Detachment and Emotional Safety

I have to admit I am struggling with something. I have been going through the steps of my own healing for awhile. But now that my husband is going through his own recovery I am starting to have trouble with detachment and emotional safety.

As we have just reached four weeks sober, he is showing signs of withdrawal. He is irritable, easily agitated, sensitive in a negative way to my trauma. My emotional safety plan is messed up. In a small spat yesterday, I felt really triggered. I realized that in this situation there wasn’t a safe place for me to go, and I felt trapped. I immediately went into a traumatized state. This angered him further and all I could do was “run away.”

I don’t want to speak ill of him here, because he has made great strides in being the man he wants to be. The addiction is one of the last places where he has not done any work. Pornography and childhood abuse made him angry and devalue women. There was a time over 4 years ago, that he was emotionally abusive and even once resorted to physical violence. I assure you he is not that man anymore. However, he does from time to time resort to a few of his old tricks (not the really serious ones). Like with addiction, there is almost a ritual when he is entering that abusive place. He is good at breaking his anger ritual early, but lately I find myself triggered by the beginning even. I know that the shedding of the porn is causing his struggle. I just had no idea how much I was going to be triggered by it.

When he was working on the anger issues, we were separated for 18 months. So detachment was much easier, and we even had a no contact order in place for a while so emotionally safety was easier. Unfortunately due to financial issues and other changes, a separation now would actually cause more damage in multiple ways.

So I am having a hard time finding a way to detach a bit while he works through the withdrawal, and our little condo has a very open floor plan…so a hard place to actually go where I can emotionally process away from him. While he is home, it is unfair for me to occupy our homes only bathroom for several hours. Same with our bedroom, plus I am slightly triggered by the bedroom alone. So not a good option.

Anyone out there have a simmillar situation? I know this will pass, hopefully sooner than later. But we have both worked too hard to get this far…I hate to see it undone through this step.

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3 thoughts on “Detachment and Emotional Safety

  1. What difficult times – I’m sorry you are having to go through this, but let’s hope this is all an investment into a better future. I remember when I needed solace I embarked on long (very long!) walks. I was sometimes out for 3-4 hours. It didn’t provide true emotional safety because at the end of the day I still went home to the same place he was, but it did help, even if temporarily. I gathered enough strength to get through the day – and those days that was everything I could ask for. Hang in there!

    1. Walking is a great idea. However, this time of the year is usually very cold and snow makes walking treacherous. With that said we just broke the record for the warmest temperature in February yesterday, so I will take it while I can. We go back to average temps in a few days (approx 20 degrees or -7 C-for contex). So not a permanent solution but as spring approaches perhaps the best option.

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