Grief and anger are the two prevailing states of my mind these days, so pardon the endless ranting posts. This one focuses on abuse, with some specifics thrown in. Please be safe while reading. My standard trigger warning applies.
I hate it when surprise triggers pop up. This morning, I was doing the simple task of making my bed. It’s something I do most days, so I had no reason to think it would cause problems. However, a friend of mine recently gave me a blue blanket that was, at one time, an electric blanket. The electric part of it no longer works, and the wiring was removed. I realised I was feeling a bit nauseous, but that’s fairly typical these days. Then, the memories came.
Electricity is the friend of many cult trainers. Children are forced to wear shock collars, electric fences are used to hold people in pens, electromagnetic stuff is used to monitor vital signs during particularly violent training sessions. For me, electric cord was frequently used as a restraint. I’m not talking about actual charged electric cord. I am, however, talking about restraints to hold me to the lovely stone sacrifice tables.
Obviously, I was not sacrificed. Early in my training, though, I had to watch quite a few sacrifices of animals and humans of various ages. Some were incredibly brutal, and the sights and sounds stay with me. There’s nothing like looking in the eyes of a sacrificial victim who is begging you– the only person not actually participating– to save them. It makes me want to vomit to even think about it.
And that’s where the anger comes in. Making a bed should *not* be something that concerns me. These people warped my mind to the point that even a simple task held a surprise trigger. I get angry when everyday activities become so upsetting to me. This is progress to some extent, I suppose. Until very recently, those memories would have immediately sparked guilt. Now, the anger came first. The guilt is still there every bit as strong as ever, but it came on the heels of the anger.
I’m an excellent stoic, so people rarely see my emotional reactions to triggers. This was no different. It’s made me take time out of my day to sit and write for a bit, but that’s not a problem. I’m not missing any deadlines. I’m fortunate to be among the few who can remain functional, probably out of necessity more than strength, when dealing with triggers like this. Some SRA survivors make it out only to take their lives. Many have to cope with limited functionality. I deal with triggers rather often, but I find myself able to function most of the time. For that, I am grateful. My heart goes out to the families and individuals who have to cope with losses of loved ones who are still physically alive.