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Trigger Assembly

#PTSDDaddy… More on Triggers

More on triggers back by popular demand I thought I would continue on to more about triggers. You see I included the literal picture above to illustrate that triggers themselves seem like a very simplistic concept. But once seeing the details behind them  you realize that they are way more complex than originally thought.

And we begin…

*Fade out from the present…. slow fade into the past…*

Skipping much of what helped me become convinced that I may have a PTSD problem, I started something stupid called “cognitive treatment”… what the hell is that? Exactly what I was thinking too. My counselor explained to me that we start by figuring out some triggers. Ok what’s a trigger? A trigger is the event or happening that sets me off into PTSD mode.

OK well F*)#@! It took me this long to admit I even had PTSD mode how the hell am I supposed to know what sets me there? “Well”, she asked, “what makes you angry?” *LAUGHS hysterically* The answer to this is “pretty much everything.” Part of the problem, you see, is that I came home and I just found that I hate people. (family excluded of course, they aren’t people they’re family) People piss me off, traffic pisses me off, lots of things surprise me, I lock every door multiple times, I get up to check every noise I hear outside… shall I go more on triggers?

“Good” she answers, then she hands me a crap load of worksheets. Homework??? Yes homework. She had to explain to me how to fill them out, basically I had to keep a log of times when my “internal alarm” was going off. I had to write what the cause was, what the situation was, who’s around me, how do I feel, etc.. a bunch of crap. Well then of all things I had to fill out the column beside it describing how a “normal” person would react. What is “normal”? Ok, I reasoned to myself, so I will just say “normal” is all the dumb asses who piss me off. You know the kind, all the assholes who tell me I’m over reacting and to “calm down” F()&* them! I got good reason to be paranoid they should too!

This log thing sucked! I filled out the bare minimum, then went down the other column and wrote justifications for why I’m right and everyone else is wrong. If you ask me I was and am damn good at justifying why I do things in a way that even the “normal” can understand. I know this because my counselor would tell me over and over she loved the challenge because sometimes I would almost have her convinced that MY answer was the right answer. I knew it was, but overall I was still having issues catching those trigger. These triggers were often something that took me days to weeks before the light bulb turned on. That makes it hard to come in every week with answers when it takes me longer than that to figure out answers.

One of the next big moments was leaning “coping techniques” *LAUGHS BIG boisterous laugh* That’s retarded! Ok so when I’m feeling what I feel when I’m triggered then I breathe! Yeah that will fix everything. Or even better, I close my eyes and think of my “safe space”! What a F*$(*ING joke! So I was given some exercises and more worksheets to “practice” these techniques and then log them so she could track what I’m doing and how I am doing. Me, I favored the different breathing techniques because I could relate better to them. My counselor called it “combat breathing” soon as she said that it was my method of choice. She asked if meds were and option? HELL NO! I don’t need pills! F*(*$& that!

Fast forward a few month, I decide to ask about meds… but that’s for another story. Long story short, I mastered the techniques but there was no “in between”. I went from zero to royally pissed off at the world in .0000000123 seconds. I didn’t have a moment to see it coming and use my techniques. I needed something to slow down and enable me to think.  More on meds later!

For now that’s just a bit of why triggers get so complicated.

I have been invited back by Keith to have my own show on his Blog Talk Radio! show this Wednesday. I am excited to start this endeavor as I have been quite anti-social lately but feel that this is a fantastic opportunity to discuss PTSD topics live.

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