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Author Topic: Let's make a triggers list  (Read 11320 times)
emmy24
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« on: July 16, 2010, 03:54:06 PM »


Maybe it will help to list even the smallest-insignificant things that trigger feelings of FOG, anxiety, or those bad memories/disappointments in ourselves.  I have been kind of down lately and it seems that a lot of things have been triggers to me.  It will be interesting to see others' lists too.

1.  A song that my mom used to sing to me when I was a baby... .I started to sing it (automatically) while rocking my DD and I felt sick.  

2.  The show "Say Yes to the Dress" - I am not sure that I chose my wedding dress for me or my mom - I really don't know.

3.  Weddings - I have regrets about planning my wedding.  In fact - Word of Advice - if your mom has BPD, don't involve her wedding planning or payment.

4.  Ironing

5.  People giving me advice about choices I am making about my home - UBPD mom always overstepped.

6.  Thank you notes

7. Parking my car

8. Hiring Babysitters

9. Standing in line at a store

10.  Running late

11. Buying tickets for something

12.  Deciding where to go out to dinner

I'll add if I think of more.  What are your triggers?

Here is a great workshop on how to deal with triggers.


TOOLS: DBT for non borderlines - mindfulness

Mindfulness is a tool that gives us breathing room from our reactions and emotions. It builds strength and helps us cope. Learn more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=64749.10https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=64749.10

« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 04:45:12 PM by Harri » Logged
mint-cc
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2010, 04:29:23 PM »

While I love them, lists.  Every day my mom would create a list of stuff for me to do.  I hated them.  I'm okay with making my own lists or me and DH making a list but for some reason I cannot handle them from anyone else really.

Certain movies.  None off the top of my head but as another posted about Cyrus, I knew I had to stay away from it. 

Some wedding items, or shows that show how the MIL and DIL are close.  I was watching one with DH and it was just blaring at me in the face: This is how it could have been but wasn't... .why couldn't I have that!
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010, 04:53:04 PM »

Good question.

The shorter our lists are, the better I'd think.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

1) Random & unjustified outbursts from anyone over anything tend to irritate me. Likely stems from uBPDm's behavior and my early experiences trying to avoid being her target.

2) Having words "put in my mouth" by those who have no clear understanding of the context of a given situation also has a similar effect. Quite likely this also stems from being convicted of crimes against humanity by my uBPDm for no apparent reason.

3) Incurring the aggression of others who sometimes struggle to cope with their own troubled BPD relationships. Sometimes all it takes is being in the same proximity of these type of people (be it in a real life situation or a virtual situation) in order for one to become a convenient target. Again, this is similar to the treatment received from pwPD's and is obvious whenever it occurs. I usually make it less of a problem by reminding myself that the best thing I can do is to ignore them and to continue living my life - drama free.

Good topic for a thread, thanks for posting!
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2010, 05:05:07 PM »

I hear you on the wedding thing. I know now I could never involve any of my f.o.o. in those plans.

1. Depending on anyone for anything. Mother taught that love is conditional so everyone has a price. And oh yeah, you will be let down.

2. Loud neighbors in suburbia--even if they are having fun & partying the shouting brings me right back to the house of chaos. Slamming doors, slamming windows, they make me jump out of my skin now. Forget fireworks now.

3. Anyone trying to force their opinion over mine. I was a door mat for the f.o.o. and sometimes now I am a little over-agressive.

4. People who put up passively with abuse.

5. People who demand my time and act out like a BPD if you do not pay attention to them all the time. These are friends?

6. I am so stealing CalicoSilver's #3! Lol.   

   everyone.
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2010, 05:59:26 PM »

I don't know if this falls under the same category.  But I have this thing about feeling trapped somewhere, having to wait on people for very long periods of time.  Growing up, my mom would take us to a mall, and promise to meet up at a reasonable time.  I don't know if there was ever a time that we didn't end up having to hunt her down and then end up waiting several more hours --during the winter times I'd end up in tears as the sun would have already set before we left the mall.   My BPD sil did something similar when I first met her, and I swore I'd never go to a mall with her again --or be stuck in the same car with her. 
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2010, 06:53:45 PM »

I'd be writing a novelette if I wrote a complete list, but here are 4 of the bigger triggers.  Thank God none of them happen that often:

1. Hearing children screaming.  Not the ordinary whoops and yells and even shrieks that kids make when they play, not hunger cries/fussy cries/tired cries of babies, those are all normal. I'm talking about the distinctly heart-stopping, blood-curdling screams of terror and pain that children make when they're being battered. That's like a call to arms: I will go in search of the source of that sound and investigate it and ask what's going on.  It makes all the hairs on the back of my neck and arms stand up. 

