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Recognizing and Overcoming Emotional Triggers

Ahhhh triggers. Those pesky little things we like to avoid. They seem to jump out at us, sometimes from the most unexpected places and leave us in a state of panic and anxiety.

Many years ago I was in a relationship full of dysfunction. I dated a man who was very immature and if he found himself in an uncomfortable situation he would simply leave. Like hit the road 👋🏻🚗. Without me. He did this in front of my family and then again at church. Just got up and left telling me once that he had to take a call, and the next time that he needed to use the restroom. By the time several minutes had passed I would go looking for him, only to call him and have him tell me he left. It was humiliating to say the least.

So, just over a year ago when out with some friends the men folk thought they would be funny. We gals had left the table and were planning a surprise for a birthday we were celebrating. In the meantime, the men decided when we came back they would all, simultaneously, without a word, get up and leave the table. They did. And mission accomplished. Everyone had a good laugh. That is everyone but me.

I became flooded with emotion. I felt the burn of the humiliation all over again. And I didn’t understand why I was reacting so strongly.

It took me until the next morning to make the correlation. That situation transported me back to 2008. I was floored that something that had happened so long ago could still affect me so aversely. I was still in need of healing.

I’ve learned when I begin to feel flooded or overwhelmed to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. That night I desperately wanted to be upset with the men for their joke. But the truth was it wasn’t their fault. And I had no right to be angry with them. No one could have known it would trigger a hurt deep inside from so many years ago.

You see healing is not linear. And I am still becoming 🤍

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