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_Survivors_
A safe space to share stories and ask questions
Speak of the devil..... 
22nd-May-2007 08:45 pm

no no no, this isnt about the devil or religion or anything. goodness knows theres enough to talk about there, but im not in the mood to be "converted" at the mo
just got thinking about the phrase the other day, and what you lot on here call "trigger[ing]"
thats what this is about, and as you can imagine....it very well is gonna b triggering to some/many of you. please, i dont wanna hurt anyone, so plz, if your easily triggered, b careful and tread lightly?


it was only coming here that i even understood that that word, "trigger" meant things that remind you of bad things that have happened. 

i mean, my brother and i hav been avoiding "sensitive" things, but we'd never talk about them

and i dunno if things like me having humungo claustrophobia and HATING people being too close to me and or like when we played sharks and minnows during swimming practise one friday and you have to drag ppl to the surface and hit the top of their head to tag them?  well i was swimming across and one of my friends on my team grabbed me and i was trying to get away and i kicked him and he wouldnta gotten me up if he hadnt put his hand on my mouth for a sec. he didnt mean to hurt me and he didnt, because after he did that i stopped moving and struggling and everything. Stopped. Just like that.

Matt did that once, awhile ago because we were talking in my room (actually i was doing the talking) and he mustve heard steve coming or something cause he put his hand over my mouth really quickly (and his hands are huge!! hes a big guy, really. it catches me by surprise sometimes because he talks softly to me most times and he's really gentle w/ me mostly. it totally caught me off guard then) 

all i could think about was steve covering my mouth the first time he raped me and telling me that as long as i didnt move around too much it wouldnt hurt. i tried to move b/c he was hurting my mouth, pressing on it so hard and he laughed and said hmm maybe it will hurt either way then. 
it was the most scared id ever been and hav ever been since. idk but it seems/ed to me that once youve been raped once, the scare is gone (no, thats total bullshit. after the first time you know what it is so your even more scared then u were the first time b/c now u kno whats gonna happen and u also kno that its gonna happen regardless of what u think about it or how scared out of ur mind u r)
aah and im off on a tangent now and i told myself i wouldnt but what have you here i am

but the thing that i go back to over and over and over again is that theres nothing at all that you (I) can do about it. yeah yeah its not my fault and he's mad and blah blah blah. it still happens and its still horrible. more horrible then anything, i'd say.
and these things, these triggers, they remind you of the worst time(s) of your entire life. the time when your the weakest, your lowest and your most dirty. when you'd gladly crawl under a rock and cease to exist and trade anything you could find (including yourself) for a moment of relief.
stupid triggers. they remind you of everything you hate about yourself and everyone else.
and about the time when you think your ok with everything you run into some guy at the mall who smells just like ______ [enter choise person here] or you see some movie or overhear some conversation that just brings it all crashing down on you with no warning or anything.

like the movie good will hunting. idk if any of u have ever seen it but matt said it was one of his favourite movies and it has robin williams in it so i was like wooo! lets c it!! i dont wanna spoil the movie so i wont ill just relate a story that was in the movie and relates to triggering so if u havent seen it i wont spoil it but if u hav seen it (grief or if u google search it you'll find the quotes from the part i was triggered by) youll know. 

i was little. really little. i dont remember how old. our foster father before steve, roger, daddy guy.

roger put a knife a box of condoms a gun a belt a stick from outside and a bat on the table and crouched down and told me to pick one. when matt talked he hit him so hard that he fell over

so i picked the little bright coloured box b/c the word condom is all pretty and pink and purple with a happy orange streak thru it b/c everything else i knew would hurt.

matt cursed really loudly and told roger that it didnt count b/c i was too little and too dumb to know better. roger said of course we must honour the little lady's first choise
then my brother got up and he was way faster then roger and he took the box and threw it away. i dunno where he threw them or what he mustve done but roger was so mad. furious doesnt even begin to describe it. idk a word that does describe it.
all i kno is what i remember of roger hauling matt in by his arm and shoving him into the table and telling him to pick one and choose carefully
matt picked up the bat and threw it back at roger, who looked really happy ((after seeing the movie, i know that my brother picked the bat for the same reason that the main character picked the wrench. just to show him that he didnt give a fuck))
Roger swung the bat at me
i dont remember getting hit by it. i just remember glass, everywhere
i mustve hit a window that shattered because i had glass everywhere and i couldnt breathe
matt came over and was telling me to keep my eyes closed and to breathe thru my nose
then someone pulled me up and i was standing up. someone told me to open my eyes and there was a thump noise and i did
there was blood all over my brother and roger was holding the bat up again like he was gonna swing it at me and there was glass in my feet and my face was bleeding down into my eyes and in my hair and i wondered why that little box had been so much worse than that bat?

so when i saw that movie, i had a trigger. that up there is what i thought of. but matt was watching it with me and i knew he knew that thats what i would think of. he toldme that he wanted me to see it so i could see robin williams telling the main character that it wasnt his fault, it wasnt his fault, it wasnt. his. fault.
it didnt really help me b/c matt told me that enough anyways
but he gave me a hug and told me kat its not your fault. none of this ever is and its just b/c of them. not you and never you.
and that helped

i really needed to get that out there so any comments at all would be great



*hugs* to anyone who actually read the whole thing b/c i dont really expect anyone to.

kat








Comments 
23rd-May-2007 02:57 am (UTC)
Your brother is right, what happened to you was not your fault, not any of it. Both of your abusers are sadistic.

