Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Trigger

My cognitive therapist has been teaching me tools to better understand why I think and act the way I do. I absolutely LOVE it. Anyway, he made me aware of triggers: stimuli that cause an extreme emotional reaction in me, so extreme that I become flooded with emotions I can't explain or even describe. It's very hard to identify the trigger because: 1. while you're being flooded, it's hard to even remember your name, and 2. when you're not triggered, you don't want to go back to that place lest you become triggered again. It's a meticulous, careful, and caring process to break the pattern apart.

So I think I've made the first step. I realize the thought of TM leaving me for another person is a trigger. This morning, TM was wearing his cologne. He hasn't worn it in a long time. My mind immediately starts to race, filled with images of how he's trying to impress another woman. Then I start thinking...He's been waiting to be free of me so he can pursue this other woman.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm not justified in my anger. I asked him point-blank on the day we broke up if there was another woman in the mix and he said "no." So if I find out that he was willing to work on things until he saw another option and then just decided to bail...well I don't
think I could ever face him again if he betrayed me like that.

But it's not okay that my mind immediately jumps to the fact that he's getting it on with some woman from work in the broom closet; that he spends all his time with her complaining about what an awful girlfriend I was; that he feels so much freer now that I'm gone. Because those thoughts just send me into a tailspin.

So I took the first step. I have another therapist appointment next week...I'll let you know what the second step is.

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