Monday, March 25, 2013

How do you cope with Triggers?

How do you cope when you are in public and you become triggered? Here is an passage from my book and one of my unexpected triggers in public as I was still in the crisis mode which is a stage of healing:

Panic episode while at a family picnic:

My daughter, Sabrina, had a picnic for her school choir that we all were invited to participate. All the choirs, orchestra, and band students from all the schools would be there. We were so excited to go and we bought tickets ahead of time. I looked forward to the picnic all day. I was excited to have some fun family time. When we got there we ate right away and there was music entertainment that was loud but I seemed to be okay with it. After everyone was done eating, it was time to play on the playground.

My son ran one way and my two daughters the other way. My husband, Ramone, watched Kota as I watched my daughters from a distance. Mother’s are not cool. As I stood there looking at all the children having fun with their parents, I felt sad because I never had that opportunity with my parents when I was little. I started to scan the crowd to look for Stella’s dad to make sure he wasn’t there. I started to smell an overwhelming odor of wood chips as my awareness of the smell increased I felt sick, dizzy, and panicked. I had to flee to get out of the danger zone quickly. I waved frantically for my family to come as I said, “We have to go now!” As I started to run toward the car, Sabrina was screaming at me that she didn’t want to go. Veronica also didn’t want to go. Ramone collected Kota and met me at his car.

Sabrina still screaming as I am telling her I am triggered again by the wood chips and told her what I was feeling. Veronica yelled, “Sabrina shut up mom is having problems”, as she tried to comfort me. “Mom, are you okay?” “Mom, look at me and breathe! You’re safe.” “Your trauma is not happening now it is in the past.” I was able to calm myself down but didn’t want to go back to the picnic.
Thank you for your support.
Leslie Raddatz

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