Triggers

September 25, 2019

Triggers

I’m always surprised when a trigger appears when I’m speaking with an acquaintance or a stranger. I like to think that given the time, energy and money that I’ve invested into my personal growth journey, that I would have that stuff on lockdown.

Most days, I’m pretty zen so I wouldn’t allow someone who doesn’t know me well to have any power over my energy. Really – why would other people's opinions even matter? One of the main reasons why I’m so zen is that I take 30 minutes in the morning to stretch and meditate. This helps ground me and remind me of what’s important in life.

You can imagine my surprise then when I let one comment – four little words – drive me crazy. In fact, that comment stayed with me for a good 24 hours, and it took a while for me to calm down.

Do you know that words offended me, triggered me, and made my internal dialogue go bat-shit crazy? Having a mother, who had just learned that I had a daughter with special needs, respond to a statement with, “That’s just like us.”

Boom! I had been explaining that my husband and I had made the decision to drive our daughter to school and pick her up – even though transportation was available. Because my daughter is in a special education program, her school is not in our neighbour. Her school is about 10 km down the highway and in a different part of the city.

During this conversation, another parent had asked whether we use transportation to send Summer to school, I had said no, “We had a negative experience with a past driver. Given that Summer is non-verbal, we prefer to drop her off and pick her up.”

This is when the lady interjected, “That’s just like us. We used to drive our kids to school and pick them up.”

Now that I’m writing it out, it appears like such an ‘innocent’ statement, but it really bothered me and triggered me in a way that was so unexpected.

Immediately, I had lots of sarcastic and not-nice responses in my head. I had wanted to ‘correct’ her and point out that her kids probably went to a school near their house. That her kids probably could have taken the bus, ridden a bike, etc. to get to school. Her family probably had options.

But why……does any of that really matter? I reminded myself that I have blown off more ignorant comments than that.

I reminded myself that I couldn't control what people say, think or feel. I could only control my own actions and reactions.

I share this because life is a journey. Being a caregiver is a journey. There are good days and there are not-so-good days. There are beautiful moments and there are ugly moments.

We’re in this for the long-haul. The more grace, love and compassion that we give ourself, allows us to laugh off these moments of being triggered – even when we don’t fully understand the why.

There is no need to look back. Gather all the information and wisdom that you’ve collected on your caregiver journey with the intention to keep moving forward and doing your best.

The beautiful child who depends on you thanks you for your efforts and positive energy – trust me.

 





Leave a comment


Also in News

A photo of my daughter standing at a splash pad where her black hair is wet and she has water drops on her face. She's wearing a thinly-striped top that is wet. The stripes are red, navy, lime green and white.
Groundhog Day 2021

July 17, 2021

I am grateful that I get to spend this time with her and her brother. I will honour this time of a more relaxed schedule.

View full article →

Guide post with four arrows - top one pointing left with the word help; next one pointing right with the word support; underneath one pointing left with the word advice and the bottom one pointing right with the word guidance.
What Can Paid Caregivers Help You With?

June 19, 2021

Whichever route a family chooses, what matters is knowing when to ask for help and how to get the right help to care for any family member that needs an additional helping hand. 

View full article →

The author standing with her daughter and son at a disc golf basket. They're standing on grass and there are trees in the background and the sky is blue.
What My Journey Has Taught Me

June 06, 2021

On this once unimaginable path, I’ve unearthed many gifts. The most profound being that my happiness was non-negotiable.

View full article →

Sign up to receive my weekly blog, recipes and to learn more about upcoming retreats & courses.