Trigger-nometry

As a wave of a storm can pass through the sky, to leave destruction in its midst,

A ptsd trigger can do just that and more.

This past week I have really been able to watch how doing something hugely anxiety provoking and linked to past traumas, really has a bowling-over effect.

This morning I head to one of the biggest trauma triggers of all for me. And I am terrified. But the interesting thing is, that this is the first time I have been able to express this on here because the times before it was so raw, just the thought of typing it out felt like a trigger. So perhaps it has already softened, and already shifted – even if just a speck.

There is a story of a thousand words behind why this morning is a trigger. But I will begin with just a few, and will tell the story when I have begun to work on this stuff so it doesn’t play trigger-nometry with me.

When I overdosed, I ended up in the most traumatic psychiatric ward of all kinds. San Francisco General. After two days I was miraculously physically better, and so, to cover their backs (much to the wonderful nurses on ICU’s disgust), they put me in an E.R. Psych ward, of the free hospital for 24 hours until my 3 day ‘hold’ was up (legally they have to put this on anyone who attempts such a thing…fair enough). Any Californian I have mentioned this to, their heart has sunk – ‘they all know the hideous-ness that this would mean’. It was like a horror movie. It has left me scarred beyond words. And the scars I am just now seeing for their preciseness and depth, rather than a haze of pain and hurt. This in itself I think is progress and empowering too. Because now feelings I feel and irrational phobias of ending up in hospital again that haunt and attack me at any given moment, are all caused because of this event. Not because I’m crazy. Not because they are actually going to happen. But they happened once before – so how do I know they won’t happen again? I won’t. I don’t. But all I can do in these moments of terror and fear, is hope and trust, and see that so much is different now. That was a mistake – a hideous and haunting one, but a mistake all the same. It did not mean anything

So this morning, as I prepare to go to an induction meeting at a specialist therapy place, I am triggered and trembling. This place is actually called a ‘hospital’ – hence the freak out. But in fact, all it is is just an incredible place that offers intensive or not intensive, outpatient and inpatient therapy treatments. Today I am meeting with a lady to organise a programme of therapy for me. You create a tailored routine especially for you. Amazing, right? Right. No matter how amazing it doesn’t stop the avenues of trauma being opened and explored, subconciously and conciously.

I feel numbed and I think slightly dissociated. But rather than freaking out at this like I have been, beneath this state I hold an understanding, for the first time properly, that what I am feeling is just all the feelings that I felt at the time of the trauma. At that time I was so deep in the event and focusing on survival, that I could not really acknowledge, express, or allow for what I was feeling. I was in a haze of confusion, terror, PAIN, and re-traumatising in every moment or every second I turned to look anywhere, or to just breathe. There was no silence in that place.

Beneath this triggering I am feeling now, is an acceptance that actually maybe, this is healing. This is a chance for the feelings and memories to surface, and for them to be acknowledged, heard and LOVED. And be told it is okay. It is not going to happen.

This morning, I keep finding myself putting my hand to my chest and just holding my heart for a moment and telling these feelings that it is going to be okay. You are okay. I am okay. It is okay. It is not going to happen again. I hear you, I feel you and I am sorry for all the hurt you have felt, and the terror you have experienced. But it is not happening now. It is different now. You are here to be healed. You are here to be held and told it is over now. What happened, happened. And now this is happening to heal you.

I have to hold trust that what I feel now is surfacing to heal. These memories and these states are simply expressions of the trauma, and this trauma needs to be healed so this is why it is here. To do just that.

I hope.

I have two minutes to run out of the door to my lift, and I leave you with love. And nerrrrves. ; ) X

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14 thoughts on “Trigger-nometry

    • Thank you so so much! It went okay. I was an anxious wobbling ptsd jumbled mess before hand so I took a diazepam which I think helped me through. But need to try not to next time! Man it was intense to go there. But I just really hope that it will soften with time. Starting work there with a two and a half hour group session next thursday… ahhh ; )
      Big love to you. X

    • Thank you so much for this. It is nice to be reminded it is an achievement to simply go. I think when you put as much pressure on yourself as I do, I forget than some people wouldn’t even go, considering the trauma links. And yet I did. So thank you for that. It went okay, I took a diazepam before hand which I think helped me through. But I don’t want to do that every time. Beginning with one group a week, as of next thursday. Ahhh. ; )
      Hope you are well. Love and light to you. X

