It’s the pit in my stomach.
The pounding heartbeat I can feel in my throat and hear in my ears.
The wave of nausea that makes even swallowing a sip of water seem impossible.
Tears, lead filled tears, I can feel well up behind my eyes that if given the okay would flood the grand canyon.
From out of nowhere-it’s a trigger.
Triggers SUCK!! And there is no getting around them.
They come from something, someone, some place, some awful reminder that this really happened.
And the pain seems all to real again. All to raw and overwhelming.
Things were going to pop up that would trigger my emotions. I wasn’t expecting anything less when faced with my husbands affair and other relationships. I just wasn’t expecting how unfair the triggers would play.
I don’t like how they make me feel or how they resurface the pain. At times the anger that they conjure scares me. I have found myself at moments needing to scream or even wanting to just throw something. You know-something made of glass or through something glass that would shatter so loud it would change everything. The kind of noise that would knock out the pit in my stomach or the overwhelming angst at needing to cry-again. The kind of physical reaction that could change the past and make this all go away.
But that can’t be the reality in this and facing triggers. Facing them and working through them-being honest with myself and my husband that they are all part of this journey and healing process.
Triggers for me have been anything from just being somewhere (my surrounding area), to a television commercial, or plot of a movie, lyrics to a song. Those felt obvious and I was expecting those. I was prepared for the obvious triggers-like being invited somewhere we had all been together as friends or being invited somewhere that I knew would make me uncomfortable. It’s the ones that I still can’t explain that frustrate me the most. Like sitting at a stop light and thinking I just saw her car drive by me. Or hesitating about going to a favorite store because I know she shops there too. I even had a trigger over a Christmas ornament. The unpredictable ones hit me like a train.
It’s at those moments, even months later, when I feel like after all my husband and I have worked so hard to rebuild and redefine as our “normal”
It’s the punch to the emotional gut and all I want to do is make it stop. The trigger steals a sense of peace in my heart.
It’s not easy and there are days I don’t handle them well. Do I handle them head on, I’ll be honest there are times when I just don’t. I scream (out loud mind you) for Satan to leave me the hell alone and do my best to just distract myself from my own thoughts and feelings the *#^%@ trigger conjures up.
There are days I am a rock star. The moment the trigger even tries to sneak in I kick it to the curb. I can hear the good things, all the positive truths in my life and marriage and move on in faith. There are days where I can almost even laugh at the thought, “…a few months ago this would have had you throwing up your meal and crying for the next hour. See where God has brought you?”
The best thing I have done to help myself heal and tolerate the triggers is loving myself enough to be honest about WHY, whatever the trigger is, is bothering me. Answering the when, where, how, why and the effect it had on me going about my day has pushed me to look inside my own insecurities and the needs I have that involve my husband. Triggers have lead to intense conversations, changes in social settings, friendships, even schedules but most of all the continued proof that my husband is staying and we are working this out.
Behind my choice to tolerate the triggers are the blessings from dealing with all the real emotions and relationship stuff they bring to the surface. I still don’t like them…okay…I’ll be honest I hate them, I really do while they are happening. BUT God takes them and has allowed me to find my voice through this.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
These ugly, raw and real triggers are keeping me honest enough with myself to deal with it all. I can’t hide from dealing with it when I have to fight back anger, or fear, sadness or just plain discomfort.
I don’t want to wake from another nightmare again tonight. But what if I do and that gives me the chance to start my day off hearing a tangible reassurance from my husband that he is here, chose to stay and loves me. What if facing the trigger brings a conversation to the table my husband and I would never have had otherwise.
Triggers suck! I’m not sugar coating it or playing coy with the horrible side of them but knowing my God is still working toward His plan through all this is a comfort.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1Peter 5:10
It’s been hard work. Uncomfortable work. Scary work. Unfair work. This non-confrontational sensitive wife has had to fight through some stuff. But behind my choice to tolerate the triggers is making me proud to be in my own skin and the voice I am gaining through all this. They give me the chance to prove I am not a victim but a survivor who will make it through this, relying on honesty with my God, myself and my husband-facing the triggers, tolerating the triggers.
BEATING the triggers!!