“I never imagined that I would become a figure of abuse. I never imagined becoming a woman who would fall victim to physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. I never imagined I would say that my life would be altered and forever changed by domestic violence. I am a survivor.” - Unknown.
Traumatic triggers come in many forms. Past trauma is powerful, and it is not uncommon for a survivor’s response to be equally strong. Our triggers are very personal, and it’s difficult to predict whether a person will experience them when they develop, what those triggers may be, or how they would look.
Here are some of the most common trauma-trigger responses:
Sudden, uncontrollable crying or crying without an apparent reason
Unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as oversleeping, overeating, or substance abuse
What should you do when you are triggered:
- Keep a journal – If you’re having difficulty identifying your triggers, keeping a
journal of responses and what caused them might help. Identify and recognize the
emotion you feel during a reply.
- Talk to someone – This can be a close friend, family member, or a mental health
professional. We often bottle our emotions up until something or someone
rubs us the wrong way, and we let those emotions get out in unhealthy habits.
“It doesn’t matter how rich or poor a person is, what gender
or social class, or how much fame or education she
possesses. Verbal, mental, and physical abuse can happen to
anyone. It doesn’t matter what a woman’s ethnicity is
because the only distinguishing color of abuse is black-and-
blue.” ― La Toya Jackson
- Mechelle Taylor, AMFT