback. Trauma is her specialty and I'm quite happy.

For the Neuro work, it was like a shower cap with a bunch of nodes/wires. She puts some gel on the nodes to make better connection with the skin (so plan on washing your hair after a session). For the map, I think she had me try to just clear my mind, but I honestly don't remember exactly. Her "results" were what I expected - my limbic system is on fire. I honestly don't remember all the specifics anymore, other than she wanted me to meditate and be more mindful (which I was already doing).

We did the initial map and then a few sessions we did exercises (like looking at a computer screen with a racing game, but no mouse or keyboard and I'm supposed to keep my car going with my brain - it was unlike anything I've done). Unfortunately, Covid pretty much put the brakes on it - we've not had an in person meeting since March.

IMHO, why not try it? We didn't use the neurofeedback as much/often as I'd have liked, but I am still thrilled with my IC. And I believe that an IC who does that kind of work is an IC who keeps abreast of the trauma research, which for me, is the meat of everything.

Good luck!

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8612009
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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 6:23 AM on Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Thanks for sharing your experience gmc94!

I am also of the mindset that I’ll try anything to shift my thought patterns. Cant hurt to try with someone who is highly trained and gets good reviews. Right?

On one hand I think everything I’m experiencing is totally normal

On the other hand I sometimes find myself internally pain shopping, really letting the imagery and what-ifs (regarding tiny details... he has been very forthcoming and shared plenty that I didn’t explicitly ask during full disclosure) fill my head at all hours and even when things are going great. It often feels like it’s to an unhealthy degree.

FWH often says... sometimes in a gentle way, sometimes in an impatient way... that my very very thinky analyzing nature is part of my problem in healing, a part that he can’t fix or support me through entirely.

When he says this I simultaneously want to strangle him and also wonder if he’s right...

I think EMDR or neurofeedback might help??

I’m still annoyed as hell to be in a situation of needing to take drastic steps.

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8612258
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Hedwig ( Member #74175) posted at 7:26 AM on Friday, November 27th, 2020

Hey GTeamReboot,

I have no experience with neurofeedback, I do have experience with EMDR. It didn't really feel like that drastic of a measure for me.

I've walked in on my wexBF and his AP naked and sleeping on his couch. After DDay my whole day would be ruined when that image popped up. It would make me absolutely miserable. Now I can talk about it as if I'm talking about what I had for lunch.

Like you, I'm always open to trying new things. I would try the neurofeedback, too!

Dday - 10/2018
Caught them, EMDR helped
Ended the relationship after false R for 1,5 years

posts: 261   ·   registered: Apr. 8th, 2020
id 8612445
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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 9:01 PM on Friday, November 27th, 2020

Thanks Hedwig! I’m so sorry for the challenge you faced, and that R failed in the end. Did you feel EMDR helped even during the period of R? I guess I assume but the imagery will be very painful, but a little less deeply so, if the marriage was ending. Our R is going well overall, and I’m far from wanting to give up on it. I think the imagery is especially hard for me because the APs were both people I know. The ONS was with a BFF. I can practically picture her naked as easily as I can my FWH, and I can definitely picture them both acting goofy and drunk from firsthand experience, so putting it all together into a movie isn’t hard. The pain of double betrayal is a special kind of hell.

I actually edited the title of my thread because I’m interested in more EMDR info and experiences as well. It seems to come up more than neurofeedback. I’m going to talk to the therapist about both treatments.

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8612635
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 11:58 PM on Friday, November 27th, 2020

I've also done EMDR, which (for me) could get pretty intense.

I understand different ICs may have different methods for EMDR (tapping, waving finger in front of face, etc), and use it for different focuses. My 1st trauma IC introduced me to / did "parts work" (it's a type of therapy for trauma), so that was a significant focus at first. After WH's suicide attempt, we "relived" that specific traumatic experience. She also referred me to a youtube video I could also use in between sessions. It wasn't like a magic bullet, but a way of digging deeper, identifying events/emotions, and trying to heal them. It could be very intense, but I'd say the impacts were more subtle, and felt over time - Still takes awhile to process all the "stuff" that comes up in an EMDR session.

