Newest Members
Jerone, teba, Serpenta, mojo, James M
12114 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
archie chisholm (61), Carlos418 (37), courtney (52), kurotake (55), lostsoul (63), Lukesgirl (28), michael banks (2014), Steffon (42)
Who's Online
2 registered (2 invisible), 75 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12114 Members
73 Forums
62510 Topics
438086 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#197804 - 01/03/08 10:33 PM What is a Trigger?
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Instead of replying to a lot of posts, I'd like to throw my own iron into the fire;

What is a Trigger, exactly? I thow the stereotype, but what about how I'm feeling now? Is this something related to my CSA or is this just 'normal' paranoia?

I spent the last week with my husband and his family, and right now, I'm feeling very 'triggered'. In dealing with these feelings I get very quiet, and don't say much until I've had a chance to digest things, and now that we're back home I'm digesting a lot. I have indigestion, you could say.

My husband's family, especially his parents, can be intimidating. First, there's a lot of them; a brother and a sister with 7 kids among them. I have two kids... That makes 9 kids and 8 parents.

My hubby acts differently around his parents. It's not the same person that I live with at home. When he's with the whole family, he's pretty loose and plays around a lot. With Mom and Dad, I'm definately second fiddle. Whether I make the best putt or joke, or have an idea or opinion, Kent and Charlie are always complimenting each other in a love fest that makes me want to puke... LOL I'm Kidding, it's not that bad. They have fun together but I feel third-rate. Yes, I'm jealous of his Dad...

So what? It's his time, let him have his fun. I'll play the doting husband, be my usual charming self, and get along. So why am I feeling "Triggered"???

Nothing like CSA ever took place in my husband's family that I know of. They're interminably respectable. My husband had a good upbringing and loves his family.

There was a time when I thought I had an interminably respectable family and a good upbringing too. That's all been clouded by my CSA, my parents oblivion to it, my own "good' upbringing! It sucks, but I'm bringing this all on myself. This is no big deal, I should just let it go. My husband will be himself again when we wakes up in the morning and I'm not going to make a deal out of it tonight.

So I suppose this doesn't really qualify as a "Trigger". But it still feels like one.

Respectfully,

Lazarus

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

Top
#197849 - 01/04/08 09:22 AM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: Lazarus]
Jarrad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 1071
Loc: arizona
you know, i have no freaking clue. i think that you are getting miffed cause you are second fiddle when he is with his fam. i dont know if its exactly a trigger, or just jelousy. both are valid feelings. i get the same way when im with my ex's fam. they are so close and "normal" and i have the "why didn't i have this" hissy fit. you also have to think about him as well. how often does he see his fam? is it just major holidays? is it every weekend? i think if its every weekend, then that could wear on you. but if its just a couple of times a year then it might be easier to just put on your smiley face. you might be able to ask him about it. express your concerns. or, maybe say to your hubby that you want to go visit his fam just for shits and giggles. take one of them at a time not all 7 million of them. say "lets go visit your brother" or have him come visit you. that way, they can get to know you better in a more intamate setting then christmas with everyone there.

and yeah i hear ya on the "he acts diffferntly when hes with his parents." i do that too. when i talk to my mom (havnt seen her in years) i put on the "good son persona" i mean, i never swear around her, i say nothing "gay." so i dont know if you can be mad at him for that. parents are weird.

hope that helps?


Top
#197854 - 01/04/08 09:53 AM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: Jarrad]
TNuss Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 202
Loc: Del-A-Ware???
I think a "trigger" is something different for each of us.

There are things in my life that just set me off and/or affect me that I can't explain why at the time, but later when I look back(journal) I can link it to something else relate in my life, so in the future I know how to better handle a similiar situation. There are those things that have no easily defined reason.

Love yourself, be true to your heart and don't be afraid to love.

_________________________
All my best!!!

In harmony,
Troy
________________________________________________________
I hug myself daily until the day I find the embrace that completes me.

Top
#197865 - 01/04/08 10:37 AM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: Lazarus]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
I agree with both of you guys. I once read an article that said that the symptoms and triggers of PTSD are as unique as the individual himself.

Another thing that comes to mind is that we rarely experience stress in a simple and pure form. What I mean is, the stress you are feeling could be part trigger from not being the focus of your partners attention, part trigger from observing heavy interaction between his family members, and who knows what else. It is possible that many different kinds of triggers are involved, and not all of them related to CSA.

The point I'm making here is just that we don't usually get too stressed from a single issue, we usually get them all lumped together in our heads and try to figure it out as one big problem, which makes it impossible to manage (or solve). We CSA survivors are very hard on ourselves that way.

