Betrayal PTSD – what it feels like for me

Looking back through this blog I see a pattern, and that pattern is probably similar to yours (in no particular order); devastated, sensory awareness, ruminating, anger, shock – then the start of calmness and better (as much as we can get to “better”).

What I have referred to in this blog as a rollercoaster ride, is what PTSD feels like for me.

  1. Close your eyes and imagine yourself almost asleep (you’re ok at this time, you’re calm and relaxed as you would be on a normal day in your life once you have some time behind you from the betrayal).
  2. You suddenly get one of those feelings when you slip or fall off a cliff and you jolt yourself awake, out of breath and shaking (you’ve been triggered and are shocked by the memory and realization of what he did to you; he cheated and it literally it feels like a lightening bolt has gone through your body. You’re out of breath, shaking and terrified. It feels like it just happened again).
  3. The slip felt so real and you need a few minutes to get your thoughts together but you’re confused (when you start to process the trigger/thought/trauma and think back to what happened at that time in your lives, how he was treating you, how you allowed him to and just put up with it. Cue the pain and anger towards him and yourself).
  4. After a few minutes you feel calmer and may reach out to your spouse laying beside you for comfort (when you talk to him about what he did, ask questions and remember it’s present day and it’s not happening anymore, you feel some comfort in his being beside you, but you may not feel calm again for days).

This is PTSD for me, and it only takes a second to start the cycle. It may happen every day, it may happen once a week/month and/or randomly. There is no pattern or a way for me to stop it at this time or predict when it will happen again. In the beginning I was stuck in the falling/slipping part of this cycle, and it took YEARS for me to get to the second cycle of catching my breath. I do feel the frequency of the PTSD is less and less but it still happens and when it does, it is like the betrayal just happened and all of those years of work are temporarily gone.

The good news is that it is happening less frequently than before and I can get myself out of the second cycle quicker than in the beginning. I hope someday I won’t feel it anymore xo

6 thoughts on “Betrayal PTSD – what it feels like for me

  1. I can relate to these phases or stages. Some triggers that used to be awful now don’t matter much (like hearing the OW’s names). Other things catch me off guard and the waves last longer. It seems usually that’s because I have some related unresolved issue. If I work on the issue the trigger usually fades.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re exactly right, and you pointed that out to me before and it really helped me understand that I needed to process the unresolved issue 🙂 it helped immensely to understand what feels tortuous today, may not the next time the trigger happens.

      How are things going with you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Things are actually good. (*knock on wood) I have a bit of that PTSD-related “waiting for the other shoe to drop” feeling, but I try to ignore it and live in the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOVE IT! We may always be hesitant on what the future holds and believing they can live a true and honest life, but living in the here and now means we are starting to trust our instincts to notice if anything is off. I think we’re moving in the right direction!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This describes my experience perfectly. Dday for me was 4 years ago and I still experience this several nights a week – although it isn’t very intense – just more annoying than anything. It really disturbs my sleep which I find difficult.

    Liked by 2 people

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