Last Wednesday was a horrible day. A situation was developing that sent my subconscious back to a memory from 13 years ago. Those of us with memory issues due to our trauma understand when I say often times I forget about things that happened yesterday; yet when this specific trigger set in, I could remember every single word of my abuser’s rant. I vividly remember the room, sounds, distance between where we stood. I remember how painful his words churned my stomach to the point of me leaning over the toilet to throw up. I looked down at my body to make sure it wasn’t shaking uncontrollably as it did that day.
Dealing with an unexpected memory trigger
Back during the event, I knew my abuser’s accusations were ridiculous, but I also acknowledged his belief that what was angering him was really my fault.
Even though last Wednesday was emotionally ruined, I focused hard on pulling my coping strategies into practice so to minimize the number of days I was going to be saddened by this triggering memory.
Here are some steps I practiced:
After walking myself through these steps, I came to the realization that my abuser wasn’t blaming me because what he was ranting about was my fault; he was blaming me because he was too weak to acknowledge his weaknesses.
I woke up on Thursday feeling much better. Yes, it was yuck that a trigger set in and got the best of me. But, by feeling the memory and processing it in a healthier manner, I was able to put the memory back yet in a safer, healthier place.
By coincidence, the same medical procedure is occurring again today. Twice in one week! Yet today, I am not feeling triggered at all. My deliberate processing of the trigger worked!
I totally realize the processing of our triggers is a lifelong challenge. I hope my situation provides hope that over time, the effects of our triggers can be minimized.
Blessings to all,
Hi, I'm Sue
Welcome to my blog! I served twenty-one honorable years on active duty, living a double life of capability and accomplishment in the service while enduring brutality and abusiveness in my twenty-one year oppressive marriage. Today I'm happily married and have three children who are my inspiration and motivation.
My goal is to help combat the lies of abusers with the truth of God. I hope you find my words to be healing and helpful through your own life experiences.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn't make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn't release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had on me.
Read the full raw story in my new book, Rock Bottom and Faithless.