Hello, welcome everyone to our bloom live. Um, my name is Andrea Rowley. I am the coaching director here at Bloom for Women and also in our Path for Men platform. And, um, tonight we are going to be talking about. The grief and loss process in this space called betrayal trauma. Um, it’s a really important subject and I’m excited for you guys to be here with us.
So let me go ahead and share my screen with you and we will jump in and get started. So here we go. Okay, so grief and loss in betrayal trauma. The first part that we’re going to talk about is, um, today’s focus. It’s going to be on the connection between betrayal trauma and the grieving process. The second part we’re going to talk about is what the stages of grief look like.
And then the third aspect of tonight’s meeting is going to talk about how to move through these stages with self-compassion. So just an introduction. Um, most people would never consider sexual betrayal as a grief and loss situation. No one has died. So why would there be grief and loss here at bloom for women, we want to help bring understanding and validation to women going through betrayal.
Which in fact has to do with a great amount of grief and loss. The following losses are just a few that betrayed women experience loss of trust in your partner, loss of trust in others, loss of trust in the higher, in your higher power. Loss of trust in yourself and in your ability to make wise decisions or judgments loss of the relationship you thought you had and loss of hopes and dreams you had for the future Elizabeth Kubler Ross identified five stages of grief that include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
We will give examples of each stage and how to navigate it. Um, the thing I want to stress before we jump into that, is that. Each of these stages of grief and loss are actually really important. And I want you to look at that list down there, you know, anger, bargaining, denial, um, depression. When is the last time you heard those things being a good thing. When’s the last, last time you heard that, that was a positive thing to experience. So I want you guys to think about that as we go along and I’ll kind of help point out the benefits of each of these stages of grief. So before we jump into those stages, I do want to point out a quote by Michelle Mays.
She is a fantastic therapist that really has done a lot of work in this area. Betrayal trauma and she has this quote that is quite fantastic and explains it very well.
“The dynamic unfolding nature of betrayal means that betrayed partners do not yet know where the edges of their traumatic experience are when someone’s house burns down and they lose everything.
As horrible as that is, there is a sense that the event is over and the level of damage and loss can be assessed and the rebuilding process can then begin. Not so with betrayal trauma, the betrayal trauma often feels uncontained as though there are no edges. You can’t figure out where the lying and cheating started and you are panic stricken that it may never end as the hits of discovery keep coming.”
Um, really great description because a lot of times we are. You know, we’re feeling this great amount of loss and we don’t even know where the edges are. You know, we kind of go well, okay. D day happened, um, is this it though? And oftentimes after D day, there will be those trickle confessions that often happen.
And now we’re kind of going, okay, is this it? Or is there more. Um, when your house burns down, you have the sense of, okay, the edges are here. This is where the damage ends. And now we can start rebuilding. And like she says, here, it’s not the case when we’re going through betrayal, trauma or often wondering where does this end? When can I start rebuilding? Um, is it going to crash again? And so we have this, this sense of uneasiness and, and lack of safety, which is another loss we have that, you know, we used to have that security and that safety, and now we’re feeling like I don’t feel safe. I don’t even know where the edges of the space lies.
So we’re going to jump into each of the stages of grief and loss.
The first one being denial. After the initial shock of discovery, the partner will go numb. This will lead to her appearing as if she is unaffected by what has happened. She might speak about her, need to just move on and get over this, that everything will be okay if they just try harder that it’s not too bad, or she might talk about how the relationship is over and she’s ready to move on and be done with him, the relationship and their life together.
She has no idea what has truly happened, how she really feels about it and the ramifications this might have on the future. So again, we’re going to talk about the benefits of this. The benefits of the stage is that by rushing to focus on the solutions, then she can avoid the painful feelings and make it through the day.
There’s this, this space, you know, the especially D-Day. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of feelings all at once. Um, we’re feeling all of this, you know, the crashing that takes place. And so it’s really important for us to have this solution space where we’re kind of in denial. Um, I’m going to talk about, we call this the airbag stage and I’ll talk about that in a few minutes, but it really is such an important stage.