EMDR can also be used to visualize/incorporate joy and help rewire those neurons (the neurons that fire together, wire together), and when that was the focus, there were times I'd feel amazeballs afterwards.

And, like neurofeedback, I'm in the "why not" camp. I don't think either could hurt, and I do think either may help.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 5:59 PM, November 27th, 2020 (Friday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8612671
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gr8ful ( Member #58180) posted at 2:32 AM on Saturday, November 28th, 2020

After my wife was hit by a car she suffered pretty severe PTSD. Years later the consequences of not treating it began to threaten our relationship. EMDR was very helpful to her.

Many who’ve suffered thru infidelity also suffer PTSD so EMDR could be a great tool to help.

posts: 82   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8612695
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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 6:35 AM on Saturday, November 28th, 2020

It’s hard to come to terms with the possibility that my trauma warrants trauma treatment.

The very idea of it pisses me off.

gmC94 you’ve been on my radar since I arrived and your story is heart wrenching. I truly appreciate you taking the time to weigh in.

I struggle with the reality that it was “only” a very brief A phase that he ended on his own. It could have been so much worse. I actually feel a little guilty for hurting as much as I do. But yet I struggle extra because I was betrayed by three people during this. One the man who pledged vows to me. One a dear friend for over a decade, so many important life moments shared, a friendship mourned. One a casual friend who gladly accepted very specific favors from me while hiding a secret for a year.

This triple betrayal, while brief, cut so so deep. I think I’ve only begun to grasp how deep. It doesn’t help that I’m truly a very thinky and analytical person. By design. By trade. It’s my downfall.

So yeah. I guess I’ll try anything.

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8612721
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Hedwig ( Member #74175) posted at 8:47 AM on Saturday, November 28th, 2020

Did you feel EMDR helped even during the period of R? I guess I assume but the imagery will be very painful, but a little less deeply so, if the marriage was ending. Our R is going well overall, and I’m far from wanting to give up on it.

It especially helped during the period of R. I've done 3 sessions in total, all of them at the beginning of R. I think the first one was 4 months after D-day and I gave up on R 1,5 years after D-day, mostly due to my wEXBF not going to IC and basically wanting to rugsweep.

After the three sessions the image wouldn't make me have an anxiety attack or cry or angry anymore. I've spent so much time and energy on them in the EMDR sessions, that they became 'neutral' images. Before that I had a hard time with seeing my wEXBF naked and would often ask him to put on a shirt in bed. I couldn't see him naked in the shower either.

After the sessions (and of course time also helps) it was better. I still had three triggers: if he was drunk and sleeping fully naked with me seeing his whole body and also if he lay down on my left side (because that's where she lay when I found them). The last trigger was if the door of his living room was closed when I entered his house. I would not know what I would find behind that door.

Now that I write this all down, it was definitely not triggerfree or like nothing ever happened afterwards. I remember so vividly how my heartrate would go up seeing a closed door looong after the EMDR sessions. But still, the reactions to those triggers were far less than they were before, no more full-on anxiety attack with shaking and needing a full day to recover.

In my case, my therapist used a light bar. She light would travel from left to right on the bar and I would have to follow the light with my eyes. While doing that I would have to think of the image and play it in my head like a movie. When she stopped the light, I had to stsop the movie and tell her what I was feeling.

I remember after the third session I had a breakthrough, I felt like I was done carrying the dead weight of "the affair" with me and rushing to my wEXBF's home to tell him that. That we could move past this. But I think he (and I) might have interpreted that as wanting to rugsweep, while in hindsight I think I was done carrying the dead weight of the affair by myself. I wanted him to take over. He never did. I don't know if I'm making sense, I just want to tell you about the full experience. The feelings will come up as they do, but the thoughts and rationalization that follow are something else.

