The Trouble With Triggers

A few weeks back. A huge setback.

The trouble with triggers is that they’re fucking everywhere. You can be sitting quietly, writing speech for fictional people, in a self-made protective bubble of recovery—feeling better, feeling better—when a trigger shakes the ground beneath you. A sound, a noise. A text, a phone call. A sensation in your body.

Being triggered feels like the mental-emotional version of my daughter’s mess-making: it takes her about four minutes to completely trash part of the house with an elaborate game, and roughly forty minutes for me to restore order.

To do so much mental and emotional work over the past six months, only to have my room trashed again…

I’m the only one who can clean up this mess. And I feel like I’ll never be done.

In a way, I never will be. I will always be someone who has had my experiences, for the rest of my life. Even if my mind forgets, my body will hold the memories.

But when I’ve had moments of clarity, moments of feeling safe and embodied, working from creativity instead of cowardice, only to have it ripped away from me by triggers beyond my control—the feeling left behind is despair.

Because now I have to start over.

One thought on “The Trouble With Triggers

  1. Yeah. I’ve found that I can believe I’ve worked through bad stuff from so long ago, and one day some random thing will bring it back so fresh and awful. But it usually doesn’t take as long fit me to restore equilibrium, because I’ve had lots of practice, and also lots of time getting used to feeling better. Hang in there!


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