Blog: My emotional triggers (poem at the end)
Updated: Oct 8
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.
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