It is amazing how triggers can just pop up unexpectedly? So, as I’ve said previously, if I see or notice a trigger I’m gonna write about it. Not only to share the particular trigger I noticed, but also to help move past it and not allow it to affect me as much as it did the last time, hopefully not all. Also, if the reader recognises a trigger, they to can learn to process and move forward from it without the horrible repercussions it has on your lives.
Today my trigger was quite bizarre, it very much took me by surprise. The whole idea of it became so apparent and obvious I was shocked in myself for not seeing it before. Maybe it’s because I’m out of practice? You see in two days time I will have endured a whole year to myself without my husband. Such a massive accomplishment in itself, it’s had it’s ups and downs but I will admit the ups are now alot more prominent.
In the days of being confined to a life full of, what I now understand is, domestic violence, my life was always on edge. I was constantly waiting for the next argument or waiting for the next abusive explosion. Both of these I actively avoided at all costs, but that was so tiring and no matter what I did, I always seemed to be at fault. In order to calm my anxiety and depression I had to be on guard to prevent incidents or arguments occurring. It didn’t matter, I see that now, no matter what I did, I was in the wrong, always (through his eyes anyway). All of this meaningless effort lead to my eventual and inevitably nervous breakdown.
So, the trigger I had/saw was from my, now, ex. He had asked me for something and I had said no. Clearly unhappy with my answer he (a few days later) then actively involved our young son to ask the same question but from him, not from his dad (little did he know he was on speaker phone, and I’ve always made him aware of this, and I could hear every word he was saying). I asked my son what he wanted to do and he apologetically said he wanted what his dad wanted. I agreed to it and said if that’s what you want it’s OK.
It truly wasn’t … this manipulative tactic was used against my already made up decision and, now, my ex was ‘getting his way’ again. I had made plans and I needed to cancel them, which is fine … annoying, but fine. My little man was rattled with guilt cause he had forgotten the plans, and I once again was making excuses and covering up for my ex, like always. I really don’t want my boy to feel guilty about wanting to spend time with his father.
As White Ribbon Day (national recognition of domestic violence victims) approaches so to does the day of my anniversaries. Yes that wasn’t a typo, I have two anniversaries that fall on the same day; my, now, 16th wedding anniversary and my one year separation (escaping) anniversary and, believe it or not, both of the anniversaries fall on White Ribbon Day. I will add that none of this was done on purpose.
I didn’t realize, given my massive stress levels in escaping from my abusive marriage, that I’d left husband on our 15yr wedding anniversary. I only realised this the following week when my mother pointed it out. I didn’t realize until I saw a great big white ribbon around my sons school promoting awareness about White Ribbon Day that it even existed. The 23rd of November, I think, will, now, always be an extremely significant day in my calendar. Mainly because on White Ribbon Day in 2017 I escaped from a 15yr long abusive relationship and I’m eternally grateful.
This trigger of manipulation and ‘getting his way’ are now so far out of my main focus that I’m no longer needing to be on guard all the time. I am aware that it is still going to happen and by being triggered today I got a little reminder that, even though I’ve left that toxic environment, I need to be ready to not allow him to manipulate my son or me any longer.
I would truly love anyone who reads this to like, comment, share … awareness of White Ribbon Day is so important to all those out there, still in a situation, like I was, and unable to escape. Also, for people like me now, I’m out of that toxic environment but still live with the horror of it everyday (as you would have read in previous posts and undoubtedly future ones). Abusive people isolate you, they make you feel unimportant, worthless and essentially stupid, they make you honestly believe that no one cares about you but them, and, in my case, that life simply wasn’t worth living.
Talk to your neighbors, check up on them. Call your family member you haven’t heard from in ages. Go and have coffee with that annoying, flakey friend who just doesn’t seem themselves or has changed. Everything happens for a reason and everyone on earth has a purpose.