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Relational Triage for Sex Addicts and Their Partners

If my Fledgling has identified him or herself as a sex addict in the early stages of recovery, I’m guessing you’d follow in my footsteps and leap to this page first.

 

“What can I do to fix my relationship?” was where I put all my energy in my recovery.

 

That mentality blinded me from being truly supportive towards my former spouse and, in many ways, worsened our chance of reconciliation.

 

In recovery, I still made everything about me and what I needed for me to feel safe; all at the expense of my former spouse.

 

Head’s up for the addict!

 

If you want to salvage your relationship, please read the following list of articles BEFORE you read this one:

Understanding PTSD

Sex Addiction Induced Trauma

More Trauma in Partners of Sex Addicts

Treatment for Partners of Sex Addicts

Understanding Your Partner

For The Partner

 

Now, if my Fledgling has identified him or herself as the partner of a sex addict in the early stages of recovery, I’m guessing that this is the last blog you even want to look at. I wish I could say, from my experience, that a relationship after betrayal can be salvaged, but unfortunately, in my situation, it wasn’t.

 

I’m grateful that my former spouse and I remain good friends and are on the same team as co-parents. Unfortunately, the definition of what I wanted “family” to look like is different than it has become.

 

I believe what hurt our chances to heal our marriage was that I never learned the concept of first triage for the partner, eventually followed by relational triage in our recovery. All I could focus on was skipping what she needed to heal and jumping to what I wanted; relational triage.

 

In many ways, our relationship became a power struggle. She needing to heal from the post-traumatic stress my actions caused, while I fought for our marriage as the only way to manage my own fears and my own insecurities.

 

Both of us were screaming for our needs to be heard, but we were deaf to each other because of our own pain. Read more

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How Far Will You Go

How far will you go to heal?

 

Last week, it was interesting to notice that when I got triggered, I was overwhelmed with the same uncomfortable physical symptoms I had over a year ago.

 

I call Rafiki.

 

“How come, when you challenge me, my Higher Power, the Universe, God or whatever you want to call it, slams me to the ground?” I ask.

 

“I don’t understand,” Rafiki responds.

 

I tell him what happened last week with my dream about being sucked out to sea and the trauma reaction I had.

 

“Ah, I see.” Rafiki says, grinning from ear to ear.

 

“What?” I ask, getting irritated.

 

“Your Higher Power,” Rafiki laughs, “has a bigger stick than me. Hopefully, you’re learning His lesson.”

 

Let’s take a step back to the day before I wrote Sucked into the Undertow.

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Sucked into the Undertow

I woke up instantly this morning after only two hours of sleep. I haven’t done this in months.

 

Over two years ago this happened almost daily. At night, I was so tired I’d climb into bed and just pass out. But, in two hours, exactly, I’d SNAP WIDE AWAKE, unable to fall back asleep fighting that tiger the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, exhausted, I’d try to take a nap, but it would only last ten to fifteen minutes until once again I’d be up like a hamster sprinting on his wheel. I’d run nonstop until I was so drained, I’d crash late at night, only to repeat the process over again.

 

This is how my body reacts to trauma. This was what I got used to when my former spouse asked for separation, later divorce, and, when I moved out of our home a year ago.

 

Many times, when I’d instantly wake up from these brief sleep episodes, I’d be in a dream like state, my mind processing stories that were too painful for me to look at when I was conscious.

 

This morning my dream was terrifying.

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