Last night, my husband and I had an argument because of one of my triggers. It wasn’t the first time we’ve had that argument, either. The problem is that he takes my triggers personally, and I’ve never known why. He says he doesn’t like being compared to someone he isn’t, and that’s not what happens at all.
*possible trigger warning*
When I’m triggered, I cringe. I briefly go back to whatever time it was that caused the trigger, and then I basically express that I need whatever it is to stop. Last night, it was about the dog. I’m protective over the dog because the abusive person from my past hurt a dog right in front of me, on more than one occasion. I was so afraid for my own life that I didn’t do anything about it. The dog didn’t die, but he shouldn’t have been treated the same way the abusive person treated me.
So last night, my husband was bringing the dog in and I heard him yelp, so I went out there to see what happened. All that did happen was in leashing him and bringing him in, he got tangled, tripped my husband and he stepped on his paw. That’s it. That’s all it was.
But the yelp triggered me. The yelps from when the dogs in Minecraft get injured also trigger me. The same thing goes for other video games; it’s just how my brain is wired.
I used to be so scarred from the abusive person that after I got out of that situation, I would wake up in the middle of the night, screaming because I wasn’t used to being safe when I slept. My husband didn’t have to deal with that because I was past that point when we met. But he becomes defensive and angry anytime he does do something that triggers me. It isn’t very often either, but it never fails, when it happens, he gets upset.
He doesn’t understand that I’m not comparing him to someone at all. He isn’t the abusive person from my past; I know that. He just doesn’t understand trauma, and it hurts. I wish he understood that I do not compare him to anyone. I never have. I’m just a broken woman trying to heal.
I feel even more broken now, though.
I didn’t speak to him the rest of the night, and I didn’t say much to him this morning before I left for a meeting I had at the school. I even reached out to a BPD support group, to double check myself and be sure I’m not being selfish, because borderlines are known for being selfish at times, and I recognize that. But even non borderlines have expressed that this isn’t right.
To anyone out there who needs to read this:
If your significant other has triggers, please respect them. They are not comparing you to whoever caused the damage, but they do need your support in those times instead of tearing them down. It’s a broken world and we are all just trying to heal from it. ❤