A Random Thought About Triggers


I was watching a popular period drama on tv the other day when I was badly triggered by an unexpected sexual assault happening to a fan favorite out of nowhere. I could write an entire post on how that episode made me feel and maybe I will at some point…maybe I won’t but I’ve found myself looking at the word “trigger”.

Here’s my random thought about this word: for those of us who have been sexually abused and either doubt ourselves or don’t have complete memories yet…when we say “I was triggered by (insert phrase here)”…aren’t we saying that something happened to us? If I say that I was triggered by A B C or D doesn’t that mean that on some level I’ve had an experience that was real, even if it’s not the exact situation depicted in whatever triggered me? Isn’t that an admission that something (whatever is was) actually happened?

I’m not asking an actual question that requires a yes or no response, it’s more of a…thought that occurred to me.

I can watch many things happen to characters in movies or tv shows or read about them in books and I won’t be emotionally affected by them. No painful experience, no trigger. But every once in a while something I read or see will gut me and leave me reeling, sometimes for hours or days. And I can’t help but ask myself, why is that if nothing happened to you?

As I wrote previously I’m past doubting myself now but when I’m triggered I wonder if there is information there somewhere. I think that an average person who has not been sexually abused can most definitely be disturbed by something they see or read but I doubt that they have the same reactions that a victim/survivor would have. Does that then make me a victim/survivor? It makes sense to me.

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About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in Child Molestation, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Rape, Sexual Abuse, Trauma and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A Random Thought About Triggers

  1. kat says:

    yes, when you have triggers like that, it is because it is close enough to something you have experienced that was very traumatic that you dissociated it out of your normal memory, and have locked up the memories and feelings somewhere else inside–but the thing that triggers you is close enough to the actual trauma memory that you actually are really feeling it now. this is also what flashbacks are similar too, when parts of a trauma memory reveals itself to your conscious mind, and you actually feel it as you did originally when you dissociated it afterward because it was too painful. anyway to move past flashbacks and triggers, you have to find the memories and abuse and process them so they can become just normal memories. regular processing, EMDR, CBT and DBT are all ways to find and then process, traumatic memories (so you actually live them without dissociating them, and without separating the emotion from the memory itself) so that they become just normal memories.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi kat,

      I appreciate you breaking it down like that. That’s what I think too and maybe it sounds weird but there’s a sense of relief in realizing that I get triggered for very good reasons. I’d love to get this stuff out and process it, it just takes what seems like forever to get a glimpse of any details.

      Take care and thank you kat. :)

  2. lotuslily6 says:

    Trigger’s are such hard things to explain. I mean, if I sit around and let my brain wonder, I could end up screaming into my bed all day crying with nothing that can possibly help. I get triggers from people who have two parents, (my father was my abuser). They can happen anywhere at anytime. I think it’s an interesting topic. Hope you are okay, xxx

  3. cptsd2013 says:

    Very well explained in your blog post! I actually went through and sometimes still go through the same questions as you wrote here above, and actually the comment from Kat explains it very well! :) clearly and straightforward.

  4. manyofus1980 says:

    i think your right, spot on, thanks for the wonderful insight hon, your very smart, xxx <3 hugs

  5. this is a concept a ponder and struggle with often. Those evil triggers. Sometimes i can make sense of them and sometime i can’t. thanks for putting this out there and getting me to think about it.

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