7 Types of Journaling and Betrayal Trauma Recovery
How can this help?
Betrayal trauma recovery sometimes feels like a neverending rabbit hole. We go through some instances of our hearts being broken and feel like we are falling to find some solid ground to then have it ripped out from us again. We don’t know what is really going on because the amount of gaslighting and lies thrown at us on a daily basis. Our spouse is actively trying to muddy the truth so they can get away with whatever addict behavior they are using this week. One of the tools that I have found that can give clarity and a sense of reality is journaling.
This is a great way to start making meditation a priority in your life. If you make it a goal to write about your daily or every other day meditation ritual you are more likely to actually do it. I include it in my daily to do so that I know it is important and is a scheduled task. It keeps me on track for meditation. I like to write what meditation method I used, how I felt before and after, and any other relevant information. I look back at it weekly to decide what worked and what didn’t. I am still getting into a habit of doing this daily. I’ve found that when I meditate in the mid morning it seems to work best for me. If I had never written this information down, I would never have known there was a time of day I prefered.
Kimberly found that using a meditation journal helped her to see that the thoughts that plagued her while meditation were actually things that she needed to look at. She had previously thought her husband was in recovery but as she journaled about meditation she realized there were inconsistencies in his stories that had been popping up over and over. When we wrote them all down they became a cohesive idea which led to the truth.
There are many studies showing that gratitude leads to happiness. I personally believe it wholeheartedly. I find that when I am focused on gratitude I am more likely to be happy. I know when you are freshly dealing with betrayal trauma, there doesn’t seem to be much to be happy about so I ask all my clients to give me 10 things a week they are grateful for. As time goes by I increase the number to keep them looking at the good in life. If you are having a hard time I suggest writing at least 5 a day for a week and then start weekly. It gives a quick boost.
Breeanna was extremely depressed because her life was over. She was married to a porn addict who was not even interested in working on things. She had nowhere to turn except me, as she couldn’t talk to anyone in her life about things. When she started a gratitude journal she was reminded that she had her kids to raise and that she was almost done with her bachelor’s degree even if she wasn’t in school at the time. This gave her the motivation to get back in school and continue to put her personal life together with or without her husband. When she did finally decide to divorce him, after another affair, She was done with school and being hired by a large firm.
When I say quick I mean like 1 to 3 sentences morning noon and night. This gives you a look into how you are doing with things at different times of the day. I have found this very informative and usually can change things fairly quickly knowing when things happen. This is something I still do on a regular basis to check in with myself and I suggest it to anyone who is looking for patterns.
I personally found this very helpful when trying to figure out if I was crazy or if my husband was gaslighting me. I found that I was happy as soon as he left until he was home. This gave me the information I needed to implement boundaries and follow through with them.
Your subconscious holds information that we can not access during the day. There are just too many studies showing that our gut is our subconscious showing us things to ignore. I don’t want you to think I am saying in the whole you can tell the future with dreams way. I have no opinion on that either way but I have found that if i look at my dreams as a way for my brain to show me things my waking mind has missed then I get good information.
Gaile used a dream journal to sift through her dreams and see that she was really already moving on in her heart. Her husband had treated her so badly that she didn’t ever dream anything good if he had been around before bed. If he was gone she had pleasant dreams. When he was home she always woke up crying. After coming together for coaching she decided to get a lawyer and move forward with her divorce.
Feelings Throughout the Day-
Earlier I suggested quick journaling for what’s going on. This is the same idea but focused on how you feel. Sometimes I use the 2 together and others I think they work better alone. If you are trying to process something specific as in a single time something happened, this may be a very good type to try. I also like that it gives you information on what triggers you just by talking about how you feel throughout the day.
Tayna loved having a feelings journal because it showed her how many times a day she felt worthless. This gave her a direction to look for her inner voice and what it was always telling her. She found that her early life had left a distinct picture of her not ever being worthy of love. We worked on that for over 2 months and when we were done, she was almost like a new woman.
If you are having specific memories pop up over and over then journaling on it a few times in a row may help. If you can get all your thoughts out of your body and on the paper, they will be less invasive. There may be a lot of pain that comes up with this though. Be prepared and if you are working things out with your spouse then warn them. Otherwise they may get wammied without knowing what is happening. After a few days read over all the pages and make a summary, then look through for things you may not have realized bother you. If you are seeing someone for support, this would be a great way to share your thoughts.
Leah found that she was always yelling at her husband when the tv was on. She had no idea why she did it so we talked about keeping this journal to figure out what was triggering the outbursts. This led to the memory of walking in on her husband watching inappropriate videos. We followed that to the fact that the tv was a huge trigger for her. After she came up with boundaries surrounding the tv, she was able to let this issue go.
I use this when I already have a journal that covers the basics of what is bothering me. I then look through it for the parts that are hurting me the most and rewrite it in my new journal. Then I will take apart the information to see what the root of my pain is. It is almost never the situation itself but how i feel about myself because of the situation.
Many of my clients start writing a journal after our first appointment. I ask that they take them with them everywhere and keep notes on feelings and thoughts along the way. When we are looking for triggers and behaviors that are bothering them we always look through the journal.
Betrayal Trauma Recovery: You Are in The Middle of TRAUMA
You are not crazy and you do need to treat what has happened as a serious trauma. You are going through one of the hardest to deal with issues of our adult lives. Your spouse, who you planned on spending the rest of your life with, the person you trusted to care for and love you, has betrayed you. And not only have they betrayed you they most likely blamed you and took their anger and shame out on you. Writting out what is happening and how you feel will help you to see the patterns giong on. It can help you to take apart the lies being told. And it may even helpyou to see something you don’t at this time see.
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