Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Triggers and Learning To Do Things Differently.

     Last night I was triggered and ended up feeling helpless and cornered which led me quickly to rage and the familiar feeling of wanting to run away. I felt like I hated everyone and wanted to throw things and scream.  I wanted to run away from home. I became short tempered and it felt like my nerves were raw. Noise bothered me even more than usual and I was seething inside. I snapped at my daughter for making too much noise while doing the dishes and was furious with my son for unplugging the wireless router by mistake. I pushed the dog away from me and wished I could disappear.
     However, I didn't run away from home or scream or throw things and I didn't allow myself to disappear.  I toughed it out and talked about it. The difference for me these days is that I can recognize triggers sooner and talk about it which helps it go away quicker and not to escalate. Last night was a good example of how choosing not to act instinctively on my feelings, but listening to my head is a much better choice.
     My feelings last night were not really rooted in the “here and now” anyway. These feelings had much more to do with the "back there and then." My usual emotional reaction has been to feel cornered, get mad and then to run away either physically or emotionally. If I had listened to that and reacted as I'd always done, I'd still feel badly today and be fighting with my "here and now" family.  In reality, it was really my "back there and then" family that I was mad at.
     Because I did what I knew to be right rather than what I felt like doing, I was able to talk to my husband and even to apologize to my daughter for biting her head off. I decided to post it on Facebook, (which I NEVER would have done before), and got some good support from people I wouldn't have expected it from. I told the truth about how I felt and I didn't die! That might sound silly, but that's really how I used to feel. I was so afraid of letting anyone see the ugliness I had inside that I actually thought it might kill me to do so. In the past, I always pretended I was alright, no matter how bad I felt.     
     Today I am learning to be real with myself and others, so, today is a whole new day and I'm OK just as I am!

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