Dealing with reminders of abuse....

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Dealing with reminders of abuse....
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 5:54pm
I was just wondering if any one else has this problem: It seems that no matter how hard I try to avoid stuff that reminds me of what happened to me, I still get exposed to things that "set me off". It seems that I can't even go to the movies, watch tv, read a newspaper and I come across stuff that triggers me. I dutifully attempt to avoid subject matter that I think may contain offensive stuff, but often I get caught by surprise. Then I have to deal with the feelings that come up. It is really frustrating to have to try and step around these "land mines" that for other people would barley raise an eyebrow. Worse yet, it is stuff that is usually the subject of crude jokes and seuxal humor that to me is anything but funny. other people are cracking up and I am feeling awful. Even if it is not intended for laughs but serious I still have a reaction to it.

I have even had situations where I have almost walked off the job because of a supervisor wanting to listen to radio shows that have stuff that triggers me. Does this happen to anyone else? If so, how do you handle it?


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2003
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 9:56am

I have been posting for a short time at the Depression Support forum and as this area applies to me, I thought I would look around. My triggers aren't quite so frequent but they are there all the same. I have gone thru long counseling sessions regarding the abuse and the triggers that remain. I can tell you I am still offended by most of the crude sex jokes that seem to float around my work. I am still triggered by shows that depict children being abused or children in danger (or even small animals). I am still triggered when I have to drive the part of my city that I lived in when I was a child. But I am getting better. My counselor worked with me on cognitive recognition of my triggers. This allows you to step back, even for a second, and evaluate your reaction. I find most of the time when triggered, it pulls me back to my childhood reactions. Then I can either validate how I feel or realize that this is the way I used to respond. It has been very helpful for me.

Good luck