The warning though, of staying in the stage is that unaddressed denial can lead to feelings of being stuck. Unmovable and unable to move forward in that space, but it truly is the airbag stage. And, you know, you kind of see this, this figure here of you go through, you’re driving along and then you hit something and the airbag is designed to protect you from the full impact.
Often saving thousands of lives. When, when that airbag comes out, it’s protecting you so that you do not die in this crash. It pro, it protects you from the full impact. Um, the reason why denial is the airbag stage is because it literally does that. It protects you from feeling everything all at once.
And that’s important because if you felt everything all at once, it could literally destroy. So that airbag comes out, denial comes out and it protects you until you’re able to, you know, roll off to the side of the road, get out of the car and assess the damage. And that’s when all the other stages of grief starts to come into play.
But that initial airbag stage is really vital to help protect you from that full impact. So, how do you know if you are in denial? I know a lot of times when we’re like, I don’t know where I’m at. I don’t, I don’t know what I feel. I don’t know what what’s going on. Um, so here’s some things to kind of look at and kind of assess where you’re at on this list.
If you’ve experienced these things, do you minimize your partner’s acting out behavior? Do you try to convince yourself and others that his behavior really doesn’t hurt? Do you insist you have forgiven your partner’s behavior right away? Premature optimism can be a clear sign of denial. Are you saying that the only thing to do is move on and let it go.
This type of denial skips all of the steps vital to recovery. Do you make excuses for your partner and his behavior to those around you? Um, so take a look at this list. Uh, if you want to put in the chat, like what number you feel like you, you know, have you experienced all of these? Maybe some of them put the number down.
Um, it’s really important for you to kind of gauge, like where have I been and have I experienced all of these? Have I experienced some of these? So if you want to put those numbers in the chat, you’re welcome to do that. Um, but again, we want to make sure we’re not getting stuck in the stage when you can do so.
Let yourself feel. These feelings are not good or bad. They are simply pleasant or unpleasant learn from them. Oftentimes we might grow up in a home. We kind of hear this concept of, well, this is good and this is bad and that’s a bad feeling. You know, your, your denial is bad, your anger is bad. Um, what we want to help you understand is all feelings are good.
They are simply pleasant or unpleasant. We learn a lot from the unpleasant. I think if you really stop and look at your own life and kind of think about some of the unpleasant things in your life. How much have you learned from that? We learn so much. They’re not fun though. They’re not pleasant. Um, and then we have the pleasant feelings, you know, happiness and joy.
Those are really important too, because that gives us a break from the unpleasant. It allows us to enjoy and just relax and have a good time, but they’re both really, really important. So, um, the best thing you can do. In this denial space is allow yourself to feel don’t be afraid to feel the unpleasant.
This is where I tell clients, you know, get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Sure. It’s uncomfortable, but there’s also a lot of comfortable that comes with that. The pleasant that comes with the unpleasant. So let yourself fully feel and work through and get curious about the unpleasant or the uncomfortable, and then let yourself fully feel and work through and embrace the pleasant.
And relax and have a good time. We need that balance in this betrayal trauma space.
The next one is anger. We usually don’t associate anger as part of the grieving process right away. We often think of grieving as something that just brings sadness. Another key component of the stage is the realization that anger is fear at its roots.
It’s simply is one side of the fight or flight response. Re-interpreting anger as fear will allow us to get to the bottom of the issue faster instead of getting waylaid in draining resentments. So ask yourself the question. What am I afraid of? Um, will also serve as a catalyst for moving into the next stage of grief.
We want to be able to move through these stages of grief because the only damage comes when we kind of get stuck in one. And this is where we often will say, I feel stuck. I feel stuck. Um, you will feel stuck if you’re not allowing yourself to move through these stages. Um, when I see clients get stuck in anger, It’s usually because they’re afraid of one of the next stages of grief and loss.