Taking it on one piece at a time is a very good suggestion.

Craig

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

Top
#197882 - 01/04/08 01:45 PM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: cbfull]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Thanks for the advice guys. You're all right on target.

Jarrad, there is definately a jealousy component. I recognize this and just put on my smiley face and be a good husband. But when the love fest turns into sarcastic remarks directed towards me and my kids, how so-and-so's kids wouldn't do this or that etc, it tries my patience. He's trying to be the 'good son' like you mentioned, but why does that mean making me look like a bad guy? He was sarcastic and critical towards me and both my kids the entire time we were at his folks' house. Oh, and by the way, the other in-laws get treated pretty much the same way. It's very subtle, but it's there.

Most of the time I just bite my tongue and let it go. There was one time when I confronted him in front of his parents, and he backed off pretty quick (in Louisiana we call that "Crawfishing" because crawfish swim backwards, very fast). Once we got home, he started in on me again (because my water bill is past due, and he can't tolerate that kind of fiscal irresponsibility. He said 'fiscal irregularity' but I corrected him, changing 'irregularity' to 'irresponsibility' and he didn't correct me back.) I called him a jerk and reminded him of the times I've seen him rush around to pay a bill before something got disconnected... He apologized.

There were several other issues we discussed, and he ended up aopolgizing for most, if not all of them. I should have been more assertive while the issue was fresh, but I didn't want to make a scene in front of the family, didn't want to make waves or make him look bad. He only sees them once a year, I'm trying not to ruin it for him. I knew that as soon as we got home he would get back to normal and everything would be OK.

Why does he do that? I can think of several reasons. The real question is why do I let him do that and just take it and simmer in my own juices? THAT's what triggers me. Being submissive and letting him use me for his own glorification. The loss of respect. The loss of equality.

I could say that I will just stay home next time and not deal with it. But if I do that, my paranoia will destroy me wondering what they are saying about me behind my back. I'm gonna have to stick up for myself next time, and figure out a way of showing him that me and my kids aren't any different, or any worse, than his sister, brother and their kids, without sounding as consescending as he does talking about, or to us.

And we have to keep talking about this and not let it slip under the rug. I have to make sure that I'm not imagining things and not making a mountain out of a mole hill. Kent is a very generous man (he even spent a lot of money to bring back furniture and household goods that his Mom wanted to get rid of, for my ex-wife who is setting up a new apartment. How many guys would do THAT?) and he's a good man. Nobody is perfect.

So that's my rant. Thanks for letting me get all this off my back. It helps me think and helps me plan for what I need to say to my hubby.

Happy New Year!

Laz

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

Top
#197906 - 01/04/08 03:50 PM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: Lazarus]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Laz, it sounds like you have a good handle on a very difficult situation. You are aware of the many facets involved and you are not blaming yourself. I can't imagine how you could be any better equipped to deal (or should I say "cope") with this family situation.

It sounds to me like this is an issue with him and his family, and not necessarily a matter of you sticking up for yourself, although that is certainly an interesting idea. I must say here that a friend once told me that you should never get involved in someone else's family matters, and I think that is good advice.

Maybe it's not easy for him either and he could be in denial about it, along with the rest of them.

I don't know, just sharing thoughts.

Good luck Laz!

Craig

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

Top
#197913 - 01/04/08 04:26 PM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: cbfull]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Nothing like thinking "my" family was the perfect family growing up. I actually thought I had a good childhood until I came to MS. Now I know mine wasn't good at all, it was a real shock. Delusion is the right word.

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

Top
#197984 - 01/04/08 11:59 PM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: mogigo]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Thanks, Craig. I'm just hashing things out in my head, and it's good to know that someone else thinks I'm on the right track.

Mike, I know what you are talking about. I used to think that I had a great childhood and a wonderful family. Now I would have to change the great to good and the wonderful to OK... everything is clouded by the memories of abuse and the reality of what I've let it do to me. Maybe that's not the most healthy way of phrasing it, but I think many of us feel that we've let our lives get out of control from time to time. I sometimes wonder who I'd be and how my life might have been different if I had not met those particular men (my abusers, I mean).

But I can't dwell on it. Doesn't do any good. I am who I am and that will just have to do. If my husband and his family occasionally think I'm screwed up, so be it. I know I have issues that nobody who hasn't walked a mile in my shoes can understand. His parents are common midwestern folk; I should be grateful that they can accept a gay son-in-law into the family in the first place. I'm not upset with my husband's parents, I'm upset that my husband is such a kiss-ass around them. I'm thinking it's not so much denial as a huge inferiority complex.

