A trigger that can still catch me out

A trigger that can still catch me out, is when I am accused of something I have not done, that is of a serious nature. I can quickly show my anger as the response I feel brewing inside of me is so strong. This is because of when I was a child, I was once accused by a close family member of taking money from a particular place that she had. Looking back on my very earlier blog posts where I talked about my childhood, I thought I had raised this there, but I don’t seemed to have. I can see why I chosen not to do it, to protect the person. I still am, hence using the word ‘close family member.’ But that person, knows how to this day that accusation has affected me. Who ever I shop for, it doesn’t matter, I will still always come back with a receipt. It’s my protection.

Now recently, another same situation cropped up at work. (Not to do with money, but instead a key.) It wasn’t aimed directly at me, just the department I work for which I will call A. The people throwing this accusation were where I get the key from, which I will call B. It was B’s fault, because from the week before when it was signed back in, at some point it went missing and they did not have anything to show in their book who had it. No one in A had it at the start of the week and it is not needed by us at the weekend. But no, like before, B like to blame A.

Now although I know it was not aimed directly at me, my response and how I felt inside was the same as it would have been, had I been accused. Like they did when this happened before. They decided it was someones fault I found later, from our department, but that person never had that key, because he wasn’t given that one and this person has the proof. But because I knew they were throwing the same trick as they did to me, it got me angry and pent-up. I let my department know what was going off and they were not happy to hear of this happening. (I hope they have done something about it.)
From telling them, I thought that as well as letting them know what was going on, that also it would undo all the pent-up anger I had inside me. Did it heck.

When I was home I focused on my cat, did mindfulness drinking of my tea and lit a scented candle, which after doing this, I was 90% better. I then decided to go to bed early, to switch off, but when I got up the next morning, my body was telling me about it from how I was the day before; painful joints, feeling tired and a little tense.
I went out to focus on my studies and I drank my latte mindfully. Eventually, I was mindfully better, but I still had to contend with my pains and tiredness for the rest of the day.

I know, through the help of my counselling I had that time, that I am now aware that these feelings I have when I hear of accusations like this, whether directly at me, or at A, are the same emotions I felt from my childhood. This, along with the injustice of it all.
My response has reminded me, that there are still times when I have some work to do, to try to ease these emotions less.
I have to remind myself that whether against me, or others in A, that for my own health, I have to try and keep this stress minimal as I can. By doing so, I won’t have the side effects afterwards in my body, where I am tired and having joint pain. But this is going to be hard, I know.

If you can relate and you have tips to share, that are different from what I am practising, then please share.

Book review: “Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors – Emotional Resource Guide,” by Carolyn Spring.

This book brings a number of articles and concepts that are designed to help people learn how to take back control over their traumatised emotional and bodily states. This is through understanding concepts such as the back brain and the front brain, the window of tolerance and the trauma traffic light.

Contents of this book:

  • Introduction
  • Coping with crisis
  • Emergency box
  • Managing triggers
  • Body sensations
  • Managing flashbacks
  • The trauma traffic light
  • The window of tolerance
  • Emergency cards
  • Alphabet of emotions
  • Safety kit: Emotional thermometer
  • Mental Health Act 1983

This 57 page guide-book, I bought from Amazon and it is for those who experience frequent states of debilitating, even life-threatening distress and is also a resource for those who work with this client group.

The book advises on its contents page to take care when reading, as some content may be triggering.

I like how this book explained the ‘back brain’ and the ‘front brain’ and, how and why we respond the way we do. Even more so, due to our past trauma we may have experienced.
I also was reminded by reading this book, that how I react to my triggers is not my fault and to not give myself self-hate because of it, as this does help either.

When being triggered, it gives tips on how I could get my front brain to switch back online, after a trigger.

About the author

Carolyn Spring is an author as well as being Director of PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) and its charity framework START (Survivors Trauma and Abuse Recovery Trust). PODS works to make recovery from dissociative disorders a reality through training, informing and supporting.
Carolyn Spring is also Editor of ‘Multiple Parts,’ a magazine/journal produced three times a year for PODS and also spends a large proportion of her time training at PODS’ many events throughout the UK.
She developed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as a result of prolonged and extreme childhood abuse, but believes passionately in recovery and the dignity and respect that is due to all human beings, but especially those who have been abused as children.

Unseen

(Content warning: childhood trauma, bullying, abuse and rape.)

Behind closed doors, it was unseen to the extent what was happening in my childhood. How it all affected me and how it affected my mum.

People knew what my dad was, like they thought. But they did not know exactly what he was like.
Until the last few months recently, while chatting about it with family members, they also did not know what he was fully like as they thought.

“If I’ll have known,” they said.

What would they have done?

At school I am bullied for my hair colour, for being quiet, and for what I wear. I chose a school where uniform was a must, to be like everyone else I thought. Yet, I was still made to feel different.

They bullied me verbally. If I wasn’t getting some line of verbal abuse already at home from dad at times, or witnessing some verbal abuse of some kind.

Those bullies feeling great in what they are doing, knocking down my self-esteem, but because of the unseen.
Hey, I already had no self-esteem!

