- Minimize risks by spreading it out -- risky situations. No need to pile them on top of each other -- try to deal with one at a time.
- Know triggers that cause the emotional flooding of PTSD.
Growing up with a vet? We all have PTSD. I have anxiety/panic. I try to deal with my own emotional flooding issues. I have not mastered it. Here's where I'm at
in journaling on that in case it helps you. There are several entries before that -- those describe me digesting and picking apart a recent emotional flood so I can try to understand it and give him a clue for how to help me. He's willing to help, but I have to be the one figuring it out. He can't do the work FOR me.
It is good D recognizes that he could have accepted the thanks and not kept picking at it. Remember that next time.
It is good you recognize that you blew up and started looking up divorce lawyers in flood. That's the hormones -- the fight/flight response. Do NOTHING for the first 20 min after a flood.
Let some of that hormone cocktail dissipate. When you feel it, try to keep track of you body, your mind, your heart, your spirit. Do you grit teeth? Clench fist? Breath fast? Feel your thought racing? Stuff like that. Those are you tells. You and D could learn them so you know when to back off a situations that threatens to go floody on you.
The hormone cocktail of NRE
is similar to the hormone cocktail of emotional flooding -- you get a big shot of adrenalin in each. You get the 'high" on your crush person because that's the reward. It allows for time to build something of substance in the relationship so you have reason to be attached once the NRE drug wears off. If nothing is there, nothing is there. It was just NRE. But we all know we see the world and the crush person thru rose colored glasses in that space. It's the crack of the brain cocktail!
Learn more about that so you can keep both things in perspective:
- D drunk on NRE with impaired judgement
- You drink on Emotional Flood with impaired judgement.
Neither should make Big Life Decisions like divorce while "drunk."
As for trustworthy-ness of D in learning to pick sane partners? Well. That can only come by DOING. So both of you have to be open to allowing a space for him to practice those skills, but do it in a way so that the dings you might experience are kept to a minumum so you do not flood too horrible.
Can we be closed to just C for now? What's the polysaturation point? Can we make some kind of agreement on how soon after a flood he can date someone else? How this person is introduced into your life? Pacing matters. If you are anything like me, I cannot STAND the unknown person. It makes me want to hurl, I feel that anxious! I don't know them yet, so I can't tell if they are sane or not. But I can't know if they are sane or not without being open to knowing them. Ugh. In your case WAY more ugh because of the crazy experience you had!
Talk to D about his dating style/pace and where he might be willing to adjust it to be aware of his NRE judgement issues and your flooding issues. Some kind of compromised happy medium.
I think if you see/feel him working with you on dealing with emotional flooding of PTSD you can apply the trust from there, to building more trust in his judgement.
You can remind yourself he does NOT try to hurt you on purpose. He might make mistakes, but he's looking out for your mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health. He's not sloshing your buckets intentionally or thoughtlessly.
He might be driving under the influence (NRE) but do you have agreements in place where YOU can look out for him when he's on the cocktail?
And will you have agreements in place where HE looks out for you when you are on the cocktail of emotional flood? DH and I are trying to sort those out for ourselves. I'm the flooder.
Then overall I think you could be moving your trust of each other into the "deeper" levels. And overall that's reassuring, right?