I struggle with the reality that it was “only” a very brief A phase that he ended on his own. It could have been so much worse. I actually feel a little guilty for hurting as much as I do.

Same here. His affair consisted of the ONS I have trauma from and also a couple of other incidents, like a kiss (or two) he claims she initiated and flirty texts from her. Tbh, I don't believe everything he told me. I think he was still minimizing the moment I ended our relationship, because he had hopes we would get back together and he didn't want to ruin his chances.

I feel the guilt as well. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't be on here, still dealing with this. That I should have been past this already. But it has fucked me up. It's like comparing a person who has seen one man die after getting hit by a car and a soldier who has been to war. The body doesn't know it can be worse. The body doesn't have anything worse to compare it with. And the body includes the brain.

It doesn’t help that I’m truly a very thinky and analytical person. By design. By trade. It’s my downfall.

Lol, this me. Always overthinking. I'm trying to get better in feeling my feelings. Sometimes I feel like I'm going insane because I've rationalized my feelings to make them go away before and now I'm not sure if I can trust my feelings or distinguish between feelings and rationalizations.

My response is way longer than I intended. Writing it down is very therapeutic for me, I just hope it also helps you in making a choice.

Dday - 10/2018
Caught them, EMDR helped
Ended the relationship after false R for 1,5 years

posts: 261   ·   registered: Apr. 8th, 2020
id 8612733
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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 8:13 PM on Saturday, November 28th, 2020

Thanks Hedwig! All helpful info. And I always type what seems like a reasonable length reply then hit post and can't believe how long it is. Haha! So no worries at all! I'll know more next week about this woman, do I seem to like her, how is she for MC, what might she recommend for us individually, etc. Fingers crossed the counselor and treatment ideas are all good fits!

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8612813
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 9:25 PM on Saturday, November 28th, 2020

GTeam - I can't remember, but didn't you say you are reading "The Body Keeps the Score"? That was a real game changer for me and really helped me recognize/accept that I did have PTSD, that I needed to stop kicking myself for all the ways in which I was falling apart, and start paying attention to the ways in which I could support my lizard brain and my executive brain get on the same damn page.

I HATE that I have PTSD. I HATE that my WH has damaged me so profoundly, and that he did so w/o even a thought of the harm he was causing. It's history that cannot be changed. And, just as if I'd been struck by a hit & run driver, I still have the PTSD and I still have to commit myself to healing.

It's not my fault that this is the hand I was dealt, but it is my responsibility to play it as best I can, with as much joy as I can, and learn to heal.

The body doesn't know it can be worse. The body doesn't have anything worse to compare it with. And the body includes the brain.

Perfectly said, IMHO.

Folks can talk about my sitch and say how bad it is, but I know that it could have been worse in a whole lot of ways. And what I've learned is that it doesn't matter. It's not "about" better or worse, it's "about" different and how the various methods of betrayal impact our unique personalities. IOW, what rips me to shreds, may be more "meh" to someone else, and vice versa.

Going back to the hit by a car analogy, if GTeam and I were both hit by a car, both had broken hips and nicked spleens, does it matter if the car that hit me was driven by a sober driver on a motorcycle and GTeam's was a drunk driver in a semi truck? I don't think so - our injuries are our injuries, no matter the specifics of how they came about.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 3:33 PM, November 28th, 2020 (Saturday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8612828
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TX1995 ( Member #58175) posted at 10:23 PM on Saturday, November 28th, 2020

I've done both.

I've done EMDR with two different therapists, three different ways. One was with the handheld rock looking things and we went through some very specific steps to work on specific events. I did feel like that was semi-helpful. HOWEVER, this was done prior to the DDay truth bomb and I did EMDR over an event that NEVER EVEN HAPPENED. My amazing husband gave me a slew of new trauma and triggers on that second DDAY to add to the ones from the first. He's ruined things for me (like dancing) that he lied about doing with his AP just to cover up that fact that instead of being in a club with her and his co-workers, they were screwing in his hotel room. Sweet.

