Warning: I talk about triggers and their affects.
NB This is not about my hubby, Rob, who is neither the original ‘hurter’ nor the trigger. The man who was the trigger for me yesterday is unaware of being a trigger for me in this respect but his emotional reaction in a discussion was explosive and extreme and although I wasn’t fully aware of it in that moment, it was a trigger for me.
Rewording broken. I will NOT have it that he (from a previous abusive relationship) has broken me or that I need to be fixed. I understand that he has hurt me on a very visceral level that I hadn’t perhaps fully experienced before. And that it brought me to tears to this morning. I hate that he has affected me like that. I hate that my response is to cry even though I feel anger (at him) but I appreciate that I need to cry so if nothing else it brings about a desire to comfort myself, to tend to the hurting parts. To acknowledge them. To acknowledge that this has happened. It has leaked into today. It will not contaminate my day. It makes me aware that I carry this inside me, not his anger, not his swordlike ways that have cut me, but a tenderness that I was unable to attend to at the time. What I experienced today was grief. What I did was acknowledge and name the source both yesterday with the trigger and all those 20 odd years ago. What I did was comfort myself. Perhaps I tucked my heart into my sleeve instead of onto it today. But that is as temporary or permanent as I choose it to be. That is my choice.
My choice too to see myself coping as best as I could all those years ago. Yesterday. And today. To say to myself, to all those parts of me which are ultimately me, ‘Hey I see you there.’ And, when ready, moving forward with love, recognising that I have all this inside me, recognising that it is okay, not that this happened, any of it, but it is okay to have these tears. They are neither shameful nor embarrassing. They are necessary and lead to self-compassion.
I felt shell-shocked after the trigger yesterday but went straight into a previously scheduled video call with one of my dearest friends, Bethe. A call which I knew could be honest but comforting as the inside of a bird’s feathered nest. I didn’t bring that conversation up. And I slept well although the explosive image lingered.
I remember one dream from last night: I was mowing a communal lawn with another woman and my lawnmower wheels got entangled with her lawnmower wheels. Rob was with me and this other woman had another woman with her and we were discussing the communal housing, at least Rob and the two women were. Only I noticed that our lawnmower wheels had tangled. I whispered to Rob and told him. I could neither move the lawnmower nor tell the woman myself. I had lost my voice and my ability to make positive changes for myself.
When I woke up, the trigger rehearsed itself in my mind, no matter how much I argued back with it, with my beliefs, then the tears came and I understood so much better. Nothing else was needed in that moment but to cry and let the tears fall and then to care for myself.
Words are my power. I wrote the following poem several years after ending the abusive relationship and won a prize for it.
At the Street Fair, Selling Books
At the street fair, you hurry to my stall.
I know I should know you,
can’t place you at first.
Unshaven, greying, hands puffy with edema.
Last year, a burst appendix;
last month, heart issues,
you tell me.
Spittle foams, dries white as you speak.
But you buy my book,
ask can I sign it.
Years ago, I signed another book for you.
With a shaky hand, I wrote:
‘Thanks for your support.’
I abhor the lie.
Remember you in a rage.
As I typed, you swiped
the keyboard onto the floor,
broke the table.
on my knee,
I still wrote frantically.
Until I wrote you, your bloodless lips,
the shirts you ripped,
out of my room, my home,
Now, in August warmth,
a steady hand, a calm heart,
I sign this book: ‘All the best!’
—and mean it.
But today my order from LUSH has arrived…so much karma. Karma is my favourite scent. Boundless self-care done with gift cards given with love no less.
From drama and trauma to karma. I’ll take that.
1. Across the mauve mums
a thickly-spun spider web
hammock of sunshine #265
Day 22 of Effy’s blogalong
Thank you for reading. Above all be compassionate with yourself.
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.