Monday, May 9, 2011

Trigger Fest

Nowhere else to dump this. 

After the nightmares last night, I woke up with a cold. HALT should really be HALTS to include sickness.  

So I'm sick and feeling the blah of a cold and Roi informs me he's going to get a massage because his back is hurting after helping a family member move out of her dorm. Most relationships? Big deal. Of course go and get a massage so you can feel better. 

Relationship afflicted by sex addiction? Partner who has a history with "erotic massage"? TRIGGER. 

I know the place he's going and I know it's reputable and holistic, not seedy. But STILL. Trigger. Just because they're professional doesn't mean Roi will be. Doesn't mean he won't be naked under a towel with a woman's hands all over his body. Doesn't mean he won't let the towel slip or be triggered himself. Doesn't mean he'll talk to me about it, or call his sponsor. Doesn't mean this won't set off his acting out. 

The whole week has been filled with triggers, and I've mostly been managing them reasonably well if you count that I've showered, worked, spent time with my children on Mother's Day, and haven't been picking fights with Roi. But they're there and they're building. His frequent absences all week, his wearing shorts (yes, it's warm -- so what?), his locking his computer or taking it with him, his utter lack of talking to me about what IS going on, that it's Spring coming on Summer and the beaches are opening.

All things in my life that were once non-issues or even things to celebrate and be happy about. Before my mind was hijacked. 

There are no easy solutions to dealing with these triggers. I'll meditate and breathe and probably give myself a warm bath with a good book, but I can't help seeing all of that effort as frankly, unfair. I did not turn sunshine and shorts and massages into nightmares.


  1. I can't imagine.

    I know there are certain things that my ex has done that kind of ruin or taint things for me, and they are small enough that I don't remember them until I come across them in the moment and it is kind of a shock to the brain, and that sucks enough. I couldn't imagine having full on triggers.

    Especially ones that you know you have to deal with on a seasonal basis?

    What would a trigger be called, though, from a Wild Woman's point of view? Maybe a warning sign? Signs of prey or hunters encroaching upon your territory? (This is a lame attempt at an analogy, as I have only made it through the first introduction piece of the book, thank you, by the way.)

    There is this guy, Leonard Jacobson, who is all about being in the present. He talks about a lot of froo-froo stuff, and he is hypnotic when he does so, so I have be come a fan. One thing he talks about is how the ego protects us (he uses the term ego differently than a lot of psychologists do) by getting in the way with different things. By keeping us from being present. Being present, by the way, would be me focusing on the way the plastic feels under my fingertips as I type this, etc. But as soon as we start thinking about things, this is our Ego trying to protect us.

    I was reminded of this with your triggers and the Wild Woman point of view. Almost as if it would be nice to thank your ego, or your heart of hearts, or whatever, for making you aware of the dangers around you. Each time. Maybe doing so will calm you in a sense. Maybe recognizing each red alert your ego sends out with a thank you will let your ego know that you are paying attention, and that you aren't trying to ignore all these warning signs/triggers.

    It just came to me. In a fit of thoughts. :)

    You are a strong survivor who has been conditioned to be on the lookout for the next attack. Your brain is doing a good job, I'd say. It is unfair, the correlation between sunshine and sickness, but at least you aren't an idiot that doesn't see it coming for the 100th time.

    And, I realize that everything I've said here in an attempt to be supportive might be wrong. So, I'm apologizing before I send this out. I just see the power you possess...even in just being triggered.

  2. This JUST came up with my SA last week! I threw my back out and have been getting my back massaged by a female. I explained to my SA that I felt it was inappropriate to have a male to it and he said it was a professional deal and that they didn't look at like that. I told him I didn't care how they looked at it; I now looked at it differently because of him. My SA insisted that it wasn't a trigger for him to get a massage. Again, I told him that while it may not be right now, while he's standing there talking to me in the living room, but who knows what he'll think during the actual process. He got extremely offended, said I was trying to analyze him and I finally said, it was a trigger for ME for him to get a massage by a female. He finally understood, but man, it took way too long.

  3. Kelly, whew! You're still there. :) I was worried that you had completely withdrawn after your last couple of posts.

    I think you might be on to something, with the "thanking of my ego", though I would probably just call it my instincts. "Thank you for protecting me, for still being there despite all the attempts at killing you or confusing you, I'm listening." I'm going to try that. My gut tells me it will be incredibly helpful.

    And I'm glad you're liking the book. I thought you might. :) I hope that it brings you comfort and strength.

    Still Standing - I have no easy answers for you. It helps to vent. It also helps to stop the need to justify your needs. If that makes sense. I find that if I have a boundary and I open it up to argument, if I need to have Roi agree with me, it's draining and exhausting and makes me shy away from setting boundaries. I haven't mastered it by any means, but I find that if I just state what the boundary is without discussion it works better for me.

  4. Haha, yeah, I'm here.

    I knew the wording was off, using the term ego, but you seem to have understood what I meant.