Friday, October 30, 2020

Fearless Friday - triggers

 Do you have triggers? Things that just set you off. They may be the tiniest thing, or something huge, but whatever it is, it just eats at you.

I have a fair few of the pesky tiny ones. Each time they come up, I've been trying to work out what's behind it, and see if I can face that and look at it in a different way. 

It's not something new. I've been doing it for years. I have no idea how it started or why I do it. I kind of figured everyone did it in their quest to become someone who wasn't constantly driven insane, or who didn't internally fight with themselves all the time, or to be a better person (or whatever the heck the motivation for it is). But I'm realising as I talk to people that it's not something everyone does. So, I thought I'd talk about it. And, you know, I'm having a trigger right at the moment, so what better time to flesh it out with a up-to-the-minute example.

Mr E has the day off today. This is unusual because he's been working ridiculous hours for about a year now. Because he hasn't been around much, I have this space to myself. Today, the TV is turned on as soon as we're up. I like silence. I'm working, he has the day off. He says he needs no help, so I begin work... in the first hour, he interrupted me no less than 8 times. Could I do this? Could I do that? I'm not up to interruptions. My day is working in silence at my own rhythm. I'm triggered by these things.

Then... while I'm not doing so well, he triggers me more.

Last weekend we picked up an outdoor setting. But footy grand finals and tax were a higher priority than putting it together. And I went to do it through the week but I thought, "No, we should do it together. He wanted to do it with me." Except, today, he's doing it. Right now. Even after I suggested we do it on the weekend together when I'm not working.

And I know he'll say he wanted to help me out by doing it. I know he thinks he's being sweet doing it himself so I don't have to interrupt my day.

But it pisses me off.

I considered him. I was waiting for him so we could do it together. I said this when I suggested doing it over the weekend, and it was ignored.

What are my triggers?

I like to be needed.

I hate being ignored.

I can see his rationale about caring, helping, etc etc. 

But from my point of view, he's excluding me, saying that I'm not needed (and probably couldn't do it anyway). And that's the baggage I carry. From where? I'm not entirely sure. I think there's an ancestral female thing about the patriarchy. I have a strong dose of that in me, and Mr E has a strong dose of the protector-male thing, so we often clash over those issues when they butt up. I didn't have brothers, so I was the one who helped with outdoor tasks, as the eldest, so it's not really a childhood thing. There is a "kit" thing from my mother that I carry - we (Mum and us kids) always built kits when Dad wasn't around because he had no patience for those things (same with moving furniture). I see it as something I 'should' do. I also like to be needed, to pull my weight, to have a clear role in a working group, and I think doing tasks together strengthens a relationship (although, many times it also highlights the differences, which may not be so comfortable. I like seeing differences and trying to work out how to each change to accommodate... this is not something many people enjoy, Mr E included). So there are a few things for me to unpack and deal with there. Looks like a busy day and weekend and maybe a while longer as I sort through all of that. But having identified it, written it, and thought about it, my fury and rage has simmered to just discomfort so I'm well on my way to dealing with my triggers.

And yes, I could walk out and start helping. I'm a little tempted to do that, but a few things are stopping me. 

1. He has his earbuds in and is listening to a podcast, so there'd be no casual conversation. 

2. His method of putting things together is so pedantic and structured, I would go insane. 

3. He's happy doing this himself, without my interruptions, chatter and suggestions.

4. I have to deal with my issues, not force myself where I'm not needed or wanted. It really makes no difference who puts the damn thing together, does it? If it turned up already made, I'd be perfectly happy. So, it's a 'me' issue. I need to deal with my shit. And what better way of dealing with it than to spill my guts for the world to see! ARGH! However, fearless and Friday.

Do you have triggers? How do you deal with them?

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