‘Triggers’ are common issues with people with (Complex) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The common advice given is to learn your triggers, avoid triggers, manage triggers.
Triggers, are when past trauma is triggered by something that happens now. These can be emotional triggers, can bring flashbacks, anxiety etc.
It is often viewed as the ‘triggers’, being innocent and non harmful, but triggering something from the past. E.g. someone sees someone with a beard, and it triggers a past memory of abuse, by someone who also had a beard. Obviously, the person now with the beard, is completely innocent in simply being someone, with a beard.
I have, however, come to understand, whatever is occurring now, that causes a trigger, can also be something that is not okay in itself. E.g. a person lies, triggering emotions felt by lies told in the past – by someone abusive. But, the person lying ‘now’, is not innocent. Lying is wrong and it is okay to not be okay with someone lying to you. And the very fact that you know the person lying ‘now’, is lying, is discernment. I can often tell when people are lying.
So when people choose to dismiss a trigger, when the trigger was based on something being done now that is wrong…. they are choosing to ‘blame’ the persons (Complex) PTSD. Rather than face the fact that the lie they told, was not okay. They are choosing to refuse to deal with the lying and how wrong that is.
Another example is when someone gives a fake apology, that does not take responsibility for what they have done. I can discern when that is occurring. And they then dismiss that (fake) apology not being accepted, as being the issue of the person with the (Complex) PTSD. When the reality is, I have discerned the apology being fake, and I do not have to accept it at all. And a fake apology is a weak persons way of dealing with their own wrong doing. And a fake apology, is an insult to my intelligence.
Someone’s (Complex) PTSD, can become a convenient way for others to refuse to deal with their issues and wrong doing. The (Complex) PTSD is used as the scapegoat.
And weak people love to use some way of shifting blame, shifting responsibility, dismissing their own wrongs.
A recent issue occurred, where a belief system of there being ‘no victims/no villains’ within families. It is an irrational and bizarre belief system, some can choose, which minimizes severe abuse, minimizes the intentionality of abuser and invalidates the suffering people who have been abused by family members do endure.
When faced with this, from someone I am supposed to trust, who knows my trauma history, yes, this is very triggering. It is a reflection of the minimizing and denial of abuse, from family members, who have very intentionally abused me, as a child and as an adult.
But, there is no ‘innocence’ in this issue occurring now. To invalidate someone’s severe suffering at the hands and toxic minds of highly abusive family members, is abusive in itself. It is no better behaviour, than the denial and minimizing, by the family who inflicted the abuse.
Minimizing, invalidating someone’s known severe trauma history, is emotionally abusive.
To then ignore that persons hurt, is like rubbing salt in the wounds.
So, I have come to understand, many of my ‘triggers’, are actually brought about by my deeper capacity for discernment.
Discernment and intuition, to know something is occurring now, that is not okay. And I have every right to be upset about.
And yes, I have been abused, lied to, never had a genuine apology and had everything I have endured minimized and invalidated so many times in my life. So it makes me very emotional, to the point where I will shut down, to protect myself. A coping strategy, that has kept me safe, many times in my life.
But, I do have the capacity and insight, to know when the triggers occurring now, are innocent or are about wrong doing occurring, I cannot and should not ignore. And I have every right to be upset about.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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