Keeping a journal through your betrayal trauma

The last thing that some women want to do is chronicle and memorialize their trauma but that’s exactly one piece of advice I encourage. Journaling is beneficial following disclosure of a spouse’s betrayal because it allows the spouse/partner to vent without reproach or correction. She can express every single thought, feeling/emotion, and expletive that she wants. Because many women in the middle of betrayal trauma don’t want to share what they’re experiencing with friends or family out of fear of judgement, a journal offers one outlet in which she can declare her deepest thoughts.

Many women experience post traumatic stress reactions after betrayal. Sleep could be elusive and sporadic, making her feel like she’s in a fog. Many months from now when time and some healing has taken place, the journal will serve as important evidence of her state of mind at the time of the event. She’ll see some growth and movement has take place.

If you fear your children or spouse/partner reading your journal, you can always type your thoughts onto a document and save it under an obscure title or encrypt it with a password.

Don’t worry about grammar and punctuation. The point is to just start a free flow of feelings. Research shows that writing about traumatic, stressful, or emotional events can lead to improvements to both psychological and physical health. There might be days that you feel completely numb and that’s ok. Write that you feel numb. There might be other days in which you can’t stop the flood of emotions. Write those feelings too. Your grief and sorrow will ebb and flow. It’s so important to get it out.

Working with various women, I have seen how keeping a record of their journey has allowed them to help other women. I’ve met women who don’t like to write but keep a daily sketch journal. There are bullet journals, Bible journaling, and gratitude journals—just get started!

If you live in the northern Colorado area (Fort Collins, Greeley, Windsor, and Fort Collins) and are experiencing the pain of betrayal trauma, contact Mending Hearts Counseling today.

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