Domestic violence is a horrible experience that can damage you for life. It’s more common for women and children to find themselves in domestic abuse situations. Woman sometimes marry men who seem charming, charismatic, and perfect (there’s no such thing) but then something significant happens such as a job loss and the men turn into abusers. Some women stay with abusive men because they feel they can’t find someone better. Their self-esteem and confidence are damaged, and they begin to believe the lies their abusers tell them. Abusers are fantastic manipulators. They emotionally, mentally, and psychologically ‘beat down’ their victims.
It’s interesting that most men who were abused as children rarely speak about it. There’s shame around abuse because men are taught they have to be strong, i.e., real men don’t cry. To admit they were abused takes great courage.
Domestic Violence Triggers
A trigger is something that stirs something else. It can be as subtle as a scent or mannerism of a past violent partner, or as dramatic as the courtroom scene where your kids were “kidnapped” from your custody.
It stirs the memory that lies dormant in the muscle, and once those neurons start firing, all hell breaks lose. It’s as though you are that which is being stirred in the same way you knew yourself as that before…
You feel it in your body, in your voice, in your breath, in your entire being. It can come over you so completely that you think you are “that person” again.
Reenactment of Your Domestic Violence Victimization
Now the experience that erupts within you…overcoming you…is the internal cue for you to draw upon the strength you have created in yourself. It so important that you see it this way; otherwise you could easily fool yourself into believing that you are “that person” again. And from here, you sink into the depths of your prior victimization.
You see the body doesn’t know the difference between the “real” event or the “imagined” event. You could be reliving your nightmare and your psychophysiology enacts it as though it is now.
You are not “that person” again. Rather you are you having “that experience” again. Best part is that you, and only you, have the ability to see it as such and interrupt the process of “trigger-enactment.”
Keeping Your Domestic Violence Triggers in Check
Use the body cues to awaken you to seek other ways of being in that moment. For example, a rush of anxiety can be mitigated with intentional rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing. Now this may sound simple. It is simple…subtle and significant.
You can literally change your experience by altering your physiology, and change your body by altering your thoughts. That’s the key to keeping your domestic violence triggers in check. That’s the key to your being an empowered domestic abuse survivor, rather than a weakened re-victimized domestic violence victim.
If you’ve experienced domestic violence abuse, release it from your life. Know that you did the best you could but it’s time to let the past stay in the past. Ask for help and take advantage of the programs that are available to you. You can perform a Google search and find a local shelter in your area that handles domestic violence. While you may not being at the shelter, they could provide you with a counselor or recommend one for you. It’s never too late to let go of the past. If you don’t, it will eat you alive and steal your life from you. Do you want this? Don’t give the abuse and abuser anymore of your power. It’s time to take it back — the time is now!