I Can Do What I Want Challenge! 😁🌈❤️Jump Rope! Plus Dealing with Emotional Triggers.

I used to be detached from my emotions. It was a coping skill I learned during childhood to get through traumatic times. We all have adversity with resulting emotional triggers. Some emotional triggers can be overwhelming and cause difficulties. There can be anxiety, depression and PTSD, along with other psychological issues. There can be lasting changes in our brains for those who have experienced abuse, violence, neglect and trauma.

Some people when triggered retreat inwardly, but others react outwardly and may have explosive, irrational emotional episodes that erupt unexpectedly, creating chaos. When a person is this highly emotional, they may lose contact with reality and project a past trauma or something they’re angry and resentful about from the past onto whatever situation that triggered them currently.

Their perceptions can be distorted and they may accuse you of things that didn’t even occur. They go on attack and when you try to reason with them they want to be right, want to avoid abandonment/judgment, want to be in control, so they use defense mechanisms that leave you stunned and wondering what just happened. I won’t list all of the defense mechanisms, but it ends up like this…no matter what you say or do, it doesn’t help. Instead it makes things worse and just prolongs the drama called crazy making behavior.

What’s even more puzzling is that usually they don’t accept responsibility for their behavior because in their minds they’re justified and correct. You may try to have a calm discussion later and they may not see your perspective at all even if they’ve been abusive towards you. There will never be an apology because they have to be in control and their sense of self is too fragile. To admit that they have faults or make mistakes feels too bad for them. This way of coping may be due to lack of maturity as in adolescents or young adults, or it may be personality traits that may be severe enough to label as a disorder, like borderline, narcissistic, histrionic, antisocial, etc.

We all have our baggage and have done our fair share of crazy making though lol. We are humans with egos.

As I’ve matured, I am more self aware and connected to my emotions and psyche. I am able to slow down and catch myself before I take things the wrong way and I am less reactive and emotional. I’ve developed a spiritual focus which helps me stay nonreactive, nonjudgmental and forgiving. This hasn’t come easily though. I’ve had to do some serious personal development and it’s a constant endeavor.

For example, one day several years ago my husband and I were shopping at Trader Joe’s, we bought some wine (for me, Drue doesn’t drink and currently I rarely drink, it just makes me tired…don’t say it…I’m O.L.D. lol).

The cashier was friendly and bantering. Drue asked, “Aren’t you gonna ask for ID?” Then she laughed and asked, “For you or her?” I took it the wrong way thinking she was implying that I was old? You see I’m 17 years older than Drue and I have this fear that one day someone is gonna mistake me for his mom or something, though that’s never happened. So I have this self consciousness, it’s my skewed perspective.

When we were walking to the car I asked Drue why he brought it up and explained how I felt embarrassed and old. That’s when he explained that she was teasing him, that she was joking that he was older. At first I didn’t see how that could be, then I quickly realized it was I who was being weird and triggered, then I said,”Ohhhh, it’s my issue,” I finally got it and laughed.

It felt good to be able to own my shit and I saw that I had some more personal development to do!

When we are triggered, usually we want to avoid or numb the negative emotions. It’s natural to always want to feel better. The problem is that by stuffing down, ignoring, numbing, downplaying or avoiding we keep ourselves stuck. We also may develop unhealthy habits to try and escape, like drinking, working too much, emotional eating, etc.

What I think would be really wonderful is if we were all taught how to deal with our traumas, our emotions, our egos from an early age. And also educated on healthy behavior, human rights and effective ways of problem solving, coping and relating. Then maybe we could become more healthy, loving and rooted in self awareness, acceptance and forgiveness of ourselves and others. Plus we would be able to be honest, less fearful, so that we would feel freer, less ashamed to speak up. More empowered. In that way the wounds and abuse could be healed more quickly, or even be prevented.

Maladaptive, unconscious behavior is repeated again and again because we’re not even aware of it, too wrapped up in our wounds to see what’s real.

Often times healing is a luxury.

If you’re too overwhelmed and busy in surviving, your main focus is making ends meet or making it through the day, week, month, year 🙂 So your underlying emotional wounds are not priority. They get pushed aside because there’s no space to feel safe in allowing the truth to be faced. So the same patterns get repeated and there’s probably a lot of self sabotage and difficult situations, because the root problems are not being addressed.

In general as a society we value outward, materialistic achievements, stoicism and view any signs of emotion as weakness. The only exception is anger in men, this is viewed as acceptable. Emotions are seen as a nuisance and liability. People feel like they should always be in control and should be able to stay happy and positive no matter what, or else they’ll be judged or embarrassed or they’ll lose control.

And because we aren’t shown how to effectively deal with our emotions we often do react in less healthy ways.

Some people who have abusive behavior say, “I can’t help it. That’s just how I am.” And I say, okay, see you later 😀 Because I love myself enough now to remove me from harm’s way.

This is what I’d help others realize sooner, that you can leave, go no contact. It’s okay.

Some aren’t ready to heal. It’s sad, but there’s nothing that you can do to force the process and why sacrifice yourself? They aren’t willing and you can’t make them. Staying only enables the abusive behavior to continue while you suffer.

We all have the ability to choose to heal, to change for the better.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~Viktor E. Frankl

 

 

Michelle Miyagi
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