Triggered By a Microwave, and Other ???

I know I’ve been struggling the past two weeks with connecting to the idea that I have value…

I was at my parent’s house this morning and decided to make tea at the same time my youngest brother was making nachos (breakfast foods aren’t his thing, generally). I had my mug in the microwave for about 45 seconds when he stopped it, opened the door, took my mug out, put his chips and cheese in and declared that his would only take 30 seconds, therefore this made sense.

Sure it made sense. My brain, however, sometimes doesn’t accept “sense”, and I stood behind him, still and quiet, trying to control the sudden flood of emotion.

Y’all. I almost cried.

Then I threatened to beat the shit outta him.

Mom was watching me carefully the whole time. No, I wasn’t actually going to attack my still-recovering brother over a mug of hot water, but the incident brought up so much emotion for me. Emotion that had very little to do with him, and my trigger experiences often don’t have anything to do with the situation at hand and everything to do with the past or unresolved stuff.

I felt like I wasn’t important, that I didn’t matter. That I had no value in that moment. That my needs could be scraped aside and ignored.

All that from a microwave.

Mom tried to smooth it over with humor and I went along with it, but I still had to deal with the emotions. I almost cried a second time, then found some quiet so that I could sort this out. I know I’ve been struggling the past two weeks with connecting to the idea that I have value (for so many years I was treated by a lot of people in ways that said I DID NOT), so this was a punch in the gut when I have finally started to stand upright.

I don’t think my brother doesn’t value me, and again, I understand that to him this was a logical, time-based act. And he was in the kitchen first, so he thought first come first to the microwave. I don’t dispute that. My trigger was based on the pile of experiences that I have not yet acknowledged to have been damaging and that have created a twisted view of myself.

Well, time to acknowledge, time to change the narrative, time to be grateful for this opportunity and time to finish drinking my tea and go about my day.

10 thoughts on “Triggered By a Microwave, and Other ???”

  1. Just reading that kind of pissed me off. Sorry, but it seems really rude in the first place. Yes, he did put his needs over yours. I get not wanting to bring attention to this and not wanting to make a big deal out of it, but maybe, now that you are a bit past it, just having a calm discussion with him about how his actions made you feel will at least make him think twice next time, or when doing something similar to someone else.

    Knowing you have value, and you ABSOLUTELY do, sometimes also means making others see and acknowledge that fact as well. It is easy for me to say that, but I know I struggle with it as well. My kids will sometimes to things that hurt without realizing it and I’m not very good at speaking out because it feels like I’m just being over sensitive. The thing is, it won’t change as long as I keep my mouth shut. I also know that I will feel better having spoken, but I’ve been conditioned to keep my mouth shut. It is something I’m working on.

    Just know that you aren’t alone, so don’t feel bad about reacting the way you did, even if it seems a little silly. Just as you as a person have value, so do your feelings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Yes, so I had a lot of conflict over this because he has been the center of my family’s attention and care for the last few months (he was in a horrible work accident in May and still has multiple surgeries to go), and we give him a lot of space and accommodation.

      I never had that from my family after my car wreck. No one advocated for me, no one fought for me, no one could see that my brain was damaged and continued to deteriorate. When I finally did start going to counseling, my family didn’t understand or support it. They still don’t. Seeing my parents fight for my brother, go to his appointments, care for him and even quit a job to care for him has been hard for me because no one ever did that for me. Ever.

      My therapist has encouraged me to start speaking up and communicating what I need, and I have slowly been doing that, but a long history of being silenced at work and in an abusive relationship is hard for me to overcome. The surprise of being triggered like that also tends to stun me into trying to figure out what just happened and why, so I find it hard to respond in the moment with anything other than anger or silence.

      This was an eye opener for me, and coming from a family that “doesn’t talk about it”, there is a real need to change that. Thanks so much for your encouragement and validation, I’m going to put some thought into how to communicate my needs and feelings because I am pretty sure they don’t know, and they will only know if I tell them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel for you. I have similar issues with my family and how I was treated versus how my brother’s were treated, then watched that be turned onto my kids. It is a horribly ugly situation that eats away at your self worth. I hope you can find a solution that works for you. Me? I had to remove myself and my kids from the family all together. It took over 40 years to understand that I deserved to be treated with a basic amount of respect and if I didn’t stand up for myself and my kids, no one would. I refused to allow them to do to me kids what they did to me. I feel better about myself now than I ever have, but I still struggle. The damage done is deep and lasting.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you so much for sharing, I am the oldest, only girl of 4 and I have born more than my share of behavior expectations. Untangling it all and requiring them to also change is tough. I don’t have kids yet so there’s just me so far, but this experience has really caused me to make some decisions about how I will – and won’t – raise my kids. Now if I can just translate that to being clear about how I will and won’t be treated!

          I really think my parents don’t know what to do for me. I was raised to be strong and independent, and I didn’t stop for a second after my car wreck, which was 6 days after getting my life blown to pieces by my ex, so me learning how to heal and stand up for myself has been pretty weird for them. Telling my Mom that “we don’t blame victims” when she commented on Harvey Weinstein victims not coming forward sooner was weird for her. I think ultimately I don’t blame, I just want better, and I hate that better is probably going to come from me because I really don’t feel that I have the capacity right now, but if I don’t stand up for me things won’t change.

          Liked by 1 person

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