Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

Dealing With Triggers: Sinking or Swimming?

I have been considering how I react to triggers in my daily life. Sometimes I face news or comments from people that

English: Angry cat

English: Angry cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

brings a difficult memory up for me, something emotionally charged. At times I can cope with it better than at others. It seems like  if I have PMS I am more likely to be angry or irritable over triggers. As some of you know, if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ll know I live with my dad. My dad worshiped my mother when she was alive and still does. Every so often he gets going on one of his spells where he can’t say enough good things about my mother. I had a really difficult, troubled relationship with my mother but my dad usually forgets this. Well, it’s also because I don’t like bringing up the past with him; especially where he has such fond memories of my mother (seen through his rose coloured glasses). Anyhow, when he starts going on about how wonderful my mother was it makes me angry. I try my best to be nice and not interrupt but sometimes it’s too much. I’ll end up getting irritable and be short with him.I feel like I should be able to simply let him talk about the woman who hurt me in a positive manner because it brings him momentary happiness. But I end up gritting my teeth and wanting to rain on his parade with the truth. He didn’t spend much time at home(he was a workaholic) so he never had to be around her very much. Unlike me who was around her far more often.If you only see someone for brief periods of time it’s a lot easier to remember them well, as opposed to when you are around them full time.

So that is one of my triggers, listening to too much praise about my mother from my dad and anyone else who was never around her full time.  Other triggers are personal and I don’t wish to go into them, however I will say how I react. When I get triggered by something besides stuff related to my mother I find I either detach/go numb, or I become angry. If I’m angry I end up irritable, impatient and tense in my body. I’m not sure if I am dissociating or not but I don’t think I am because I remember everything. Although, it does feel uncomfortable.

Usually if I am pressured internally to behave better I’ll end up annoyingly becoming almost passive. It’s like I get so

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

frustrated that I need to become the opposite to decompress emotionally. There doesn’t always need to be anyone else around. Sometimes it’s simply that I dislike being in a crappy mood. I do suffer from PTSD so likely a lot can be explained that way. But it’s frustrating. I just want to be healthy. It takes a lot more to trigger me than it used to so I think that’s progress but at times I think I should be able to “just get over it”.  Why can’t I be more understanding and patient listening to my dad babble on about how awesome my mother was? Why do I feel like there’s a vein in my forehead ready to burst when he goes into a “praise fest” for my mother?

How do I learn how to better manage my reactions to triggers? Do I avoid them whenever possible? Work on becoming as patient as a saint? Work at focusing on my breath and try ignoring the trigger in question (if possible)? Continue meditating and hope I reach a place where nothing bothers me? Start reading fantasy novels to escape reality? But I don’t want to escape reality. I’m trying to become more present so no fantasy novels I guess.

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Author: Natalya

Blogging my thoughts and feelings about mostly mental health, meditation and spirituality(non religious). Hoping to connect with other interesting people in the blogosphere. *The name is Russian and is my pseudonym.

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