I am triggered by a lot. You name it, and it can feasibly trigger me.
The weather: Thoughts of the past associated with specific temperature, events and schedule changed because of weather or pending weather, fatigue/pain triggered, ramifications of our treatment of global environment and climatic events as a result, and on and on and on.
Digesting the food on my plate: Poor suffering milk, a byproduct of suffering cow, and the pain-hormones involved. Body affected by poisons, chemicals, over abundance or lack of nutrients, allergic reactions, digestive system triggered. Fight or flight biological response uncontrolled by the implementation of Cognitive Behavior techniques. Thanks but no thanks.
An actor’s line in a movie: Brings back a particular emotional event in life…and ain’t all things emotional for me??? Rhetorical question, followed by giddy applause of distaste in my own reactions.
A particular change in bodily appearance, function, ability, sensation, weight, signs of age: Note to self… avoid mirror and stop examining skin with magnifying glass. I am not vain, at least I hope not, just overly-aware of everything. I am so sensitive, I have gotten to the point I can tell what mineral or nutrient I am low on, e.g., numb toe equals low on magnesium, twitchy eye equals needing potassium, heart rate up equals time for some more sodium, etc. etc. etc. And don’t get me started on hormone fluctuations. Mostly, I am disturbed by warts (I have one tiny one), new moles, age spots, blubber and sags, and those weird, icky-lined wrinkles below my neck on my chest.
An offhand, unremarkable (to most) comment aimed kind of at me, at least I assume so: I can spend hours wondering what one word I picked out of a conversation could possibly mean, and from there wonder why I spend so much of my time picking apart conversations, and then psychoanalyze Aspergers in general, and then compare my communication skills to anyone in my circle of humans I have ever encountered; not a fun way to whittle away the hours, but nonetheless HAPPENING, regardless. Thank you meaningful professionals, but if you ain’t Aspie, you ain’t Aspie and you have NO possible way of understanding the makings of my mind. No matter how much you study a gorilla, you won’t understand how a gorilla thinks. And, yes, indeed, I think myself a different species. Have you met my people?
A joke, a poster, a political comment, a personal comment, a slogan, a lyric, a quote, a song: I can pick apart anything and make connections. Sometimes the connections and contradictory in nature, often really, and they leave me baffled, confused, and feeling entirely alone on this planet. Sometimes I am certain this is hell.
A missed connection, missed meetings, cancellations, no shows, last-minute changes, and the like: These leave me wallowing in self-pity, and then more self-pity piled on for allowing myself to have self-pity, and so on. You get the mirrored-picture. And then, to make it worse, I try to be mad, to understand the concept of mad, and then in turn blame myself for not being able to hold a grudge or stay angry. I then visualize people when they are angry, friends, acquaintances, loved ones, various movie actors, strangers, and the like, and I try to emulate the emotion. Then I feel guilty for trying, in other words ‘faking,’ because faking is lying, and I want to be truthful. And I feel guilty for trying to be mad?? Who does that? I get trapped in a whirlwind of how I should react to disappointment, and then punish myself for allowing myself to feel disappointed, because isn’t disappointment ego-based? From here I wonder where to go for help because I have tried it all, from Priest to Psychiatrist, and no one, absolutely no one, comes close to understanding me, beyond me, and even my understanding is warped, at high-speed, to boot!
Broken promises: This being the most painful. The world is filled with uncertainties, another major trigger, and they are everywhere, but the hurt is intolerable when someone doesn’t follow through with their word, I don’t feel bad as a result of judging the person, or of even having had housed expectation, and I am not mad, I am just reminded of the terrible uncertainty and unknowns of the world I live in; and that I basically can count on no one but myself, but then I can’t count on messy-me either; and this reminder (trigger) terrifies me and makes me immobile, couch-bound, and affects my pain condition, depression, and sometimes thoughts of leaving the world; not that I could leave, I don’t think, because I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone; and then the chain of thoughts begin that I am selfish to think of leaving anyone behind in this place, then thoughts of how the human condition is a suffering condition… yes, seemingly bleak pessimism, I recognize this, but it’s not, it’s TRIGGERS.
Being critiqued, criticized, put in my place, hearing unsolicited advice, being scolded, scorned, etc.: You get the picture. We both know I am not perfect. But did you know that I see all my flaws at multiple deep levels all fricken day long. I am likely the most self-aware crackerjack you will ever, ever meet, (unless you happen to be Aspie, too, then it’s a two-way tie), and I have tattooed my imperfections on my soul, and greet them minute-by-minute everyday. Generally, I don’t particularly like being human; I can’t tolerate the lurching selfishness, the ways in which people possess and take and haunt. It all confuses and compels me, and at the same time I recognize I am human, and that sucks. Critique me and I think I am more alone than ever. How could someone not know I was hyper-sensitive already, and keen on my own flaws? And then, to top that, I start to think that perhaps I am over-sensitive to mask a submerged and buried dark-shadow rage and that I have an innate inbred fear of anger. Until I sit it out and re-realize that NOPE, I just don’t get anger, more than a passing defense mechanism or emotional response. I don’t know it, more than a passerby. He waves, he punches me in the gut, and he leaves. That’s about it.
