anxiety, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness

Triggers from Domestic Abuse and PTSD

Trauma never really goes away. It is a part of us that we have to live with every day. How that trauma affects us, depends on the person and the level of healing you we are currently at.

Domestic abuse trauma is severe and can impact our lives negatively for a very long time. The attack on our self-esteem by our abuser was deliberate and insidious. Our abuser attempted to control our thoughts and behaviors by making us feel inadequate and ashamed.

The feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness are carried with us, until we are able to acknowledge that we were truly traumatized and accept the fact that we sustained psychological injury from the abuse.

Once we can accept that we were not at fault,  and did nothing to deserve to be abused, then we can begin to grow and learn how to cope with the mental  injuries.

The scars of abuse will always be with us, but we can work towards reducing the open wounds in our emotions and our minds. When we have gaping, painful wounds, our everyday lives tend to revolve around them.

We try to avoid being “bumped into” in an emotional or mental way. Our brains cannot tolerate even the slightest thing that might retraumatize us. 

Anything that reminds us of the abuser, the circumstances surrounding the abuse, or how we felt during the abuse, may be  intolerable. This may cause us to organize our lives around avoiding anything that might trigger a state of post traumatic stress. We will develop behavior patterns of avoidance and may be in a state of hyperarousal almost all of the time.

The  hyperarousal state is when all of our guards are up. We are constantly scanning our environment for possible threats. These may be physical threat or mental / emotional threats. Because of the damage our brains have already sustained, we cannot risk any more damage.

This is something we instinctively know. We know that we cannot tolerate any more trauma or any more retraumatization.

When we are newly out of the traumatic situation, our ability to feel relaxed and feel safe has been compromised. There seem to be threats all around us. This is true for some victims, but every individual is unique.

Some people may go several  months or more,  without any noticeable symptoms, and then suddenly begin to show signs of post traumatic stress.

We lose our ability to trust our own judgement and may avoid any situation we are not sure of. We ended up in abuse one time and we are afraid to experience that again. We are also afraid to be triggered into having traumatic memories flooding back into our brains.

The memories of the abuse can be overwhelming and painful to us. We want to get away from them. There are people that remind us of our abuser in some way.

There are situations that remind us of situations we were in. There are also other things like locations, songs, sounds, sensations and objects that can remind us of the original trauma.

The individual triggers are different for different people. It is good to pay attention to what triggers you and be mindful of your reactions and feelings.

The more you understand about your own responses, be them behavioral or internal, the further along the path to healing you will be.

8 thoughts on “Triggers from Domestic Abuse and PTSD”

  1. I’m nodding … my child abuse triggers, although they are far milder and less frequent than they used to be, function exactly like that. Hugs – you got through hell and retained your humanity – that’s major.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emotional abuse can happen anywhere; not just at home. I suffered emotional abuse at work that triggered the insidious abuse I had suffered from my childhood (that I thought I had mostly healed from and forgiven). When I finally left that job a year and a half ago, I now see I was in a PTSD state. Even going to the grocery store was frightening. Another customer talking to me was a threat. It’s getting easier, but I am still looking over my shoulder for someone to say something to me that feels abusive. Thank you for your posts. They have been helping me understand and heal. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve learned that through the emotional triggering found though out my life, those have been the very opportunities for me to heal that wound which is within me. Not easy by a long shot. But by NOT reacting to the trigger, and instead choosing to stay neutral and in High Heart (in Love), the more one does this, the more that wound heals. I actually have a post coming TODAY about this. Amazing synchronicity. Thank you! Love, Amy


  4. Reblogged this on Eileen's Child and commented:
    It took me a long time to acknowledge and accept this. I didn’t want to acknowledge that I had a broken mind because that would mean that I was crazy! But once I understood that my uncontrollable feelings and reactions were a result of the impact of the abuse had on me, I was able to relax and learn how to handle my PTSD symptoms and know that I wasn’t crazy!


  5. Yes, I have found this to be true. Even after all these years I still suffer from PTS. I have recognized that controling people trigger anxiety and depression for me. It seems God has specifically placed me in situations that I have to deal with someone that is mean, bitter and controling. It’s helping me, even though I fought it for a time. I’m learning to look at the situation more logically and work through my emotions to the place where I don’t allow my emotions to be so controlled and influenced. I’m praying for complete healing.

    Liked by 1 person

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