Being triggered by being in a particular environment can, most of the time, be clear-cut. However, an instance where triggers can be overwhelming involves other people, i.e., being triggered by something someone says or does, or even particular clothes they are wearing. The tricky part about being triggered by a person is that he or she may actually be very safe. Again, a trigger is a person, place, or object that creates the feelings of a past event all over again as if being relived.
Facing triggers to people is not often addressed during recovery process, but it is a very real and sometimes scary situation. You can find a good treatment center in Alameda if things are serious. They often happen without warning leaving family, friends, and new acquaintances questioning. These instances do not only cause concern for others but also can create feelings in the recovering person that perhaps they should stay away from whoever or whatever triggered them. Good guys can look like bad guys in a matter of seconds. Learning to identify what the exact triggers are and what event they originated from might take time, but the key is in continual reminders.
I was in a verbally abusive relationship. Thousands have a similar story – many far more extreme – but my reaction was the same. I didn’t realize how traumatizing it was until a few years later and worked through the different behaviors I subconsciously used to avoid revisiting that time. I began dedicated treatment for depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. I thought I had freed myself from any trigger, but my wonderful partner with whom I was beginning a wonderful romantic comedy taught me otherwise: he unknowingly triggered me early in our courting. This poor guy has worn some heavy filters, but if it wasn’t him, it would be another partner. In my case, it’s not just a sound or visual but the act of loving and being loved. I was lucky in that I was able to discern between my thoughts and what I knew was logically true – that this person was not any of my past partners.
The strength of a trigger and filter can be strong for some and may lead them to start seeing a past offender face take the place of whoever they may be talking to. It is extreme but still can be worked through and dissolved away.
Triggers can affect our perspectives, and we can begin to see a positive person through filters from the past with the power of working with cognitive processing. Everyone deserves wonderful relationships with themselves and others. For anyone who has been in a trigger-rich situation, they know how challenging it can be to sort out the facts from misperception.
There are overwhelming resources on the internet, but I would actually suggest finding a friend or family doctor who can refer a list of therapists to discuss the most appropriate treatment plan or support group.
Triggers are only reminders of the past, but no one can ever take away the fact that when on the path to recovery, you’re on that path moving forward. It’s impossible to be transported back only by a person, place, or thing. If left to grow, the triggers and memories can become weeds that disguise the person trying to get well.