I have some triggers too, and even though they don't give me flashbacks, they do remind me of the bad times, so I try to avoid them. It's hard when there's a trigger and you're not expecting it. Focusing on your breathing may help. Also, try to hold on to something that you didn't have during the bad times. That way your subconcious gets the message that you're not back there again, that you're still here in the present.

Many hugs back to you hon.
23rd-May-2007 03:01 am (UTC)
Wow! All I can say is you are so brave!!

*HUGS!*
23rd-May-2007 03:03 am (UTC)
*hugs*

I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

~Chelsea
23rd-May-2007 04:18 am (UTC)
::big safe hugs:: I read through the whole thing, and I have to say, it took a lot of strength to share that.

I, too, have triggers, and it's amazing how strongly they can drudge up those old feelings again. Good Will Hunting for me was a veritable minefield - especially the scene where they talked about choice. My abuser often gave me a choice, and I always picked the equivalent of the wrench. So the first time I saw that scene, it really tore me up to see it.

One of the things that has helped me the most with triggers has been a process called "selective desensitization" - which is a process designed to lower the intensity of a specific trigger. It's helped me to re-write some of my more intense triggers so they don't bother me as much anymore. I'd be happy to explain the process to you if it's something you'd like to try
23rd-May-2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
that sounds amazing. i write things out anyways, like whats happened, and id do pretty much anything to get rid of some of my worse triggers. and just a question that you totally dont hav to answer if you dont want...what kind of choise were you given? roger gave matt and i lots of choises like that, and ive talked to anyone else about that sort of senario. if you want to share...but you dont have to. just wondering. hope to talk to you again soon about that trigger reducing help, kat
23rd-May-2007 07:47 pm (UTC) - I'll answer this in two parts - first, desensitization
With the triggers, the first step is to set up a numerical system for rating how triggered you are. 1-100 scale is a good one: 1 being not triggered at all, and 100 being so triggered that you have an uncontrollable reaction like a flashback or breaking down in tears, etc.

Your goal with selective desensitization is to expose yourself to the trigger only so you reach a 50-60 on the scale: your reaction will be strong, but will be low enough that you can cope with it. It's important that you expose yourself to the trigger only when you *know* you can cope with the reaction, as exposing yourself to it and not being able to cope with the reaction will only enforce the trigger reaction.

So, get yourself to a safe place mentally and physically, and choose to expose yourself to the trigger. If someone else will be involved, make sure they know you're intentionally exposing yourself to a trigger so they won't freak out or something. Then, expose yourself to the trigger until you feel a strong emotional reaction, but so you can still cope with it. Then, focus on coping until the emotional reaction lowers and you can calm down.

Doing this practice regularly (as often as you feel comfortable, but I'd say no more than once or twice a day at most), you will slowly feel that you need a bigger exposure to the trigger to get the same 50-60 result. Eventually, you will notice the trigger-reaction lowering to the point where you notice it's happened, but it's so small that it's barely even a reaction.

For me, it took about 2 months of exposing my biggest triggers once a week to see about a 75% reduction in the trigger strength. And one of the coolest things was, my trusted friends got to help me with it. Since I usually don't ask for much help, they were happy to help (especially since one of my triggers involved someone else's hand on my throat, so I needed someone else). We used to have little celebrations every time I made progress, and it was cool to go through it with them.

So yeah, that's how it's done, and it worked *great* for me.
23rd-May-2007 07:50 pm (UTC) - Re: I'll answer this in two parts - first, desensitization
ooh. so you used one of your friends that you trusted to put their hand round your neck like they were gonna choke you--that was your trigger that you focused on desensitizing. i understand. wow that's gonna b difficult for me. id never b able to let someone do that. even if it was someone i trusted like my brother. hmmmm
23rd-May-2007 08:05 pm (UTC) - Re: I'll answer this in two parts - first, desensitization
Yeah, though for me, when I started with that trigger, I would put my own hand gently on my neck, which was enough to set off the trigger, but I could cope with it.

then I moved up to wearing a turtleneck sweater - constant contact all day long.

Then I had my partner put his hand on my neck, then I moved up to my friends.

