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I triggered the other day...

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SerJR posted 10/2/2013 19:14 PM

Over 6 years out... yesterday and forever ago... and I still trigger...

They tell you the triggers die eventually, but itís only a half truth.

Now, to give you the background of my story, itís quite textbook. My exwife ran away after some other guy... and... well... then some other, other guy. Anyway, we divorced, I moved forward, and I married the most wonderful woman I have ever met. Oh sure, there was all sorts of crazy surrounding the breakdown, but thatís all just flavour text at this point. Itís like reading some cheesy romance novel... the underlying structure is the same as any other, just drop in a pirate or a cowboy, vampire, fish-squirrel, or whatever the heck is in this year.

Okay... reading that last paragraph I feel compelled to keep my man card and state that I have, in fact, never actually read one of those works, but I do nonetheless feel fairly confident in my prejudiced assertation of that literary niche.

Anyway, back on topic, it was a just the other day that I triggered. With my new job I travel around quite a bit providing engineering support. Okay... itís been a little over 3 years with this position, so I guess itís not really "new". But itís not my old job. I could say "current", but that implies that Iíll be leaving shortly and I donít have any plans for that. Job #2 doesnít work either as Iím only working the one, so maybe we should go with my current job which I intend to stick with for a while which is probably news to you if you havenít been paying attention for the last 3 years.

Alright... now that we have that important distinction clarified... With my current job which I intend to stick with for a while which is probably news to you if you havenít been paying attention for the last 3 years, I travel around quite a bit providing engineering support. With the travel, that means Iím often eating on the road... well, not literally ďon the roadĒ, but Iím sure you all get what I mean. So, the other day I had an early morning pour a few hours away, and in the afternoon I stopped for lunch on the way back to my office/lab. Itís not one of those fancy office/lab buildings like they have at NIST... this oneís more like a garage that I put a desk, library, and lab equipment in, behind a real office.

Anyway, back to the point... you see I stopped off at this Indian restaurant in my hometown and that is where I triggered. Well... not hometown as I didn't grow up here, but the town I have my home in. Umm... city actually. And donít worry Ė itís not a case of bad butter chicken for those of you jumping to the worst! There was a good reason for this trigger.

To explain... the very first weekend separated my son and I went to this very restaurant for lunch. He was not even 3 years old then. I can still remember the owner welcoming us in... JRJR thrilled with his mango lhassi... how much he liked the food. This was something new for me and JRJR. His mother wasnít very adventurous with food, so I wanted to strike out and do something new and expose our son to it. He loved it... in fact it quickly became his very favourite restaurant. Since that first time, we have made it a tradition to go there every few months for lunch. Itís our thing.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I trigger.

It is because I cannot go in there without remembering where this tradition came from. It was an act of bonding with my son, of finding something no matter how simple it is to enjoy together. It was an act of building our lives together. And that trigger sure as hell makes me smile.

Everywhere around my world these triggers exist. I see a cow, a kiwi, or a chopper and I chuckle. I see a rabbit and I think ďright on brotherĒ. I canít see a picture of Oz or Darth Vader without wondering how theyíre doing and why I havenít been invited over to try out the pool. I still enjoy my red onions. I discovered I like chess. I hear Knights of Cydonia and I know that something awesome is going to happen. I still check for ogres under the bridge at ogre park. Iím enjoying our weekly adventure with the mad man in a blue box. I look forward to our trips to the Falls and our hikes, and my fatherís day photo albums. I enjoy when we do the runs together. All traditions built with my wife and son that I cherish. I donít expect that many of these will have particular importance to any of you, but thatís fine because they are mine.

And all those bad triggers I used to have? Nothing more than just another scalp added to the pile. Nothing more than a reminder that the worst out there cannot beat the best in me. Nothing more than a testament to the fact the when the need arises, so can I.

I donít always trigger. And these triggers donít always elicit an intense emotional reaction. These things are a part of my life, so theyíre not always seen. But they are there. Everywhere around me... thereís these messages... like clues hidden in plain sight... reminders, from another me, that ultimately I am the author of my story... reminders to treasure what is truly important.

So yeah... I donít always trigger. But when I do... itís fucking amazing.

A long time ago, I used to think that triggers were something to be feared. But really... life isnít about whatís been lost. Itís not about being too afraid to live it. Itís about what you have to give... to yourself and to those you love. And nobody, and no thing can take that away from you. Triggers are yours. You are not theirs. Make them mean something. Yes... some triggers can be painful, but donít let that keep you from embracing your life and your world with arms wide open. When triggers hurt it is because we are human. And thatís a good thing. Because being human means continually striving to be better. And you can certainly do that.