I did some of the visual back and forth and the headphone beeps EMDR with my couples counselor, but that seemed like it was only to calm me down? She never really said what the goal was with that. Just had me do them while I talked.

As for neurofeedback, I did that (and brain mapping) a few months after the DDAY 2 on recommendation of my couples counselor. This was after I also did a one week intensive therapy program out of state. I was a MESS. Like a catatonic mess.

The neurofeedback was the brain map (with the electrode shower cap), then he told me what he saw (pretty interesting how they can see where the trauma is and how messed up your memory is, etc.). Then we did 40 sessions. Twice a week I went in for 30 minutes tried to fly an aircraft through a hoop with my mind. It was extremely hard because I have problems sitting for long periods (my brain starts ruminating) and I often cried through it. It was a LOT of my time spent on trying to fix what my husband fucked up with his immaturity and insecurity. Also a lot of money. Interestingly, my sessions basically ended right before the pandemic lockdown started. I definitely have seen a decrease in dramatic outbursts. I am calmer. However, it hasn't helped me in the sense that I feel okay about any of this happening. I'm just less apt to throw shit at my husband. :) It did not "fix" my trauma. But I was told that continuing to practice mindfulness would continue to help me heal. I have not done that. In a way, going every week MADE me stop for 30 minutes and be mindful. But not sure if it was worth the 1000s I paid for it and TBH I'm not sure about the lasting effects. I've been kind of maintaining okaydom during the pandemic but yesterday I was in a car by myself and had to run an errand that took two hours in the car. Waze and construction made me drive by the hotel parking lot where my WH and his cOW pulled over for a quick BJ after a work trip (I called him while he was in the car with her). I had a breakdown and cried the entire two hour round trip and screamed a lot at both of them. So perhaps it's less true healing and more pandemic makes triggers less likely because I'm going nowhere and neither is WH.

I wish there was a magic fix to recover from trauma. It's like we keep throwing things at a wall and hope something will stick. I hope you find something that helps you!

[This message edited by TX1995 at 4:28 PM, November 28th (Saturday)]

I'm the BS. WH had a 3 month EA/PA with a cOW. DDay was 4/17. Working on R. Married 15 years and together 20 at DDay.
DDay #2 and #3 6/19. Grew a conscience and admitted a full blown physical affair. Now in limbo.

posts: 983   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017   ·   location: Texas
id 8612841
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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 2:27 PM on Monday, November 30th, 2020

TX1995 Thank you so so much for that in depth response! I’m meeting with this woman tomorrow to discuss individual options and separately we have a MC session with her Thursday. Your reply and that of others above give me more of a vision what neurofeedback is and I feel like I can ask better questions instead of being stuck on “really?... you’re gonna do what? And I’m gonna done what?”

gmc94 your analogy is very helpful! I’m allll about analogies. No I haven’t mentioned reading that book but I’ve seen it recommended enough times. Maybe at some point I said “I should read that.” Well now I’ve downloaded it. I think the topic is hard to jump into. Like admitting the problem is that bad. But I’ve had a really rough few days (posted in reconciliation about picking fights) so it’s time to try new things and new books.

I really hope this woman is a good fit for FWH and for MC and maybe even for him to work with her on his own. He needs it more than he sees or will admit.

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8613106
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Hedwig ( Member #74175) posted at 12:55 PM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Thanks Hedwig! All helpful info. And I always type what seems like a reasonable length reply then hit post and can't believe how long it is. Haha! So no worries at all! I'll know more next week about this woman, do I seem to like her, how is she for MC, what might she recommend for us individually, etc. Fingers crossed the counselor and treatment ideas are all good fits!

Very relatable, haha. Good luck and keep us posted!

