Today was a day to switch off my brain for a bit.
He came to get his stuff today, so I got out of the house while it happened.
I expected to be sad when I got home and saw the empty spaces, but I’m surprised that I feel ok. If I don’t think about what it means, then the emotions don’t get a chance to take hold and suffocate me.
Part of me worries that I’m bottling it all up, and it will come spewing out at some point in the future; but that is probably just the monster in me wheedling to get free.
Thank you to Thunder for your advice in the comments. You’re right about learning my triggers. It’s been so helpful to recognise them when they occur, and to be able to predict my behaviour. Sometimes I can head it off before I lose control, sometimes it gets away from me. But at least now I can calm myself quicker than before, and before I really fuck things up. This new skill is only just budding in me and still needs a lot of nurturing.
The other important thing I’ve realised about triggers is that they are not always real. I need to stop, and think, and determine whether or not it is real. It might not be easy to do, because if pressed, the person doing the so-called triggering may deny it, or feel attacked.
But in the moment that you stop to check, the emotional side has already been diverted, and the logical mind engaged.
So the sequence could be:
-stop, engage logical mind (through mindfulness)
-check if it really happened
-if no, move on
-if yes, ask yourself ‘does it really matter?’
-if no, move on
-if yes, ask yourself why
Hopefully by this point I will be calm enough to discuss the problem rationally.
It may also be important to realise that just because an event has triggered an emotional response, it is not a reason to let people walk all over you. In some cases, an emotional response may be justified; but always try to let the logical mind do the steering.
I can only try.