I don’t want to accept, I don’t want to go into that depression or that sadness. I really can’t. I can’t bear to be in that space so they will stay in anger. Um, or any of the other stages. I don’t want to feel anger, so I’m going to stay in denial. Everything’s fine. I’m doing okay. So anytime we feel stuck, I want you to analyze as we go through these stages of grief and loss and kind of ask yourself if I feel stuck.
Which stage of this, of this grief and loss process. Am I stuck in, am I not letting myself move to that next stage and why? But as, as I said, at the beginning, all of these stages of grief and loss are very important. And so the benefit of this stage is that it gives the traumatized partner, the strength and energy to face the challenges that present themselves.
If a relapse. Unwillingness to get help or separation should result. Um, out of all the stages of grief and loss, anger has the most energy, and I want you to kind of stop and think about that. You need that energy. You need that energy to make decisions. You need that energy to, you know, really start working on the logistics of what’s happening.
Maybe there needs to be a separation. Maybe there needs to be better boundaries in place. I often see clients put really good boundaries in place after they found or felt a significant amount of anger. That anger gives them the energy and the desire to start creating safety for themselves and putting those healthy boundaries in place.
So anger is not bad. Anger is very important, but what we do with that anger is the key component here. We want to be able to work through that anger, feel that. Um, really get curious about it. What am I really feeling like? It said, uh, there’s often those underlying feelings of fear and maybe some resentment.
So really get curious about your anger and understand that it’s an indication that you’re feeling something pretty, pretty intense and allow yourself to feel that allow yourself to work through that and know that it’s giving you the energy to move through this stage of the grief and loss process. The warning here is that, well, there is initial survival benefit of this response.
It is also important to recognize that the benefit wanes over time, um, you will get exhausted. There will be a lot of physical ailments that take place. If you get stuck in anger, and I see this all the time, it wears your body down. Um, you’re using a lot of energy. And so that’s why moving through these stages of grief and loss are so important.
They’re vital, but we need to move. We need to let ourselves move through it. But if we don’t get curious and allow ourselves to feel, we will get stuck in this stage. So, how do you know if you’re in this phase? Are you more frustrated at people around you? Do you yell at your children or get more upset at them than usual?
Are you angry at yourself for not seeing what has happened sooner? Do you lash out at your partner and say things that are not characteristically, who you are? Do you want to hurt your partner as much as he hurt you? So he can finally understand the pain you’re in. Do you become passive aggressive, trying to make your partner’s life harder without outwardly showing anger.
And do you feel like you have zero patience as if everything sets you off? If you have felt these things, you have experienced the anger stage of grief and loss, if you feel stuck. In any of these, just understand, you’re not letting yourself move through and we need to let ourselves move through. So how do we move through?
That’s probably one of the biggest questions we have, right? Journal, journal, journal. Um, I can’t say enough about journaling. I know some people really don’t care for journaling. It’s not their thing. Um, but there is something very powerful about journaling. It slows the mind down. It allows us to process.
We can speak. Faster, um, than we can. Right. But, you know, in our thought process, you think about how quickly we can think things. I mean, you can think a million things at one time, we’re really good at multitasking that way. But when you write with paper and a pen, you are slowing your brain down to a very, um, really slow pace.
And you’re allowing those thoughts to be felt processed and heard. And so journaling is a really important part of that. The other thing is get validation from a close friend, family member, or counselor healing from betrayal. Trauma does not come over time. It comes over validation. So let yourself have that validation.
I know it’s scary to reach out, but allow yourself to really reach out to close friends, um, people that you feel like you could. And then let yourself feel without judgment. Oftentimes we there’s a lot of judgment when it comes to anger. You know, I never used to be this way before. Why am I this way now?
So really allow yourself to explore these feelings without judgment, get a punching bag. I know, um, when I was going through my own recovery, I had a punching bag and I got some adorable pink boxing gloves and that punching bag. So therapeutic, it had many faces on it. So I allowed myself to work through, um, get the anger out, really come down into how I was feeling.
