Just yesterday someone acted in a way that set off certain triggers from the past and caused me to question my behaviour.
Triggers From The Past
Sometime ago, José (my husband) was teasing me about something I asked him to do and called me a ‘bully’. At first I pretended to be hurt about it, and kept teasing him back. And as I continued, I found that I was genuinely upset. Consequently, I woke up this morning feeling rather low. Thankfully, I snapped out of this mood, about half an hour after I got up. But I can see, how this could have continued.
As I analysed why this happened, I realized that there are parts of me that I haven’t fully come to terms with. I think that deep within, I’m still not comfortable with being a strong and assertive woman. Messages from my past tell me to be soft-spoken, to be non-assertive, to be a ‘gentlewoman’. So for many years, I pretended to be all those things and people thought I was ‘sweet’. When I did assert myself, it made people uncomfortable enough to call me aggressive. And although I know that José is comfortable with my assertiveness and even encourages me to be so, I’m still a work in progress.
Do you find ‘triggers’ from your past coming back to haunt your present sometimes?KAREN SALMANSOHN
How do we deal with these triggers from the past?
Become aware that you have been triggered. What set it off? What’s the core emotion/s? In the situation above, I felt rejection and shame.
It’s fine to be triggered. Accept that it happened. Don’t try to suppress the emotion. Acceptance is the start of healing. You can work it out.
Write down your experience, the core emotions and attempt to travel back to your past to see the root of this. I find that my Morning Pages practice really helps me to deal with these emotions.
Healing takes time. But we must be prepared to spend time in self-reflection and also be open to forgiving people, not in the least ourselves.
Talking About Your Triggers
Talking it over with a loved one, explaining your triggers to the person/ people who are closest to you helps them to understand you better and goes a long way towards your healing. If you cannot deal with the pain, seek professional help.
Remember your triggers are a way to show you areas in your life that need healing and growth.