Triggers v. Numb

Updated: May 24

off the Dance Floor

Page 14

“I need to talk to you.”

This sentence sent a shock wave through me. The first time I heard it was when Taylor was preparing to throw me out. Throw me out!

I can’t even explain the number of triggers that were rattled by that phrase having been spoken, now, for the second time.

Fear, hurt, anger, abandonment, distrust, confusion, and, this time, revenge. This time my mind started with the phrase ‘oh hell no!’ first. No one is going to do this to me again!

I wanted to hit something and cry at the same time. I wanted to beg for forgiveness and hurt him back, right then. I was afraid. Afraid of abandonment. I was prepared to be devastated all over again.

I immediately turned to remove my shoes while thinking ‘Oh hell no!’ . I unbuckled them to the thought of ‘That’s what you think….!’ I removed them to the word ‘bullshit!’

“We are in need of a receptionist…….” was spoken during the words “Bring it Bitch!” ……

”one night a week” ….took me to….NUMB…..

”Would you consider working…….” found me at full blown NUMB….”those nights?”……gave me a moments pause. “You’d be working for your lessons.”….still paused…..Wait? What?…still NUMB with several angry responses that had not completely begun to withdraw yet.

It took me a couple moments to say ”Yes.“ when I noticed my eyes were tearing up.

Angry- don't let that go yet!

NUMB- say something. Say yes. Still NUMB- roll with it for now

I remained NUMB through the rest of the conversation, into and through my lesson, still in tears. NUMB is not something that pulls itself back easily. It stays far longer than necessary.

I thought, “This isn’t so bad, but wait. Just wait.”

Every sentence after that was delivered while I was numb. I knew what I should feel. And I knew how others would be expecting me to feel but I felt nothing.

If you were to have seen me, you would have heard the good words. But, to look more deeply into my eyes you would have seen absence.

It was days before the NUMB wore off and reality slowly moved back in.

Triggers are fierce. They are not just a reminder of little memories. They are not the little poorly timed flashbacks we see in movies. They are a horrific living nightmare, neither poorly nor aptly timed, of every thought & every feeling. They completely physically and mentally transport a person into that time and that place while removing the real world altogether so there is no longer any rationality at our disposal.

When I say altogether, I mean who I am, where I am, what I’m doing disappear. My thinking mind is totally withdrawn leaving behind pure emotion. Triggers are an avalanche of history repeating itself. Repeating itself all at once. Beginning to end without any breaks. Until…….

…..NUMB is the only viable response. Not the chosen response but an emotionally inflicted consequence to diminish all feelings, all at once, forever.

NUMB is not a good place to be because all of my behavior between then and reality also lacked emotion. I was robotic. I said I was happy and I said I glided home on angel wings but I wasn’t happy. And I didn’t glide. I wanted to feel what I should have felt but I didn’t truly feel anything.

In time, my life slowly reappeared but this event now became a trigger, also. One less frightening than others but one that would change the course of my responses in ways that make sense to nobody but me.

I hear you,



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