Friday, October 5, 2012

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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