Archive for September 6th, 2010

The weather over the weekend was absolutely gorgeous! Saturday was one of those days that just felt amazing … the weather was so nice that all seemed right with the world. I was in a fabulous mood as I drove my son to the Halloween store to browse. The Halloween store is only open seasonally (for obvious reasons), and Saturday was the grand opening.

When I left the Halloween store, I was feeling very cranky. My head was hurting, so I thought I might need to eat dinner early. That did not help. Walking the dogs with my son did not help either, nor did talking on the phone with my sister. I started to wonder if I was coming down with a cold, if my allergies were aggravated, or if I was starting to have a migraine.

I was baffled by how I could have been in such a fabulous mood all day and then be in this terrible place of feeling absolutely miserable. I recounted my day and realized that the switch happened at the Halloween store.

I know that there are things in Halloween stores that can be triggering for me due to the ritual abuse, but I really thought I did okay. At no point did I get that “floaty” feeling in my head that tells me that I am triggered. I literally went from being in a great mood to having a headache in an instant. Once I realized that I was triggered, I took some Xanax and went to bed. I slept for 10 hours with acceptable dreams (intense but not nightmares).

The next day, I asked my friend and asked if she noticed anything weird about me at the Halloween store. She said I was completely fine until I went into the dressing room with my son the second time. That is when my demeanor changed. On the second trip, my son tried on a “Scream” costume (without my permission), which is a hooded black robe. Apparently, that was the trigger.

I have told my son multiple times that he may not wear a costume with a black robe, so of course that is what he wants to wear. My friend has offered to take him costume shopping in the future and not to allow him to get a black robe. (She knows my entire history.)

Right now, I am just focused on grounding myself again. It bothers me that I could get triggered that powerfully and have no idea that I was. Yes, I felt the physical changes but was completely oblivious to the trigger when it happened. A day later, I am still not back to normal. (I am writing this on Sunday night.) I will probably take more Xanax to help me sleep tonight.

It p@$$es me off that the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) still has this kind of power over me. I know that PTSD is managed rather than cured, and I know that I pull myself out of triggers much, much faster than I used to, but it still angers me to have to deal with this crap at all.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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