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I Hate The Word "Trigger"

I've been seeing a therapist once a week since early November, after I chose to spend Halloween in my bedroom crying instead of handing out candy to little kids. It's been incredibly productive. I'm even looking forward to going to an out-of-state festival by myself next weekend.

But one of the things that still bothers me are "triggers". I understand the concept, and know that I have possibly more than my fair share - including "men in power telling me I'm wrong", and "mothers who enable child abuse".

The truth is, I hate that word. I hate the inevitability of it. I hate the imagery around it. It implies that thing x happens, and reaction y occurs, and there's nothing I can do to fix it. The thing is, there's always something I can do to work on issues - it's just whether I can catch it in time.


I think I'm going to start referring to my triggers as "bruises", maybe. That's more how it feels to me. If you push on a bruise on a piece of fruit, things go squish. But if you don't press as hard, or if you learn where the bruises are and how to eat around them, the problem is lessened.

I've been bringing a lot to the therapy table this time around. I truly want to lessen the impact of carelessness and thoughtlessness in my actions, so I spend a lot of time examining my behavior and working on ways to correct it. A friend can always come to me and tell me I'm acting bitchy, so long as I'm not beat about the head and neck with it.

I think the most important distinction to my mind is that a bruise heals - but a trigger is metal and unless re-cast, will always be a trigger, and there's no getting around it.

Do you have triggers, or bruises, or automatic negative responses? Have you found sane ways of dealing with them?

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