Surviving Trauma in Your Marriage

December 6, 2010

Seeing your spouse suffer is a terrible thing. You want to make things better. You want to take away the hurt.

So much of the time, though, you can’t. Or at least not fast enough, and not to the degree you’d like.

A recent post on Marriage Gems references the book HEALING TOGETHER: A COUPLE’S GUIDE TO COPING WITH TRAUMA AND POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS. Marriage Gems quotes the authors of the book as saying, “Trauma puts up a wall that for a time locks a couple out of their familiar world and leaves them frozen in the traumatic event. Suddenly there is no past, and the future feels impossible.”

God, can I relate.

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Tetris Soothes Psychological Trauma

November 14, 2010

Every year at my dad’s office Christmas party, my sister and I would beg his secretary to let us play Tetris on her computer. We could play it on a Game Boy anytime we wanted, but that was in black and white. On her computer: glorious color.

After about the age of 13, I didn’t play Tetris for many years. In high school, Sim City was my video game of choice. In college, I discovered computerized Solitaire. A few years ago, I became obsessed with digital Scrabble.

A couple of months before John’s breakdown, I rediscovered Tetris. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, he was working a lot, and even when he was home on the weekend, he was often obsessed with work. I needed to find things to do to occupy my time. A Web search for “free Tetris” bore fruit, so I played the occasional game here and there.

But when John went into the hospital and my anxiety was so high that I lost seven pounds in a week eating the exact same amount of food as usual (I know because I weigh and measure all my meals as part of my Twelve Step recovery), Solitaire didn’t help, Scrabble didn’t help, and I didn’t even have access to Sim City.

No, the only thing that helped calm my anxiety and prevented me from reliving the weekend prior to John’s hospitalization over and over again in my mind was a combination of mindless TV and Tetris.

In light of some new research released by Oxford University, I don’t think this was an accident.

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