Triggers.... Do you ever overcome all of them? Are new ones always going to pop up? Will they always touch such a deep pain?
I had planned to go with some friends to Kentucky this weekend to help with clean-up from the horrible ice storms they had about a month ago. I found out last night my former roommate is going, so I'm not going anymore. We have a lot of mutual friends, so I see her a lot, but I avoid small group situations. I can't remember if I've written about my former roommate. Everything with her would be multiple other posts, and I may in the future, but for now I'll leave it at that she is very manipulative, self-absorbed, and incredibly triggering to parts inside. We were strong enough to recognize it was a bad situation and move out, but a lot of damage was still done - and I think to an extent I'm just now realizing how much.
So today I was struggling with being frustrated for backing out on a trip I wanted to go on b/c I was freaking out inside about this weekend. I knew a roadtrip in the same car with her would surely result in me being triggered and having a meltdown. At the same time I was feeling really guilty today about backing out of my commitment to help these people who need help.
Therapist and I talked about this in session today. I am amazed at how much I can still forget and in a relatively short period of time. Therapist reminded me how roommate was a huge trigger for Angel, and how serious things were right before I moved out. I remember that now, but I had forgotten. I've only lived in my new place for 2 months. How do I forget something that major so quickly? This realization allowed us to trace back what about former roommate's words and behaviors triggered past memories, and even though it doesn't make anything any easier, it at least helps with the guilt and makes it easier to just accept the feelings as they are and accept ourselves where we are. There's a reason for the feelings and fears again. They are no longer meaningless and an overreacting to a current situation.
Even though I'm feeling less anxious and less guilty, I'm still feeling depressed. I wonder if parts of my life are always going to be dictated by my past. Are there always going to be things I can't handle, can't do, overreact to? Can I ever be in the present without associating most situations to something in the past? When does being strong and able to stop a current negative situation have enough power to not trigger old, scared feelings? When does making positive steps in your present life start to take away the power of childhood experiences when you had no control? Will that ever happen? Or will I learn how to protect us now while always feeling vulnerable and scared inside?
I don't even feel safe with myself tonight. Nothing feels safe, but my mind knows we are very safe. What the mind knows doesn't matter right now though. I've got to find plans for this weekend. New roommate is out of town and good friends in town are going on the KY trip. Being alone all weekend is not a smart idea. Even if we are able to stay safe, I think we will mentally and emotionally struggle a lot if I don't find an external distraction that is also low stress.
Starting to feel little. Think I'm going to stop right here. Afraid my ability to make sense is about to leave.