Trigguh Please!

“I took childhood insecurities and turned them into an adulthood and career of which I am proud, and I am compassionately committed to helping others do the same.” — T. Rogers

January twenty eight, twenty eighteen

Within our society’s lexicon, A Trigger is defined as an emotional/psychological reaction caused by something that somehow relates to an upsetting time or happening in someone’s life. This reaction is often found to happen in war veterans, people suffering with PTSD, depression, and other mental disorders.

As of late, social media has jumped on and added its own definition of what it’s like to be triggered (heads up! Trigger Warning!). Well, I say it’s time to let go of old ways of reacting to new stimuli. Release that childhood, past traumatic and very real experience of pain and move on!

Notice I did not say ‘Get over it.’ That phrase (along with ‘I’m fine’ or ‘whatever,’) and oh so many other antiquated words of expressing relief needs to go! For those who are courageous enough to look at themselves empathically, ‘getting over’ past pain, loss or trauma actually means MOVING THROUGH and then Moving on.

Triggers can be reminders, as pain is, that something isn’t finished, hasn’t been worked through… unprocessed. That the current painful emotional situations we find ourselves in are influenced and are informed by our past experiences and those feelings.

Those unprocessed feelings (think of it as a range from 0–30) stick around and when something present occurs (a 30–60 range), we (and those in front of us) experience the emotional reaction as a full 0–60!

To be triggered (from a clinical point of view), means to react as if what’s happened in the past is happening currently. Work with a strong therapist takes you back to the original emotionally painful place(s) (say you were forgotten to be picked up from school: feelings 0–30) and authentically validates how that might have been for you.

That way when your current partner returns from the grocery store and doesn’t remember to bring home the kind of cereal you like (30–60, a valid disappointment) your reaction isn’t: “What the hell?! Do you even know me, you never consider me??!!” (0–60).

Minimizing how we’re triggered to the point of managing our emotional life isn’t easy. The world will through us curve balls in the form of disappointments, loss, feelings of confusion; and those curve balls can have us emotionally reaching back to a time of serious pain. But doing the inner work required can address those valid but historical feelings and keep your current reactions from being all mighty and hysterical. To borrow from Alcoholics Anonymous: If it’s hysterical, its historical.

WORDS, WORDS, WORDS….

Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.

Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time

You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.

The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.

The needs of a society determine its ethics.

The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.

If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.

If someone tells you who they are, believe them.

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.

I believe that every person is born with talent.

There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.

I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.

When you learn, teach. When you get, give.

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.

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