I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Managing Our Triggers (Part 1 of 8)

(This post comes from Gary Roe.)

"What is a trigger?"

I was sexually abused between the ages of 3 and 6. It profoundly affected me by skewing my view of self, the world, and God. The abuse conditioned me to feel a certain way when certain things happened.

Here is an example. One of my perpetrators was female. She sometimes became angry and violent during the abuse. To this day, when a woman gets angry, I react strongly. Fear, or sometimes terror, instantly wells up in me. Anxiety isn't far behind. Those emotions control my mind and behavior.

The fear response operates like a reflex—involuntary and immediate—because a woman's anger originally triggered it.

As abuse survivors, it’s important we understand our triggers and how they work. As we become more aware of our abuse-victim-reflexes, we can respond differently when the reflex hits. Knowing what triggers us can aid greatly in our healing.

As I discover what triggers me, I can choose to respond differently.

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