The Extended Grief Cycle: Shock, Part 2

30 Ways to Shock Yourself

Image by bre pettis via Flickr

Definition of SHOCK- source:

1: the impact or encounter of individuals or groups in combat
2a : a violent shake or jar : concussion b : an effect of such violence
3a (1) : a disturbance in the equilibrium or permanence of something (2) : a sudden or violent mental or emotional disturbance b : something that causes such disturbance <the loss came as a shock> c : a state of being so disturbed <were in shock after they heard the news>
4: a state of profound depression of the vital processes associated with reduced blood volume and pressure and caused usually by severe especially crushing injuries, hemorrhage, or burns
5: sudden stimulation of the nerves and convulsive contraction of the muscles caused by the discharge of electricity through the animal body

In my previous post, I described my friend B driving me home because it had been decided that I was in shock and therefore unable to drive. I described my feelings driving home with B and described feeling disconnected from physical reality. I spent the next three days in a state of acute shock, which I describe in my post “Recovery From Betrayal Stage 2: “Grieving the Loss of the Person You Thought You Knew“* *(This is a quote from an article, “Healing: When Betrayal Ends a Relationship” by Melanie Brown Kroon MA, MFT.)

Five months later, I remember my actions from that three day period last October as those of a person desperately bent on survival. I did not want to be alone. Friends stayed with me and put me to bed. It was decided to get me some beer to drink to help me sleep. (Normally, I am not a drinker.) They all told me that I’d be fine in the morning but when I woke up I was terrified of being alone and called my 74 year old father and begged him to come and stay with me for a couple days. I waited in desperate terror until he arrived. As soon as he arrived, I felt safe.

My father took care of me as if I were a child. My friend B explained what had happened to our supervisor at work, to whom we were very close and had worked with for many years. (His comment: “Men are pigs.”) I didn’t go to work. I took off Tuesday and Wednesday as  sick days.

I was only able to eat one packet of oatmeal at a time, or one piece of unbuttered toast. I slept one tortured night in the bedroom I’d shared with my lover just three weekends before (we’d gone apple picking with our daughter on a translucently beautiful Saturday morning, replete with horse drawn wagon ride) and then dragged my mattress downstairs to the dining room and slept on the floor.

My teenage sons didn’t know what i was doing. I had no idea how to explain any of it to them.I have still not explained any of this to them.

The therapist I saw occaisonally was out of town; on her receptionist’s advice- I saw a new therapist. I marched in on Thursday morning and told her, “It doesn’t matter; I don’t love him anymore. All my love for him died when I discovered that he cheated on me.”

“You’re in shock,” the new therapist responded, “Its your body’s way of protecting you from pain. Unfortunately, you can’t turn love off like a switch. Your feelings for him will return. And it will hurt. It will hurt very much.”

She was right.



5 thoughts on “The Extended Grief Cycle: Shock, Part 2

  1. Pingback: Dream: Speaking to ‘Her’ « healingbetrayal

  2. Pingback: Drink a Pint of Dark Beer Fast « healingbetrayal

  3. Pingback: Betrayal Trauma « healingbetrayal

  4. Pingback: Betrayal Induced Nausea « healingbetrayal

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