Folks can talk about my sitch and say how bad it is, but I know that it could have been worse in a whole lot of ways. And what I've learned is that it doesn't matter. It's not "about" better or worse, it's "about" different and how the various methods of betrayal impact our unique personalities. IOW, what rips me to shreds, may be more "meh" to someone else, and vice versa.

Yup! there is no pity olympics. and while we can rationally know this, we can still sometimes 'gaslight' ourself by telling ourselves it could be worse.

Dday - 10/2018
Caught them, EMDR helped
Ended the relationship after false R for 1,5 years

posts: 261   ·   registered: Apr. 8th, 2020
id 8613353
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 3:26 PM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

I think the topic is hard to jump into. Like admitting the problem is that bad.

I was in the same place, and reading BodyKeepsTheScore was difficult at first. And as I got into it, I found it to be validating... i found comfort in there being a name or face to what I was experiencing, and I found comfort in understanding there are ways to treat trauma/PTSD. I was able to refocus to try and stop blaming myself for the reaction/responses & telling myself if I could "just" X... (stop ruminating, stop crying, stop shaking, stop the whole litany of things happening) then I would be Ok.

I found comfort in knowing that my responses to the trauma were NORMAL and it wasn't just a matter of willpower.

I look forward to hearing how your appt went :)

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8613382
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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 6:20 AM on Monday, December 7th, 2020

UPDATE! Long because I just need to dump it all somewhere!

I had a busy week! Early in the week I met with the new counselor who does neurofeedback, EMDR, and had agreed to see us as a new MC. She specializes in trauma recovery in general, which is why I reached out to her, even though my main goal was to find new MC.

Î

This woman also sees nuerofeedback as a great tool for basically whatever ails you – in the head. Haha! I went ahead with the “brain wave mapping” before the appointment. Partly out of curiosity, partly out of desperation! She let me share what I’ve been struggling with, and talked to me about EMDR. She thought it would really help, and my usual IC had agreed that it might be a tool to try. She went over the brain mapping results and – shocker – they showed a persistent state of hypervigilance that goes along with feeling “triggered.” (The skeptic in me thinks these results could be totally bogus and I would have no way to know. But, I digress…). She explained how neurofeedback works and I was intrigued, even if I felt a little like she advocated for a solution without a deep understanding of my issue. Then again, maybe that’s my problem all along. I’m overthinking it all. I want to overtalk it all. She can see plainly what’s up, understands why I’m in this predicament, and wants to get right to work. She advocated coupling neurofeedback with EMDR but would offer EMDR regardless. I’m still reading up, but I’ve booked EMDR starting in January. Two sessions, and then see how I’m doing. But I’ll probably try the neurofeedback too because why not. Can’t hurt, might help, and I’ve got more flexibility in my schedule these days than I likely will by spring. Now is the time to try it.

So, all of that left a pretty good first impression overall, even though I’m still skeptical of neurofeedback.

I

And then we met with her together for MC. Let me start by saying it was good overall and we will be going back. But it was certainly a different vibe thean when we spoke one on one about me specifically! And there were a few things that didn’t quite sit with me right. I’m trying to give it time. Even my FWH, when I expressed the concern, said she might be trying to win his trust by not going at him very hard at first, given I had already met with her before and I had told her he was a bit skeptical.

