October 1, 2012Karen Courcy

It’s not often that I get triggered, in fact it’s been a while since I have had a pretty bad trigger!

 Today in session I had such a huge trigger that it knocked me off my own senses of what was around me.

A trigger is like a dark shadow of the unknown, and when it hits, it’s hard to pull away from it and moved to a safe place within! It feels dark like a bad dream that you can’t get out of!

This morning I came into session, I was okay, happy to see my therapist after having a good weekend filled with connection and new understanding about things! We greeted each other with a hug and smiles before sitting down, and it was pretty normal for us coming together in connection.

We were in the middle of talking and all of a sudden you could hear someone walk in from outside into the waiting room, and I could hear it louder than normal, and the next thing I know my therapist is asking me over and over again “Karen, where did you go, whats going on?”

 .. I was triggered by the sound of someone coming into the waiting room outside my therapy room and walking towards the bathroom, you could hear the footsteps.

My therapist  told me that the look on my face was just frozen! I felt removed from where I was and back into a time the feared me from the past! I felt as if someone was going to come through the door any moment into my therapy room and grab me off the couch! I felt unsafe and wanted to leave and get into my car and go home!

He talked me into staying to work out this trigger with him because it doesn’t happen often (especially being with someone).

I was feared, I was in panic of the person out in the waiting room, this has never happened to me before!! I hear people come in and out all the time outside the room in the waiting room, but this time it was different! It was such a strong strong feeling from my past that I literally was shaking in fear. 

I was itchy and scratching my neck and arms, and he told me it was the release of chemicals from the trigger that caused the uneasy feeling on my skin!

The man that was in the waiting room was there waiting for another therapist that works there – he arrived early and was just sitting on the chair waiting – but the point is not who it was or how safe he obviously was – it was about the sound, smell, senses and feeling that brought the trigger on.

I managed to work through the session as best as I could – My therapist offered to walk me to my car! He told me to text him when I got home, text him through the day to let him know how I was doing, and that he would call me later on to talk and check in.

When I left and got into my car to go home, I felt as if the car behind me was following me, I was still in the trigger and knew I needed to get home and ground myself the only way I know how – self protection and care.

I am sitting here hours later writing in my blog and I am grounded; shaking my head wondering what happened! How did I get so triggered? what did the trigger mean? and where did it come from?

Triggers don’t happen to me often, I pretty much stay grounded day to day and work through small moments of 2:00, but triggers are tough when they “DO” happen.

Being in a trigger is scary, because I can’t tell the difference between the now and then! I feel removed from my body. I have memories and visisons that dont make sense. Sometimes triggers make me feel like I am back in the time I was scared, feared, or harmed.

Something about hearing the person walk into the waiting room at 11:20am and the footsteps walking past the outside of  my therapists office just triggered me into something I dont quit understand right now – what I do know is, I haven’t felt fear like that in a long time.

I am blessed that I had wonderful support by my side – gentle and caring trying to move me out of the trigger that hit me so harshly! I just kept paying attention to his familiar voice and connection by my side, trying to understand I was safe and okay.

being a victim of abuse and living with PTSD – having triggers are tricky, it’s a feeling of hopelessness and fear – a feeling like your free floating and can’t get grounded.

I dont know what the trigger meant, but I do know I will figure it out. When I figure it out, I will work with it, understand it so that I have empowerment over it the next time this should happen.

I am okay now, sitting in my favorite chair, in a nook under the window writing and getting re-grounded to life in the now where I am safe, loved and cared for, and later I will re-connect with my therapist and know that we can talk about it.

For now, I am safe, and writing in the now.


  • Samantha

    October 1, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Wow. I really needed to read this, it helped me understand something about myself. I know you will be able to work through this and continue to make progress.. hugs!!!


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