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General :
Trigger out of nowhere


 HFSSC (original poster member #33338) posted at 4:26 PM on Sunday, June 19th, 2022

Holy crap! I honestly had no idea I had this in me.

We’ve been in R for 10 years. No A related missteps on his part in all that time. JM has consistently handled triggers in the past and handled them well.

But… we’re under enormous stress. Our younger son failed to graduate from college due to academics. He made it through one of the most difficult military college systems but was academically discharged. 🤯🤬. Older son (who is disabled due to epilepsy and multiple learning challenges) has had a terrible year medically. He had surgery last Monday for a massive kidney stone. His epilepsy has been very challenging since the kidney issues caused a change in his meds last October. My dad passed away that same month. I’m facing a major surgery on my foot and then JM tore his knee all to hell this past Thursday night.

We decided to watch a movie together last night with younger son. Agreed on an old Robert Redford film called “The Clearing.” Redford’s character is abducted and apparently held for ransom. It flashes back and forth in time, showing the aftermath of the abduction with his family interspersed with scenes of the abduction and hostage situation. It comes out that his character (of course) had an A. And at one point his wife goes to the OW seeking information. She tells the OW that she didn’t know OW and the WH had “started seeing each other again.” And this smug bitch says she’s sorry.

I was ENRAGED. But absolutely speechless. I got up and left the room. JM and my son kept asking if I was okay and I said I had to use the bathroom. And I just fell apart in the bathroom. I can’t even remember the last time I felt those feelings, let alone felt them that strongly. When I came back in the living room they both asked me again. I said I didn’t want to talk about it. Because I really didn’t feel like talking to my son about this trigger. He knows about the A—both sons do. But it wasn’t something I wanted to talk about with him. JM did have a stupid moment where he got mad at me for not wanting to talk. DS asked me if it was the movie and I said yes.

We were able to talk about it later as a family. JM kept saying that I should always talk to him about my triggers. I couldn’t get it across to him that I literally couldn’t in those first few minutes. I was emotionally paralyzed. I felt stupid and weak and 7 years old. It’s a trauma response that I’m very familiar with but thought I’d gotten past. The last time I shut down like that was at a church yard sale when a complete stranger touched my breast very boldly. It was close to 15 minutes later, after the man and his wife had left, that I was able to talk and tell the people around me what had happened.

I hate that feeling SO much. The paralysis. Feeling so weak for not fighting back, not speaking up, not standing up for myself. Ugh.

To make things even worse DS had a bad seizure last night. Heard this very pound crash from his room and ran in to find him standing in the corner of his room and banging his forehead into the wall. (He has complex partial seizures) So I didn’t sleep much last night at all.

Me, 54
Him, 45 (JMSSC)
Married 24 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4748   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8740913

devotedman ( member #45441) posted at 4:30 PM on Sunday, June 19th, 2022

Been there, understand, and you have been heard.

Me: 2xBS b 1962 xWW after 2 decades, xWGF after almost 1.
Amelia Pond: Who are you?
The Doctor: I don't know yet. I'm still cooking.
ENFP-A. Huh.

posts: 5138   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2014   ·   location: Central USA
id 8740914

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 4:36 PM on Sunday, June 19th, 2022


I hope today is quiet, calm, and has a nap in store for you.
Sounds like life is beating you up quite a bit right now.

Time for a break. Time for some self care.

That paralysis/trauma response you have is awful, and frustrating, but I'm guessing something that you cannot really change. JM, and the kids need to know that you need a hot minute when you have that happen, and just allow you to be.

((((And Strength, and Peace)))))

Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19412   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8740917

WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 4:46 PM on Sunday, June 19th, 2022

I’m so sorry this has happened. Especially at a time when your emotions are so frazzled with all that is happening.

I remember that movie. It’s a pretty good movie otherwise, but I remember that the thing that bothered me the most about it was the lack of remorse expressed by Robert Redford. Maybe I missed the point and maybe they only showed his interaction with the kidnapper, so of course he would not express remorse to a stranger. But I remember that part bothering me. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.

Those are so many things that you’ve been through… Some big things.

Please don’t be so hard on yourself about this. You did nothing wrong. You didn’t even handle it poorly. You handled it perfectly. You had some alone time for the initial impact of it to hit you and to move through that a little bit. Then you were forthcoming about it with your family.

I hate for you to have to go through something like this. But it seems like you have turned it toward strength and growth. I admire the way you handled it.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7540   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8740920

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:54 PM on Sunday, June 19th, 2022

crying Thanks for sharing.

It's been a rough, rough year. Remember that coming out of nowhere is in the nature of triggers. If I'm right that triggers are pain coming to the surface to be released, this was not a bad thing. In all probability, though, the trigger is a response to the rough year.


I'm sorry your son didn't graduate. It happens. A top student in my HS class went to MIT on a full scholarship (need- and merit-based), and passed 4 courses in 3 semesters, and he didn't have to go through the physical stress of your son's college. H eventually did graduate, though not from MIT, and is living a good life. Your son has lots of opportunity ahead of him, and if he is resilient enough to come close to making it where he was a student, he's likely to figure out something good for himself. I know it would have been easier if he had graduated, and I imagine he's sad and very disappointed. I have confidence he'll recover. I'm very sorry he has to go through this.

