Archive for February 9th, 2009

One of my biggest challenges is dealing with severe triggers after child abuse. I can be having a good day but then have everything derailed by experiencing severe triggers. These are the triggers that can take me from feeling relaxed to feeling like the world is coming to an end in less than a second.

Severe triggers are those that remind child abuse survivors of their deepest unhealed traumas. In my case, it ties into my memory of seeing my dog slaughtered in front of me, all the while being told that this was my “choice.” I cannot handle seeing or smelling, much less handling, dog feces.

Dog feces is extremely triggering to me because it triggers the memories of that horrible night that I am not yet ready to face. Unfortunately, one of my dogs is very old, so he is prone to having accidents around the house. I do not take this well.

I would have already euthanized the dog if not for hub’s insistence upon giving him a little bit longer. The dog is 16-1/2 years old, so he has definitely lived a full life. He has trouble standing up and walking, so I think it is cruel to make the dog continue on with this low quality of life. But I digress…

I am also severely triggered by Russian nesting dolls, thanks to several traumatizing experiences. I have a full-fledged phobia of Russian nesting dolls, so I can definitely see the severe triggering coming. Fortunately, I do not bump into too many of the dolls in my day-to-day life, so that is more manageable for me than the dog feces trigger.

When I am severely triggered, I cannot seem to control my reaction. I run to my negativce coping strategies with a vengeance (typically the binge eating), and there seems to be nothing that I can do to stop this reaction until I begin to calm down.

I hate that I still do not have control of this aspect of my life. I hate that my environment continues to have the power to derail me and that I seemingly have no way of controlling my reaction.

I know that the answer lies in facing those traumas and processing the pain once and for all, and yet I continue to proscratinate doing it. Why? Because it hurts so d@#$ much. Until I choose to heal the underlying pain, I will stay susceptible to being rocked by these severe triggers. I know that I am making this choice and that it is not a good one, and yet I persist. Why is that?

Related Topic:

PTSD and Cycles of Emotions

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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