Now, being triggered is not something I’ve ever really understood. I thought I didn’t *get* triggered and whether and what to put trigger warnings on when it comes to tweets and blogs has always been a source of some anxiety and confusion to me.
But last night I got triggered by an episode of ‘Criminal Minds’, and remembered why I don’t really watch tv or films or read fiction. I won’t go into the content but it could have been designed to push my buttons. It took me a while to realise what was happening, and even after my first stirrings of disquiet I kept right on watching, almost like a passive form of self harm – it took some effort to tear myself away from the situation and switch the damn thing off. (I DID SELF CARE! YAY ME!)
So I learned something. I learned something about what triggers me, and also about what being triggered looks and feels like for me – because it’s not dramatic, it’s not obvious emotions or overwhelming flashbacks, it’s more an inner screaming, a distant clamour, a sense that some inside (not all of whom I even know) are upset and disturbed even though I appear as outwardly calm as ever.
I did what I could to deal with what was happening. I tried to soothe and reassure. I made a cup of tea, took some lorazepam, and watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics until the drugs kicked in and I drifted off to sleep.
This morning I am reflective. I’ve realised that I let myself be triggered in this distant, undramatic way repeatedly and I don’t do anything about it, I just expect myself to carry on as though nothing has happened. I basically ignore what goes on inside, as though it’s not real, as though it doesn’t count. I’ve made a promise I won’t do that any more, and even though part of me thinks the whole thing was me just being ridiculous and self-indulgent and over-sensitive, the relief and happiness that is going on in the distance now tells me it is the right decision. I think I’m even a little bit proud of myself. Now *that’s* a weird feeling!