A Trigger and a Flashback

I know that I’ve written often in the past on the blog about how hard it is to be kind and gentle to my body while doing self-care. I figured out a while ago why specifically that was an issue for me, but I needed a lot of time to process about it alone, so I haven’t written about it here until now.

I had noticed some time ago that I have difficulty handling my body gently and kindly. I tend to have a very utilitarian approach to it. I realized that what I was communicating and feeling was that I had little compassion or love to myself. I often try to do things very quickly and feel very frustrated at my body and at how much pain it is in and at how tight my whole body is.

I decided to try to be very gentle in the shower. I love very warm showers and water is my special element, so I thought this might be a good area of self-care for me to work at this gentleness issue.

I did it once and got a flashback immediately. This was very disturbing. I did it again and got another flashback. I’m sure that you can understand how upsetting this was for me. I stopped doing it and thought about this over some period of time.

What I figured out was that my mother, at times, would touch me gently,  and that was a trigger and when I did it to myself I was triggering flashbacks of her abusing me. I decided to slowly start treating myself and my body more gently when in the shower and see how that went. What I have discovered is that, a little less brisk and a little less disconnected from what I am doing and how it is feeling and how I am treating my body and what that is communicating to my body and my system is not triggering me. That is great news. I am treating myself better and avoiding a trigger and avoiding the accompanying flashbacks.

I wanted to share about this issue here because I want everyone to realize that we all have these issues where we are rushed and brisk with our bodies and where we blame our bodies or ourselves rather than understanding that even those of us with the best of childhoods can be programmed into being dismissive, insulting, devaluing, and disconnected from their bodies and that bringing that programming to conscious awareness is important and healing. What we do with that awareness can be life-changing. Even the little things. Even the little moments. Good and healing thoughts to you all.

6 thoughts on “A Trigger and a Flashback

  1. I’m sad that is such a struggle, but you are so amazing and brave to have worked through it and discovered the underlying issues.

    For me, it’s hard to hear flattering descriptions of my body or have a partner touch it in an “exploring” or stroking sort of way (as if to “show” me what I look like) because my ex would do that right before she required we “play”. So I associate it as a precursor to pain and automatically my mind gets into that mode. It’s hard for most of my partner’s since Her to understand. I’ve been trying to work through it.

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    • Hi,

      Thank you.

      I can totally understand what you are saying about the touching trigger. It was a stroking of my arm from top to bottom by my boyfriend that gave me a full body shake and disorientation trigger reaction, long before working on healing, that really brought it to my mind how affected I was by abuse and how much I needed to work on healing. I’m sorry that you struggle with that and with partners having difficulty understanding the connection you’ve had to deal with since “Her.”

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

      Like

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