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HELP!!! *possibly triggering*

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Well-Known Member
I got very triggered today. And I think it ties back to my abuse, even though what happened today actually had nothing to do with it at all.

Someone today told me to get over it and just deal with it. It wasn't about abuse, but my depression.

Ok, a little backstory... my older brother sexually abused me every Sunday morning from when I was 8 till I was 16. It stopped when I finally worked up the courage to tell one of my teachers (he was a godsend). Well, long story short, my parents found out and I ended up being the one blamed. I was told to change the way I dressed and some of the things I did... in effect, that I brought it upon myself. My dad told me this. My brother received no punishment whatsoever.

I was told a LOT to just get over it and deal with it. Those words hurt me a lot. I don't react well to them these days. :mad:

I worked in therapy for so many years to overcome being a victim, to progress to being a survivor, then finally to redefine myself so that being a survivor isn't all that I am. I got to the point where it's just a part of who I am and that being abused doesn't consume my every waking thought. I'm very proud of those accomplishments. It was very hard work and I earned everything I got out of it. These days it hardly even comes into my head. When it does, it's rarely with much emotion.

At least until today, that is. And that worries me.

When I'm severely stressed (like now), the old abuse issues come up for me. They seem to take on more power until I feel like I've lost everything I worked so hard for. I'm struggling with them right now, trying not to go over the edge. I can sense them in the background, waiting for the opportunity to pop up again.

When this person told me those things today, I snapped. I wanted to start screaming and throwing things. It was all I could do to be civil in my responses to his posts to me. I'm still angry just thinking about it. I doubt he meant to provoke this kind of reaction. He probably thought he was actually helping. But right now, I'm just pissed off. :furious: And I want to curl up in a ball and cry. :blub:

It's all coming back up for me. I'm having enough problems right now without having to deal with all this old stuff too. I remember how much it hurt to work through the abuse. I don't want to feel that hurt again and I'm scared that I don't have a choice. :sad:

I'm having flashbacks and feeling the beginnings of a panic attack. God, I haven't had those since I finished my work with this crap.

It scares me that this non-related thing has provoked such an intense reaction. It's been a very long time (years) since I've been triggered like this and always in the past it was very obviously related to my sexual abuse. This wasn't related at all, yet I flipped out and still am, to a degree... what is wrong with me??:unsure:
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Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
You know what hun, I've had this happen; which is weird cos most of the abuse shit..dealt with and got over (as much as anyone can get over it).

I've got a feeling that no matter how much we put it in the past, some residue of the anger and pain of that time remains, causing a tantrum of sorts when something happens that stirs up the old feelings.

Perhaps it's more about not getting what you needed (emotionally) from this person..just like the situation with your parents, than the abuse.
I too was more or less ignored on the abuse issue and I think that did more damage than the abuse. The anger still bubbles away in the background, even tho most of the time I'm fine. However, when I feel my feelings are being ignored or dismissed out pops all the old resentment and anger.

pm if you want to talk more and hope this helped.


Well-Known Member
Unfortunately Devastated, I think you're right. It will never truly go away for any of us. The therapist I worked with on the abuse was really good. She told me something once and it stuck with me. She said recovery from abuse is like travelling on a spiral. You go up, but curve around at the same time. So sometimes you feel like you're back where you started, but you have to remember that it's not exactly the same place.

You know, I hadn't thought of that... but I think you're right. This person definitely didn't give me what I was needing. In fact, his responses were very similar to the kinds of things I'd been told about the abuse. It certainly brought up the same reaction in me.

I really think the reaction of others and how they handle the information that you've been abused is a big factor in how strongly you yourself react to the abuse. For example:

You've got 2 girls, both being abused. The first one tells someone and they believe her, rally around her, stop the abuse, punish the offender, tell her it's not her fault, and gets her tons of help and support. The second one tells someone, she's not believed, is told it's her fault, the offender isn't even reprimanded, and then everyone sweeps it under the rug.

I think the first girl would probably have less of a reaction to the abuse than the second. I know I sure would have liked to be that first girl. Unfortunately, I was the second one.

So, yeah. I totally agree that how the abuse is handled afterward can be more damaging than the abuse itself.

You know what? I'm the same way. I absolutely can't stand to be ignored or dismissed. If I feel that someone's ignoring me, I react with instant anger.


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
The 2 girl analogy was spot on Bi. I used to work with abused kids and have seen first hand how different it is for those who are believed and the look of amazement and relief they used to get when I was angry with what had happened to them.
Just goes to show how damaging to self esteem abuse is to kids, when they need to see anger in others to feel validated:sad:

Next time you feel someone is ignoring you or not being sensitive to your needs, think of that; it really helps with the anger management when you realise its your need for validation and vindication that is making you angry. Doesn't mean you won't still have the odd tantrum (I struggle with that one still) but does kind of keep things in perspective.


Well-Known Member
That's a good idea. Perspective is one of the hardest things to maintain at times like last night, so I'll try to keep that in mind.

One of my biggest problems is that I feel a great need for validation. I can get pretty needy at times. I'm sure that's a leftover from the abuse.

I also have a great need for vindication if I feel wronged. I can get downright fierce. grr... :biggrin:

Thanks for putting things into perspective for me.


Antiquitie's Friend
My heart goes to you; I only read part, I can trigger on that too. I just wanted to let you know:
I really HATE THAT DAMN PHRASE.When will people ever learn. I am sure family says that about me also, I just do not know it.

STAY SAFE!! :huh:


Staff Alumni
I , too, hate that phrase. It is not something you just get over, deal with, or forget about. No matter how much work we put into trying to do just that, the fact remains that it is still there, will always be there. Your example of the two girls, most often times the child that is believed right away and gets the support needed can have the chance to heal more quickly than the other, but it does not always go that way. Each of our minds deal with things in there own way. What is devastating to one person may have little or no effect on another. The effects of abuse are not something that can be compared. While similarities may exist in many cases, the individual is the only one that knows how they feel. Sometimes even that is unclear as our minds send us mixed signals. Don't let what has recently happened with the triggers get you down bipolar kitty. You never know what may trigger you. The key is learning how to understand the trigger when it does hit and what to do with it. I wish there were easy answers in all of this, but there just aren't. Know that I feel for what you are going through and am thinking of you. Take care hun. :hug:


Well-Known Member
I used to be really good at dealing with being triggered, as it happened all the time. But it hasn't happened in years, so I'm a little rusty with those coping skills. But I'm doing pretty good at not letting it get to me very much. It's getting better every day. :smile:
Hello I would like to say that I hear you loud and clear I to had a harry childhood my parents fostered teenage boys I was 4 when it started but one thing I have leared over the years is that alott of times when people have something negative to say about it It to has happened to them and they have never tried to deal with it and have never come out about the abuse. Another thing that has helped me threw the flash backs and memorries is I will tell myself I am still here standing I am a survivor. and so are you!!!
Well, long story short, my parents found out and I ended up being the one blamed. I was told to change the way I dressed and some of the things I did... in effect, that I brought it upon myself. My dad told me this. My brother received no punishment whatsoever.

I was told a LOT to just get over it and deal with it. Those words hurt me a lot. I don't react well to them these days. :mad:

I think that your dad is a jerk. no offense meant to you. No one brings rape upon themselves, it is never your fault. It took me a long time to figure that out for myself. I think that your brother should have been punished...that makes me really mad. It isn't easy to just get over these things, I would know. So, if you are anything like me, with the flashbacks, nightmares, and mental breakdowns, I know it can be horrible. i hope that someday we can both learn how to get through it. Good luck, SAndra
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