My triggers can be debilitating, especially ones that come from abuse.
At 8 years old I was sexually abused by a teenage boy from my neighborhood. I trusted him, I looked up to him, and I was told I would get to play my favorite video game if I performed sexual acts on him.
At the time I had no idea what I was doing. I was 8 years old; How the f*ck would I? While knowing this helped me take a step towards healing, it did not make my triggers disappear.
When I first started having sex at 16 years old my triggers felt like land mines. Any new sexual situation reminded me of the abuse I once had. I was anxious, I was not present with my partners, and I eventually found myself completely turned off from the idea of sex at all. (claiming to be asexual)
I was at a loss. I truly felt like my abuser still had power over me over 10 years later…I couldn’t stand it. My abuser had already done enough so how could I STILL let him have power over me? I couldn’t. I had to take this power back into my own hands. I had to tell somebody.
Every time I opened up about my abuse I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. It started with telling my girlfriend at the time, then my mom, then a friend, then a mentor, then finally all of you.
From taking ownership in my abuse I’ve since learned that I can’t blame myself for letting it happen to me…I was a kid. I was there, I did perform acts, but it was the abuser that I trusted and the abuser that took advantage of me. Period.
Does this mean that my triggers are completely gone? Of course not, but god do I feel so much better since opening up about it. I now talk about my abuse with confidence, I now enjoy being romantic/sexual in its entirety, and I now know what it’s like to have a life that feels like my own.
The abuse didn’t change, but what changed is me. If you’re a victim of abuse I understand how it changes the way you experience life. It takes telling one person (even yourself) to start living a life that is your own.