I’m worried today. I had a huge trigger of my rape over the weekend, and I’ve been extraordinarily, explosively angry since. These are the things I think I’ve been bottling up, and it’s going to be a difficult workday if I can’t remain calm.
For anyone who doesn’t believe in triggers and PTSD that isn’t based on war, I hope you never have an experience that initiates you into empathizing with this reaction. But let me give you a story:
Once upon a time there was a baby born into this world with a congenital defect. She spent the first few years of her life constantly in hospitals, and the technicians who worked with her to keep her healthy and alive often wore yellow. Bright yellow.
Fast-forward a few years and put this little girl into the innocuous position of being read Curious George. The man in the yellow hat triggers her into her earliest, traumatic experiences in this world.
Triggers have the ability to send us right back into the experiences wherein our minds can’t differentiate what is real versus what happened to us, and we relive it. That little girl was a neighbor of mine. How many times in this life do you think she might come into contact with someone wearing yellow, or simply the color yellow itself? Who knows when or how often that could terrorize her.
May you never know, but may you try to understand.