Hi Friday,I have zero problem believing that.
My word of warning is that going along with someone else’s trauma response, rather rather than having rock solid boundaries? Does a couple of things
1. It prolongs it… because someone trusted is agreeing with you about what happened… it takes it out of the past/triggered and lands it into the present as “this IS what happened, and it’s not an overreaction to be xyz about it.”
2. Totally rational actions following irrational events follow like a line of ducklings (following a rabid polar bear). Like it’s totally rational to break up with someone who was abusive to you & your kids. The irrational part of mixing up past & present? Gets lost when it’s agreed it’s not an irrational trauma response, but something you’re totally guilty of.
I’m NOT saying that there’s any way to argue sense, when someone is triggered and irrational.
I AM saying it’s reeeeeeally important to learn to not feed the polar bear // IE agreeing with a version of events that never happened.
It’s mostly just a <cough> simple <cough> word change… from “I’m sorry etc.” to “We’ll talk when you’re ready” or “that’s not me / not what I think / not what I feel, etc.” (if you’re being told your own motives, etc.).
^^^This is where an impartial 3rd party, like a marriage counselor, can be invaluable.
I understand what you are saying, with mixing past and present and how this can be dangerous. Considering how emotional she is right now I don't think now is the best time to set a boundary. As much as I would like to text her and explain that I feel awful that I upset you and your children and I would love to talk to you about it and resolve this I don't agree that it was something 'unbelievable'. As sweetpea mentioned previously, this is a typical argument that many people have, all the time and at this point it's clear she has not realized that. It's even quite possible that her oldest child has PTSD as well. And first the child was triggered, and then this triggered her. I think that's the likely course of events. But again, I can only speculate here at this stage.
I agree that counseling would be ideal. I don't think she would be opposed to it, but with lack of communication there is not much I can do at this point. However, I would say if this drags out into the next week I may just have to suggest it to her via text whether she has communicated with me or not. This is something that is a mix of misunderstanding, a minor selfish mistake on my part, and trauma response from her. It's something that I think could be resolved of the course of a few sessions of counseling. And I would say if she cannot resolve this in herself sometime in the middle of next week then getting a third party involved is the next step; if she is willing.
Thanks for all your help, and thanks to everyone so far who has been reading this. I know it's a lot.