I was triggered – and survived (even though my pants no longer fit)

 

I was triggered last week.

Lasted a solid 24-hours.

And because sometimes I like to eat my feelings rather than feel them, I had a 24-hour binge fest on foods I don’t normally eat.

Which led to irrational thinking, poor decision-making and pants that didn’t do up.

What caused my lapse into the horrible place I like to call ‘Planet Triggerdom’?

(Triggerdom is the world that only exists when you’ve been triggered  – cause when you’ve been triggered, you aren’t sane or rational and it’s as if you are living on a different planet.  Planet Triggerdom.)

Judgment.

I have pretty good boundaries in place to ensure I’m not easily triggered into Planet Triggerdom by the high conflict person in my life.  I’ve worked long and hard to figure out exactly what I need to do and say so I don’t get triggered into that insane place.

But then I was judged by someone I wasn’t expecting to be judged by.

And WHAM, it hit me like a slap in the face.

I wasn’t being judged for something trivial like what outfit I was wearing, or what I chose to feed my kids.  I wasn’t even being judged what kind of parent I was (Which I easily could have been this week, my kids were a mess.  Was there a full moon?)

No, I was judged for a blog post I wrote.  A blog post that revealed a little more of me than I usually like to share.

I allowed myself to be vulnerable and someone judged me.

And IT CRUSHED ME.

I was filled with self-doubt, angered by their lack of support, scared that they might be right – maybe I did reveal too much? And I spiraled into horrible, insane place called Planet Triggerdom.

Someone judged me and I felt defensive, I wanted to lash back at them, defend my actions, defend my story, defend my need to be kind to myself even if it meant not being nice to others.  (Nice = making other’s feel good even if it’s at your own expense).

Thank heavens I’ve had some experience in Planet Triggerdom.

Even though I was choosing to eat my feelings, my thinking was cloudy and I was spiraling into a defensive angry and anxious vortex – there was some tiny piece of me that had the wherewithal not to react with a nasty defensive email.

Because 24 hours later, while shaking off a food coma, I had clarity on the judgment I had received.

  • Something I wrote made the person who judged me feel threatened.  Their judging me had nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.  It’s almost impossible to remember that powerful little fact when we’re in Planet Triggerdom – so write it down somewhere so you can see it, regularly.

“Judgment has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the person making the judgment.”  IGNORE THEM.

  • I had changed the steps to the dance that a reader was used to dancing with me, she wanted me to dance my old dance, so she did what she could to get back the familiar Andrea.

“Judgment is about keeping people inside the safe bubble they’ve become familiar with.”  POP THE BUBBLE.

  • I chose to eat myself out of house and home; I chose my spiral into Planet Triggerdom.  I was triggered, and chose my reaction.  I wasn’t expecting judgment from the source that it come from, so my boundaries hadn’t protected me from their words and criticisms.  But at the end of the day, their words and criticisms only hurt me because I let them.

“Judgment, regardless of the source, only triggers us if we let it.”  DON’T LET IT.

  • Judgment forces us into a really dark area of our brains.  It makes us

question ourselves, our choices and our decisions.  Judgment pushes us into Planet Triggerdom when we least expect it.  And Planet Triggerdom is an insane and lonely place.  Judgment and Planet Triggerdom happens to everyone, even those with refined boundaries and conflict protection skills – so don’t beat yourself up when it happens to you.  Roll with Planet Triggerdom for 24-hours.  Eat what you need to eat, spiral as far as you need to spiral – just don’t REACT.  Reacting will only trigger more judgment and trigger you further into Planet Triggerdom – and the further you go, the harder it is to get out.

“Judgment makes us mean to ourselves in our heads, but that only pushes us further into Planet Triggerdom.  Be nicer to yourself in your head and your spiral into Planet Triggerdom won’t last as long.”

Being judged sucks.  Delving into Planet Triggerdom sucks worse.  Learn to trust yourself, your skills and your coping mechanisms to know that the feeling will pass.  And when the feeling passes, you will thank yourself for not reacting.