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wundayatta's avatar

Do you have any emotional triggers that you know of?

Asked by wundayatta (58357 points ) February 14th, 2013

At group last night I was telling folks about my struggles with Quicken, trying to get my accounts to match up right. I realized that the problem I was working with had started when the bank changed things just before I got sick. Then, when I had to reconcile the problem, I couldn’t face it, because I was not in mental shape to handle it.

I’m usually pretty organized. I have files for everything, and I can lay my hands on anything pretty quickly. You can ask me any question about my financial life, and I can answer it instantly. But for five years, that all went away. My desks at home and work piled up with papers that were left unfiled for years. I couldn’t do my taxes without my wife standing there at my side the whole time. She didn’t have to do anything. I just couldn’t look at the computer screen or any of the papers alone. Couldn’t do it.

So finally, I was fixing the mess. Five years later, I was together enough to do that, and all of a sudden I was very emotional, because I realized this mess was caused by me getting sick. That is what happened five years ago. I was in bad shape.

So another person in the group said this was a trigger point for me. This issue triggered all these memories and feelings. And that’s why I’ve been obsessing about fixing the accounts for the last couple of weeks. I’m cleaning up my old, old messes.

It’s pretty wierd.

Do you have and trigger points?

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15 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Yeah, you know, patriarchy and sexual abuse.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Homophobia, anniversaries of disturbing events, highly traumatic news stories, driving in parking lots, observing someone abuse alcohol or drugs, isolation, certain financial issues, and most forms of stress are all triggers for me. They all have the potential to set off an emotional slide in me that is most unpleasant.

Fortunately, I’m not a slave to these triggers today. They affect me. I can’t escape them or the emotions they start, but I can choose what I’m going to do with the situation or events. My behavior in light of these events is up to me.

Unbroken's avatar

Church, certain people connected to it.

Paperwork.

Messy houses.

There are so many things that trigger me. But when I realize them I have the opportunity to move forward. Some times I get caught unawares. Or old stumbling blocks trip me up.

Sometimes it feels like I am going back instead of forward. And I haven’t made as much progress as I should. But I look back and see how far I have come.

It gives me a small measure of hope, satisfaction and peace.

rojo's avatar

Intolerance Goddamit, and I am not going to put up with it!

rooeytoo's avatar

Drunks and drunken behaviour.

BBawlight's avatar

What triggers me the most are my parents. Mainly my dad.
He holds himself in a manner that reminds me of a dictator. Have you ever seen a picture of Adolf Hitler or Santa Anna? They are two completely different people, but they both create an oppressive feeling of foreboding, even if they are dead.
Whenever I see him get that look in his eye or his body language expresses any discontent, it reminds me of a Nazi General, who typically acts all high and mighty because of his black uniform.
It triggers certain emotions that I loathe and an image of a dictator appears in my mind when he does it. I tend to get extremely angry at this, but try my best not to show it.

Shippy's avatar

Stressful events, however I determine those to be. They are personal to me and varied. Financial worries being one.

downtide's avatar

Dealing with my parents, and thinking about my school years.

mattbrowne's avatar

Threats to my status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness to other people and fairness. David Rocks created the acronym SCARF for these fundamental emotional triggers.

Pachy's avatar

The mention of guns. The House of Representatives. Terrorism. My ex. These are some of the things that get me riled.

My cat. Music. Movies. Close friends’ voices. The thought of getting under the covers on a cold night. A dawn, sunset or moonrise. The coming of Autumn. A lobster dinner. These are a few smile-invoking triggers.

christine215's avatar

Frying smelts on Christmas Eve… every time I can hear my grandmother’s voice telling me to let them get “nice an’ brown’ and I tear up and get all emotional.
Christmas Eve used to be a nice family affair at the grandparents home, once my Grandmother passed away, it’s turned into a drinking night which I decided to not participate, so I have my own at my home…makes me yearn for the old days

KNOWITALL's avatar

When my mom gets upset (has bi-polar) I immediately turn back into a scared child and try to make her happy again. Now I have tools to help with that, but before I had those tools it was very frightening feeling utterly helpless.

Financial issues, like when my car was messed up and my husband wasn’t working, when I feel all the responsiblity is on me, shoots me back to my poor childhood, and I get scared and stressed.

Also being around a lot of people drinking alchohol. At the first sign of trouble or ruckus of any kind, I immediately go into a self-defense mode and get frightened. If there’s no trouble, I’m good.

I can generally talk myself down now as an adult, but in these situations I literally get brain-freeze for a little bit.

syz's avatar

I have recognized that I have unresolved abandonment issues having to do with my biological father. They affect my romantic relationships.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@syz Me, too, but the older I get the more I learn that my bio-dad is just an a$$hat, so I finally quit putting his failures on other people in my life. I have trust issues, abandonment issues and self-esteem issues that I’m always conscious of so I don’t slip back into old habits. Be good to yourself and know a LOT of us are right there with you.

fremen_warrior's avatar

The main theme from an old Polish movie – a hiliarious comedy about a soldier who thinks he started the second world war (more or less) – for some reason the movie reminds me of my grandfather; maybe it’s the protagonist’s mannerisms, way of speaking, I do not know.

Anyway, here’s the score from the movie “Jak rozpetalem II wojne swiatowa” (“How I started the second world war”)

It’s strange but the song always brings a tear to my eye and a smile to my face :-)

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