SurvivingInfidelity.com Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

What does "trigger" mean to you.

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

dbellanon posted 9/22/2013 11:58 AM

So as time goes on, I do find myself thinking about XWW less and less, but of course, certain things remind me of her, dredge up memories (good and bad), or tug at my heart in a way that reminds me of what she did to me and what I've lost. It's not a good feeling, but I find that the feeling gets duller and passes more quickly each time.

One might call these "triggers," but I'm curious if I mean the same thing by the word that others do. When you find yourself "triggered," what do you feel? Is it like a painful little tug on your heart, or does it actually bring you pack to the intense feeling of pain and trauma you felt around DDay?

I imagine the answer might differ from person to person.

[This message edited by dbellanon at 11:58 AM, September 22nd (Sunday)]

solus sto posted 9/22/2013 13:24 PM

For quite a while, triggers took me right back to the trauma, emotionally speaking. I did suffer from PTSD--so I felt as though I was reliving the trauma over and over.

With time, it mellowed. For a while, triggers then created just a sort of general emotional malaise that lingered for a day or so--but didn't happen every day.

(I worked hard to de-fuse triggers--intentionally exposing myself to many of them so that I could work through them.)

At this point, I really don't experience much, trigger-wise. When I do catch a whiff of a fragrance, or a few measures of a song, or something else that previously sent me into a tailspin, my emotional response is mild and fleeting. I acknowledge and let it go, and don't have lasting effects.

PhantomLimb posted 9/22/2013 17:46 PM

For me a "trigger" is something like putting on my winter coat to walk the dog the other day and finding one of WS's gloves in the pocket.

Obviously that leads me think of him, of the last time I wore that coat and where we were, the xmas I bought him those gloves, how much I miss him and won't get those moments back, then that he's hurt me so badly, then the terrible things he said to me during Ddays...

All of that can happen in a flash. Then I'll be in a lousy mood for a some period of time-- either because I'm just generally brokenhearted and/or lonely or because I'll have trouble pushing the cruel things he did/said out of my mind.

It's lousy.

(p.s. working on that PM to you, just slammed with work!)

Ashland13 posted 9/22/2013 17:58 PM

A trigger for me, is something or someone that causes an emotional reaction or stress and usually something or someone that flares up a memory or occasion that he was part of. It's often quite strong and immediate, but nowadays they go away again more quickly than at the beginning.

I have remenents of PTSD, also, so that triggers are lighter, but taking a while to completely stop ebbing and flowing.

kansas1968 posted 9/22/2013 18:29 PM

Option number two. Triggers snap me back to a very painful memory of what was going on in our relationship during the affair. It is so intense that you want to vomit.

I think yours are the same, but because you are no longer together, you are slowly starting to move on.

For those of us who stayed, the triggers are just brutal and make us doubt our judgement. Hopefully yours will just fade away!

mixedintherut posted 9/22/2013 20:08 PM

It depends on the "trigger." WHs iphone triggers me as that is their main source of communication, I fill sick to my stomach when I see his phone.

Motorcycles trigger me, as they remind me of WH. Everytime I hear one coming off of the highway I look out the window to see if it is WH.

Every time I log into WH online phone account, I feel knots in my stomach and immediately feel like I am going to throw up. His online account lead me to her number, which is the only "proof" I have of her. I don't have a name or anything else.

Holly-Isis posted 9/22/2013 20:30 PM

To me it means that the mind filters everything through past experiences. Sometimes something happens that triggers an experience (good or bad) and the subconscious dredges up the emotions that accompany that experience.

Since the subconscious doesn't tell time the feelings feel like now. Once you allow or force your conscience to take over, the feelings subsides. The better you get at it, the more you can overwrite those past experiences and emotions with new ones.

At least that's what I learned in an abuse recovery class and it sure makes sense to me.

PhantomLimb posted 9/22/2013 20:55 PM

A trigger for me, is something or someone that causes an emotional reaction or stress and usually something or someone that flares up a memory or occasion that he was part of.

