Reflections of a triggering weekend
Triggers can be difficult at the best of times and even worse when they develop into flashbacks. This is hard to manage and takes time from which to recover. I learned to acknowledged what was happening, turn to my bible, and not lash out at those around me.
Each time I’ve survived a long string of triggers I am reminded to stick to my boundaries; be patient and know that my husband isn’t yet capable of helping me through this despite his efforts; that I want more in my life than just to get through or to cope.
My experience in being married to a sex addict and intimacy anorexic has been one of constant coping, reframing any situation so I can forgive and move on, and taking responsibility for my part in it. These actions, although they’ve taken their toll, are better for me than feeling victimized or being angry. But there came a time I was no longer satisfied with a life of just getting by.
What this insight showed me was that I wanted to move beyond coping with my past and current reality of being married to a sex addict.
I wanted to create a reality for myself where no one loses—so to speak and we both win or we don’t play. That I genuinely approach any trigger, flashback or discord with an attitude of gratitude for the opportunity to grow rather than approaching it as making lemonade out of the lemons life has thrown at me.
In order to get there, the first thing I needed to do was ramp up my healing plan for the trauma. I already attended emdr every 2 weeks, wrote a daily gratitude log and kept myself present by “grounding” when triggered. This is on top of regular prayer and meditation, reviewing my steps and staying connected to those who understand.
I immediately created a plan to re-wire my brain when triggered by focusing on 5 shiny things or 5 blue things. Also by spending 10 minutes a day focusing on something positive like a book, or something like that to teach myself that I don’t always need to be on high alert for something to go wrong. I changed the meaning of certain trigger words like cheating, just, affair, unfaithful, those of the women’s names and their places of work, the names of certain places, and other trigger words as they surfaced.
Although the plan itself still sounded like coping, it led me towards feeling peaceful and joyful without having to talk myself into it.