Tonight he offered to buy me a Tuxedo to wear to an early Mardi Gras Ball we are attending on Saturday. One side of me doesn't want to accept it, the other side does. Maybe it's a peace offering. Maybe it's to make sure I don't embarass him in front of the elite in our town. Any thoughts on this???

Warmest regards,

Ric

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

Top
#198085 - 01/05/08 04:31 PM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: Lazarus]
VictoryisRs Offline
Guest

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 36
Loc: Seattle, WA
Hey Laz-I relate a bit to your feelings of jealousy w/ your partner's family. My partner of 3 years is a very wonderful, generous,loving man. He was an only child and grew up in Scotland, and also Orange County. He had what could be a called a "Leave it To Beaver" family life-no trauma, abuse, etc. His father died when he was just 19, but he was very close to both parents growing up. His mom is now 86, and he is her sole caretaker. The relationship they have is very differernt than my own family. They are very close, affectionate, open and talk about everything. I found that my 'jealous' feelings were perhaps envy of their family dynamics. We have what we have, and though my own family is not perfect, they care and love me. Oh, and I think you should definitely go for the tux--if for nothing else, your hubby will see how dashing you look in it. \:\)


Top
#198200 - 01/06/08 10:08 AM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: Lazarus]
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
Hi Lazarus,
I am glad you posted this because I have similar reactions at least when important people in my life spend quality time with thier family. I actually find myself somewhat envious regardless of knowing envy is not a good thing based on my own beliefs about living with gratitude. For example, my T seems to have a close tie with his family and always goes at Christmas and various times in a year.

I know because it affects scheduling.
While he rarely discusses it, I feel envious that I don't have it and my holidays are pretty empty and just another day. In a sense, it is a trigger for me. My Christmases were filled with chaos, alchoholic rage and more confusion. I have grown up to hate all the holidays and feel jealous of "solid" loving tight families. That is not to say I assume it is a bed of roses for everyone. I was involved with a guy who is now a friend of sorts. He has a lot of involvement in family stuff. It reminds me of what I never had and still don't have. I have to guess there could be some stress for those people too but in a different way. Then again, maybe not.

It reminds me of the dysfunction. On those rare occasions I am around "healthier families". I am triggered in a number of ways and sometimes saddened besides the envy.

I usually feel out of place and guarded in holiday gatherings or social stuff in a workplace setting. I also know I have been a drag when my dis-ease showed. Thankfully, I am learning to hide it better. Who wants to ruin it for the others? It sounds like you took the high road with your partner no matter how you felt. Congratuations Laz. Triggers are emotional reactions and you handled it outwardly well. The good news is I know I can learn to feel differently and perhaps so can you or anyone else. At least that is my hope. I am not sure if this connects to how you feel, but I do see it as an emotional trigger of sorts.

Hang in there Laz.
Peace,
Dan

_________________________
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

Top
#198239 - 01/06/08 02:00 PM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: Danbuff]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Here's a quick update, with an unusual twist;

I DID let my husband buy me that tuxedo and we went to the Mardi Gras Ball. My husband is very outgoing and gregarious, and he has brought me out of my shell in a lot of ways. I do well in large crowds, where the necessity for small talk is less (It's small gatherings that I still feel rather paranoid). My hubby knows lots of people, so I get a lot of introductions, and that helps.

Evidently, something was 'triggering' my husband too. Instead of me being the one who screws up and embarasses him, last night he got so drunk he passed out at the table, and it took me and three strong guys to pour him into the car. (Luckily, I stopped drinking when I saw him start to 'overindulge'...) When we got home, I couldn't wake him up and he spent most of the night asleep in the back seat of the car.

If that's not 'acting out' I don't know what is. I guess being the 'good son' was stressful for him as well. I knew there had to be a reason why he was being such a jerk...

Thanks to you all for your thoughtful replies. I'm feeling much better now.

Lazarus

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

Top
#198379 - 01/07/08 08:57 AM Re: What is a Trigger? [Re: Lazarus]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Laz, before I got to this latest post, I was going to suggest that there might be more going on behind the scenes than you are aware of. The way you describe the sort of competitiveness in his family sounds like a cover-up for something.

Not that you should pick at it, but I would say that there are enough signs of "disfunction" in his family to let yourself off the hook.

One thing that helps keep my hubby sensitive to my situation is the fact that his own mother was purportedly sexually abused. I say purportedly because I think she may have confirmed this at one time, but it's a sensitive issue and it almost never gets discussed. She is going through something very personal right now and his family is pretty much turned upside down. I feel really bad for his dad because he thinks it's his fault.

This abuse crap is just too real. The sooner we can all stop it the better.

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.