Domestic Violence, Giveaways, Life

Life After Domestic Violence: Triggers

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I took last week off from posting about Domestic Violence. Not out of ignorance, but because these posts are the first time I have opened up to the public about my story. I have had emails from those who are also survivors and those are great to receive. Always helps to know you are not alone-not crazy! That is why I started this campaign after all- so other victims and survivors can stop feeling so alone like I did. But it got a bit intense for me. I have been flooded with memories I had forgotten and began not sleeping and shutting down a bit so I stopped last week. But, to stay shut down is of no benefit to me or this campaign and is completely unfair to those who read for comfort for themselves.

Triggers

For anyone who has been through a traumatic experience there are triggers that stay with us for long after the events. Maybe you experienced a House fire and any flame gives you anxiety. Maybe you were in a car accident and the sound of a beeping horn makes you jump. When you have been physically abused to the extent I was you are like a pound puppy for quite a while. You know those pups? They were the abused and neglected ones that are slow to warm up to you even though inside they may be loves and just want love in return. You may make a sudden movement or loud noise and they revert and hide. That was me and still-in a way is me! I can meet a total stranger that I feel comfort around and I can feel a bit off to those I’ve known for years. Sort of like that Pound Puppy-there will be those humans they feel a connection with and those they just don’t. No reasons, no way for anyone to take it personally-just intuition and vibes telling us who is safe or offers the connections we need.
9 years later, what are my Triggers? I have 2 that have never disappeared and not sure if they will. I can assume the reasoning behind them but won’t talk about it here or this will be a 10 page post!

Trigger #1: Hands near my neck! Why? Just think about times you may sneak up on a friend from behind and wrap your arms around their neck or you are horsing around and put your hands on someones neck to jokingly indicate frustration or play. Do that to me and my heart races and the hairs on my body stand up immediately. You are even bound to have me swiftly turn around and be a bit stern about your movements. To have hands near my neck for any reason puts me into a self defense mode and I can’t control that feeling of anxiety. It is just there!

Trigger #2: The unknown. Maybe I am choosing the wrong word, but really what it is that makes me lose sleep or feel completely out of my comfort zone is the unknown and perhaps confrontation may be a better word. For instance-haunted houses or Horror Films are a NO! I lived everyday of my life in fear of when I would be hurt, when tempers would flare and not sure when beatings would end. I cannot handle knowing something frightful is about to happen and I do not know when or what. I will go into instant defense mode just seeing a scary film preview or walking by a haunted place. I actually tried one year just to face my fear and some chainsaw Freddy got kicked in the knee cap and fell to the ground-I cried and left in the car. Never again! I also hate unresolved issues! I will fight and pry my way to resolution. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but for me it actually is indicative of bad and terror. I remember knowing my ex left for work or anywhere in a bad mood and those were the days I feared most because I knew he was gone-making me sweat what would happen when he got home. I would call him in the middle of the day-mainly to just hear his voice and gauge his mood and he knew this so he would play these evil games of ignoring my calls so I would be sweating his return. That was torture and to know perhaps a boss, friend or family may be disappointed in me or ignoring calls puts me right back in that unsettled mode. Now, this goes to say that my Husband and I do not argue much and when we do it is quickly resolved so in my marriage it is a skill and healthy. As a person-it is torture every moment until resolution happens. It almost isn’t about me and that person after a certain point, but about my comfort and anxiety level.

Have you ever experienced an event that leaves you with certain Triggers? 
Feel free to share your story-it helps to hear others experiences as well as it helps to vent!

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5 thoughts on “Life After Domestic Violence: Triggers”

  1. Thank you for sharing this. Wow! For 18 years I have lived with Trigger # 1. I thought I was silly for it but it has become an instinctual part of me. To read that someone else has this trigger also is reassuring that I am not crazy or along. (((Hugs)))

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