Sometimes just saying the word “trigger” is a trigger. It means you are admitting to being hurt…upset…angry…emotional…vulnerable. Saying it to the person who is causing you to be triggered is incredibly hard for all those reasons…plus you don’t know how they are going to respond. For me at least, it’s a huge act of trust.
By telling the person who’s triggering me that they are…and how, I’m opening myself up to the potential of future pain. Is this person going to ask questions and try to understand? Are they are going comprehend that this pain I’m feeling isn’t about them? Can they accept it’s about me…but by being triggered that old pain is very much real…happening now? Will they be able to separate themselves from the situation and my pain enough to hold space for me?
Or…will they throw it back in my face? Ignore it because they don’t understand it? Pretend I’m talking a foreign language because they don’t want to have to deal with something that doesn’t have to do with them? Will they compound the trigger by leaving me to deal with it on my own and not changing their behavior? Will they completely disrespect my feelings…and will it be by accident or on purpose?
There are so many unknowns when I go down the road of sharing with someone that their behavior is triggering me. The mere fact that I’m able to see that that’s what is happening is a bit of a breakthrough. It means the wound is surfaced enough to be identified. It means it’s close enough to the surface to begin healing…if it’s handled with care.
See that’s the issue with triggers…they can spin off and become more complicated or spawn new triggers. It’s a delicate balance and they…me…need to be handled accordingly.
I’m not proud of my triggers…of my wounds…my scars. I don’t wear them like a badge of honor. I don’t want them to define me. I’ve worked hard…for a very long time…to move past them. Rid myself of them. Expose and heal them.
I don’t hide the fact that I have these imperfections because we all have them. I’ve always felt that being open about it might help other people to realize it’s ok…they aren’t alone. Hurt hurts but we can heal…together.
I’ve also felt that by being open about my struggles, it lets the people in my life know that this might be a bumpy ride on occasion but I’m working hard…and willing to work even harder…to smooth out the road as best I can.
But it takes a mutual commitment to work through such struggles. It takes a strong person to stand by my side while I’m going through the experience of pushing the wound to the surface. It’s not for the weak of heart or those that don’t want to dig in and get a little messy.
To tell someone that I’m being triggered…and the role they play in that…isn’t easy. It means opening up to so many extra emotions and potential outcomes…when I already feel bombarded…exposed…insecure…unprotected.
I’ve worked for a really long time to get where I am. I’m so much healthier than I was. I’ve rounded so many corners. But I have to admit that I’m tired. I’m tired of carrying this weight…of not being able to offload it. Of dealing with the onslaught of emotions and fears that rise up as a result. Of seeing the cycle…feeling the pain…and not being able to make it stop.
I know this isn’t the same pain. It’s deeper…more pervasive and impacting nearly every aspect of my life. I know there’s a reason I’m seeing it…feeling it. I know I’ll eventually release it. I just don’t know what my life will look like after that happens. But I know I have no choice but to trust that everything will be ok.