And I will say a lot of times those punching bag sessions ended in tears because I was able to get out that frustration and get to the root of what I was feeling, which was a lot of sadness. Yoga is a great way as well. Um, we have Sariah here at Bloom for Women she’s fantastic. So if you haven’t joined in one of her yoga groups, um, highly recommended, that’s a great way to come down and feel how you’re feeling mindful meditation.
Um, learn from those feelings, deep breathing, creating and maintaining healthy boundaries. These are all really important ways to work through that anger and move through that. Which is what we want to do. We want to move.
And as we allow ourselves to move, we will probably enter bargaining bargaining is the brain’s way of trying to process what has taken place and how we could have prevented it.
We become preoccupied with the past and what we could have done differently. We want life returned to what it was. We want our partner restored to what he always should have been. We want to go back in time, find the addiction sooner, recognize it more quickly. Stop the acting out from happening. We remain in the past trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt.
Um, guilt is often bargainings companions. So the question is, um, bargaining how is that possibly a good thing? Well, the benefits of this stage is that your brain is actually doing what it does best it’s starting to process. It’s trying to say, okay, you know, back in my past, I found out that, you know, if people cheat, this is what they do.
When we start to put these pieces together. Um, sometimes wrongly. So we’ll say, oh, I must, I must have not been good enough. And we connect that with what’s currently happening. So this is where we also want to slow things down and bring truth into that space because our brain is doing a lot of processing, so.
Okay. Is this true? Is it true that my value as a human being is determined by somebody else being faithful to me? Not really. Um, is it true that me being attractive enough or good enough is all the reason why my partner betrays me or doesn’t. No, but our brain is trying to make sense of that. So it does a lot of bargaining, you know, if I had done this differently, let yourself go through that.
Let yourself work through those bargaining spaces. Your brain is trying to make sense. Our brains are incredible, and they’re really good at trying to put pieces together. So the best thing you can do in bargaining is give yourself information, um, really educate yourself, give your brain. Information to use and putting those puzzles together so that it can really put the proper pieces together.
Oftentimes when we’re in bargaining, we just kind of spin around with our, the knowledge we currently have, which is a lot of it comes from Hollywood, you know? If I don’t keep him happy, he leaves me. Um, which has not, it’s not correct. So we want to put true knowledge in to our brains, understanding what the truth truly is.
Get educated. Um, here at Bloom for Women, we have a lot of great content to help educate you. And, um, we want to make sure that you’re doing that. So you don’t wrongly conclude that you are the cause of this acting out and that you are also the cure, um, which is what a lot of women often tend to.
So how to recognize if you were in this phase these phrases are good indications. You may be in the bargaining phase. Um, if you, if you’ve heard yourself say at any point in time, if I just do this differently, then he will fill in the blank. If I say this in just the right way, he will understand that things will change.
If I had just been more fill in the blank, then this would not have happened. If I had just been less fill in the blank, then this would not have happened. Why can’t I, why can’t I, why didn’t I catch onto this sooner? Um, so we kind of worked through all of these different questions. You know, this is where again, bringing truth in is so important because what we learn if we get educated is oftentimes these men have unresolved.
From way back when, and we can clearly see, you know, downstream what happens upstream with that trauma. We can see how downstream unresolved trauma can affect people’s lives. Later. We can see for ourselves that his unresolved trauma in his past and the disconnection and the unable, you know, being unable to regulate his emotions and deal with his, his feelings.
How that has affected us downstream. So we want to gain that knowledge and that understanding because when you understand that truth, then you can take these questions that you ask. If I had just been more, whatever, then this would not have happened. Your brain can go, actually, no, that’s not true because he had this problem long before me, because this is something that has been a struggle for him.
It’s unresolved trauma. I am now seeing the effects of it. But it also is a great way for us to see for ourselves if we don’t deal with our current trauma, that it will also cause issues downstream for us. It’s so important for us to get the proper help, the proper guidance, proper tools, so we can address our trauma in a healthy way.
