Overcoming unexpected triggers

The thing about trauma is that there’s always going to be certain triggers associated with it.

Some will be obvious, like…fireworks are a certain kind of loud, and that might be triggering. Being alone in a room with a person you don’t know might be triggering. Being in a room with someone you do know might be triggering. Seeing pregnant people might be triggering. Hearing a certain word, smelling a certain smell…triggers happen constantly if you’ve lived a life of trauma.

For me, I can usually see them coming. I can usually predict when I will be in a situation that will be triggering for me, and plan accordingly.

For example, this entire next week!!! Tomorrow night I’m leaving to stay in a hotel near the airport so I can fly out EARLY Wednesday morning to Orlando. I will then spend the next 4 days with 13 other birth moms, 13 other strangers, on an all expenses paid, luxury trip to Disney World.

Amazing, wonderful, grateful and every single other positive word I can thing of? ABSOLUTELY.

But, triggering nonetheless? Yes. It will be a HEAVILY adoption themed environment, and while the goal is to love on birth moms and provide them (us) with support and community and connection and compassion….it’s everything beautiful and wonderful about humanity. But, adoption is perhaps my biggest trigger. And while I absolutely see it coming, I know I’ll need to be mindful to keep myself grounded.


However, the unexpected triggers seem to hit a certain different level of hard.

For example…

Okay. So on Friday morning, my husband woke up with ANOTHER migraine, and his blood pressure was like 190/103. So, off to the ER he went. It was actually pretty bad and scary.

But the problem with that was that we were supposed to close on the land that morning.

I still went. I went, and I signed the papers by myself. Something so huge and momentous and something that we should’ve done and celebrated together…I did alone.

We did go back together later that afternoon so he could sign them once he got out of the hospital…but still.

The last time I signed papers was when I was signing the paperwork relinquishing the rights to my son. Birth dad wasn’t there, so I did it on my own, and I went back with birth dad when he was able to sign.

So, yeah. Holy shit, was that shockingly unexpectedly triggering.

This might be one of those things that just, unless you know, you might not understand.

It took the celebratory nature out of what otherwise should’ve been a really exciting day.

I haven’t talked about it with anyone, I didn’t tell my husband how I was feeling or anyone else.

It sucked. I was brought back to an incredibly dark place and it just…it hurt.

Tonight I have therapy, my last one before I go away for a few weeks. We’ll have a lot to talk about and a lot to go over, but I’m sure this will come up too.

That’s the thing about triggers. They just…they pop up. And sometimes it’s just really unexpected, and it hits you where it hurts the worst.

4 thoughts on “Overcoming unexpected triggers”

  1. Girl, there must be something in the air. I figured out what triggered my recent funk, and it was equally as unexpected.

    Still, congrats on the land! And enjoy the trip! ❤️

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