I am constantly mutilating my emotions. I pick them apart as if they are on trial for a heinous murder. Many times I sit looking at their remains and think… ok now that I know where you came from I can do better. Sometimes I will look at all the pieces staring up at me and think… I am sorry for putting you through this. Sometimes what seems like a bad emotion really isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t your emotion that is the problem but more about how it mixed with someone else’s.
Triggers. We all have them.
They are mysterious little creatures. Hiding in your psyche just waiting for that perfect storm to touch down and carry you away. A mixture of conscious and unconscious relationships to our past just waiting for someone to touch us wrong, talk to us wrong, or look at us wrong. And if all three happen at the same time our inner caveman lights a fire to reason as its kindling.
Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you’ll find an edge to cut you. ― Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns
I believe the fastest way to deal with my triggers is honesty. It isn’t easy being honest about certain things. Even harder to admit the mistakes made trying to avoid the triggers. Worse yet the potential backlash and fallout that will occur when you finally decide to be honest with those you love.
Being honest isn’t the hard part though. It’s what others do with the knowledge you give them. I’ve learned a lot about trusting people with my vulnerabilities. Some will use them against me even without consciously meaning to. I will tell you one thing though. Make peace with who you were, who you are, and who you want to be. This confidence will strengthen your ability to combat negativity hurled at you.
I get triggered when I think I have disappointed someone. When a person uses harsh language or raises their voice with me. These are normally only triggers when I think I am doing something good or being helpful. My other triggers all relate to my rape and honestly I am still discovering those triggers. It is amazing how seemingly normal behaviors can catch you off guard and derail you.
The best way to strengthen a relationship wrought with triggers on both sides is to communicate. Do it often. Do it honestly. Do it respectfully. It’ll be hard because triggers have been born most often from mistrust. You’ll have to trust your partner is being honest and if you don’t then you will begin treating them like the person who created the initial trigger.
If I can discover where my trigger comes from and why it is a trigger I can begin to unload the ammunition it carries. If I can discover your triggers I can then do my best to avoid making you feel less than, untrusted, unloved, controlled, or in some cases unsafe. In a very real way I can avoid handing you the ammunition for the weapon hiding in your psyche.
So yes, I mutilate my emotions. I will mutilate yours when you aren’t looking. I want to know what makes me tick, you tick, us tick. Emotions are like the gears in a clock… if you can arrange them right things run much smoother.