How does a trigger feel to you - physically?

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by alphazingersalsa, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. alphazingersalsa

    alphazingersalsa Fapstronaut

    I didn’t know the word for it until I learned about betrayal trauma. For me the physical symptoms are as follows:

    - brief tightness in my chest
    - this weird sensation in my chest - like my flesh being rubbed against a cheese grater then poured with salt. It stings.
    - when it first hits, it’s cold air
    - my head begins to feel “empty” like filled with air?
  2. Liina

    Liina Fapstronaut

    I get a burning feeling on my neck and back of my head. My cheeks feel hot too. Then my heart starts bouncing hard, like it's jumping out of my chest. And also thightness and pressure in my chest.

    My brain gets foggy. Like it's a panic attack, sometimes I need to run out and sometimes I freeze, not knowing what to do. I'm not able to think at all.

    Sometimes it escalates until I turn into something that is not me. For example I start raging and I used to be calm person and not yell and scream. Still the brain fog and I can't think clear. I realize that I'm not present as me.
  3. I relate to both of the above descriptions describing what a trigger feels like physically. My heart starts pounding, and I feel like I'm going to crawl out of my skin. I too, start to flood with thoughts and emotions that can escalate into turning into this angry on edge person. I usually go into fight mode, but lately I feel more like I just want to run out of the room. Sometimes I feel like I lose blood flow and get the shakes. Triggers can turn into full blown adrenaline, and I think a sort of on edge/irritable state (like pulsating tight energy coming from my core). It can last over periods of time, followed by exhaustion once there is a measure of safety and resolve. Varies. I have recognized a few patterns to my triggers and have actually named them/put them into categories. Things like: Big Bomb trigger (behaviors and a actions that scream danger), pregnant lady trigger (triggers feelings of unbearable loss/grief) and dinner trigger (named after a fight, but basically things happening in the present that are reminding me of the past but not in the category of big bomb). Triggers suck! I used to describe myself as very gentle and patient, but when triggered I am so short fused. Hard to slow down.

    What helps others in managing triggers?????
    Grounding techniques and just knowing and recognizing what's happening usually helps. Kind of entered into a new phase, and just started seeing a therapist that specializes in grief, anxiety and trauma. She wants to do EMDR with me. I hope it helps with healing.

    I called a friend when really triggered, and she has a workbook on panic attacks. The symptoms sound so similar.
    Been trying so hard to understand what is happening, and joke/seriously think I'm going to order a cute stuffed animal like brain that I can pet and say things like, "My brain is trying to protect me. It is not my enemy. Good brain. Now, please put your sharp quills down so I can do what I need to do...." Sounds crazy, feels crazy.
    Liina and Lostneverland like this.
  4. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

    Good’s ok...thank you for that.
  5. Amanda011

    Amanda011 Fapstronaut

    New to this. What do you guys mean by triggers?
  6. bms1985

    bms1985 Fapstronaut

    For me, triggers are things that create an uncontrollable thought chain, usually a strange feeling in my stomach, a numbness/blocking out to what is being said/going on around me etc. So I can only focus on my own thoughts of the past (or my view of the present). For me, I am triggered in particular by a couple of songs (which are always on the radio, which I used to enjoy, singing along to whilst I did the housework, whilst my partner was in another room getting himself off to images of the women singing them). Films in general that I used to like, we would be watching the films and my partner would be looking up the images of the women in the same room as me. After taking ED drugs. Then suddenly be ready for bed (sex) halfway through the film. When he was done with his own favourite films, he did all of mine. Then the kids films (marvel, scooby doo etc!) so pretty much every actress in the world is untouched from his antics. He literally looked up images of over 300 women in 3 weeks. And that doesn't include the 100+ hours of porn, the youtube videos, the general p-sub browsing on insta, newspapers, celebs etc...
    So yeah, lots of things like that are prone to trigger me. Sometimes I handle it better than others. Also, being in certain places. We had a holiday home in a nearby seaside resort. Even after we sold it, we went there several times a year. I cant face it anymore, as none of my happy memories there in the past were real. Because it was all based on a show/lies.
    His phone in the bedroom is a trigger for me.
    A particular family holiday from 10 years ago, with all of his family, who talk about it regularly as the best holiday ever. Was also the first time the ED truly hit. It was also the time when I clearly remember the feeling of something being up. This feeling led me to do all sorts of things to myself, to try to spice things up, to try and make things better, to compromise myself in and out of the bedroom. It took me another 10 years, 2 kids and a house, to find the truth. (stupid really as the porn issue had arisen 5 times previous to this but id believe his lies about it, not known of addiction etc. but for some reason I spent the next 10 years in complete denial that it could be that causing all of our many issues! I truly believed he wouldnt do it again, even tho we'd all ready had ddays! I blamed myself instead).
  7. You are not alone. Triggers are totally like pulling the trigger that sets off a chain reaction of memories. A fear/pain response. It does get better over time. I remember at first it was like my whole world and memories turned gray with bombs going off all around me. That's what it was like. Evan driving, seeing women, and times of the day would ignite a trigger response. Slowly with gaining truth, trust in self, safety, and grieving the losses the triggers are less. Although, I still can't watch much TV. One of my kids has this bag of marbles. They are mostly gray with a splash of color through the center. Working through the triggers is like adding color/truth to get grounded. A lot of grief. It is understandable that you would believe he wouldn't do it again. We want to believe that our partner wouldn't do something that is so harmful. Addiction is so messy hard. It makes sense and no sense at all at the same time.

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