  1. what a powerful powerful post although i can’t imagine what you went through and the pain and triggers that cause, i’m so happy for you that you are conquering this one step at a time.
    You hope! That’s wonderful! xo

    • Thank you so so much. What a touching reply. Right now everything feels just out of my depths and intensly terrifying, but I do hope that once I begin to work with CBT and eventually EMDR, this will soften and the pain and panic will ease. Or at the least the crippling aspect of it. The pain & panic will of course be there, but the debilitating unable-to-cope kind of pain & panic is what I really long to soften. Has the PTSD become easier to cope with, as you have moved along the journey? Big love. X

      • It will I know it will for you. The pain of some very major things has eased significantly through EMDR! The hard part is, you have to be willing to allow it to surface and then sit with it in all it’s intensity while doing the EMDR for it to lessen but you do it in little bits as you feel you can handle and it is so worth the end result!
        I still have severe PTSD but in few specific areas where it was bad before, with EMDR it’s gone.
        There’s hope. 🙂 xo

      • Thank you so much for your hope in me my dear. I think so often in times of struggle, it is crucial to know there are people out there holding a candle of hope for you. It just reminds you that if they think it is going to be okay, in times when you feel like it isn’t, then the fact that they know, reminds you that it will be. If that makes sense!
        As for knowing that the EMDR has had such a positive effect is just so reassuring. I hope I can do it. I don’t think I will have trouble sitting with the memories, at least I hope not, I just worry about being able to the resourcing exercise to come back to, properly, so I’m not left more traumatised and deeper in the PTSD than before. But that is just me worrying… as I do with these kind of things. I just always want to do it right! And get the most out of it. But lessening that I always think ends up in better therapy sessions.
        I am so fearful of this next step to facing the stuff, but beneath that fear I think is another level of fear for actually stepping through it all and not having it with me forever, like I have had so far. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the ‘therapy’ journey – and the journey of healing?
        Hope you’re a happy one today.
        Big love to you. XX

      • Hey I’m holding the candle of hope! I actually just blogged today about being overwhelmed by therapy…lol The therapist is taking extra measures for me now so that i am okay when i go home and it has worked. they will also send you home with ways of coping if it gets hard.
        i will say it’s not so much sitting with the memories although that’s part of it, it’s surfacing the pain of them and sitting with the pain that i find is the hard part. it is so worth it though!!
        keep going i believe in you, we are strong, we had to be as survivors, you can do this!!

      • Thank you so much for this. Today and yesterday the light of hope just seems so far away. The anxiety and paranoia that I am getting worse and worse and more and more crazy is just so present. But I know it’s because I have so much on my late, life wise. Sorting a new place to live and really unhappy where I am right now. Money. Etc etc. Did you find these kind of life things, just heightened your anxiety and ptsd symptoms – or at least your ability to relax and not freak out at the symptoms? you sound like you’re doing amazing work, so big big well done’s to you. big love x x

      • Take one moment at a time. My anxiety would get bad with changes too. What I found helped was not to look at the big picture. Just look at the next step. What is the next thing I need to do, then do that. It made things so much easier and took away panic. It even gave me a sense of accomplishment for meeting that goal.
        I hope this helps, it’s gotten me through a lot. I learned it whilst going through IVF. xo

      • This helped me hugely since I read this yesterday – thank you. I have spent the last 24 hours bringing myself back to what I have to do now, or where I have to get to, etc. Thank you thank you. This overwhelm is horrible but today i realised it is when i am exhausted, it just combines with anxiety so it makes me feel and worry that i am literally not able to cope, and falling apart…yet i think it is a tonne of exhaustion from the days that came before of intense anxiety, y’know? Do you find your anxiety comes in ups and downs? Sorry to hear you went through IVF but glad you have the inner resources and strength to get you through that time. Share more if you need to. You’re amazing. Xx

      • you’re very welcome!! oh yeah my anxiety comes in waves and is way worse when i’m tired. i need lots of sleep at night. i hope you’re able to get some rest and down time.
        my whole IVF story is in the archives on this blog 😉
        thinking of you today xo

  2. I’m coming to this belatedly after your beautiful comment on my blog…my heart just goes out to you. So glad to hear that you are working through the storm…I’ve been thru PTSD and know how hard it is. You CAN do this….you have people who are holding you in the Light and surrounding you with healing energy.
    If it helps, the Soulpaths blog has a *lot* on working thru the Dark Night of the Soul, both a page of the quotes I turn to and a number of posts about the journey. Hoping it’s of use to you…
    Blessings, Phila

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