Setting myself up: There are certain triggers I know will get me bad, keep me bedridden, or at the very least cause me to be lost in thought for hours, and yet I repeat certain behaviors that set me up for certain triggers. As if I don’t learn. I am taking inventory. I know what hurts. I know what creates chaos in my mind, but at the same time I carry this everlasting hope that this time it will be different. I have this blind eye to people. I think they will change. I think things have to change. I think everyone must transition at the high-speed, everyone must have similar depth, heart, and soul. But they don’t. I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around that concept.
14 thoughts on “507: Removing Warts… The Nasty Aspie Triggers”
Paragraphs nine and ten especially wrapped around the part of my soul and brain that KNOWS my own truths…and this whole post was but esp 9 and 10. Last night I was up from 2 am onward trolling the net for encouraging aspie posts I had not read yet…Because I felt SO alone. I was triggered by three events and KNEW I was in meltdown mode but could not stop. today I am aware yet still know nothing will fill the void…until it does and is over filled. This was a post I needed to hear! Way less alone at least…cuz you are right…
Also, I can’t wear outfits I was triggered in again or at least I start to hate them or sometimes even places I have been triggered in are damaged areas for me for years. Sigh. Sometimes I feel like such an alien.
hugs sister ❤
P.S. I did not mean troll as in the mean kind of troll…I meant like strolling the internet for places of comfort and belonging during a crazy lightning storm in the middle of the night…:) I just needed to hear I wasn’t the only one who gets triggered…A safe place…
🙂 I am so happy this helped you. I was triggered this morning for a good 6 hours. It gets so bleak and everything seems unsurmountable. Be strong. Much love.
All of your posts are so relatable and inspiring. Things that seem little to others can so easily send me into a state of overwhelming anxiety or sorrow or pain. Someone being in my home that I did not expect, quick comments from others, news articles, wearing shoes, phone calls…the list could go on and on.
yes, all that you mentioned. Thank you for sharing 🙂
I’ve got a well meaning mate who’s being a pain he doesn’t understand Aspergers but thinks he does he wants to see my support worker to say they’re not doing their job right (because I’m independent) tried to rip up one of my photos because it represented me in shutdown mode when one of my special interests is photography, wanted me to be accompanied by a support worker to gigs – ie no more shamanic dancing at them – sent me on a meltdown by saying another band I liked were jeering at me and I just said it wasn’t my problem if they couldn’t handle me being a fan I was going to dance at their gigs anyway! ( the singer didn’t want to shake my hand and ran off the stage into the arms of an old groupie who looked like a well-known politician.
sorry you are going through that
someone makes sense ..finally. but I’m afraid its just words left on my computer screen staring at me mockingly as I become more distant, fearful, and discouraged . Sounding foolishly again and again expressing in every kind of persona I could think of to get thru to help. Dismissed as if my time in life is meant to be wasted playing the longest running game of musical chairs under annoying florescent lighting and a pair of eyes that have asked the same question ” what seems to be the problem?” too many times that its purpose is obliterated . Ive figured out a lot up to this point and can deal but employment and growing tired or becoming more conscious of my behavior that I am supposed to grow out of, stop being hard on myself, just don’t think ….” ignorance is bliss ” is a terrible honest statement.
you sound like me…. wishing you well
I love that line about studying Gorillas but not understanding how they think because that’s truly how I feel. My family have read up on all sorts about aspergers but they really know what it actually feels like, how complicated my brain really is. And they usually end up judging me even though I’m judging myself more harshly than they ever could on the inside. And when someone criticses me even if it’s the truth, I already know it’s the truth and I’ve already torn into myself for everything I’ve done wrong, mistakes I’ve made but when it comes from someone else it feels like they’ve twisted a knife through my body, striking a killer blow and it really feels like everything’s just falling apart.
Seriously this blog is the best. I’m constantly being told to stop dwelling and obsessing about having aspergers but no one gets how comforting it is for me to hear/read from others that just get it. It makes me feel like I’m not such a strange lonely bird amongst a sea of neurotypicals.
nope, you are a perfect bird in our flock! thanks for sharing! I know just how you feel
I just recently discovered your blog and am finding it very interesting, thank you for writing! I really get the bit about being criticized/put down etc.. I don’t know why some people feel the need to “take me down a peg or two”, put me down etc. Like they really don’t realize that I don’t NEED it! Having pondered how weird I am in depth for the last 32 years, I really do not need it ..
thank you and yes, agreed 🙂