April 16, 2013


It has been a while since my last post... about a month! Which means that I actually have a lot to say, but I'll probably split it into at least two posts so that I don't go way too long in this one. Long posts are boring and they hurt my brain! My excuse for not posting is that I got pretty distracted because I went on vacation. I'm so glad that I was able to relax and have fun during it too. I got to see one of my best friends, I got to be in Mexico where it was nice and warm, and I got to get a break from the stresses of life. 

Unfortunately I had a backlash of PTSD stuff when I got home. It was like I was able to hide it all away for the week that I was away and then it had to catch up on everything once I stopped forcing it away. So I ended up having this weird kind of reality check because when it all flooded in it felt like, "oh my god this stuff is really part of my life and it actually happened to me; not someone else." Because of that, I was already at a high anxiety level when I found out that someone I was good friends with in high school had experienced a sexual assault. I was so impressed with her strength because she came out publicly about her experience in an article that she wrote. Even though I hadn't talked to her in years, I was still really upset for her when I read it and it also triggered my own stuff. Embarrassingly, I ended up bursting into tears at work because I got so worked up and anxious about it. At first I didn't really know why I had been triggered so badly, but after thinking about it, I figured some of it out.

The obvious part is that I was feeling upset for her because I would never want anyone, let alone someone that I cared about, to go through anything like that. It made more sense to me that around the time that it happened she changed a lot and we pretty much stopped talking and that's such a sad reason for that to have happened. It may not have been the main reason we stopped talking, I don't know, but I'm guessing that it contributed to it.

It was also hard to read a description of a sexual assault. The basic facts of what happened to her made me think about some of the things that have happened to me and the aftereffects of those things.

Those two things by themselves are hard, but I think that the thing that made it REALLY triggering for me was that knowing the person I was reading about made it very real and therefore made what happened to me very real. When I accept what happened to her (because it's impossible not to), I have to accept what happened to me. Most of my defense mechanisms revolve around trying to make what happened go away. I avoid, pretend, repress, deny, I do whatever it takes to make it less real. Having a large dose of reality really sucked.

Despite being triggered, I am proud of how I handled it. Instead of retreating into myself, I talked about it with people. I ended up talking to the coworker who was sitting next to me when I burst into tears and who I trust enough to confide a little bit in. And then when I was still shaking like a leaf by the time I got home, I called the 'on call' at the clinic in order to get some help to calm down. Yay me!

And to end on an extra good note, here's a pretty picture of Tulum, Mexico: 

Tulum, Mexico


  1. Wow...looks beautiful!

    Well done for handling how you were triggered. You are healing, you are improving!!