Sunday, January 20, 2008

Triggers

Well, I didn't post yesterday and I can't believe that Kahless didn't leave me a comment with a hint on where I should go next, BUT she didn't! So guess I am out on a limb and will need to figure something out for myself.

One of the things that occurs to me is that I see some bloggers post Triggers**** as a warning to other bloggers. I understand the reasoning behind this it to not set anyone off or bring up bad memories. And I certainly understand the desire to want to avoid this type of stuff. But I also understand that triggers can be useful in the therapy process.

I have had one comment rolling around in my brain that Missing In Sight made on A Little More History She said... you write of memories just come flooding back to you. I hate the way this will sound, but I wish that could be that way for us. Our walls arer so defense-proof that nothing is getting through or getting out. It is so frustrating. This makes me think of how it felt in the beginning for me. I knew I had stuff to work on. I knew I needed help but I just couldn't seem to get at any of it. That is where triggers became useful for me.

Not that I want to encourage anyone to dive into something they are not ready to deal with yet. But the use of triggers can be very helpful to get the therapy process moving. I relied on triggers in my therapy to help me locate issues I needed to work through. Most of the time I really didn't have a clue what was coming next so triggers were quite helpful in giving me some direction.

Even though in the beginning it may have seemed like I was bouncing off the walls with no rhyme or reason, being able to utilize triggers definitely got my process going well on it's way.

I think that in the beginning my internal walls were so firmly in place that communication between parts that wanted to work and parts that needed to work was pretty much non existent. Once things began to surface through triggers, I was able to have some of those walls not be so impermeable. That began to open up communication internally. The more of that we could accomplish, the easier it was to be able to search out more of our internal issues.

Even if there were parts that didn't want to work, we discovered we could work around them and affect change in them. Once we got that started it made it easier to put internal pressure on them to participate in the process.

I learned pretty quickly to pay attention to even the slightest twinge as a clue to something that needed to be addressed. Without those clues I would have spent a lot of time treading water. I was so ready to get on with it, so I could get on with my life that I welcomed those triggers.

You bet I had some miserable days, weeks and even months but I just kept reminding myself that I was working to get free. I did what I could to reassure those within that this was not going to be a permanent way of life. It was just a short road we were on and at the end of it we would finally be free to live our life our way.

I have even negotiated with parts to get them to co-operate. Bought some clothes, traded tv time whatever it took that was still safe for my system.

It was really surprising to me sometimes the things that affected me. I have said before that I watched TV programs, read books and magazine on abuse. Those things and my experiences in group helped me with triggers.

I can remember a woman in one of my groups talking about abortions that she had had and the resulting problems she had with intimacy and self esteem. I went home and found myself writing poetry to a dead grandchild that I never saw because my teenage daughter had an abortion.

Granted, this trigger didn't send me into the depths of dealing with my ritualistic abuse but it did help to open the door so that I could even get to that place. There were so many things in the life I knew about that hadn't been resolved, that there was no way I was going to get to my core issues without dealing with these things first. This aborted grandchild was just one of many of those.

Once I cleaned up a lot of that excess baggage, then I was able to get down into the memories at the root of my problems. Many of those alters involved were adults or teenagers. Once they had done their healing, they were a powerful force in dealing with my RA issues and my other alters, most of those were very small children. The older alters were healing and so equipped to comfort the younger ones and counter those old messages.

At every step along the way I was able to use triggers to help keep me on task. I believe that my use of them and my refusal to submit to my denial were big factors in recovery.

12 comments:

Kahless said...

Ok ok ok,
You have asked for it....
I will be back tonight with a load of questions :-)

Enola said...

Hmm I never thought about using triggers in a positive way. That might require some more consideration.

Kahless said...

Ok, these are some of the questions swirling around in my mind at the moment..

Differences / advantages between group and individual therapy – basically most people do individual, what’s to be had from group?

How do you know that you have processed feelings? Ie if I shrug my shoulders at some stuff from childhood that others see as awful but I see as just that was that, does that mean I am not in touch with my feelings? What is doing feelings?

