Oh, the joy of growing up in a strict household. If one thing is an excellent breeding ground for developing triggers, it’s that. And I wasn’t physically abused. It was ‘merely’ mentally, with the ever-present danger of being yelled at or sent to my room.
Even today, I suffer the consequences. When I break a glass by accident, I break down, and my mood is spoiled for the rest of the day. I feel like crying, even if it’s only a simple Ikea glass worth less than a Euro. So today, at thirty-six years old, I have to leave with these mental scars.
It was only the day before yesterday when I was last triggered. A moth flew in our bedroom, and my husband asked me to get the fly swatter. Pretty standard request, right?
I hate this. I hate having to fetch something from another room, especially if I can’t find the item requested. My mother would often ask me to get something, and she would become agitated if I couldn’t find it. I could not find the fly swatter, not until the third room I searched. I heard my husband mutter and complain, I was taking too long. My hackles rose.
I brought him the item, he killed the moth, (which I don’t like, cause I feel sorry for the moth), and my husband asked me to empty the swatter in the toilet.
I hate this, and when I tapped the tool on the rim of the toilet, the dead body of the moth would not let go. So I hit harder. And harder. I continued to bash the bug squasher into the toilet pot until the item was all broken. The fly swatter, not the toilet pot.
My husband came into the bathroom with a faint smile on his face, asking if I was okay. Slightly out of breath and almost with tears in my eyes, I meekly explained the bug wouldn’t let go.
My husband grinned, took the battered fly swatter and walked off to repair it.
It was a simple enough request: Get the fly swatter, kill the bug, dispose of its corpse. Nothing to get upset about. And yet, simply because of my triggers, I went completely ballistic.
This was because, during these three steps, I felt like a useless six-year-old again. I was too dumb to find the item. I was too clumsy to clean it up. And, mind you, all of this was going on in my mind. My husband only grumbled because I was taking too long.
A Life with Triggers
This is what living with triggers is like. From a stray moth in the bedroom to a frantic (usually not aggressive at all) Liz banging a fly swatter into the toilet pot.
My husband is the dearest. He fixed the broken tool, and he gave me a long hug, after asking in a somewhat trepid voice: “What the hell just happened?”
Only afterward, I can analyze it and pinpoint the trigger points, and I sort of know while it happens, but I can’t do anything about it.
And so I go on. Still damaged, and a little wiser: a flying moth in the bedroom might break your toilet.
P.S.: No toilet pots were harmed in this scene.