She got background from both of us about our childhoods, our parents’ marriages that we were witness to, our own marriage and past patterns, etc. She asked us to think back to what was going on leading up to “the incidents” as she put it. She was weirdly vague about WHAT the incidents were, almost dismissive. She asked him if it meant anything, how he felt after. Of course he said it meant nothing, he felt deeply ashamed and embarrassed. I kind of thought she would want to know more about what happened. Gosh, my IC let me spill every last detail! But – that’s a different approach and just “for me.” So I get that. She didn’t ask for much info. Part of me felt like it was a strategy to keep him from going on the defensive I could see that as feasible. We all know why we are there, we don’t need to discuss the details right away. Perhaps especially because I had already told her how much he retreats into shame and guilt. That’s the last thing we need within the first half hour of MC! But the result was I felt like she did more defending him than I expected. She did at one point ask him if he knew “why he did it” but then offered answers… “bored, lacking a connection, wanted attention?...” All he had to do is say “uh, yes.” So we better be revisiting that and I plan to point out to her that I wasn’t comfortable with that at all. He needs to think and articulate specifically himself. (Which he has attempted to do, but I’m not done hearing it). I did manage to explain that what hurts the most lately is feeling like my pain is a burden to him. He has even said it feels sometimes like I’ve got “an agenda” to simply hurt him like he hurt me. Oh yeah that goes over reallll well with me. He didn’t do that in the past, just recent months. He claims he is “burned out” and I have confessed that we did talk about it almost very single day since DDay. She talked about the importance of treating both people in MC, recognizing that both people are hurting – but in different ways and for different reasons. At one point she even said – and I quote!... “He seems sorry.” She frankly seemed more concerned about his feeling “tapped out” (her words) than about me – after having been incredibly empathetic when we met one on one, acknowledging the trauma as very real. It was a little weird! And I hated some of what she said because I knew she was right, I just didn’t expect to hear her saying it and not offering the “other side” of the story to him. She mostly talked to me, about working on moving forward because I did make a choice to stay. I did a LOT of crying. I actually feel like I managed to reach him more effectively than I have lately, probably because it was a neutral setting, which I guess is the point. She did say things like “we’ll get back to that” a number of times. So I guess it makes sense to start easy, start slow, make we are both comfortable enough being there to get something out of it. Truth is, that’s what I want. Truth is, I KNOW he’s hurting too. I want him to look forward to MC as a place he feels comfortable enough to get down in the trenches with me, and I can’t expect that on the first day. So I’m guarded but hopeful.

So… she spent over an hour with us, which was nice. In the end she assured me she felt like the EMDR would really help me, and in turn help us in MC. The vibe was relaxed even as emotional as I was. In the end she advocated for using the MC space as the only place, for now, that we talk about any of the past issues. She basically instructed us (me, since it’s no challenge for him!) to not talk about anything other than now, today, the little things, tend to the kids and the home, etc., for a couple weeks until we can go back. To take a break from talking about “it” so much, so often. It’s a fair request. It’s DAMN hard.

He has been attentive since then, affectionate, appreciative, etc. I was really triggered by something last night and I think he picked up on it. I would like him to have acknowledged with words, but he seemed to try with touch and body language. He will have no trouble taking the “don’t talk about it” assignment seriously, but I am watching his actions carefully. What triggered me is something I have to bring up eventually. I’m willing to try and wait. A while back I challenged him to ‘ask me everyday for a week if I hit a trigger that day’ and he did it. He hated the request because basically I was requesting him to give me a chance to remind him of his mistake, everyday. But he did it. So I’m going to try and be deliberate about a break. We will see how long I last! 3 days so far. Haha!

Have a great week, everyone!

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8614758
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ladyphoenix ( Member #72766) posted at 11:45 PM on Monday, December 7th, 2020

Our MC suggested EMDR to me the first day we saw her in July 2020. Our session went similar to yours in that she provided a safe place for him to express himself. I was all about getting to the details (and wanted someone on my side, validating me). I have realized that her approach is to bring us both together, validating both of our feelings. Truly an impartial mediator. She helps us see the importance of solidifying our connection to each other. She also suggested that we only talk about it once a week. I flat out refused. Not very open of me, but there was no way I was going to suffer in silence. I am very open with my FWH about the intense pain I am feeling. I am triggered every day.

For financial reasons I decided not to do EMDR at that time. We are now five months into MC and I have learned not to rage at him daily. It has been months since I attacked him physically (on the day of the most recent TT). We are learning to work together and he is slowly learning to show empathy and be vulnerable with me. It’s slow progress and sometimes makes me feel crazy.

