Real Talk: The Wonderful Thing About Triggers

Is Triggers are Wonderful things… Just kidding. Triggers fucking suck.

What is a trigger, you ask? Good question. I didn’t start hearing the term myself until this past fall, and then it made sense. A trigger is a reminder of a troubling event, thus triggering negative emotions. Pretty obvious. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard that term sooner, but we all know that I live under a rock and survive off sass and rollie-pollies.

I had one of those this morning, and I’m using my perspective as best I can so as not to fall into a spiral of chocolate overdosing and binge-Disney Movie watching.

really, I just needed an excuse to watch this and sing Phil Collins. I fucking love Phil Collins.

My triggers are usually stupid things: someone I’m not particularly close to touching me on the arm, watching Tiger Woods suck at golf, the board game Scruples. And, apparently, when my dog wets the bed.

Atreyu was drugged out of his mind yesterday because he got his teeth cleaned. He couldn’t walk in a straight line, and his legs would splay out beneath him and he kept falling over everywhere.

I guess I really DO need to have a disney movie marathon.

As such, he didn’t have the energy to go outside when he needed to go to the bathroom, and he peed in my bed. I woke up to a cool, wet spot, and promptly threw everything in the laundry and let Atreyu, now recovered, outside.

But the last time Atreyu peed the bed? Let’s just say it involved me crying a lot, having panic attacks, and generally being scared of the opposite sex. He did it twice, probably as a warning to me, and I was too wrapped up in the relationship to consider its importance. Of course, hindsight is everything, and there were so many signs that I should’ve bailed when instead I justified being treated like someone’s property.

So I was triggered today, and it sucks, but you know what? Perspective is fucking everything. And I’m staring down the barrel of this gun of memories, of times I wish I had been stronger and had trusted my gut, and instead of ducking away, I’m challenging it. I’m pressing my head up against it and saying, I see you. You’ve already done your worst. You’re just a pea-shooter, anyway. You can’t hurt me. And the trigger is pulled repeatedly, and all I can think about is how much I’ve grown as a person since January and how, if I could go back in time, I would kick some major ass and stand up for myself.

So, what’s the wonderful thing about triggers? Well, besides giving me an excuse to make an exorbitant amount of Disney references, they also give me an opportunity to see how much I’ve grown. And I’ve grown a whole hell of a lot.

Which is why I’m going to watch this now. It has great songs, a hot female and male lead, and a god damn PET TIGER THAT UNDERSTANDS ENGLISH.

Minus my obsession with cartoon musicals, of course.

23 thoughts on “Real Talk: The Wonderful Thing About Triggers

  1. Great to hear you moving forward, Whitney. You’re an amazing person and don’t let no jackass ever make you feel otherwise. I’ve known about triggers for some time because one of my currently useless degrees was in psychology, and triggers are a prominent topic of conversation. Addicts also have triggers, like recovering alcoholics sometimes see a certain beer neon and have to fight to keep from drinking or whatever. I have some too, even though I like to tell myself that I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just tons of fun, dammit! When I fire up the grill outside, for example, I really get the urge to drink a beer! It’s a small thing, but it’s a trigger. Also, when I’m around certain friends, the urge to drink hits me. Lol, yes it’s always the urge to drink. I’m not belittling your trigger; I hope you know that. Just fleshing out my own disorder here on your blog. lol. Hope the dog is back to being mostly upright and pissing where god intended.

      1. Yes! Winning something before noon rocks, because now I can nap the rest of the day. I like to believe that only really insightful, smart people “get” me, so yay for you!!

  2. I got drunk on holiday, took over the DJ booth and promptly put on the Tarzan theme tune. Nothing clears a bar faster than Phil Collins but I was in heaven!!

    May I also suggest Hercules (post bulking up) – phwoar! x

    1. I know that! There are a lot of strange easter eggs hidden throughout all disney movies. When Aladdin and Jasmine sing during a whole new world and watch the fireworks? That’s the climax of Mulan they’re watching. Ha!

  3. I have encountered these only at the beginnings of articles, in “trigger warnings.” For me they’re mostly a passing curiosity of what kinds of triggers people can have.

    Of course, hooray for emotional independence. I know a little about that, but not as much since society doesn’t expect me (as a guy) to yield all the time.

    May we expect a follow-up post “The Trouble with Triggers?” Probably not; that wouldn’t be Disney.

      1. I’ll go along with that. I’m not sure when I started seeing them, but it wasn’t really long ago. Writers (specifically staff bloggers) seem to have picked up a new fad/best-practice. They probably have a conference for their industry where someone talked about triggers. In which case I’d wager everyone forgets about them within like five years.

  4. Animated movies always have something that either make me cry, or think about in a profound way. Either I’m punched in the heart, the head, or the balls. Mostly, it’s the heart. Sometimes both the heart and my balls.

  5. It’s pretty awesome (and powerful) you’re choosing to use your triggers to mark growth – I’m inspired! Speaking of inspiration, I may also find a way to work a Mulan movie-viewing in this week (Disney FTW, always).

  6. I know exactly what you mean about someone touching your arm. My triggers can often be just waking up in the morning, but I haven’t gotten a handle on that yet.
    Love your blog!

      1. Hahaha, actually I know exactly what you mean. I hate whispers, especially since my one ear is stupid and people who “whisper” but really just talk in a raspy voice honestly kill every bit of patience I have. But I don’t even like the people I love most that close to my face, so when someone tries to whisper to me, my auto-response is generally to shove them away.
        It’s called personal space, amigos. I don’t know why that’s such a difficult concept.

  7. Triggers don’t exactly “make my day” either. Being a nice person doesn’t necessarily help in avoiding triggers. Even Dale Evans had to deal with a Trigger. But, to be honest, she had an understanding soulmate in Roy Rogers. She also had the support of her trusty quarterhorse Buttermilk to help smooth things out. With that said, “Happy Trails To You” untill….

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