So I got there in steps, but I got there eventually.
23rd-May-2007 08:09 pm (UTC) - Re: I'll answer this in two parts - first, desensitization
your pregnant! ((sorry, just realised you werent on my friends list so i went to skim thru ur journal so i could add u as a friend)) omg congrats! and i'll pray for you ur husband (his name's druid? thats officially the coolest name ever) and your child. *hugs carefully* congrats to you and all my prayers -kat oh. grief. about ur comment. yeah. the gradual steps make sense. and do u hav an email address or aim screen name or smthn? im at black_belt_333@yahoo.com and my AIM sn is SynNut333 (and for the email i chose a random name btw) so if that helps....i like talking to you and if you wanted to correspond thru that instead, we could. cheers, kat
23rd-May-2007 08:45 pm (UTC) - Re: I'll answer this in two parts - first, desensitization
Ayup! I'll be a mom by year's out.

His real name isn't Druid, but I use part of his username (druidwolf) to refer to him to help protect his privacy a bit. Prayers are always welcome :)

My AIM is survivormod. I'm not on often, but when I'm on, you're always welcome to IM me
23rd-May-2007 07:52 pm (UTC) - then, the choice - could trigger
with my father, he usually made you choose between different things you'd be hurt with. Every year when we had our firewood delivered, I had to pick out the stick I'd be beaten with for the next year. That was the most common one.

But my father would also make me choose what things I'd be hurt with, or how I'd be hurt with something. Like he used a dremel tool to torture me physically on more than one occasion, and he'd have me choose which attachment he'd use - whether it would end up being the cutting tool or sanding, usually, so I had to choose whether to be cut or "burned" by the friction of the sanding tool. It was his way of making me hurt extra, knowing I had to choose.

He did lots of things like that. He'd also make me choose whether I got hurt or whether he hurt someone else (though it was usually a choice between me or the dog) so that he could say that I had chosen to be hurt.

Pretty sick bastard my father was, honestly. I'm sorry you had to make choices like that, too, they can really tear you up inside to look back on
23rd-May-2007 07:56 pm (UTC) - Re: then, the choice - could trigger
wow thats horrible. yeah. thinking back on it... it is horrible, yeah. maybe your dad and roger should have a get togther and whatever is left we can send to antartica to be eaten by polar bears. yeah. good will hunting drove me crazy. 1 because matt damon's voice is like my brothers in that movie and 2 b/c of the whole choise thing. *shivers* stupid psycho bad people. well thank you for sharing. its very very brave of you. this might sound sick and twisted, but it helped me. so thanks. <33333 to you for sharing -kat
23rd-May-2007 08:07 pm (UTC) - Re: then, the choice - could trigger
Doesn't sound twisted at all. Just knowing that we're not alone in what we went through is really relieving.
23rd-May-2007 08:10 pm (UTC) - Re: then, the choice - could trigger
yeah. exactly. knowing that you went thru it too and understand. that it makes sense to you. its reassuring b/c then im not alone. its not just me. exactly, again.
23rd-May-2007 11:39 am (UTC)
I raed till the end.

I feel for you i really do. Literally, not kidding, i am constatntly numb but this nearly made me cry and that hardly ever happens.

You are really courageous.

((((hugs)))))
23rd-May-2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
well im sorry i made you cry, but thank you. i dont think im courageous at all. i think my brother is. but thank you.
23rd-May-2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
ur foster father Roger was one sick SOB, and you have *amazing*, inspiring strength to be making it thru what you've been through.

I am completely serious when I say you are an inspiration!
You are awesome, and it would be an honor for people to help or support you in whatever way they can - thank you for sharing such a brave, difficult story.

23rd-May-2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
amazing? inspiring? im an inspiration? really? wow. thats probably the nicest thing anyones ever said about me or something ive done or wrote about. no, it is the nicest thing. thanks. seriously. thanks. wow. i dunno what to say. i want to say gee i dont deserve it and u must b just saying it to make me feel better...but i dont think ur just saying it. so thanks and *hugs* to you. cheers!!! for making my day! -kat
23rd-May-2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
and you've brightened my day by knowing I've made yours (this could go on indefinitely... ;)

Seriously, though - I hardly ever say things I don't mean, and I was moved to tears (in a good way) by your bravery in telling your story, and the simple fact that you're surviving such circumstances and finding ways to get through it. I can think of no other word that describes such strength and spirit as well as "inspirational" does - *hugs* right back to you! :D
23rd-May-2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
**hugs** I read the whole thing and it's beautifully written.

I'm so glad you were able to get it out, and so upset that you went through so much.

23rd-May-2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
it is? well thank you. i appreciate it. man i wish i knew you all in "real life" (my phrase for not-just-talking-on-the-computer-and-knowing-you-in-the-real-world-etc-etc-etc) because yall are the nicest people to me that i know. or ever have known. thank you all so much *hugs* *group hugs* thank you so much.
23rd-May-2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, everyone here is very supportive and amazing. *hugs*


BTW, are you really only 11 years old?
23rd-May-2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
yeah i am. but i turn 12 in a few days!!
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