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Is anyone else triggered by repetition? I think my triggering comes from the chanting that was part of the ritual abuse. Regardless of why, I am quite bothered by any sort of repetition, whether spoken or in song.

The worst is when Latin phrases are repeated, such as at the end of the Evanescence song Whisper. According to this site, this is what is being said:

Servatis a periculum [save us from danger].
Servatis a maleficum [save us from evil].

While I have no problem with those lyrics, I come completely unglued if I hear that part of the song. I always have to cut it off, or I get extremely triggered. I also used to get triggered in church by any sort of reading in unison, although I have gotten over that now. The speaking in unison that they do at my Methodist church is not typically repetitive, which helps.

I have no patience with repetitive lyrics, such as the 20+ times that John Mayer says, “Say what you mean to say,” in the refrain his song with the same name. I can’t even handle Holly Jolly Christmas due to the repetition. It makes me really cranky, which many people find hysterical. One friend asked me, “How can anyone have a problem with Holly Jolly Christmas?” My answer, of course, is the repetition. I also have little patience for church hymns that say the same thing over and over, only changing one word each time.

Am I alone in this? I never hear people talk about this, but it is, admittedly, an odd trigger, so I could see where people might be reluctant to admit to having this particular trigger. I handle it by making fun of the repetition. I joke that repeating, “say what you need to say” 36 times in a song is simply brilliant lyric-writing … not! If you roll your eyes as you say this, then it comes across as having limited patience with a lack of creativity rather than having an odd trigger. :0)

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On my blog entry entitled Getting Triggered by Halloween Preparations, a reader posted the following comment:

I hate to repeat things too! What is that about.. do you think? I really really HATE it! Any insights appreciated. ~ Mia

I, too, have a difficult time with repetition. It took me a long time to be okay with saying things in unison at church, such as the Lord’s Prayer, because the repetition really bothered me. Heck, I cannot even stand to listen to the song Holly Jolly Christmas because it is so repetitive.

I think my problem is that chanting was used as part of the ritual abuse, so anything that reminds me of the chanting is triggering to me. Outright chanting, such as that used at the end of the song Whispers by Evanescence, can put me over the edge. However, even something that repeats a lot without out-and-out chanting, such as the song Kumbaya, really bothers me and always has.

I have been able to push through some of my aversion to repetition, such as speaking in unison in church. I now find that ritual to be comforting. However, I would rather jump off a bridge than listen to Holly Jolly Christmas, so I clearly have a long way to go.

Now, if I am the one creating the ritual, it makes me feel safe. For example, I always check my alarm clock exactly three times before I go to sleep, which is an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) thing. This ritual makes me feel safe and secure, knowing that I have set my alarm clock correctly and will not oversleep in the morning. However, I have little to no patience with rituals that others set up and impose upon me.

I chalk it all up to the ritual abuse. Does anyone else have any theories?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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