Stop the Blasted Triggers Already!

I had an interesting day today, full of triggers I only vaguely expected.

First, it was rather triggering to hear stories of other folks who are self-injuring or on suicide watch. I had to stop, remind myself to be in the present moment where I am safe. I don’t have to think about that or feel scared. Just be. Just wait for the moment to pass.

I could have spoken up and asked the person to stop talking about that. I guess that’s the next step for me: to advocate for my needs, not just notice my own needs and try to take care of it myself (a feat that is new and progress in itself).

The second trigger was the one I sort of expected but still got blind-sided by. I loved reading Christianity After Religion by Diana Butler Bass, and was looking forward to talking about it with other smart people who care about churches and congregants and new and old followers of Jesus. And then, of course, the whole conversation just reminded me that I’m not in the same context as the rest of the folks. I don’t have a congregation I’m currently working with. I had good things to say about how it explained my experience, my hope for the church because of this work, etc.

What bothered me more was that I felt triggered by the conversation though. Since I found myself encouraged by the book, I wasn’t expecting to be triggered into panic so much. Especially not to feeling so sick to my stomach. But just talking about churchy things, or hearing about how slowly the church really will be to change and move into this new paradigm – it hurts. I wish more for the church. I wish folks in it would move faster so that others could be included. I wish it would move faster so I could find a place in it. It’s like there’s no place for me anymore, to serve or to be fed. (not a totally rational thought, I know) Dare I break out of church and find a different path and others to walk with? Maybe it served it’s purpose for a while in my life, and now I need to look elsewhere?

Just some thoughts on today. Wish I didn’t still feel sick to my stomach though…

9 responses to “Stop the Blasted Triggers Already!

  1. So sorry to have been a source of difficulty for you. I was mindful, but went ahead…should have thought it through more.

    • More my issue dealing with triggers than yours saying anything. I go around in mental health circles a lot now and it’s hard NOT to hear war stories. I’m learning to adapt. It WAS really good to see you today, though!

  2. I have to remind myself that sometimes a butterfly is just a butterfly.

  3. I’m sorry it was so hard. I think we all were very glad you were with us. I hope you will discover the safety of the group where you could voice your hopes and be a prophetic witness. I respect and admire your bravery and tenacity.

  4. Hi Deborah – I tried to comment last week but then wordpress ate my comment and I didn’t get a chance to try again right away. I did not know what you’ve been going through and am grateful that you connected with me on Facebook so that we can begin to get to know one another better. I am sorry if, in my ignorance or mere insensitivity, if I added to the triggers at book group. I was glad you were there and am looking forward to reading and discussing more together.

    • Hi Katherine! I’m glad we connected online too! I don’t think anyone in particular made that gathering difficult, just my own need for managing thoughts & feelings in normal life. The journey keeps getting crazier and crazier. I guess in all senses of the word! 🙂

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