2. Adults who act like babies.  I just have to really consciously distract myself from paying attention to that, or even leave the room if some adult starts talking baby-talk or pouting or demanding to be catered to or refusing to help clean-up/arrange chairs, or whatever, at a Group event.  Its like fingernails on a blackboard to me; I can't be around it.

3. Sudden, unexpected loud noises near me, such as having someone come up behind me and say "Boo!"   My friends know that I don't like that, but every once in a while some "life of the party" type individual or "practical joker" will do that and my whole body startles and jerks very hard.  It must look pretty hilarious, actually, but it hurts because I have a herniated neck disc, and I break out in a sweat and my heart pounds.  Sometimes it has even made me burst into tears!  

4. Driving over very tall and very long bridges, for some reason, triggers a panic attack.  I haven't figured out what generated this, but the solution is to avoid very large bridges.  If a panic attack starts while I'm on a small or medium sized bridge, I'm not too concerned because I've developed techniques to handle it that work for a short time, but I simply plan routes that avoid extremely tall, extremely long bridges.

-LOAnnie

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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2010, 08:33:19 PM »

My triggers are...

1. right now at the top of the list for me is the neighbor who I'm trying to avoid as it's not only her possessiveness or controlling behavior but she looks like my mother and even the color and way she wears her hair is the way my mother used to wear it when she was younger. Yuk!

2. Driving to my visit my mother

3. shows on tv about child abuse or any shows that there is a victim who is forcefully held down, tied up or placed in a underground room or confined space, can't even watch it.

4. having to go to a family function when my exuBPDh and his wife will be there.

5. going to my uBPDsis house for family gatherings especially when my family was not invited for whatever reason.

6.  thinking about my past

7. thinking about my breathing

justhere


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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2010, 09:16:23 PM »

1. Being accused of doing something I did not do.  I freeze or act evasive (look like a liar) until I figure out what the hell is going on.  It is not a healthy behavior but sure is a    

2. Trying to be friends with women who treat me like crap (focus on them rather than the 100 nice people in the room).  

3. Confrontation.

4. Fixing people and trying to be liked.
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2010, 10:16:42 PM »

1. Being told I HAVE to do something.

2. Being controlled.

3. Seeing an injustice.

4. Not being able to find something I've misplaced because I don't usually misplace things.

5.Messy house makes me feel out of control.

6.Strong, dominant women put me in a very submissive posture. I hate that about myself!

7. The thought of someone possibly being mad at me. I dwell on what I must have done.

8.People who let others absolutely kick them around and then cry to me for help and then the next time you talk to them they've done absolutely nothing to help themselves but keep telling you how abused they are. I could scream!
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2010, 11:50:58 PM »

Someone saying something that makes me feel dumb, or like they feel like I am stupid. I am getting better with this.

Women that are obsessed with their weight/bodies. I'm so fat, do you think I'm fat... .I was bad today and atehit__!    BPD's family has done this FOREVER and projected this junk onto all of us. I hated it and still do.

Silent treatment.

People that have no sense of humor. (my dad's seriousness) Makes me so uncomfortable.

Being made to feel inferior or a LOT younger than I am- not being treated as an equal or an adult.
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2010, 10:06:33 PM »

Being criticized over something I didn't know I did. I can't handle the shock even if it is something minor.
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2010, 11:51:58 PM »

mjh- I agree with the normal mother or father thing interacting with their daughter. For me especially it is the dad. I forever wished I had that.
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2010, 12:08:20 AM »

#1. I'm taking LOAnnie's #1 too. Kids screaming for the sake of screaming

#2. Meeting up with my parents or uBPDm. Serious anxiety there! uBPDm is coming into town in the near future and that took me 2 days to wind down and think it through slowly.

#3. Thoughts of betrayal, lack of trust, being hung out to dry, or sudden removal of support. Probably why I was an introvert for so many years.

