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Another damn trigger

totallydumb posted 11/26/2020 10:47 AM

I thought I had this under control.

Tons of individual counselling later, and no reactions to past triggers.

Except yesterday.

I overheard the APs name in a conversation that was going on between two people whom I didn't even know, in a public place.

Cue immediate anger response. Fortunately I was frozen in place and did not act out.

I somehow got the hell out of there and once in my vehicle, had a massive panic attack.

I am struggling to understand why I am triggering 3 years later.

Anyone else experience this kind of thing?

JulyDD posted 11/26/2020 11:58 AM


I am still a newbie to all this but your reaction sounds completely rational and normal.

I am pretty sure I would pass out if, while out and about in the world, I heard AP's name. I mean, could the universe cut you a break?

Based on the wisdom of this site, take comfort in knowing that (although unfair, painful and gross), it's going to be ages (if not forever) for any normal person to feel triggered by what you heard.

So you are human! That's the good news. And a decent person to boot, no doubt.

Take care.

The1stWife posted 11/26/2020 16:30 PM

I would be more mad than anxiety ridden. Mad at myself b/c I let it ruin my day.

What have you done to help yourself heal? That could make a huge difference in how you react to triggers.

Twinkies posted 11/26/2020 17:17 PM

I would guess that it was two people you didn't know talking about this person you don't want to know in a place you would not expect.

Not something you would be prepared for. Maybe a crap I can't even go to XYZ without her infringing on my life response?

totallydumb posted 11/26/2020 17:24 PM

Neither of them live in this community now. XSO hasn't been here in almost a year and a half. AP never did live here.

The two folks who were talking I did not know. The AP has a last name that is not that common.

I was caught totally off guard. Today, I was trying to recall the last time that I consciously thought about her and him. It has been at least several months now.

Today I seem to have let the worst of the trigger pass without too much trouble. It could be because I am busy with moving my daughter's residence. It is good to have something else to focus on right now.

landclark posted 11/26/2020 19:14 PM

I triggered this morning because the stepdad of an AP (the stepdad is my WHs cousin) commented on an anniversary post my WH made on Facebook. I too thought I was doing ok, but it has placed a dark cloud over my whole day. Like another poster said, Im angry that my WH put me in this position.

Its all a suck fest.

Unhinged posted 11/26/2020 23:42 PM

I am struggling to understand why I am triggering 3 years later.
Time has little to do with triggers. I've over five years out from d-day and still have triggers. And like you, I once thought I'd mastered triggers. Until, that is, I finally figured out that as long as the memories are still there, something's bound to trigger them now and again. That's just life.

The difference, I think, is that we learn to cope with the triggers rather then let them send us back down the rabbit hole. Like any other skill, it has to honed.

steadychevy posted 11/27/2020 09:01 AM

I hear you and totally understand, totallydumb. I started a thread recently about the same thing. I was afraid I was relapsing but I'm not.

I find that those triggers that are always around I can deal with very effectively. Most only provide a twinge or nothing at all. Those that occur less frequently might provide more of a reaction but really are insignificant.

It's the ones out of the blue or totally unexpected that slam me. It's being unprepared. The piece that pisses me off is why should I have to be prepared for anything. I shouldn't but it is what it is. The gift.

I learned tools and techniques for dealing with triggers through IC. They work. I've gotten a little lazy, though, because I haven't needed them much. When you get hit with one of these unexpected ones I find it's hard to remember the tools when your brain is scrambled. Time to review them again so they're within reach when needed. I think these situations become less frequent with time. According to some long time posters here on SI, though, they can continue long into the future

So the answer to your question, totallydumb, is yes, I experience this. Best wishes and continued healing into the future.

totallydumb posted 11/27/2020 09:18 AM

Thanks for the advice and understanding guys, at least I know I am not going crazy (or not the only one going crazy).

Time to review some of the IC material, maybe make another appointment.

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