Triggers are the gateway to healing. They expose where your hidden wounds are. They shine light on the dark places. Places that want to be seen. But still… I prefer a calm state of mind if it was up to me…
When I’m triggered, most of the times it feels like my body freezes (the freeze state). I can barely breathe. I panic. I don’t know what to do or say. I stutter. My heart raises. My brain starts shutting down. I get this when I find myself in a conflict with another person. It can be really annoying because I don’t know how to respond anymore. Hours later when I’ve calmed down, the whitty responses arise, but then it’s too late. I already reacted coming from this lower state of awareness which are not my best reactions.
When someone oversteps my boundaries, which is a different kind of trigger, anger overtakes me. I feel the need to defend myself, physically and verbally! My brain immediately thinks of the meanest things to say. I feel my shoulders pulling back in order to make myself bigger (the fight response.)
And when I travel to a different country and everything is new and unpredictable, I dissociate. This state can feel like a mild detachment from my immediate surroundings to a more severe detachment from physical and emotional experiences. The moment I get into the airplane, my feelings shut down. It’s as if I’m looking at myself as being in a movie! And the first couple of days of the trips I find myself in this state. Until I get used to the surrounding and then my feelings will return to me.
So my main triggers are being in conflict with someone (underneath is the message: I’m not good enough), someone overstepping my boundaries (I don’t feel respected, I must not be good enough) and dissociation by travelling (my nervous system gets overwhelmed because of all the impulses) are my main triggers. And they teach me to love myself. To be easy and soft on myself. To forgive myself. To reach out for help. And in return I get wisdom and compassion.
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