There are times when I'm triggered by everyday interactions.
In the past, in many instances when I would feel defensive, I would lash out with anger. Angry words, angry tones, angry everything. Most of the time, my anger didn't match an appropriate response.
Over the years, I've really worked at managing my anger and while I may get angry about certain situations or conversations, I am able to manage my response. I may not have the most articulate responses, but I don't usually lash out out of proportion to what an acceptable response would be.
That didn't happen today. I lashed out in tone and with words at someone I love. It wasn't an appropriate response, either in level or in tone. I've handled similar conversational situations with much more grace. But I didn't tonight, and wasn't able to step out of the moment fast enough, and I'm ashamed of the way I handled it. Something about the conversation triggered me; I went from calm to anger too quickly for it to be a normal response. I'll have to unpack that on my own with my therapist next week.
I understand that no one responds perfectly all the time, but this time with just a few sentences I really hurt someone I love.
This is where repair is so important. I immediately recognized my error and addressed it with my loved one. I apologized, mentioned that I was out of line for our misunderstanding, and that I could have handled it better. While the intent behind my repair words and actions in the moment are understandably difficult for them to recognize, it's important to revisit those interactions where you could have handled something much better. It plants the seed that, "Hey, I acted out of line and I am truly sorry for how I made you feel."
I never had that growing up. No parent ever repaired with me after yelling at me or threatened me with physical violence. I brought that forward into all of my relationships for decades. But I'm more informed now and can see how that is not a constructive way to live your life.
I will revisit it again in the next day or so, probably in a short card so that they have the words to look at and re-read if necessary.
I just wanted to share this so that someone else who may have a similar situation doesn't beat themselves up too much. Reflect on the interaction, yes. Think about how you could do it better next time, yes. Go back to the person you had the bad interaction with, absolutely. Feel bad about it, within reason, yes. Think about what may have triggered you, yes. If your response doesn't match the situation, it's likely that you were triggered, and figuring out the trigger is important so you can recognize it in the future.
#CPTSD #Anxiety #ChildhoodTraumaSurvivors #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #repair