Archive for October 6th, 2009

To continue my ongoing saga that started on October 1 (and, yes, I do believe that the time of year makes me much more sensitive to triggers), I pieced together that my problem was being very triggered by the car incident. I have had this happen twice before.

The first time was when I was in high school. I was very triggered, and my car was blocked in by other cars at a big public event. I had to get out now, and, in the process of trying to wedge out, I bumped up against another car. It was dark, so I couldn’t tell that I had done any damage until the next morning, when I saw red paint on my car. I “knew” that I could remove it with nail polish remover, but I didn’t know how I knew this. I was very triggered, but I couldn’t separate that out from my other triggers.

The second time was six years ago. Again, I was already triggered, and I bumped another car while pulling into a tight parking space. I left a note and had the public place try to page the owner several times. The owner never contacted me. It did minimal damage to that car, and it was really old and in bad shape anyhow, whereas my car needed a new light. I cried for 90 minutes straight, and nothing that my friend said could comfort me.

I already told you about instance number three, which happened on Thursday. It finally hit me on Friday that I was triggered, and it wasn’t a coincidence that three very minor fender-benders made me hysterical. So, I told myself that I wanted to remember … and I did.

As I have shared before, L & S were a married couple who were my most sadistic abusers. I have always remembered their basement and front room (where most of my abuse took place). I also always remembered the back of the house, where we would park and walk up stairs to the back door by the swimming pool. I could also remember the long driveway and the trees lining it on the left side. However, anything to the right, including the front of the house, was a complete blank.

As soon as I chose to remember, I “saw” the front of their house clearly, so I knew that I was correct about this being a trigger. I remembered being around 12 and S insisting that I learned to drive her car down her driveway. It was only wide enough for one car, and she had another car parked in it, so I, of course, hit the other car. She pulled me out of the driver’s seat by the arm and dragged me to the basement, where she always hurt me. I chose not to go farther. I have a long list of memories of things she did to me in that basement, so I did not see the point of continuing.

So, now that I know that my overreaction is a trigger with a logical basis, I have been much better about handling my emotions. I spent time comforting the wounded inner child who felt responsible and “stupid” for causing a minor fender-bender. I am choosing not to let myself beat myself up for this. It could have happened to anyone, and this is my first insurance liability claim ever (after driving for 25 years), so I think my driving record is pretty good … Just don’t park behind me on my hilly driveway! LOL

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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