Discovering that your partner is a sex addict or has betrayed you may have caused you to 1) experience PTSD, and 2) may have impacted every other relationship in your life.
This includes your relationship with your kiddos.
You have probably heard me say this before — partners of sex addicts and those with betrayal trauma experience a high incidence of PTSD.
PTSD can show up in a variety of ways, including hyper-vigilance, sleeplessness, weight loss, weight gain, hair loss, and what is known affectionately as “trauma brain.” “Trauma Brain” can include brain fog, trouble concentrating, and difficulty remembering.
All of those can impact how you interact with your kids.
PTSD impacts my relationship with my kids in two primary ways. I have three boys, and they can be CRAZY! Sometimes I can’t tolerate all their loud, unruly behavior!
Sometimes it’s okay, but other times I have to give myself permission to just “take care of me.” I put myself in time out and regulate my nervous system, meaning I engage in grounding practices to calm my body down.
The second way that it impacts me is during heated discussions or arguments with my oldest son, and he does or says something that triggers me — meaning he does or says something that reminds me of my ex-husband. I have to be very aware that a fight/flight/freeze reaction is happening in MY body.
And only a small part of it is due to his behavior.
Then, I am better able to recognize when it’s happening and give myself and my kid a break. He doesn’t get a free pass for misbehaving and it requires me to be super intentional and self-aware.
Some days I’m better at that practice than others. That’s the work. Your kids are NEVER going to do this for you. You have to learn to do it for yourself.
In next week’s LoverLetter, I will be sharing my favorite ways to regulate (i.e., ground) your nervous system so you can be the parent that you want to be.
Until next time, stay regulated out there!