Since I launched my website, I have talked a lot about The other woman and her recent return to my world. The other woman is the woman who pretended to be my friend while seducing my husband and children. She attempted to steal my life and destroy me. It was an excruciating time where I was severely and ongoingly impacted by her. She betrayed me, my friendship, my womanhood, and my motherhood with her cruel choices.
The Other Woman Became an Ongoing Trigger to Me and Continued to Impact my Life!
Since her return back to our little town, I have seen her often, and it has been triggering to me. While I know that she poses no threat to me now, I have had to accept a hard yet real truth. She was a threat, and my body and brain know this. So I still react to seeing her.
The affair partner's return is an impactful trigger
My husband's affair partner, my ex-friend, is a trigger to me. I don't enjoy reacting when I see her; in fact, I hate it. Initially, it stirred up anger and resentment against her again. Judgment and scenarios where I confronted and shamed her played in my mind. You know that this isn't how I want to live, and it stressed me to find myself circling the drain again.
The best way I can explain that part of my healing journey is with this self-revelation. If you were walking outside on the grass and suddenly saw a snake … what would your reaction be? I bet that before you even had a chance to think about it, you might nearly jump out of your skin. Would you scream, spring into the air and maybe even pee your pants a little? All these things would be normal and expected reactions, right?
Our brain is hardwired to react to seeing a snake or something dangerous this way to protect us. We get a shot of adrenalin when we encounter danger so we can respond appropriately. Snakes are sometimes dangerous!
She appears as a dangerous snake!
The other woman represented a threat to my life and a danger to my family
The other woman is like a snake to me. Each time I see her, or someone who looks like her, or even her car, I get a jolting impact within me. It is involuntary, and I have no control over it. And I have come to accept that scary moment as a normal consequence of the betrayal. For a long time, she represented a threat to my life and was a danger to my family. But that was in the past, yet it happened and the ongoing impact is irreversible to me. My brain remembers and does its job of keeping me safe.
Her betrayal means nothing to me now
I have worked so hard to put any memory of her outside of my brain and remove my attention from any conscious thought about her. Her betrayal means nothing to me now and, in reality, poses no threat at this time. Yet a deep part of my brain has the memory of the terror she created in my life. Her betrayal and her presence threatened my safety in the past and I was severely impacted by her actions.
The consequences of her past betrayal and continued threat gave me PTSD. I worked incredibly hard on my self-care to relieve the impact of her choices in my life. Yet without my permission, and outside my control, each encounter with her brings an involuntary moment of shock. My body and brain react in an instant, and I feel it course through me. The reaction is not within my control, but what I do next is.
Self-care is my choice to heal from the impact of betrayal
I am here to tell you that my self-care, my choice to heal, can override this reaction's intensity and duration. The rush happens, followed by my ability to calm myself. Her betrayal does not define me beyond the seconds it takes to regain my self-care composure and self-regulation. It is my choice to negate the impact of her hanging around, I decide to not give her my attention. I take the power away from her and give it to myself.
After she left our district, I thought I had healed. Yet the moment she returned, I was flooded by stress at her presence. Each unfortunate encounter with her brought the same unbidden reaction. Shock! Alarm buttons triggered in my brain. Black and white spots appear in front of my eyes instantly blinding me.
And then I have the choice as to what I will do with that reaction. I can dwell on the pain and damage her betrayal did by pulling out all my offenses again, or I can continue to live a life I love by using self-care and filling my mind with better things. I can calm myself, and remind myself that I got a fright but I am safe now, the same way we do when someone jumps out and says BOO! We shake is off once we realise we are safe in this moment.
One choice makes me a person I do not wish to be and enslaves me to her. The other frees me to live my best life.
I accept that whenever I see a snake in the grass, my amazing body and brain will react. Why? Because it is doing its job of keeping me safe. The other woman appears as a snake in the grass, ingrained in my brain as a threat. But, as soon as I realize that she is nothing but a dried out bit of discarded hose, the danger is over. She is no longer a threat, just a memory of a previous threat.
The affair partner appeared as a snake in the grass so I jumped...
She means nothing to me now, and as such, she doesn't get air-time in my mind. I am in control of what I think about, and therefore, I am in control of my emotions. It is a fact that what we dwell on impacts how we feel. I wrote this paragraph with a lump throbbing in my throat and tears in my eyes. My pain is not a story; it's an experience I lived through and continue to live through. As soon as I find myself thinking about her, I will-fully change the subject in my mind. She doesn't get air-time or attention.
I bring my attention back to me and my self-care
My Self-care Course is how I healed from the ongoing impact of betrayal and is filled with practical ways to move past the cruel and selfish actions of another. I teach habits and can easily become a part of our everyday life. These habits supported me to heal from my husbands betrayal and continue to support from the ongoing threat of an affair partner who chooses to live nearby. We all have our Hags to overcome. There are many other women in many forms for some of us, and the betrayals have been numerous. But we all have our healing journey to take that it is difficult and painful. Self-care supports us to heal from the ongoing impact of betrayal.
If you need support or want to talk about what happened to you, please add a comment below, or accept my gift of a free coaching call. I understand the pain of being cheated on.
Perhaps you may like to read another post about my healing journey and the other woman, where I released blame from my life.