The Trigger System and How it Works

Why we might sweat the small stuff:

Hey, I knock people for sweating the small stuff sometimes sitting there feeling so self-proud that I only get upset over the big stuff. Yeah rrrrrrrrright! Then, I pretend to not understand why people get all worked up about meaningless minutia.

When we say “don’t cry over spilled milk”, we are not understanding how the human condition works with repressed trauma. When someone is triggered over what we might deem not a big deal, believe me… it IS a big deal for the one being triggered in that triggers are symbolic of unresolved unconscious traumas of the past. Please be more patient with yourself if you feel like you might be making mountains out of molehills. You’re not. And please be more understanding of others as well. It would be awesome if we could stop telling people to not sweat the small stuff as we may be teaching them to hate parts of themselves. We internalize and are conditioned by the words of others and this teaches self-loathing and we don’t grow and evolve in judgemental environments. We only grow and heal in loving supportive environments.

:::The Trigger System and How it Works:::
“This is to explain how triggers work when someone has PTSD.
Sometimes, those of us who experience any form of trauma can identify when and why they have been triggered. But sometimes, though, it doesn’t work like that and we can suddenly feel crappy and triggered and not know why. And sometimes, we’re constantly triggered and so don’t know why we always feel crappy. This is something known as the trigger system, I’ll explain below.
A soldier comes home from war, and he gets triggered by fireworks that /directly/ remind him of his experiences in the war. Fireworks are now a primary trigger.
But now say he’s eating chicken when he gets triggered by the fireworks. Chicken is now /associated/ with fireworks, which are a primary trigger so chicken now becomes a secondary trigger.
But this is where it starts to beome really complicated.
Now say he always has chicken when he’s at his mother-in-laws house. His mother-in-law is /associated/ with chicken, which is /associated/ with fireworks that /directly/ remind him of war. His mother-in-law is now a secondary trigger.
You can have any number of secondary triggers associated with a primary trigger. You can have numerous primary triggers too, that directly associate and remind of the trauma.
So your triggers can be miles away from the trauma, but through the trigger system are directly related and do in fact make sense.
Don’t feel like you’re not valid because you can’t identify the reasons why. Your mind is valid, as are you.” ~Maria Sellers

 

Here’s my example: I went into a panic once 15 years-ish ago because I lost a barrette. My co-worker couldn’t believe I was freaking out, but now in retrospect, I realize that I was having a flashback of the ORIGINAL trigger of losing my mother at birth. Dealing with loss for me is difficult and my repressed feelings are sometimes channeled through the insignificant trivia of life. Other might not get it, but I sure do!

I am sure we’d treat people a lot better if we only saw the world through their eyes. Things aren’t always as they seem. And sometimes I wonder if we get so annoyed by the small stuff to avoid having to face the big stuff. In any event, Emotional Intelligence suggests life and humans are so much more complicated than we thought and to give people a break. Know that there’s  a very good valid reason for everything even if we don’t understand it.

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