Years down the line, I get married.
It should have been bliss.
But no, I found I was at hands of verbal abuse again and one time of rape.
The difference with me at that point, I wasn’t going to stay and put up with it. I already gave two chances when it came to respect, but it would start again after two weeks of bliss.
I left after the rape, which was the first and last time that was going to happen to me.
But again, this is the unseen. No one see’s what is going on what should be a happy marriage.
After a few months of chatting living back with my mum, I talked about the full extent of that relationship I was in and I realised that had I stayed in this relationship, it would have been the same as my mum was with dad.

Damage from that relationship affects me today. But not as it did.

Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. If someone experiences this and does not share with you, you will not know the unseen, because you are not there.

This post created after seeing the Daily Prompt: Unseen

My very personal posts of 2016, that started off this blog.

If it wasn’t for offloading and using this blog as part of my therapy to accept what happened to me, then I probably would not have started this blog. Writing this blog has helped me to move forward and some things that were really troubling me, to let go of the guilt that I should not have had to start with.
Most of these following posts all have a trigger warning of some kind, stated at the beginning of the post.

Embracing my inner child

Reading ‘Heart Thoughts, A Treasury of Inner Wisdom,’ by Louise L. Hay, I came across this quote that made me pause and reflect.

“Each one of us is always working with the three-year old child within us. Most of us, unfortunately, spend our time yelling at that child and then wondering why our lives don’t work.”

As well as this quote that made me pause, it was also some further writing on the opposite page, that goes onto taking care of your inner child.

It made me pause and reflect because through from my child years to early adult life, everything I felt, felt like it was that inner child in me. As an adult, the way I am in with regards to my low self-esteem, low confidence and generally the way I felt, felt like that inner child. The child that was not allowed to grow.
Those that are new to my blog, if they read my blog posts from the beginning, will understand afterwards, that the difficulties I had in my childhood, through to adult life, is it it any wonder. But now as you know, if you have followed most of my posts, I am getting there and I am in a much better place now than I have ever been.
But seeing this quote and reading further on the opposite page, it reminded me to make sure I continue to look after my inner child. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies and easily put ourselves down, which is something I did a lot of, but for sometime now, I  have got better with this.

Look after your inner child.
Look after yourself.

Links:

Learning more about myself

As you know from my blog posts so far, I have talked about my difficult childhood, that affected how I was today.
Counselling I had before Christmas and for a short time in the New Year has really brought me a long way, than any other counselling I have had before. This was because they got me to delve more into my childhood, when I started talking about it, by asking questions. Some questions I had to really think about, before I could answer.
The tools the counsellors gave me, along with my own self-learning along the way, I have felt calmer than I have ever been.

You will know in past posts that I have shadowed physiotherapists and this year a healthcare assistant, as I decide my new career path.

I plan next to have experience in the mental health, to see if this could be a route I’d like to take.
I found out recently though, that I would not be able to shadow healthcare assistants, because of confidentiality, etc… (I did expect this, so it came to no surprise.) But they were able to give me further details and they forwarded on my details with my permission to the appropriate person for volunteering in mental health. I see this person in just over a couple of weeks time, to discuss volunteering opportunities.

Thought about this career for some time, but …

I have thought about this role for some time, especially the past year, but I always kept putting it off, because of a fear inside me. But the past month, I have felt more strongly about it, especially after how well I did my first piece of course work I’m doing.

I put this off because of my childhood past; the emotions I felt with my Mum at that time. I wondered if I would get unexpected flashbacks and if so, how would I react, especially if things came back that I’d forgotten.
Also, remembering the stuff my Mum used to talk about. As a child, I could not get my head around it, along with other things going on and so I did not cope very well. I would block it out and be in my own world, so I could block the pain I was feeling. I had no one to talk to as a child, regarding this, other than when I opened up to Dad.

I knew that if I decided that this role was right for me, then I needed to return to this part of my childhood, so I could face it and talk about it with my Mum, if she was happy to do that. But not to discuss how it affected me, but to listen to her experience and anything else. That way, I felt if I could get past this, then I felt I would get past anything.

Facing my childhood past

Recently, but not planned, I got to listen to that kind of talk I could not handle before. The conversation started off after I was mentioning to my Mum about volunteering in mental health. The conversation seemed to naturally go from there. My Mum talked and I just listened and I surprised myself. All the fears I had before, that I was concerned about was not there. All the stuff that started coming out that I could not cope as a youngster through to my early 20’s, I found I did not bat an eyelid and I did not feel the pain I had as a child.  I did not feel uncomfortable. I learnt something new about myself, finding I now can cope with this.
My Mum was happy to carry on speaking about this and I encouraged her to talk more about it.

Passion

From the moment I started my mental health course, I knew the passion was there. When I received results of my first piece, finding I had done better than I thought, I felt even more passion and this possible job route seemed right for me.

Now I have my childhood past and learnt that everything is ok after all, I feel more reassured that when it comes to volunteering in this area, I know I will be ok and to enjoy the new experience of learning I will get from it.