So it doesn’t become a bigger problem downstream. So education is vital. How to not get stuck here, bargaining is a normal part of the healing journey, but getting stuck in the stage will cause you to compromise yourself to manipulate the situation. This will eventually cause self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety.
Pain and a lack of progression when we bargain. Oftentimes, you know, it’s very easy to get into that. Um, like it said, here’s that manipulating space. We care so much about the outcome that we kind of compromise ourselves to manipulate the situation. So it has a happy ending. What we need to do is actually let go of the outcome and say, you know, I’m not the cause I’m not.
He’s got to get help. I hope he gets the help he needs, but I have to let go of that space and feeling like I’m responsible for his sobriety or lack thereof. And that takes a lot of letting go of the outcome. And when we do that, Because if we let go of that outcome, that means it might not turn out the way we want it to.
And that’s hard. Um, but when we hold onto that outcome, we often get into those manipulating spaces. Well, if I just do it this way and I compromise my standards or my self here, then it will turn out well, but that is a high price to pay for something that we really want to get in a healthier way. Um, internal boundaries must be created and enforced in a couple.
You know, I think next month is when I’ll be doing another presentation about internal and external boundaries. So, um, tune in for that, that’s going to be a really great subject. It’s one of my favorite subjects, boundaries are so important, but it really can help us in this bargaining phase. An important way to understand where a boundary needs to be implemented is to listen to your triggers and the fears they bring up.
What is the fear behind that trigger? There’s always a story. We always tell ourselves a story in those triggers. So ask yourself the questions, you know, what is this bringing up for me? And what truth do I need to bring to the space that listen to that story that you’re telling yourself and bring truth in?
Is this really what you know, am I really the cause of this? Am I really the one responsible, um, challenge, those triggers challenge, that story. Another way to understand where you might want to put a boundary in place would be to see where you feel the most resentment. This is an indication that you are sacrificing too much of yourself to maintain the relationship.
We don’t want to sacrifice ourselves to maintain this relationship. Um, we oftentimes a lot of us do want the relationship to work out and that’s normal, but don’t sacrifice yourself in order to do that. Really allow him to get the help you need. You do the work that you need to do, um, understand the truth, get educated, and you will find that you can work through the space so much better.
Um, when you allow that to take place.
The next one is depression and mourning, empty feelings, present themselves, and grief enters our lives in a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. We can often kind of go, oh my gosh, what is happening?
Um, this is an appropriate response to a great loss. What you’re feeling is normal. This is your now it’s not your forever. That’s a phrase that I had to come up with when in my own recovery was, you know, oftentimes when you’re in this depression, it’s so overwhelming. You feel like, am I ever going to feel normal again?
Am I ever going to be a mom again? Am I ever going to be able to feel happiness again? Um, I can barely get out of bed every day. Is there ever going to be a time where I can actually get out of bed again and not feel the way I’m feeling right now. And it’s so overwhelming, you kind of conclude, like, I won’t, I’ll just be this way forever.
So remind yourself, this is your, now this is not your forever. What you were feeling in this depression stage is just what you’re feeling now. And it will shift. It will move as we allow ourselves to move through it. Depression after loss is too often seen as a natural. A state to be fixed something to snap out of, to not experience depression after a loved one has betrayed.
You would be unusual. Grief is a process of healing and depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way, necessary steps. So as we’ve been doing with each of these stages, the benefit of the stage is that your brain is relaxing into the pain rather than fighting against it. You are finally allowing yourself to feel.
So important in anger were kind of like, you know, we’ve got that, that anger kind of covering up the deeper feelings. Um, and denial, of course, we don’t want to feel anything bargaining. We’re trying to make sense of everything. Depression is where we finally get to just relax and come down into our feelings.
Um, so give yourself a lot of grace here. Um, I tell my clients oftentimes, you know, really respect, respect what you’re feeling. This is a very big loss. This is a huge fracture. Give yourself that grace give yourself that patience, um, be gentle and get curious and, and respect the feelings that you’re feeling.
