Here I was thinking I was better than that.
I’ve always associated “being triggered” as somewhat of a choice, and a weaker one at that. It reminds me of people who cannot have a diplomatic conversation, people who are deeply offended if you disagree with them, people who… okay okay… I’m just going to say it – social justice warriors.
The term SJW is incredibly negative and is a definition that many people give others who they deem to be illogical – so naturally I don’t want any association with that term or any remotely close to it.
I also always assumed that being triggered was something people chose to do. It was something they understood, a feeling they enjoyed and an a form of attention seeking.
I WAS WRONG.
Turns out… TRULY being triggered is emotions and reaction first and then logic second . Plus on top of that there is absolutely nothing you can do to control it. It is a lash out, or a emotional break down, or instant fear that happens way before you can reign it in and calm yourself down.
I have experienced flash backs where a location will bring back traumatic events. I have experienced traumatic childhood memories hit me out of the blue when a specific word is said – but all of these I have a handle on. I know what is triggering me, I can logically rap my head around my reaction.
It wasn’t until just recently I experienced a triggering experience and I didn’t even know I was being triggered. I lashed out, started trying to control my environment, was rude, and passive aggressive and hilariously…. thought I was completely correct in doing so.
Feel free to laugh at this one….
I freaked out because my boyfriend didn’t wish me goodnight….
and it get’s worse… because he actually did wish me goodnight, but I had already gone to sleep and at that point it was too late.
I messaged him in the morning telling him we needed to “figure out how we communicate” and that “there should be rules on how we text with each other”
Meanwhile, I am sure my poor Hermes was siting there wondering what the heck he had done to deserve this! I am sure the thought of “crazy girlfriend” entered his mind, because I know I would have thought that if the roles were reversed.
As he tried to calm me down and explain to me that we communicate just fine, and that we respond to each other when we are able, and we don’t need to check in to tell each other where we are because we trust each other, I had to reassess my reaction.
WHY ON EARTH WAS THIS SUCH A BIG DEAL?!
I was troubled by this…
I had no idea why this upset me so much.
I decided to walk it off, and really ruminate to figure out why this “GOODNIGHT TEXT” was just so “gosh-darned the biggest deal ever.”
I sat on a park bench, in the middle of downtown Toronto, and cried. As I cried I realized why.
The only time my ex wouldn’t text me “goodnight” was when he was sleeping with other women.
We had an open relationship, where I would celebrate him while he sought out casual encounters, and he would veto me ever seeing anyone else other than himself. (A toxic relationship, and one I should have never allowed to happen but that is a story for a different time)
Of course, when you have an open relationship agreement you want to be supportive, and at first I was, not knowing that the offer for me to experience the open side would never come. But as I remained monogamous and the years went by waking up to you “I successfully seduced and screwed her brains out” texts, I was struggling to say the least.
Every night he had a date, I would try my hardest to stay up to receive a response to my “Goodnight babe, I love you.” and every night I was disappointed. I knew he was too busy sleeping with someone else to wish me goodnight.
YES I DID THIS TO MYSELF.
I could have left him. I should have left him much earlier than I did. So yes, letting myself go through that was on me. But regardless, it wore me down and hurt me greatly… AND APPARENTLY caused some emotional trauma I didn’t know I had. So this now brings us back to my freak out to my current boyfriend.
Upon realizing why I freaked out, tried to lay down texting ground rules, and scolded him for something he did not do – I APOLOGIZED.
I now know this is a trigger for me. I now know that it has nothing to do with my current boyfriend. I now know I CAN BE TRIGGERED. Shit.
I didn’t know that this past relationship harbored such baggage in me, and I didn’t know I hadn’t dealt with it all. If I had known all this when it happened I never would have lashed out, but sometimes we have to make mistakes to learn about ourselves… life is after all trial and error.
~Athena and Hermes~