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 woman in a black pencil skirt, white blouse and black heels is standing with left hands up at her forehead and is gazing forward. Her shadow is a women in a cape. On the wall in the background are are the words
There's a Superhero in All of Us

May 04, 2021

If I had to choose a female superhero to represent a family caregiver, I would choose a warrior that has a shield engraved with the letter “S”. The “S” stands for softness, spirit and self-awareness.

View full article →

A woman sitting on a rock looking out at the ocean. We see that she has blonde hair and wearing a cobalt blue top and white pants. The sky is blue with white clouds.
Choosing Compassion

April 25, 2021

When people get tired and frustrated, compassion is usually one of the first things to go out the window. When actually, that’s when we need it most. Both compassion for ourselves and compassion for others.

View full article →

Grey oval stone engrained with the word hope is sitting in the sand. There are four circles drawn in the sand around the rock.
Support & Hope

April 11, 2021

But now I understand the importance of hope. Parents of children with autism need stories of inspiration and hope so that they never give up on their kids. 

View full article →

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