So the warnings about this is, um, Feeling is important. And so is action. So we do want to feel, but eventually we need to allow ourselves to start creating action. Even if it’s small. I remember before betrayal, um, before D-Day I was able to run, you know, 5, 6, 7 miles up to 10 miles and after D-Day I could barely get out of bed.
And I remember thinking I’ve got to start moving. I got to start allowing myself to move and I didn’t know how to do that. Um, I was holding myself to the standard of who I used to be, and we have to let go of that in the space, hold yourself to a new standard. I just need to do something. And oftentimes to be honest, I would get on that treadmill and I would walk for five minutes and that was all I could do.
And at first I kind of beat myself up, which is, you know, we’ll set boundaries in that space later on, but this is where we have to give ourselves that grace, because I would go, well, I used to be able to run 5, 7, 10 miles, and now I can barely walk or run five minutes. Um, so we have to allow ourselves that grace of this is where.
And I will get there, but I’m going to do five minutes today and I’m going to be okay with that. And tomorrow I’m going to do five minutes again, and maybe for this whole week, I’m going to do five minutes. And then next week I might increase it to six minutes or seven minutes, but allow yourself that patience and that love that self-love to be with yourself where you’re at.
Don’t compare yourself to where you used to be. Don’t put those expectations on yourself, but do allow yourself to move as much as you can without, you know, beating yourself up. So, how do recognize if you were in this phase, do you feel like you have zero energy? Do you no longer enjoy doing things that you once loved. Is getting up in the morning?
Now, a struggle is your situation causing you to feel hopeless? Does life feel too unbearable? Do you cry at random times? And don’t always know why this is the depression stage. Um, understand it, respect it. It will come. Like it said here the most random times, I would say even the most inconvenient times, I remember being in, you know, a grocery store and just.
Like all of a sudden the emotions just came flooding in and I was like, oh my goodness. So allow yourself to feel, don’t judge yourself for these feelings. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re allowing your body and your, your emotions to come out and express themselves in healthy ways. Your brain and your body are working together to try and heal this fracture.
And oftentimes we kind of resist that. Let yourself do that. Let yourself experience that and let yourself move through. So how to not get stuck here. Most people don’t want to fill the stage at all. It is hard to have patience with yourself during this process. And often people will try to rush past this.
Um, we want to just heal without the stage. Unfortunately, you cannot rush healing. The stage often takes the most amount of time be patient. And I think the other aspect here I’ll bring up is you know, other people around us might not be patient with us. This is why we have to be patient with ourselves.
And it’s really difficult. You might have people saying, just move on already. You know, haven’t you already grieved this long enough. Um, we have to kind of step aside from those voices and say, I’m allowing myself to take the time I need, and this is a process. It’s not an event. This is something that I need to allow myself to.
So allow yourself to feel the emotions and pain that come up as they come up, don’t suppress them, but allow them to be felt, respect these feelings as part of your process of the healing of healing. Um, oftentimes that word respect is so important. You know, I tell clients oftentimes. Let yourself feel that respect because oftentimes we beat ourselves up or like why am I feeling this?
Why is this lasting so long? Why can’t I just be myself again, respect, respect, how you’re feeling. Um, don’t rush this process. Take some time to journal through these feelings, get curious about these feelings. Our brains are amazing, but they are going to try to get us out of this pain as fast as possible.
Allow yourself to get comfortable with the uncomfortable it is through the pain that we heal. Not after.
The last stage is acceptance. This is probably one of the most difficult stages for most people. Um, because we often have this connotation that, you know, acceptance means that it’s all right. That everything that happened is okay. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Um, this is not where we say what happened is okay.
Um, we don’t have to be okay with what took place. But what we do want to do is accept the reality that our partner did betray us. Um, he has emotional issues that he needs to get help for and recognize that this new reality is here and may not change for a time. We learned to work through it rather than try to shove it under the rug.
Um, if you look back in your past history, you can see that maybe there was some rug sweeping happening. So acceptance is where we say I’m done with that rug, I’m going to accept that this is where I’m at. I don’t need to superficially change this. I do want to face these emotions. I need to accept that this is where I’m at in resisting this new norm.