The triggers are still present daily. I shake and cry all the time, I wake up every day thinking about his betrayal. So two weeks ago our MC suggested EMDR again to help me with the trauma. We are going to start in January. I am hopeful that it will help. I’m ready to try anything at this point. My brain is not working like it used to. I have a hard time retaining information. My kids are starting to notice that I ask the same questions several times over.

I rarely post, but follow many threads. I relate to your posts a lot. I look forward to hearing about your journey with EMDR. I have read a lot about it and found The Body Keeps the Score to be very helpful. I borrowed it in audiobook on Hoopla (using my library card). They have an ok selection of audiobooks on infidelity and relationships if you need more resources.

M 23 years, together 29. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020We have 3 children: 22,18, 13 and a grandson April 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 93   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8614953
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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 5:09 AM on Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Hi ladyphoenix! We will definitely have to keep tabs on each other when the EMDR work takes place. I wish you luck!!

It helps to hear that my first MC session with her was probably pretty normal even if not perfect. She was so empathetic when we met one on one. It’s like she changed hats. Because... technically she did. Her work with me and for me is separate from her work with us equally as a couple. I need to give it some time. And I have my own very trusted IC I can vent to differently.

I’m over a year out and I feel like I’m coping with more trauma than I should be for what I experienced. Except maybe not really. Double betrayal is a special hell. Triple because it involved two friends. Worse because one was a bestie. I have to remember that all adds up to a lot. And as the book says - the body keeps the score. I have that now on audible. I’ve been afraid to start it because I know it will be intense. But I should ...

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8615018
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 9:05 PM on Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Thx for update GTeam. There are tons of posts here about the MC's "role" vs IC, and it sounds like your experience is typical.

I would not be OK with using terms like "incidents". I think I "get" why an MC would do that, but I also don't think using such totally minimizing language helps anyone. Just my (maybe not so humble) opinion. Minwalla talks about this a fair amount. And I guess my "take" is that I see one of the goals is for a WS to be able to really SEE the damage done, really SEE the ways in which they've been abusive AND find ways to change from that. I guess to be able to simultaneously "hold" in their heads/hearts the reality of the person they have been and the reality of the person they are today and want to be tomorrow. To me, by minimizing the reality of who they "were" or what they've done, a piece of the puzzle is missing.

I dunno. What I do know is that the WS here on SI who seem to have done the work and thrive in R, are all very open and honest about the horrifying behavior and its impacts. To be able to manage their shame in order to "get" what they've done....

Well, I'm meandering...

Also, sorry but I can't remember if you've read "the body keeps the score" by Bassel Van der Kolk. He talks about neurofeedback and other forms of IC for trauma, which I think helped me embrace modalities that 4 yrs ago I would have scoffed at :)

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8615199
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 GTeamReboot (original poster Member #72633) posted at 6:31 AM on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

gmc94 - Thanks for your last reply, I had meant to answer. I have that as an audiobook but haven’t listened yet. Kind of afraid to. Lol. We’ve still only had the one MC session. I’m keeping an open mind about her approach for now. I can see her trying to be as neutral sounding as possible with him on the first meeting in order to establish trust and the sense that she is, well, neutral. I’ll know more tomorrow about getting another one scheduled. The holidays have made it tough.

And... Tomorrow is my first EMDR session. I’m kinda terrified. I’m afraid of the intensity of emotion that I realize is kind of necessary. I’ve done neurofeedback several times already. Still not sure what to make of that, if it’s helping or not. Overall the last few weeks have been better. Not without incident (lol, there’s that word again). Is that him doing better since MC? Is it me and my treatment? Both? Who knows.

Anyway... EMDR. Stand by for an update.

Me- BW, 45 (FWH, 47); DDay Oct 2019 - Double Betrayal (x2) during Aug-Sept 2018. Hard at work in R! Whole story in Bio
I tend to make little edits for clarity and typos!

posts: 497   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020
id 8620342
Topic is Sleeping.
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