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Blog and Poem: My emotional triggers

Updated: Mar 2

I’m torn between feeling like an affectionate puppy who says ‘love me, play with me, I love you’ and the very self – sufficient woman that I also am.

Triggers can feel exhausting and the slightest thing can create a shift in me – an unease, the fear of a threat or a memory. For me, the most common types of triggers are emotional triggers. A phrase is used or there are (in my mind) perceived undertones in a conversation and it takes me back to feeling helpless, not believed, frightened (not always sure of what) or frozen.

Things that can affect me and my mood, in varying degrees of strength, include:

1. Older men, in particular, or people with experience or status, being authoritarian.

I feel I cannot express my opinion and can do or say things I disagree with.

2. Feeling not believed, misunderstood or not taken seriously.

If something I say, that represents my truth, is questioned, I feel betrayed. When being honest, I am very keen to project that I am not a liar and see that realisation reflected in the eyes of the person I am talking to. The desire to ‘be believed’ has been quite intense in the past.

3. The idea of being patronised or ‘talked down’ to is something I really struggle with.

(Why would anybody see me as on their level?)

4. A difficult thing I experience is feeling I have to cope with my health or emotional struggles alone. This then feeds into not viewing myself as important. Loneliness is something I find hard.

Being unable to speak constructively, feeling frozen but presenting a veneer of ok – ness and the gut-wrenching uncomfortableness are symptoms that I will notice – or look back on.

Many are triggered by smells, locations, the feel or energy of a place, particular clothing, phrases used in everyday language, sudden noises and certain foods or types of music.

Image credit: Canva


Someone goes to ring the bell next to me on the bus

And my heart jumps out of my skin

I flinch, feel terror momentarily

And all that happened was a ding!

I’ve got better at hiding them now,

these insignificant, everyday triggers

Does everyone feel like this? I don t know

People on the tube supressing their sniggers

I stopped writing because I stopped believing

Then because I started realising too much

What do I feel about him? I really don t know

But I know I hate physical touch

And as for love or care, I ‘ll lap up crumbs

Because I don’t know what real love feels like

I question myself, question my memories

What will change just because I type?

My lines are too long and my soul’s too empty

To ever let anyone in

I’m not connected, don’t live within my body

To feel whole, to jump; to click back in

My brain feels traumatised and I’m scared all the time

Then sometimes have no clue what I feel

Brains all over the wall and blood splashes in red

Frightened, frozen; the blood is thoughts and isn’t real

I take the easy route by talking about the less painful bits

But I still want to claw my way out

Numbing, not coping, denying

shifting in my stomach as they jiggle about

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