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Wayward Side :
Intrusive Thoughts about AP

Topic is Sleeping.
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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 6:55 PM on Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

It's the six month mark now since DDay. I thought I was basically over AP. In the past week or so, I'm been having more intrusive thoughts and dreams about AP. These are the possible triggers I've come up with so far.

1. Processing CSA also triggering the trauma from what he did.
2. It was graduation this weekend and the university had been sending out emails prior to it. He graduated but I didn't.
3. Met with Title IX. Starting to see the end. Later this month we'll get the preliminary report and then the hearing is likely for June or July. Then it's over for better or worse.
4. Saw two shows where the antagonist looked liked AP almost back to back. The second one the antagonist was a creepy sexual predator who even dressed like AP so barf

For the most part, the thoughts and dreams have been around the fact that he assaulted me. They're not warm fuzzy feelings. Except for one exception. Yesterday I was thinking about something completely innocent and unrelated and a fantasy about AP popped in my head, with a physical reaction that was unwanted to say the least. I noticed it right away and didn't continue the fantasy consciously. I sort of paused it and was like "Wtf?!" I don't want AP. I hate him. Even besides the assault, he's not someone I would choose to date. He's pretty immature and we have divergent values. But why is this coming up? I didn't think there was any pull toward him left. He repulsed me. I'd rather just feel indifferent and forget him.

I'm not sure what advice I want/need right now. I'm beating myself up a little about the intrusive fantasy. I feel really disgusted by myself for having it. I wonder if I'm completely deluding myself and I haven't actually made any progress and am still secretly the same person who had an affair and have secret feeling for him. Maybe I'm over thinking this. I don't know what to do with this or how to work with it. Agh!

posts: 56   ·   registered: Mar. 19th, 2024
id 8836447
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:32 PM on Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

I think it happens like you said when circumstances stir it up. But the underlying factor is people like us feel more comfortable with chaos. For a while after the affair you miss the excitement of it. It has nothing to do with AP, but when your dopamine/happy brain chemicals are low you miss the high. So all this stuff going on that is stressing you out makes you miss your usual forms of escaping. It’s not the person you miss or want, it’s the high feelings you miss. It is normal.

The remedy is to find things that you can escape in that are healthy. I took up running after my affair for example. It allowed me to have small goals I could feel good about achieving, exercise helped produce happy chemicals in the brain, and so does getting outside. I am not saying take up running but experiment with finding healthy hobbies to help fill your soul. Find the things that light you up. Right now I’m having a love affair with my flower garden.

The aftermath of an affair is hard to cope with, and feeling low and often we don’t have great coping skills. This is a time to build them. Find ways to relieves stress to enhance your life. You will soon find that your heart and mind will be more in alignment.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:08 PM, Wednesday, May 15th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7297   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8836567
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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 9:31 AM on Thursday, May 16th, 2024

So all this stuff going on that is stressing you out makes you miss your usual forms of escaping. It’s not the person you miss or want, it’s the high feelings you miss. It is normal.

Ok, that's reassuring that it's part of the process and not a sign I'm doing anything wrong necessarily, just still in the process of relearning. I'm definitely not going back to AP or having another affair!

The remedy is to find things that you can escape in that are healthy.

It sounds like I'm on the right track then. I've been working on developing a routine that allows space for things that make me feel settled (exercise, skin care, drinking tea), self-respect (taking care of my other responsibilities rather than putting things off), and passion (right now it's making clothes, gardening, board games, and dungeon synth.) The passion one has been painful because right before the affair my passion was tied into my internship so...yeah. But I do have other passions and now I have some time and space to engage with them again which is pretty cool. Balancing time for everything in one day is something I'm still working out though.

I'm feeling better that I'm on the right track now and need to stick to it.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Mar. 19th, 2024
id 8836677
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ReluctantEmu ( new member #82500) posted at 5:17 PM on Thursday, May 16th, 2024

Hi again.

What exactly did the physical reaction you have to that random thought of AP entail, if you don’t mind me asking?

I recall having goosebumps whenever I randomly recalled anything, even traumatic stuff from my A. As if it was a positive experience that I stored away in my deepest memories.

These things happen. The body is confusing sometimes. Don’t beat yourself up over it. You know what you know, and what you know is that you dislike your AP and the thought of being with him. Keep fighting for your BS/marriage and things will be fine.

Me: WW (33),Him: BH (33)

LTA from Nov 2020-Feb 2022

In recovery

posts: 13   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2022   ·   location: Australia
id 8836721
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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 11:10 PM on Saturday, May 18th, 2024

It was a similar reaction to the one you described, goosebumps and warmth.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Mar. 19th, 2024
id 8837002
Topic is Sleeping.
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