We all have that one person that just yanks our chains. It can be a co-worker, the friend of a friend, a family member or that person we see at the bus stop every morning.
As soon as that person says or does something, we are internally going ballistic. We feel as if our stomach is twisted in knots and is being pulled tighter and tighter. Our mind is screaming at us to put that person in their place, to defend ….. WHAT? …… What do we need to defend? What is it, that really bothers us in that very moment? We can’t figure it out …. and to make matters worse, we may begin to believe that we are actually that horrible person who accuses others of malicious intent against us or the ones we love. But why?
That’s the thing. We know we are being triggered. That person is behaving in an unacceptable manner, but we can not say why they offended us so much.
The answer is: TRAUMA. At some point in our past, someone traumatized us in a way that made us feel exactly the way that person, who yanks our chain, makes us feel. Only this time, we recognize this behavior and we don’t tolerate it any longer. We are older and stronger and we defend our inner child, the one that got hurt so long ago, from this ever happening again.
As a child, we suppressed these emotions, but that never goes over well for long. At some point, these emotions will be triggered and then they come back with a vengeance. Only this time they are amplified, because we recognize the injustice that has been done against us in our youth and defend ourselves against the attacker. Yet, the person who triggers us most likely cannot fathom what they had done to so greatly offend us.
Most people believe that trauma is something huge like rape or an almost fatal car accident or other life altering situations. But trauma can also be something small. It can be from having a toy taken away due to perceived bad behavior, or someone told us to be quiet in a very rude and demeaning way. It could have been a kindergarten peer who treated us badly and hurt our feelings. Every person reacts differently and so every person may be traumatized by different little things. Yet, those little things generally begin to add up with every new situation that made us feel like the very first one.
Each time we are being traumatized, a core value of ours has been betrayed. And it is this core value that we are protecting fiercely, because without our core values, we have nothing. Our core values are the foundation of who we are, what we believe in and how we live our lives.
Core values are being shaped by our upbringing, by our believes and experiences. My core values are respect, justice and integrity. Thinking about my past trauma of sexual assault and rape, where I, as a person have been greatly violate and disrespected, the core value of respect makes a lot of sense. The same is true for justice. The people who attacked me were never brought to justice – hence my core value of justice. These values became a part of me because of the disrespect I experienced.
But every person has different core values. And when these are disrespected, we get triggered.
So what can we do to release the trigger? We have to work through our actual trauma. Once we transform and release the root cause, the very first time we were traumatized in the manner that triggers us, we wont be triggered any longer because that little child that was hurt and could not defend itself, is no longer hurting.
T.I.R. (Traumatic Incident Reduction) is a wonderful approach to release the trauma linked to the triggers we experience over and over again. Through T.I.R. we can detach the emotion linked with the trauma.
The trauma itself is not what keeps on triggering us, it is the emotion that we felt in that moment. The trauma is just a part of our life story. What sets it apart from other insignificant moments of our lives is that someone or something made us feel horrible, or disrespected one of our core values.
Let me know if you would like to know more about the process, or book your Discovery Call, where we can explore your trauma and the best way for you to transform and release it.