Trigger Thoughts

I don’t like using the word trigger. Maybe I don’t like it because I don’t tend to like having conversations with people who use it. There’s a preciousness that is usually associated with it that I have an aversion to. I can sure as hell be sensitive. At my lows, I can be delicate but there’s nothing precious about any of the traumas I went through nor should there be. I’ve always felt like it was like an entitlement for what one’s been through and unfortunate or not, the world owes you nothing for it. There’s nothing precious about triggers. 

But trigger is the right word to use for some of the shit I’ve been feeling and experiencing lately. I’m all about brevity and the definition fits. I mean, in a way, I could use the word “activate” but that shit sounds science-y and to me, too robotic. I’m low on the emotional capacity but I still have feelings. I still understand feelings. 

I also have integrity, which is something I’ve turned my back on in the past, just to be loved, or liked, or accepted. I’d bury my own judgment and feelings, especially when I got myself in too far of a situation. In the past, it felt like well, I already made the choice, I can’t go back now. Even when turning my back gave me anxiety and occasionally, nightmares. This is something I can barely talk to anyone about. Maybe it’s because I’ve only recently realized my body remembers better than my mind even if the situation that set it off isn’t the same. I recognize when I’ve felt this way. I’m only getting better at it. 

Right now I’m accepting I can’t be in situations that bring me back to a dark place that I haven’t learned to cope with. It’s shit that I protected the trigger because no one told me the truth. It’s not my responsibility to find out for myself because why would I? If what I got painted was a false accusation. I feel a bit self-righteous about how bothered I am. I also feel guilty about how I actually dealt with the situation but I’d rather protect myself than to protect someone else’s entitlement. 

Obviously I need to find a way to cope because the real world isn’t going to cater to my traumatic feelings and the triggers that be. I need to learn the difference between what’s appropriate to handle and what is not. There’s a level of assertiveness that I need to teach myself. At least this time, even if it’s shit, I knew to protect myself over the unnecessary. Self-protection is not something I’m familiar with but it’s something I’m learning.

Triggers are going to be hard to avoid and I’m gonna hate myself for how sensitive I can be to them but it’s better than building on the damage I’m trying to repair. It’ll be a maze of obstacles but you know, if this life is meant to be lived long, and I believe in myself as I should… I can come out of this on top. Right now, I’m not so sure but let’s give it a bit of time. 

Where Do I Go From Here?

There’s a developing level of vulnerability that I’m starting to accept. It hasn’t really been easy to navigate but it also feels absolutely necessary.

I’m beginning to recognize that when I start getting uncomfortable from my social anxiety, instead of trying to connect, I end up embarrassing myself. I haven’t quite decided if it’s something I can work on or it’s just a part that’s me. I guess it’ll come down to the ability to be able to separate myself from it. My anxiety sometimes causes me to shut down instead of show up because I become somewhat paralyzed about what move I should be making and then I don’t end up doing anything. There used to be days, even weeks, where I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) leave my home and the longer that went on, the more I convinced myself that once I stepped out into the world, everyone would know. I would deflect my anxiety by pretending to myself, “Haha, I’m okay. Things are okay. Nothing is wrong. Don’t let people see your weakness. Haha, it’s okay. I’m fine. I just want people to think I’m cool and it’s not cool to be anxious. Knock it off, Fish.

It was exhausting.

It’s more manageable these days but fuck, I’m still intimidated when I get socially anxious. Like, it can feel sure people can sniff the anxiety out of me and be like, k, you loser and I’d be like, yeah you’re right. People don’t really respect you much when this shit is apparent as well. There have been times I would feel so uncomfortable wondering if people could sense how hard I was trying to just be social. I felt like I was being a phony not being able to do it so … easily? I just wanted to be accepted but my anxiety shield kept me on edge a lot. It still does sometimes. I get in my own head about whether or not people wanted to be my friend when I wanted them to be mine.

I’ve always kind of felt like, I was friendly enough for people to chat with, maybe, but not enough to like, establish a friendship with. I’ve also had to come to terms with my efforts as well. I have a hard time understanding how to call someone to just hang out or plan an outing with my friends. I haven’t practice that sort of thing enough because I start getting anxious about the rejection of trying. I haven’t learned to surf the waves of it yet but I’m hoping to get the hang of it. Right now, I think I’m still crashing down.

Truth is, I’ve always wanted to be seen as a person but then I ask myself is this allowed? Also, when you’ve spent most of your life mostly hiding from people while desperately wanting to be cool, you’re just mostly invisible. When you mostly just make an impression of embarrassment (which I’m really good at), it doesn’t make you come off as someone people want to know. At least that’s what I end up telling myself when I’m alone and reflect with cringes.

So where do I go from here?

I don’t really have an answer. But I think the answer lies in just keeping on. Keep writing out these anxieties so that maybe I’ll be able to own them so they own me less. Maybe I’ll stop worrying about how much of a loser I might be coming off as. That’s how I feel when I write about this shit. Maybe eventually that feeling will stop. Since I’ve been putting my shit out there more honestly, I feel less shackled even though the feelings still come. They don’t come as strongly.

And that’s probably a good thing.