Hi all of you helpful people!
My question is in bold, but with a nice wordy explanation as is my wont.
I don't think I've ever posted on this thread before. If I could start a big discussion somewhere on this, I really would because I think it's so worth having for all of us, but it truly is a question specifically for the WS, so here we are. Couldn't find this in my search attempts, though I'm sure it's been asked in many different ways over the years.
My question: how do you understand the psychological/trauma experience of the BS in the midst/aftermath of infidelity?
And, an important follow up: how did you come to best understand these things, if you ever did? How was it communicated to you in a way that helped you "get it"? Did you read about it? Or did you experience it yourself? Etc.
I found myself spurred to ask this as I'm learning about my own ptsd symptoms/experience (I had my own diagnosis in the fall, but it's something I've been dealing with since I was a kid; infidelity in my later years absolutely plays into the whole experience, however) and sometimes trying to communicate about it to others.
A really good example of what I'm talking about is the term "mind movies." It's one of those things that I think anyone who experiences firsthand just naturally "gets." They get how it feels, how it takes over, how it can be really, really damaging and difficult to cope with. Can talk about it with others who experience it with a sort of intuitive approach.
But "mind movies" as a term sounds almost too cute and quaint for what's really going on inside, and (on my end) it feels difficult to converse about in a way that does justice to its magnitude. Does that make any sense? Can't easily talk to a friend or family member (let alone spouse) and feel *understood*.
"Pain shopping" is another one. Sounds cute, quaint, avoidable, easy to fix, but of course the act, the reasons for it, and the aftermath of it are all so much more complex and destructive.
In the clinical ptsd world, we might do better to use the terms "intrusion symptoms" and "hypervigilance" for these two things. But even then, they're just words, you know?
I dunno. I'm really trying to understand, especially from those of you who don't have firsthand experience with ptsd or trauma symptoms/responses, how you've learned to comprehend it all and communicate about it with your partners and/or others.
Part of my journey lately is about understanding all that's going on inside me and trying to overcome shame associated with it. Having a handle on how to communicate about it is a part of that for me, but it's been pretty tricky (and I'm generally a pretty communicative dude).
If you've read this far, thanks. I'm so interested to read any perspective you might have.
And, I hope it goes without saying, but I'm also so very thankful for all of you who work so hard to learn, grow, and help others here.
Edit: a little clarity in wording.
[This message edited by Okokok at 10:34 AM, September 3rd (Thursday)]