#4. People not listening to me,  not using common sense, or not talking to me in complete sentences or giving me any background to what they are saying leaving me to try and decipher what they are trying to tell me.
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LOAnnie
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2010, 01:20:38 AM »

Actually, no: kids screaming for the sake of screaming, in play, does not bother me.  I like the sound of children playing together; I'm not overly fond of the shrieking and squealing, but play-screams don't trigger me: those are normal kid noises.  There are a lot of kids that play around my building and my neighborhood.

What triggers me like I'm shot out of a cannon is the gut-wrenching sound of terror and pain that kids make when they are really hurt, or really scared, or both.  There isn't another sound like that and it makes all the fine hairs on my body stand up.

I have to go find the source of that, when I hear it, and try to help the child if I can.  Thank God I don't hear it very often at all, but whether I'm at home or in a mall or walking around my neighborhood, whatever... .if I hear that blood-chilling sound of pain, or terror, or both, I will go and investigate it.   I've only had to do that twice in my own neighborhood since I've lived here; its been quite a number of years now.  And I've only had to respond maybe 3 times when in public; while shopping, at an event, etc.

The sounds of an accident trigger me; the sounds of abuse trigger me.

I am so thankful that it is rare.  Thank God that it is rare.

-LOAnnie

#1. I'm taking LOAnnie's #1 too. Kids screaming for the sake of screaming

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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2010, 09:44:15 AM »

Sorry LOAnnie... .misread your post.    I guess kids screaming for me just makes me so angry that I have to leave right away. Not 100% sure why, but maybe its frustration or something... .
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« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2010, 01:57:55 PM »

#3. being hung out to dry, or sudden removal of support.

How could I have forgotten this one! Being "hung out to dry" is the story of my life when it concerned the pwPD's... .! As a matter of fact, for many, many years I simply thought this was the treatment everyone should expect from those is "parental" roles.

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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2010, 04:43:28 PM »

Being swatted on my behind playfully by my dh. 

Fox news talking heads in a heated argument. My dh loves this type of programming.

Violence on TV.

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Greeneyed Girl
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2010, 09:39:55 AM »

Hello All,

Triggers. Well... .

Being told to "Get over it!"

People who won't listen to another's problems at all or people who say dismissively, "That's YOUR problem."

People who are obsessed with no-particle-of-dust-cleanliness and take it out on their children or, come to Mother's and pick up tiny pieces of lint from the carpet as if in disgust (i.e. Sitter)

People who tell me that Mother loves me.

People who tell me to "respect" Mother.

People who shout about "honoring" their parents regardless of any torture said parents inflicted.

People who have no compassion for others in need or pain
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2010, 09:47:46 AM »

Oddly enough, this list of lists is triggering - I haven't managed to read it all.  I'm not upset, but I recognize the avoidance behaviour I have when faced with something I don't want to face.

My own triggers - authority is a big one.
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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2010, 10:09:37 AM »

1. The phone ringing (since moving back to our hometown, I get a sick feeling everytime the phone rings... .I always assume its her)

2. Any Lifetime movie (My mother, for as long as I can remember, stays up until 3-4 AM smoking and watching Lifetime movies)

3. Poker Machines (it's why I don't gamble... .ever)

4. The sound of popping gum (just reminds me of her, it sends shivers down my spine)

5. The smell of old smoke on clothing.
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2010, 11:34:51 AM »

Yelling.  Even if I'm not the one being yelled at.

My name being called to get my attention.  Growing up, my name being mentioned meant trouble. Any other time I was "she" "her" "you" or "the other one".

The question, "What do you think?"  I always freeze. Growing up, that question was a setup. Because, of course, anything I thought was stupid and wrong. 

Shopping for clothes.  I avoid this like the plague.  The combination of weight (I'm plus sized), money (and the lack thereof) and femininity (or lack thereof) is just too much for me to handle except in the shortest of bursts.  If you get this, you get it.  Delving any further would mean writing a book.
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« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2010, 05:14:32 PM »

This is a great topic!

My triggers:

- Definitely voicemail.  Even though I rarely have any contact with my parents at this time, I will NOT check my voicemail.  I will not.    This means I've missed a lot of important messages and have had to deal with the consequences, but at this point in time I prefer that to checking my voicemail.  I used to not even be able to check my mail.

- Others' anger, especially when directed at me.  It doesn't matter if it's justified or not or how reasonably or unreasonably expressed (this includes stifling the anger; I can detect it), I respond the same way: overwheming anxiety and automatic placating mode, even though generally that's not in my best interests.   