^^ This, too.

I'll find myself under stress displaying poor coping mechanisms... which was unlike me before DDay.

Like this morning... someone left an empty box on a stairwell as I was walking into the garage. I tripped on it momentarily. I caught myself... but when I had my balance, I kicked the box out of frustration.

In the past, would have just moved it aside and laughed.

Again... it's lousy.

million pieces posted 9/22/2013 20:56 PM

To me a "trigger" is when something that to anyone else is innocent, makes you have a reaction.

The only trigger I've had in the past year has been when my SO was trying to last minute plan a get together for the Super Bowl. He was constantly checking his phone for an email from a friend. He really is not someone who is tied to their phone, but my ex sure was, especially during the 3 weeks of false R. And guess who he was texting....

damncutekitty posted 9/22/2013 22:25 PM

To me a trigger is something that sets off my PTSD.

There are things. Songs, movies, smells- even words- that might bring back a memory I'd rather not think about. But for me that is just a bad memory, and not a trigger. A trigger for me is something that causes major anxiety/panic attack type symptoms. Severe agitation, racing heart, tears, feelings of panic or fear.

My last trigger took me three hours and half a pack of cigarettes to calm me down. (I quit smoking, it usually takes something BAD, like a death, to make me smoke that much)

unarmbears posted 9/22/2013 23:38 PM

A trigger for me puts the past right into the present and the feelings are all the same as when the event triggered actually happened.

I rarely trigger about things surrounding why I sought SI in the first place. Now the memories are just memories. They no longer overwhelm me.

I did confront and intentionally "relive" my triggers as a way of making them weaker and weaker. That helped a lot. It's also been a lot of years since the infidelity, which is helpful too! Heck, I can even enjoy Bonnie Raitt again. Same with Sheryl Crow. Yay!

The speed with which you moved through all those memories and feelings is telling. You are healing and grieving. It's okay. You aren't sent back to square one, you are still within a square or two of where you should be!

StillStanding1 posted 9/22/2013 23:50 PM

Many great responses/explanations here!

I see triggers as anything that causes me to spiral down emotionally and start obsessing about the A. They can be mild or intense. Sometimes they just put me in an emotional funk, sometimes is nearly a full blown anxiety attack.

My WH used his excessive business entertaining as his "cover". Now, every time he is gone in the evenings, I spiral into the abyss. Like ice running through my veins... Sometimes I can't stop crying and thinking irrationally. Sometimes I can control it. Brief anger and it's gone...

I look forward to the days when they are less frequent and less intense.

Josephine01 posted 9/23/2013 00:25 AM

Is it like a painful little tug on your heart, or does it actually bring you pack to the intense feeling of pain and trauma you felt around DDay?

It can be both. But usually triggers bring a stream of tears and pain and catches me off guard. But, sometimes they simply make me stop and remember for a minute, I can usually feel my hart skip a beat.

PositiveAttitude posted 9/23/2013 13:33 PM

I still think about my WH's affair every second of every day, but I no longer have the intense emotional response to the situation. Triggers are those things which for me bring back the emotional trauma and turmoil even if just briefly.

When I see him on his phone it triggers me because I'm afraid he's communicating with her.

I trigger during certain hours of the day when he used to spend time with her.

I trigger from certain cities I know they were in together.

I trigger now about movies. Any movie. All movies. Because I don't know if he went to the theater to see them with her - Movies that he's seen with her make him trigger (which is what started my reaction to them).

My worst trigger however is his tattoo. It's his only one, and they went together for him to get it. This was during a time of false R, so it's very hard for me.

self-rescuer posted 9/23/2013 13:54 PM

Triggers are on-going gut punches.

I so seldom trigger now that when I do, it is intense.

Just passed 2nd year d-date anniversary. Unexpectedly hard - so triggered by the change of season and the shortening of days.

But the speed at which I bounced back to my new found happiness was rapid.

In so many ways, once you heal, you are healed for good!

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 SurvivingInfidelity.com ®. All Rights Reserved.