The Triggers are Real

The word ‘trigger’ came up today in a message from an awesome blogger I’ve come to know on this journey.

I used to think ‘trigger’ was just some new buzzword that didn’t really have much meaning, but I now understand it. It’s an event that brings you back to a trauma you’ve experienced. That event can be anything: a sight, a smell, a phrase, words on a website.

To try to avoid triggers can be tough, depending on what triggers you. Anything can be a trigger and we cannot shelter ourselves from every possible trigger. We’ll have to face our triggers at some point or another and depending on the trigger itself, some of us will have to face them more than others.

Those who suffer terribly from flashbacks or PTSD from triggering moments, my heart goes out to you. I hope you can get the help you need to move forward and lessen the impact that triggering moments have on your life.

I shouldn’t have been caught off guard by this particular trigger, but today I was.

I stopped at home during work. I thought it wouldn’t be so bad since The Incident Revisited, but it was.

What I did beforehand should’ve clued me in that it was going to be a problem. I wouldn’t tell my wife that I intended stop at home. Last night, I almost let it slip that I’d be in the area, but I stopped myself. I didn’t let her know because I’m expecting something to happen if I come home unannounced.

When I came home, I saw no cars in the driveway. It didn’t matter though. I still tried the door to see if it was unlocked. It was locked. Still not satisfied, I unlocked the door and quickly flung it open, ready to go on the offensive.

A wave of terror rushed through my body as I frantically scanned the floor in front of me for unfamiliar shoes. Nothing. I looked toward the living room as I did on that day, thinking they’d just be sitting on the couch, having a beer. Nope, nothing there either.

I stood in the doorway silently for a moment, listening for the sounds. His voice, saying something I couldn’t make out. Nope, just the sounds of an empty house.

I ran toward our bedroom. I looked in. The sheets were bunched up in the middle of the bed. A person could’ve been hiding under there. I pushed at the covers with my hand. No one was under there.

I examined the bed. What was I looking for? A sign that someone else was there? Nothing, of course.

Suddenly, I hated the sounds of the empty house, and I left.

My empty house during work hours is a trigger, there’s no denying that.

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