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Survival Mode & Body Response

The night of December 12th I fully realized what survival mode was. I was reliving the fight or flight survival mode from my first marriage in my current one. I was completely safe and at home yet my body was in a full on panic. Let me explain.


My first husband was an alcoholic and abusive, in more ways than one. Little did I know I would still be reliving those terrible moments in current day life. I guess I never thought much about it until now. All the moments that you try to keep peace, use reverse psychology, do whatever is asked all while terrified of what COULD happen. That trauma is forever stored in your body until you find a way to release it.


So my current husband is also an alcoholic. He is not abusive yet my body responds to his excessive drinking in the same way it did with my first. My husband had way too much to drink on Saturday, December 12 and around 10 pm I was confronted with my old trauma brain.


The music was really loud upstairs. I was watching TV in the basement where I spent a great majority of my time. Then the singing started followed by sobs and full on crying. In addition, he began banging his fist on the kitchen table and even yelled, "I don't fucking care!" at one point. While all of this was going on, I was messaging with a friend. I thank God for her as she was able to recognize what was happening and help me through it. My knee jerk reaction was to run upstairs and "take care of" him. Calm him down, make sure he stopped drinking and help him to bed. This time was different though and I did none of that.


I've been choosing myself every single day since October 14, 2020. I made a choice and it was me. Even though it is hard as hell some days, I still show up for myself. So I chose myself and didn't play into the attention seeking behavior that he was doing upstairs. My proud moments continue. It took a lot for me to not go up there but I stayed in position, even though I got to the bottom of the steps at one point. I realized I made it when I heard him finally go to bed a half hour after all the shenanigans began.


My friend walked me through tapping which I had never done before. It's a way to calm the mind and rewire those old connections that trigger survival mode. While I don't know much more than that about it, I can tell you it was of great help that night. I was able to calm down, get my heart rate back under control and go to sleep.


The next morning I told him his drinking was ruining our marriage. I told him that his drinking is a deal breaker for me and while I love him, I love myself more. I told him he has to save himself from the trauma of his father's death and his mother's illness (she has dementia.) His only response was "yeah." I asked him if he was proud of how he communicates with his family because talking to him is like talking to a wall. There is limited response from him, if any.


I told him that this is not what I planned for my life when I remarried him. I let him know that I was fully prepared to file for a divorce again if things didn't change because I want better for myself and our children. Like it or not, our children are a part of this too. Children, whether adult or otherwise, are very smart and while you think you're hiding things from them you're really not. They heard everything I said that morning, I'm sure of it. I took my oldest son out shopping later and we talked about it. He didn't say anything but shook his head when I assumed he'd stay with me if we were to split up.


December 14th marks 2 months of choosing myself. I've had to process so much and it's been some of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Choosing myself means paying attention to myself and my own coping mechanisms, namely overeating. I also have to recognize that on some level, I am choosing my life and this relationship as my husband is not in this relationship alone. I don't have a lot of faith that things will change because I've been here, before, with him. I'm breaking cycles every day though and this is one of them.


Last I knew my unofficial weight loss for the two months was about 17 pounds. I will give an update on the 14th as I also have to go to the doctor and we will review my blood work. I no longer eat real sugar. I do use sweeteners as needed.







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