• Mel Hack

Owning my Triggers

Sometimes in my private life, I notice I get triggered by triggered people. Boom! lots of shooting.

Someone blames their trigger on me and refuses to take responsibility for their feelings. Aggressive and hurtful acting, bulldozing and punishing me for setting boundaries or expressing needs. Especially criticizing unleashes the wild, angry demons inside the triggered person.

It’s hard for me not to take the blame.

Not to take the responsibility the other person is throwing at me. I’m struggling with not doubting myself, and not striving for validation of my point. Not allowing the other person to define me. Letting go of wanting them to understand me and parting in peace is not easy for me. The explicit difficulty for me in these situations is that I readily feel thrown back to the child I was. Not allowed to feel the way she felt, speak up, say no, or express her needs. This deep, old pond of pain demands attention. But I’m not a helpless child anymore. I can turn towards myself and show up.

So here I am, seeking, finding, and meeting myself.

What do I need right now?

How do I wanna talk to myself?

I need to hear that I’m not in the wrong. Nobody has the right to shame me for speaking up for myself. Everyone should be heard. I deserve respect and care. And it’s okay to want equal space in a connection.

My last example of this was painful to me. And I’m tracing a pattern: Plenty of adoration right from the bat, a little too much actually for how much we know each other. It’s immediate, intense, and close. This continues for a while, but holding up that level becomes increasingly exhausting. And then, out of the blue, a release of anger, upset, and accusations is pouring all over me. Issues had obviously been built up over time, but the other person wasn’t able to communicate until they couldn’t take it any longer and exploded. This, of course, is a pretty unlucky point to start at. The other person feels strongly in the right because they were taking it all in for so long, and now they REALLY demand to be heard and seen. And there’s barely any space for someone else or their perspective. I owe them. Everything. And in my experience, at this point, anything is too late. No understanding and no apology will satisfy their wronged self. Either I swallow their tantrum, agree, and continue as if nothing happened, or I’ll only provoke more tantrums by pointing out the imbalance of the situation.

If a connection only has to follow the rules of the other person, there’s hardly room for me as well. And from this, I’m walking away. I can’t swallow the injustice. In the last case, I exposed myself to another confrontation because I wanted to give the other person the chance to know and react. Also, I intended to show responsibility by showing up for myself, and addressing what doesn’t feel right for me. But it was the same and I got hurt again. Lack of willingness to listen, and empathy.

And I’m learning.

Learning I don’t have to seek confrontation to grow. Learning to trust my intuition and step away when I feel it without owing an explanation to anyone. Not everyone has to understand me. Learning to not allow anyone to question my needs. I’m learning not to negotiate my boundaries. Learning to accept others’ opinions, albeit they may oppose my reality, and not force agreement. I’m learning to leave someone to their anger and still be at peace - with myself. Being the eye of the storm that other people create around me.

That’s me owning my trigger.

I’m doing the necessary to feel safe, held, and loved. I’m showing up for myself, to make sure I have my own back. So I don’t expect this from others. But what I certainly do expect from others is - doing the same. Here’s where I draw the line: I’m not taking the blame for other people and don’t own their responsibility to show up for themselves - before it gets disrespectful and accusatory.

By being their trigger they became mine. And I’m accepting it as a chance to practice. So, eventually - thank you. Not really a pleasant lesson, but a profound one. Good shot -


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