Do you trigger people but you don't know why?

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KitLily
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05 Dec 2022, 7:26 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
What I've learned is that I can't talk to friends EVER, about my trauma.
It's counterintuitive because therapists tell me to speak to people I trust.

I don't trust anyone anymore, because if I confide in people they disappear.

I'll have to learn the art of superficial small talk and how to ignore my PTSD.


Yes I agree with you. When therapists say 'speak to people you trust.' It's nonsense. People apply everything to themselves and think 'this has really upset me, I won't talk to that person again' and as you say, they disappear.

I think therapists are the only ones we can talk to really.

I thought I was unlucky to learn this so young when my dad died when I was 13. People didn't want to talk about how devastated I was because it upset them. I thought I'd missed out on having people to talk to but as it turns out, people are just 'like that'. They never, ever want to talk about trauma or upsetting subjects because it upsets them.

What are we to do eh? *sigh*


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Joe90
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05 Dec 2022, 8:07 am

KitLily wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Sounds like most the examples you described are quite normal. We're not mind-readers so we don't always know what triggers some people until it happens. Most adults talk about politics and have their own opinions, so you're not to know whether the other person has another religious belief that may contradict your beliefs or opinions unless they have said so. I'd have thought that part of TOM skills is knowing that other people can't read your mind so I don't think what you've said is anything to do with social awkwardness.


That is very reassuring, thanks.

It just seems to happen every time I open my mouth, that's why I asked. I seem to be able to hit the exact subject that triggers every person with laser accuracy. I just wondered why. I suppose I see through them or something :shrug: I often seem to see right through people's shields/barriers to their real selves :?

What are TOM skills?


TOM skills mean theory of mind, where you can understand that others are not always able to read your mind unless you make it obvious. So if you say something to someone that happened to offend them but there was no obvious signs to tell you not to say it, them expecting you to just know what offends that individual is missing the TOM.
I understand what offends people in general, such as calling someone fat or whatever, but things what may offend someone individually may be something you won't know unless you're told, because you're not a mind-reader.
I get offended when people go sshh, but I know that they don't know it offends me, so I try not to make a big deal about it, or if I did want them to understand then I'll just say "I don't like people shushing me, it's just so cringing" but still understanding that they didn't know that fact about me and they wouldn't have known that fact until I tell them.


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KitLily
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05 Dec 2022, 8:09 am

Joe90 wrote:
TOM skills mean theory of mind, where you can understand that others are not always able to read your mind unless you make it obvious. So if you say something to someone that happened to offend them but there was no obvious signs to tell you not to say it, them expecting you to just know what offends that individual is missing the TOM.
I understand what offends people in general, such as calling someone fat or whatever, but things what may offend someone individually may be something you won't know unless you're told, because you're not a mind-reader.
I get offended when people go sshh, but I know that they don't know it offends me, so I try not to make a big deal about it.


Thanks! Yes, I try to never be rude to people. e.g. when I complimented that woman with her jacket, how was I to know she would take offence at a compliment? SMH.

It is pretty rude to say Sshhh to an adult though. It's what people say to naughty kids. So I can understand how it offends you. It's like they are treating you like a child.


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Joe90
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05 Dec 2022, 9:22 am

Quote:
Thanks! Yes, I try to never be rude to people. e.g. when I complimented that woman with her jacket, how was I to know she would take offence at a compliment? SMH.

I think she was at fault there. Really she should have just said "thank you, it's actually not mine, it's my dad's jacket I'm just borrowing..." (sorry, couldn't remember who's coat you said it was in your first post but never mind). How were you to know that?

Quote:
It is pretty rude to say Sshhh to an adult though. It's what people say to naughty kids. So I can understand how it offends you. It's like they are treating you like a child.

Going sshh feels so domineering. The only time it's OK is when you're a teacher trying to get the class quiet. Otherwise it's cringing. I don't mind shush, but not sshh. It just makes me feel embarrassed. Once I was wishing someone a happy birthday at work because it had come up on Facebook as I was scrolling through my phone and she happened to be in the room, so I thought I'd be friendly and I said "oh, happy birthday" and she went "SSSSSHHHHHHH!! !" I was quite alarmed, as I wasn't expecting her to do that. Although she was only young, she said she didn't want people to know it was her birthday - even though everyone did, plus she was wearing a happy birthday badge. :? She didn't sshh me to be mean though, and she didn't say it angrily, as she knew I wouldn't have known she didn't want happy birthday wishes to her, and she probably reacted the same to others who wished her a happy birthday too. But just like I wasn't to know she didn't want fuss on her birthday, she wasn't to know I don't like people yelling sshh to me, so I just took it with a grain of salt but felt embarrassed inwardly.


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KitLily
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05 Dec 2022, 12:08 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Quote:
Thanks! Yes, I try to never be rude to people. e.g. when I complimented that woman with her jacket, how was I to know she would take offence at a compliment? SMH.

I think she was at fault there. Really she should have just said "thank you, it's actually not mine, it's my dad's jacket I'm just borrowing..." (sorry, couldn't remember who's coat you said it was in your first post but never mind). How were you to know that?

Quote:
It is pretty rude to say Sshhh to an adult though. It's what people say to naughty kids. So I can understand how it offends you. It's like they are treating you like a child.

Going sshh feels so domineering. The only time it's OK is when you're a teacher trying to get the class quiet. Otherwise it's cringing.


