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Trigger Warning: Face to Face with a Major Trigger

Note: This blog entry discusses coming face to face with one of my biggest triggers and my biggest trigger group. If auto accidents are a trigger for you, do NOT proceed further.

Today, I was exposed to my most severe trigger group, auto accidents. Before I go further I want to explain what I mean by a ‘trigger’ group. A trigger group is simply a group of closely related triggers. In this case the ‘auto accident’ group contains the following members:

  • Being in a bad accident
  • Seeing a bad accident first hand
  • Reading or hearing about a bad accident

The difference between each member is severity of response and how difficult it is to control the response. The first is the most severe while each subsequent one becomes less severe.

So today i got a message from Fairfax County alerting me of major delays to traffic because of a bad accident on one of the roads. As I read further, I found that the accident was on one of the roads I cross on my way to and from work everyday. Since it was, I had to look up more details to see if it would impact me or if it was far enough away not to affect me.

Unfortunately, the message went on to state that the accident was fatal
and not far from where I live, but not on the way home. This was the critical point for me. That one sentence took me back to July 3, 2009, when my wife and I had a near fatal accident in NJ. Three years later my wife is still healing from her injuries. I thought she was going to die next to me in the car that day. You can read the details here.

As a side note this entry is having a similar affect as the original message did today. I am having to fight the anxiety and terror, but i need to finish this entry. I am fighting the urge to break down by focusing on the task at hand.

I was able to control the emotions earlier by grounding myself. I grounded myself by feeling my pulse and concentrating on it. I didn’t care that I was at my desk and later in a meeting. I was going to do what I had to for my well-being. Besides, people know about my diagnoses and if they don’t, they know I am a little ‘eccentric’ at times. So they just chalk it up to me being me.

I was able to get through it by distracting myself and grounding myself with my pulse.

Posted: June 28th, 2012 under My Journey, Thoughts, Trigger Warning.

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