And... for whatever itís worth... I think fish-squirrels are now on that list.

wifehad5 posted 10/2/2013 19:21 PM

I've missed you Ser

MovingUpward posted 10/2/2013 19:23 PM


I miss your writing style and wisdom. It is good to see you drop in and share another gem with us.

BTW you forgot to mention the rebellion, blimps, France, and mandalorian battle kilt. Oh and the flying ramen noodles at sadcat's

5454real posted 10/2/2013 19:25 PM

Thank You!

Jrazz posted 10/2/2013 19:32 PM

Ahh, I finally get to witness a legendary SerJRism.

nowiknow23 posted 10/2/2013 19:35 PM

Awesome, SerJR. Thank you.

LosferWords posted 10/2/2013 20:03 PM

Thanks for sharing this, SerJR. All the posts I've read of yours are chock full of kickassery, this one included.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/2/2013 20:29 PM

This is an example of a *positive* trigger, IMO. This trigger had nothing to do with your WW other than the fact that it was an activity that you engaged in and began *while* you were dealing with the fall-out. It's not as if it was a trigger of the *reclaiming* because WW *stole* that place from you (like, she went there with her AP kinda thing). I feel that that is a very distinctive difference.

I see it like this. Your WW's behavior made you think *outside the box* and to do something different with your son. And your son LOVED it. Her *bad* behavior led you to a *bonding* moment with your son. I think that the knowledge that your son has such positive memories of this should overpower any type of negative, *triggery* feelings about this.....

Yes. It hurts because you remember what was happening in your own life at the time of your first attendance at that restaurant....but that does not discount the *joy* that you and your DS found there.....

metamorphisis posted 10/2/2013 20:58 PM

It's so good to *see* you around these parts again. Wonderful post.

Sad in AZ posted 10/2/2013 23:46 PM


Welcome back

HardenMyHeart posted 10/3/2013 01:32 AM

Hi Ser, glad to see you back.

and I married the most wonderful woman I have ever met.

I'm so happy for both of you.

Williesmom posted 10/3/2013 05:21 AM

I've also missed you!

cantaccept posted 10/3/2013 06:02 AM

I was almost afraid to read this... seeing how far out you were. Thinking, no,no,no, he isn't still fighting through is he?

Thank you for the inspiration. I am sure that you remember, "the early days", the uncertainty, the fear that comes up, "will this pain ever end, ever get better?"

Reading this gives hope.

Thank you.

StillGoing posted 10/3/2013 06:53 AM

Fish squirrels. That is so obvious. Why did I never think of that before.

Lalagirl posted 10/3/2013 07:37 AM

Hi Ser...

Good always

solus sto posted 10/3/2013 07:43 AM

You made me smile and get teary. Job well done

I especially like being the author of one's own story. I started to attempt to teach my son (an adolescent who believes he can now fix his father) that the story he wishes to write might have different characters, or a different story line. I started to tell him that the one he's working on is hackneyed and doesn't turn out well in the end. But know? It's his story to write. Maybe he'll listen to me when he gets to the screenwriting stage---but maybe not.

In the meantime, I write my own story. Somewhere along the line, I started editing out certain chapters. Doesn't mean I don't remember them, just that they aren't central to the story line any more. Oh, sure--they helped the story develop. But ...well, they're just padding, at this point.

Except on PMS days when chocolate is not available. Or vodka. Then you could toss a fish-squirrel (which made me laugh really hard) into the story or, better, a wolverine. A wolverine who attacks the faces and fingers of characters who were briefly central to the storyline but who, I believe, will end up on the cutting room floor when the film version is made.

Yeah, on those PMS days, I sometimes like having a villain and his mistress and a hungry wolverine in the story. They're usually devoured pretty quickly.

tushnurse posted 10/3/2013 08:53 AM


Glad to hear from you. Your writing style always makes me laugh, and you my friend help me so much in the early days, your quirky, yet no nonsense way of seeing things brightened my morning.

ajsmom posted 10/3/2013 09:48 AM

Confused as hell, but I *think* I get your point.

I'm a ways out as well and am quite astounded at times how these triggers do their best to derail me.

I'm working on getting stronger than they are.


inconnu posted 10/3/2013 09:48 AM

I was just talking about you at the G2G last weekend - about how fortunate I was when I joined SI and you were very actively posting. Okay, not just you. I was talking about a handful of the menz.

I hope you, Ser, and the rest of the guys realize how much healing you help with.

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