Yes, she could have said that about the coat. How was I to know that a compliment would offend her? She was extremely touchy about everything, I realised as time went by. The type who takes offence at everything. So I didn't have much to do with her. She had a weird family set up, she had 14 brothers and no sisters, she also did very impulsive things, like suddenly whisking her toddlers off to France and dumping them in a French nursery where no one spoke English. :roll:

I think you are in the right. I would feel embarrassed if someone shushed me. It is like they are treating you like a child. It's rude.


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IsabellaLinton
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05 Dec 2022, 1:26 pm

KitLily wrote:
I think therapists are the only ones we can talk to really.

I thought I was unlucky to learn this so young when my dad died when I was 13. People didn't want to talk about how devastated I was because it upset them. I thought I'd missed out on having people to talk to but as it turns out, people are just 'like that'. They never, ever want to talk about trauma or upsetting subjects because it upsets them.

What are we to do eh? *sigh*


I'm so sorry about your dad, and your grief. That must have been overwhelming. My granddad took his own life on my 16th birthday. I get triggered by red roses (which I had received), and by stuff about "Sweet 16". No one in my family talked about it and in fact I didn't know it was self-inflicted until my cousins told me much later. My dad made us move to another country so he wouldn't be faced with the memories but still, no one talked about it.

Regarding friends, my friends are all people with PTSD too. That's what brought us together, and it's how I met most of them. Talking about PTSD was always therapeutic because we helped each other with ideas we learned in therapy, books we read, or just encouragement. Talking about trauma wasn't the problem, but triggers were. I know my friends' triggers but when I'm having a trauma meltdown it's easy to cross a line and forget which topics might cause emotional flashbacks for other people. It's like we can talk openly about trauma, but only with disclaimers and trigger warnings. I understand and respect that but unfortunately once the damage is done, it can't be repaired.

I'm prepared to discuss the weather from now on.

Today is cloudy and just above 0.



KitLily
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07 Dec 2022, 6:03 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I'm so sorry about your dad, and your grief. That must have been overwhelming. My granddad took his own life on my 16th birthday. I get triggered by red roses (which I had received), and by stuff about "Sweet 16". No one in my family talked about it and in fact I didn't know it was self-inflicted until my cousins told me much later. My dad made us move to another country so he wouldn't be faced with the memories but still, no one talked about it.

Regarding friends, my friends are all people with PTSD too. That's what brought us together, and it's how I met most of them. Talking about PTSD was always therapeutic because we helped each other with ideas we learned in therapy, books we read, or just encouragement. Talking about trauma wasn't the problem, but triggers were. I know my friends' triggers but when I'm having a trauma meltdown it's easy to cross a line and forget which topics might cause emotional flashbacks for other people. It's like we can talk openly about trauma, but only with disclaimers and trigger warnings. I understand and respect that but unfortunately once the damage is done, it can't be repaired.

I'm prepared to discuss the weather from now on.

Today is cloudy and just above 0.


Yes, it was overwhelming to lose 1/3 of my family at the precise age where my body and brain were changing and going through adolescence. I don't think I got over it for many years. My mum said to me 'we could have counselling but we don't want to tell strangers our problems do we? We'll sort them out ourselves.' But did we? Did we heck.

So I reckon that my mum was offered counselling but she refused! Even my doctor said once that a tiny bit of counselling would have helped me no end!

I wasn't allowed to talk about my dad, or get angry or tearful. If I did, my mum got angry and offended. She got angry and offended whenever I showed any emotion, unless it was 'happy.' So I muddled along for years, until I had a nervous breakdown aged 22.

Apparently this is normal for bereaved children: they don't know what to do or how to cope with a death because their minds aren't fully grown. Then as the years go by, their mind develops but there is still this vast lake of unresolved anger, fear, grief etc. and it bursts out in a big rush.

Everyone around them wonders why. The child was bereaved soooo long ago, why are they upset now? Or people don't know about the bereavement and think the person has gone insane.

So I learned from this: if my daughter has any problems, I must talk about them, get counselling for her, help her as much as possible. I must not suppress her and get angry at her feelings, and hope they go away. So that is what I did! When she has problems, she gets help from me, not anger and offence.

That's awful about your grandfather, what a strange day to choose to kill himself. I hope you got to talk about your feelings with a counsellor or therapist eventually.

I think you're right about lots of other people having PTSD. We are all triggering each other and that's why we keep losing friends. I must be triggering other people somehow, but there's nothing I can do about it and I will never know what triggers them, so I reckon I'm destined to have no friends. Hey ho.


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autisticelders
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07 Dec 2022, 7:18 am

I have got a better idea about the 'whys' but I still can't see it coming when I do it, or when it may have happened in any given interaction. My presence with one sibling is enough to trigger her to attack me no matter what the event or interaction may be. Some of that is family pattern conditioning and support of her (good daughter) against me (bad daughter) in every interaction we ever had. But I have certainly set off enough people un knowingly in my life that I do know now its maybe more "me" than "them". Sad but true. I do much better with interactions on line like this forum.


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KitLily
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08 Dec 2022, 12:45 pm

autisticelders wrote:
But I have certainly set off enough people un knowingly in my life that I do know now its maybe more "me" than "them". Sad but true. I do much better with interactions on line like this forum.


Same here. I've realised it must be me because it happens all the time. I do much better communicating in writing like this, where I can be clear and concise, and I don't get accused of 'looking at someone funny' or making the wrong expression or somehow having the wrong body language.


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