- Certain noises and phrases Mum utters/yells when stewing over something or during the full-blown rage it eventually builds up to.  My sister sometimes imitates her to make fun of her, but it makes me wince.

- People slamming their hand on an object in anger.

- Any suggestion of returning to my parents' house or that town.  Just no.

- My phone ringing and the caller being identified as "Unknown Number" (my parents have a private number)

- Certain songs Mum made me play at musical performances, where there were Incidents and rages.

- The movie Magnolia.  There was an Incident (long story)

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« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2010, 11:49:50 PM »

The very popular and well-loved song "Hotel California".

When I was an early teen, I left the house when my Mom was in a particularly bad rage over something particularly small.  Even now, looking back on my teen years as an adult, I see it that way in the scheme of things.

My parents of course found me before I was ready to go back on my own.  They took me to the ER of a local hospital that had a mental floor.  Before taking me in there, they told me that the Dr. was going to ask me if it was my choice to go in or not.  They said that if I said "NO", that they would send me to jail.  If I said "yes", I could stay there.  So of course when the Dr. asked me if I wanted to be hospitalized, I said "yes."  He even got my parents to leave the room and asked.  I was afraid to say anything else.

When I got in, I found out that the parents had lied to me once again, that they would have just sent me home and not to jail if I had said no.   So then I told them that I changed my mind.  But once there, I had to be evaluated.  I was there for about a week.  But it probably was better than being around my parents for that time.

There were some young people there (my age) who had radios.  I had nothing.  Not even a change of clothes.  The Eagles song Hotel California was a current hit at the time.  The words "you can check in" "you can check out but you can never leave" resonated so closely to my situation that every time I hear that song, I think of being sent there, by trickery.  The song is supposed to be about cults.  To me it's about that floor in that hospital.



I can go for weeks without thinking of that particular unpleasantness that happened over 30 years ago.   Then I'll hear that song on the radio and it all comes bubbling back to the top.

Now I have that song playing in my head. Time to go cry myself to sleep.

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« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2010, 09:53:04 PM »

todayistheday, you just brought up a memory that I had forgotten that I needed to write down in my growing list of lies and abuse from uBPDm. Thank you!
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2010, 12:04:13 AM »

There is another one.  

Rulers.  Especially Yardsticks.

The yardstick was my Mother's weapon of choice against me for punishment.  I have had yardsticks broken on my legs.  Then she got angry at me for making me break her yardstick.

My Mother loved and still loves yardsticks as tools for all kinds of things and laments that they are hard to find any more.  

When I go visit, she always brings one into the room in case I need to open or close the heating/air conditioning vent.  And I put it behind a piece of furniture in the room so that I will not see it.  I am always tempted to make it fully disappear instead.


So my two triggers are:

1)  Yardsticks

2)  The song "Hotel California" (explained two posts above)

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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2010, 12:25:38 AM »

1) Being witness to someone lying.

2) Gossips or two-faced people

3) Mean people or abrasive people

4) Selfish people who think the world owes them and think only of themselves (selfish)

The songs, the objects, etc. I worked through in T, but am still working on above people types, because its like watching mother all over again.
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2010, 10:04:45 AM »

wow triggers. Its been a while since i have read or posted. I have just been so over it all. Tonight I drank some wine and allowed myself to feel it all. I thought I was past it all after 2 years and some not to mention the 42 years i never noticed. ooh tired. Triggers. My biggest and hardest and so aware of it when someone accuses me of something that I so havnt thought or done. I used to fight to the bitter end to defend my honor, to the point of just plain exaustion. My recent work place Im the top seller and have knocked old employees off their pedistal. Man the attacks Ive had to endure. First thought defend. Now I keep that in check and understand it for what it is. Just yesterday I tried to politely correct a situation at work and my coworker just whined to my manager. I was okay up to the point that when I thought I had to explain the situation and I was told she didnt want to hear it. Trigger big time. Thank god Ive explained to her my triggers since she is my of friend also. She said Laura Im on your side. Thats all I needed to hear. She just recently knows to say that. That trigger to defend myself is absolutely the hardest one. I understand where it comes from but its so deep imbedded in me that I know and acknowledge but cant always stop myself from reacting. It brings me back to my whole life of accusations. Hopefully I will conquer it.