Do some people just not do feelings much and compartmentalise them away and is that just them and ok?

How you can get in touch with your anger / express anger healthily

Do some multiples go through life never knowing that they are multiples?

Sibling relationships through abuse into adulthood. Can two siblings, one in denial and one in truth ever rub along in a health way.

Reconciliation of psychology and caring therapy (I am not sure they go together.)

Thats a starter for ten! Let me know if you want more or me to expand on any!

Kahless said...

Oh, btw, interesting concept in using triggers. Hadnt thought of that. I sometimes think if I take something into therapy from the last week that has upset me then I am using it as a distraction.

Kahless said...

Oh and I also think about stability of therapists. I see what I reckon to be some blogs from unstable therapists. (None I frequent though if any of you are reading; I avoid the nutters and only visit blogs of cool dudes!)

So, to what extend is a therapist human and to what extent should we expect them to be sorted. For example is a therapist on anti depressants themself ok?
As you can see I juggle several thoughts at once.

Missing In Sight said...

RR,

You have great timing. I was just thinking of posting a "Trigger" warning on my blog. My therapist reads my blog and I write primarily for him (since I don't think anyone else out there looks at.) I think what you said about triggers makes a lot of sense. In fact, several months ago I started watching "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" to desensitize myself to certain words and concepts, so to speak.

I appreciate your blog and how you always keep it real. BTW, I think it's good to take a day off here and there from blogging. Sometimes I'm tired of hearing my own damn thoughts.

:)

Rising Rainbow said...

kahless, LOL, I knew I'd get you!

enola, yes, they can be made to work for instead of against us.


kahless,ok, I will have to veg on these for awhile! but thanks!

kahless, interesting that it hadn't occurred to you it might be related to what you were working on already.

missing in sight, you must have just opened that blog back up, when I checked last it didn't show.

As for being tired of hearing my own damn thoughts (lol) I'd bore you guys to death because I'd be talking horses all the time! So it's nice to get ideas from my readers on what I should write.

oh, yes, before I forget, I will link to you in this post if you want me to. just let me know.

Kahless said...

And there is also what warning signs can you see that someone is untrustworthy, or vice versa?
:-)

Even someone at work who I was really good to turned round and took advantage of me. So I obviously cant tell the good from the bad. Or is it just men!!!!!
:-)

Rising Rainbow said...

kahless, I will add these to the list. I get where these come from. lol

Kahless said...

And another question is understanding how a multiple can have male and female alters. How does that come about? Is it just a reflection of the male and female in us all?

Anonymous said...

"I learned pretty quickly to pay attention to even the slightest twinge as a clue to something that needed to be addressed. Without those clues I would have spent a lot of time treading water. I was so ready to get on with it, so I could get on with my life that I welcomed those triggers."

Hi, I'm new to your blog and have done a lot of reading of your very interesting posts....There are such excellent points and so much truth there!

For example, this one on how triggers can be helpful. Truly, for me triggers can be like a "friend" who is trying to tell me a usually painful truth i might not feel ready to hear! (might not ever *feel* like hearing it, but the abusers count on us this, too, in order to keep THEIR secrets covered up)

If not for triggers, my memory recovery and undoing of mind control/programming would be at a fraction of what it is after 7 years. I am grateful (hard to say, but true) for each trigger because it is a message for me that i need to do some "digging" in that spot and find out what is hidden there.

Thank you for posting this insight...all of us as survivors need to hear it,
LJ
PS You may even consider reposting some of these especially helpful ones, so more people can read them.

MultiMe said...

I finally just posted a 'trigger warning' as a part of the header for my blog. I think the whole thing is a list of potential triggers - read at your own risk. A lot of my blogs are triggered by what I read on other blogs. So when I'm having trouble to keep it together, I don't allow myself to read any. But if nothing ever triggers you, then how will you progress in your growth. Yes, triggers are good, just to be used carefully.