I wonder if you might benefit from reading Gus Lee's Honor and Duty. It's a novelization of the West Point cheating scandal of, IIRC, 40-ish years ago. The hero is honorable, reports the cheating, but fails a required course. I found it very moving, especially since it's the continuation of Lee's first novel.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27413   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8740923

ZenMumWalking ( member #25341) posted at 9:16 PM on Sunday, June 19th, 2022


no, this trigger isn't out of nowhere, it's definitely out of somewhere. And why oh why did it have to happen at the same time as all this other shit????? mad mad mad mad mad

I think that people who have not lived through this level of devastation just don't get it.

I'm sorry this happened to you. I'm sending out positive, healing thoughts to you and the whole family.

((((HF, JM, and DSs))))

Me (BS), Him (WH): late-50's
3 DS: 26, 25, 22
M: 30+ (19 1/2 at Dday)
Dday: Dec 2008
Wanted R, not gonna happen
Used to be DeadMumWalking, doing better now

posts: 8445   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2009   ·   location: EU
id 8740970

 HFSSC (original poster member #33338) posted at 9:59 PM on Sunday, June 19th, 2022

Thank you all. I knew you’d understand like nobody else can.

Tushie, I did indeed have a good nap today. I’m kind of glad I had a reason to stay home from church today because I’m not sure I could have handled the Father’s Day stuff.

WhatsRight JM said we had watched that movie together but I don’t remember it. DS told me how it ends and I’m really glad we turned it off because that would have just pissed me off. 😂

Sisoon, I know everything is going to work out for the boy. He really did try to dig out of the hole he had dug but it was just too deep. He worked with JM in the wood shop for a couple of months and then got a decent job in our town. He had to lose almost

20 lbs to get his BMI low enough to enlist. He had bulked up weight lifting and had like 19% body fat so he wasn’t fat but had to meet the guidelines. So he’s made it and is filling out his enlistment papers for army guard. That will allow him to remain in state and then finish his degree next year. He’ll still get his ring since he did make 4 years as a cadet.

devoted and ZMW, thank you both. ❤️

Me, 54
Him, 45 (JMSSC)
Married 24 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4748   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8740979

BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 3:24 AM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

I think when you have so much on your plate, it doesn’t take much for a trigger to bring EVERYTHING into your reaction.
It needed to come out. And that trigger, that normally you would handle differently, just opened the floodgates. So maybe it was good for you (even if it felt like complete crap).

Super glad you got the support you needed and that you are showing a little extra kindness to yourself today. You have been dealing with so much lately - something was going to get to you. (And I hate the thought of Robert Redford being an ass like depicted in the movie… I like the image of him as the good guy…)


Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4876   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8741013

Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 1:17 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Sending ((virtual hugs))

And thoughts and prayers for peace and healing for your family.

I have responded to even second hand stories of trauma strongly at times so understand how something so personal at such a difficult time could be very triggering and difficult.

I think that people expect linear healing and for B's to "just be over it". What many of us here understand is that's just not how it works for many (most?) people. Stress is hard enough for anyone to deal with. As a mom my heart goes out to you and your family for what you are going through.

posts: 956   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8741198

Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 2:10 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Thank you so much by honoring us with your story smile . I used to say that I OWNED all of the triggers...then another one would pop up rolleyes . I guess they will never end...but they definitely can be dealt with! You did a fabulous job doing it grin !!

I had something similar happen with one of my children. They had to give up on the dream they had because they couldn't academically get through the course. With a few turn of events...they ended up on a path they never dreamed they would be on...and have FLOURISHED in their new career smile . I know that YOU know that God may not give us everything we WANT...but He will always give us everything we NEED grin . Both of your children will do just fine...they have amazing parents who will be their support smile . What a BLESSING y'all are to them grin !!

I am going through a similar stressful situation as I was when my H was in the middle of his A...and I am in the middle of A season right now. I couldn't understand what in the heck was going on...until I read a thread that Luna10 posted. I then understood that my lizard brain was trying to protect me from the experience...even though the situation was vastly different with my H. Could this be something similar for you too?

Whatever have your tools to combat this smile . You also have a support system that includes your Dad smile . He's not gone Dear Lady...he is only a thought away (((HUGS))).

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

posts: 6162   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8741209

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:08 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I live in the country. We have wild rabbits in our yard and deer come through periodically. Every time I see one and they see me they freeze. They hope that being as still as possible they will not get hurt. They can stay that way for several minutes. We forget that we are members of the Animal Kingdom and we have the same responses as other animals do. You emotionally froze which is why you had to leave. You could not have talked about it if you had tried your best. Your body reacted because it considered danger and froze you. That’s not the least bit unusual for someone who’s had the trauma you have had. This is what your husband needs to recognize that now that’s a part of the way you respond to danger. He brought it on and he has to own it. People freeze, run or fight just like other animals. He is lucky you didn’t hit him( joke).

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3383   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8741221
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