Any people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one, betrayed them in time through bits and pieces of acceptance. However, we see that we cannot pretend this. With acceptance. You understand the process to heal will be hard yet. Despite this, you move forward, taking your power back and reclaiming your life.
Um, the benefit of this stage is that you now have a map. Um, I often use this, this visual of, you know, if you go to the mall, right. And you’re trying to go to a certain store and they all almost have those mall maps. And the first thing we do is. Where am I at? You know, you are here usually there’s that little sticker that says you are here.
So once you identify where you are, then you can say, okay, then I need to go here and here and here to get to the store that I want to go to. So you now can identify the pathway that you need to take very same process here with acceptance. If we don’t accept where we’re at, we are not going to be able to get to where we want to.
And we really need to be able to do that. So accept where you’re at. Yeah. We don’t like it. We don’t have to like it, that’s okay. But you have to acknowledge that this is where I’m at. We are in a serious crisis. There has been a fracture in our relationship. My partner does have a problem with sexually acting out behavior.
We have to accept that. And that acceptance is saying, this is where I’m at. You are here. Once we do that, then we can say, okay, now that I know where I’m at, and I don’t want to be here, where do I want to go? And now I can see the path to get there. Very important part of this acceptance stage, the warnings of the stage, or that sometimes acceptance can turn into helplessness.
If the bigger picture is not obtained, if we’re not looking at that map. And we’re just kind of saying here I am, I am here and we are like, but I don’t want to be here. I want to be at that other location, but we’re not looking at that bigger map to say, this is where I want to go and how to get there.
Then we can get stuck in the here. So we really want to make sure that you are getting the education that you. The understanding, um, here at bloom for women, we have an incredible coaching program that literally has a map that tells you from point a to point Z, how to get there. So use those tools, use those things that you can can take and say, okay, here’s where I’m at.
Here’s where I want to go. And here’s the way to get there. How to recognize if you’re in this phase, you are, you are gaining a deeper understanding of what sex addiction is and that you are not the cause or cure. We want to make sure that you’re doing that. Um, do you understand that it’s okay if you don’t fully trust your partner because trust is built over changed behavior.
Are you able to let go of the outcome? Even if this means the relationship will have to end. Are you able to accept your own need to work through your anger while not using that as an excuse for his behavior. Can you acknowledge where you are currently at and where you want to go? Do you understand your reality has shifted and that you can now live well in your new reality?
Um, this is where we can say, okay, I have I’m in this phase. Um, the next question is though, what do I do with that? What I do with this? What if I’m stuck there though? What if I, you know, I, I’m not moving from this place. I’m just kind of like, oh, I feel helpless. Um, so how to not get stuck here, come to the reality that there is no finish line.
We do want to go this direction. We want to get to this place, but we keep on going. I hear a lot of women ask me, you know will I have to do this forever. Well, I have to do this recovery forever. And I tell them yes and no. And they often like, oh no, but hear me out. You are not going to need to feel the way that you’re feeling right now.
There’s not going to be that panic. And that fear. Those those triggers, if you do the work, but you are going to want to keep doing the things that you learn in this recovery space, you want to learn how to set boundaries. Boundaries are something that you will use with everyone in your life. You’ll use them with family members, with friends.
If you have children, you’ll use some with your children. So why would you not want to keep doing the things that got you to where you’re at in that recovery? Um, learning to be vulnerable, learning, to be transparent, learning how to communicate. These are things we want to keep doing self care, self love.
Um, these are all things that we want to keep doing. So that’s why I say yes and no. You’re not going to always feel this amount of trauma. If you do the work, but you will want to absolutely keep doing the things that you’re doing and you’ll get better and better at it. You’ll become more empowered in that space.
Um, just like if you’re exercising, we don’t want to just get to where we want to get to and then say, okay, I’m done. And then go back to unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. You keep doing what got you to that healthy state. So we keep doing that. Um, the stages of grief twist, turn bounce around, double up and can shift in a moment’s notice skipping around in no particular order.
