Broken – Trauma and the Downgrade

I managed to sit down about 13 feet away. I was facing them on the L shape part of the bar while they were at the other end. I knew Hailey had spotted me as she practically wrenched her neck so we wouldn’t lock eyes.


Broken is a story that is best read Chronologically to start from the beginning – Prologue

I managed to sit down about 13 feet away. I was facing them on the L shape part of the bar while they were at the other end. I knew Hailey had spotted me as she practically wrenched her neck so we wouldn’t lock eyes.

I noticed something right away. I was uncontrollably shaking and starting to sweat. I was on my way to a panic attack. I was in full flight or flight. I was trying to get a hold of myself before something embarrassing happened. I managed to take off my coat get out of the stool walk past them to get to the mens room.

I needed to calm down. I had to get past this response from my body. My initial reaction I wanted to fight but not flee. I managed to stop my sweating and get my shaking down to unnoticeable levels. I had to stand my ground though. I had to have a normal night. I texted Jennifer and Darcey. And they were like “Holy Shit!!” Jennifer was relaying to a mental health professional she knows and recognized immediately that I was having a trauma response. This was the moment I realized how this entire thing had fucked me up way worse than I could have imagined.

As I sat there regaining control I noticed something. She was not proud to be with this man. It felt like she wanted to hide it. Why? I thought she was going to “say hi”. She seemed so empowered by this relationship when she hinted at it when she told me. Then I remembered hearing or reading somewhere about the Narcissistic Downgrade New Supply.

The theory is that they downgrade after the lack of ability to control a favorite supply. This new person is often described as out of their league both with the former supply and the narcissist themselves. It fuels their ego as well as destroys yours. Except I know this. I don’t feel threatened by the lure of this man even as he sits just feet away. It’s clear she has chosen a man who she can control be whatever she wants and heap abuse to someone who will repeatedly let her. I look at him and I would hate to get judgy. But he is scraggly, has that millennial not quite a beard look. And he looks he is strung out. His eyes are read and glassy.

It is such a stark contrast to me it is somewhat jarring. It makes you want to ask questions why. I skip past those because I know why and can sit there somewhat confidently but still pretty wounded myself. Bonus the assistant manager comes over says she has seen me before and introduces herself would feel like a little flirty to the outside world. This would likely wound her greatly.

I can sense her caught between trying to make me a little jealous and not wanting me to see too much. She is leaning in and pulling away. He even put his hand on her back and she slowly leaned forward. I texted Darcey that I wanted to tell him that just 7 days ago she was on the dating apps wearing a necklace I bought her. Blow up her spot. I could tell by his body language he had no clue. I just wanted her gone an out of my life. But I managed to do the right thing and not give in.

For 90 minutes she looked exclusively in the other direction only facing forward only 2-3 times. At one point he left for the mens room. I was tempted just to say “Hailey look at me.” I didn’t. I am not sure if I felt that was good for me or not. I am not even sure why I wanted to. It was at this point I decided enough was enough. I felt like I won the night but it was coming at a cost.

It would start a 2 week stretch where it was difficult to sleep and eat. The adrenaline was in full effect. I still managed to workout and run like a maniac. I don’t know how I was doing it. It was both good and terrible for me all at the same time. But I know there is something wrong with me. It felt like we broke up all over again. A pretty good sign of PTSD. Just ugh. I am going to need some help.

Author: Matt

Hi, I’m Matt. Just your average uneventful guy. Dedicated Dad, emapth, and nurturer. Going through something I couldn’t possible ever thought possible. My story is called Broken. About an affair at the end of a long marriage and how ultimately I experienced the worst heartbreak of my life. It's honest, raw, and a little bit entertaining. I hope to share my story so people can learn while being therapeutic for myself.

6 thoughts on “Broken – Trauma and the Downgrade”

  1. Reading this, it doesn’t feel like ‘love’ anymore. I agree, your mind and body need to be free of her. To get to a point where you feel freedom regardless whether she is in your orbit or not will take some work.

    My heart went out to you when I read this. I’m sorry you went through this. I really am. After such a high and such an ‘in love’ feeling, to end up in PTSD. So sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no love and if there is any left it is buried under a bunch of disgust. But my body still wants this or won’t let go. I can’t figure out which. Parts of my brain aren’t communicating to others. It’s disorienting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One, I am so proud of you for sticking it out and not leaving or confronting her. Two I wish I could hug you right now, I completely understand your trauma response. It’s horrible what she’s put you through

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are in technical driving distance when can we schedule that hug? lol. I always remember the quote courage is doing something brave in the face of fear. It cost me alot of emotional trauma to sit there but I have no regrets. It showed me that this is beyond the normal broken heart. And I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe, I of all people, ended up like this. It is not my M.O. But I think the lesson here and I have always had empathy for victims… they come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and varying levels of strength. When you are a decent person and someone is willing to lie to you and manipulate you, you never see it until it is too late.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know exactly what you mean, I question myself everyday when it comes to the choice in who I married even when the abuse was happening before the wedding. How many of my friends I have helped out of abusive relationships and yet I stayed for years and took it. I get upset for the years I’ve lost, the friends i’ve lost because of him, the baby I’ll never have….it’s a lot and it changes you. It sucks because it’s not who we know we are and it makes us question ourselves (at least for me it does) and thats damaging too. Even when I have my guard up I end up being the one kicked, and yet I have friend who don’t want me to change because they truly love how I am as I friend. But hell yes road trip for hugs!!!! I give amazing hugs by the way lol

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Road trips for hugs it’s settled. I agree, I don’t like the thought of us changing who we are. But healthier boundaries. I even tried with Hailey. And it is still tough.

          Liked by 1 person

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