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#154942 - 05/08/07 02:25 AM how do u respond to triggers?
Nate Offline

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 100
Loc: USA
when triggers arise, or you see a past offender.

what do u do?

"Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed."

- Corita Kent

#154948 - 05/08/07 02:55 AM Re: how do u respond to triggers? [Re: Nate]
FormerTexan Offline

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 12162
Loc: Denver, CO
Hi Nate.

There's several ways to handle it. The healthiest way for me is to talk about it. Either post here, or call/IM a friend. There's times when I handled that in unhealthy ways too.

Money talks, but all it tells me is goodbye.

If I could meet myself as a boy...

#154951 - 05/08/07 03:08 AM Re: how do u respond to triggers? [Re: FormerTexan]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

Once I identify something as triggering I try to do the things Andy talks about - once we can talk about these problems they begin to lose their power to hurt us.

But if I am in a situation and find that I am getting badly triggered, there are several things I find I can do. One is just to remove myself from the situation. If I am watching a film, for example, that I find personally distressing and triggering, I don't have to sit there and suffer through it. Another thing that works for me is to tell myself that the time of danger is long since past and that I cannot be hurt now as an adult like I was when I was a boy.

We can also try to prepare ourselves and understand why we get triggered, so when the situation comes up we will at least not fall into a restrained panic. I am thinking here of things like being touched or complimented. I used to hate both, and that set me up for a lot of trouble since in both social and professional settings you get handshakes, pats on the back, and so on.

Perhaps a crucial point in all this is to try to stay present, in the here and now. It's in the old memories of the past that we are most likely to get ambushed. That said, I think we will still get taken by surprise from time to time, and when that happens it's important that we not blame ourselves and feel defeated. We need to just get up again and keep going.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#154952 - 05/08/07 03:09 AM Re: how do u respond to triggers? [Re: FormerTexan]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi, Nate. The best way to deal with triggers is to try to recognize them as early as possible and know the effect that they have on you, so that you don't resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. The cycle then starts and feeds on itself.


#157213 - 05/20/07 11:54 PM Re: how do u respond to triggers? [Re: EGL]
cat lover Offline

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I think how we handle triggers depends on what our individual triggers are. For me, when I'm in a group that appears to be full of huggers, and I'm afraid of a touch becoming a grope, I ask the question "would you like an <appropriate> hug?" or I stick out my hand in front of me making it clear I don't want a hug. Use the phrase 'appropriate hug' lets the other person know I"m not going to grope them, and lets them know as well that I do not wish to be groped.

Sometimes we can't predict our triggers - I once ran into my ex/perp in the airport - we didn't speak, just kept walking - but it left me off balance for hours. Maybe days.


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