Understand that this is that rollercoaster. If you’ve ever used that term. I know a lot of women do because it feels literally like a rollercoaster. You are going through the stages of grief and loss. I know it feels like a crazy, right. And as you allow yourself to work through each of these stages, you will get better and better at it.
What oftentimes happens is we say, I don’t want to be honest right anymore. And so we stop and we get stuck in one of these stages of grief and loss, and that’s where we start going oh, now I’m stuck. So let yourself go on the ride. Get good at navigating through these spaces. That’s going to help you to get to the ultimate healing space that you want to get.
Grief holds a life of its own. It needs a space to have a voice and to heal. It can come raging forward in the most inconvenient times, um, allow yourself to feel and move forward. If you can honor grief when it shows up and allow yourself to feel it, despite how inconvenient and exhausting it can be, this will allow the emotions to be processed and help you to move through the grief and loss more quickly.
This is how we work through. And move on. And, you know, I love how Dr. Skinner says we never, when we pick something up and we experience it and allow ourselves to feel it, we never put it back the same way that we picked it up. And that’s the goal here. Keep picking up. You know, the bargaining and let yourself work through it just a little bit.
And then when you can’t do it anymore, put it back down and you’ll probably move into anger or depression, or one of the other stages, pick that up, allow yourself to feel, allow yourself to work through that and then put it back. It never goes back the same way. And then when you pick it up again, you’re going to work through it just a little bit more, and you’re going to keep working through that.
And as you let yourself move through these stages of grief, You will get better and better at doing these things. So in conclusion, be gentle with yourself. Don’t try to rush the process or skip steps, give yourself plenty of space to feel without judgment, no judgment here, you will be tired. You will want to give up, be patient with yourself and have realistic expectations about what you can and cannot manage.
Um, like I said, with the exercise, you know, do what you can. If it’s five minutes, do five. Um, do what you can and don’t beat yourself up for what you cannot do. Sit down and rest when you need to. Um, again, with non-judgment, don’t beat yourself up in that space, understand you’re grieving and stand in your truth.
So I’m kind of hitting on number five. I know for me, I had this, you know, mental image of a crazy shelf. I was like, I need a break. I’m I’m dealing with all of these emotions, all these things. And I would literally just put it on that crazy shelf and say, it’s going to be there. Those are my that’s where I, what I’m experiencing.
It feels crazy. And I’m going to go have fun with some friends. I mean, allow myself, I deserve to have fun. I deserve to enjoy life. And then when I come back, take it back off the shelf. There’s a difference between putting things under the rug and having a crazy shelf. When you put things under the rug, it gets lost.
It doesn’t get addressed. You don’t usually pull it back out. When you put something on the crazy shelf, it’s there, you see it, you know, it needs to be addressed and you take it down and you deal with. When it needs to be addressed. Um, and so you allow yourself to keep working through it, not shoving it under the rug and hiding it, never to be seen again, but let yourself have that break.
So this is the conclusion of our grief and loss process. Um, it’s a really, really important thing for clients to understand, because if you have felt, you know, am I going crazy? I feel like I’m just going crazy. This rollercoaster. I don’t know what’s going on with me. This is a really important thing for you to understand.
You’re just going through grief and loss. You’re going through an incredible amount of grief and loss. You’ve lost how you feel about yourself. You lost how you feel about your partner. You lost how you feel about life in general. Um, things that were easy are now difficult, you’re going through a lot and we need to make sure that you are.
Understanding and not beating yourself up for that. Oftentimes other people might even beat you up for that. So take this and stand in that truth. I’m not crazy. I’m not dragging this out. I’m going through grief and loss. And just like with any other loss, you know, the, the death of a loved one. I need time.
I need to work through this. So I hope this was helpful for you. And if you have any other questions, um, please visit our forum, ask questions there. Sometimes I’m able to pop on there and answer any questions that you have, but thank you for being here with us at bloom for women.