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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2010, 10:17:44 AM »

-Being accused of something I didn't do. Not being given a chance to explain or defend myself and it being assumed that I'm dirty or bad or up to no good.

-When I've either done something wrong or am being accused unjustly, being made to play a guessing game to figure out what I've done. My mom used to suddenly quit talking to me or would punish me without explanation, then say, "you know what you did," or "you can figure it out," or "sit and think a bit and you'll realize what you did wrong." My childhood contained many an incident where I sobbed, "mommy, what did I do?" or "mommy, are you mad at me?" and she wouldn't just come out and tell me what was wrong. As an adult, I have a deep appreciation for forthright honesty and communication.

-Having my facial expressions or body language studied and overanalyzed and used to "read" what I surely must be feeling.

-Extreme materialism in people on fixed incomes. Despite living from check to check (from Social Security and VA disability) my parents are obsessed with going to the mall, having expensive leather furniture, designer clothes and presenting the illusion of "having money." They frequently have nothing to eat but Minute Rice at the end of each month because they have spent every cent of their checks on collectible figurines and Ralph Lauren sweatsuits. They have no savings. They get a check, cash it go shopping for stupid crap. They usually have under $20 in their checking account. Then they get credit cards so that when they spend their monthly govt checks, they can keep hitting the malls. They have declared bankruptcy twice. It makes me CRAZY to see people live like this.  I have an aversion to shopping malls, collectible figurines and blinged out designer clothes. I could probably rant about this issue/trigger enough to fill a book.
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2010, 12:15:38 PM »

I need to think more about my list but had to concur with Stellaris that much like reading a lot of these posts realizing that what I went through was not an anomaly, was not my imagination etc... .has been difficult because it means confronting hurt I've buried, this list of triggers was hard to read.  I need to figure out why and come up with my own list.  I do appreciate the topic though and it's a good one.  I'm realizing that being uncomfortable is good in a sense because it obviously means dealing with things that need to be dealt with, however disconcerting it may make me feel... .

So, triggers:

1) being left, made to wait with no explanation.  as a kid i was left at soccer and track practice in all kinds of weather until dark.  my jr high principal drove my sister and i home many many nights and my mom who was a stay at home mom was there at home with some story about how she was just leaving.  even when we got brought home at 8pm this was the line.  so, to this day i get neurotic about being on time and get anxious when i am waiting for someone else and they run late.  abandonment issues i guess.

2) being told that i am bad/wrong/have no right to say how i feel.  my mother abused me mercilessly for crying (she'd be hitting me, pulling my hair, punching me and if i made a noise or cried, it would make it soo much worse).  my husband can not tolerate (no matter how it is delivered) my telling him how i feel and tells me how unreasonable i am whenever i say i am sad/hurt etc... .  it's like a less violent repeat of my childhood.

3) holidays/birthdays (especially my own) or any big gathering/occassion that should be fun.  they were horror shows my whole childhood and i dread all events like this to this day... .sometimes i am surprised and they go okay, but my husband grew up in a home like mine so we both have a lot of angst around days that "should" be great and it's never a lot of fun.

4) talking to someone about something that matters to me (no matter how big or small) and being dismissed or not listened to.  i seem to try to be friends with people who aren't particularly present or interested in a friendship and then try to "win them over" to prove i am worthy of their attention.  instead i should just not care about people who are disinterested and enjoy my friendships with my really wonderful close friends. 

5) being around my family: my mother, sister and one of my brothers.  they are all still acting in childhood mode and i can not take it.  i get agitated, irritable, snappy and upset and i ruin my good time.  i just can't be around them much at all b/c their presence is a trigger all by itself.

There are so many more but I'm at my limit for thinking about past hurts for now... .


Oddly enough, this list of lists is triggering - I haven't managed to read it all.  I'm not upset, but I recognize the avoidance behaviour I have when faced with something I don't want to face.

My own triggers - authority is a big one.

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« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2010, 06:04:32 PM »

-Extreme materialism in people on fixed incomes.



I could write volumes on this, too. But I'll spare everyone... .

Part of uBPDm's ineffective "coping" mechanisms involved massive outlays of cash to accumulate a vast amount of "pretty & shiny" things for display all over their home. It's formed the basis of her "collection," and she's become a "high-end" merchandise hoarder - on a FIXED IncOME! arrrrrrggghhhhh... .

Ditto for all the other "triggers" you listed - I've seen most all of them as well.
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