The re-experience of trauma and its endlessness

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In Body Keeps the Score, van der Kolk describes the re-experience of trauma as being timeless. If I remember correctly, when we're triggered, our amydyla is activated, and it can only experience the immediacy of the present and become activated to fight or flight. It has no history or sense of time. So when I'm triggered, I revert to the reality of shame, fear and hurt as though it is happening in the moment and that it will never end. If for example, my boyfriend does something callous, I become simply as unloveable and despicable as I felt as a child (why else would my parents abuse me), and there was never any time I was not and never any time I will be any different. If I didn't have cptsd, I probably could remember that he did a dozen nice things for me just earlier that day, and has never intentionally hurt me, and that I have healed immensely and act kindly most of the time. But in that moment, none of that exists. Only the never-ending trauma exists and I cannot imagine any other reality past, present or future.

Can anyone share some insights into this? I actually am getting better at recognizing when I'm triggered, but it is so hard to make smart, empathic, and objective decisions when my reality is experienced as so catastrophic (though it doesn't reflect actual reality at all). For example, I will feel urgency about getting my need for recognition met even though the right thing at the moment is to compromise or let someone else have their moment.
I have spent countless hours searching these forums to find something slightly comparable to the way my reality shifts when I get triggered, specifically with my boyfriends anger. The anger isn’t towards me by any means, he has his own issues he’s working through but passionate is a key adjective to this man, so when he’s flustered or overwhelmed it comes out angry. My brain hears the tone or sees the frustration and because of my step fathers frustration meaning someone was getting hit, I immediately can go into fight or flight…

I’ve been working on healing those wounds and part of me feels since beginning to work on them, I get triggered easier. I can’t differentiate with his emotions on whatever causes the trigger, and the trigger. It’s wearing us both out so much. So thank you. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being open, and sharing. I greatly appreciate it and pray things have gotten better for you!
 
My brain hears the tone or sees the frustration and because of my step fathers frustration meaning someone was getting hit, I immediately can go into fight or flight…
You need to talk seriously about how thst affects you. Passion is one thing - acting out anger is another - even if its not toward you.
Find a way or a place he can let it out without affecting you because it will take a lot of therapy and a long time to change that automatic response.....
 
’ve been working on healing those wounds and part of me feels since beginning to work on them, I get triggered easier.
I'm going through a period of being triggered and I do feel that is was caused by stuff coming to the surface (which is good). But the experience of it is hard because it feels so bad and I don't want to experience the hurt, shame, and anger. But I'm trying to remember that I have never regretted those feelings surfacing and embracing them (rather than rejecting them) as part of the healing process.

My brain hears the tone or sees the frustration and because of my step fathers frustration meaning someone was getting hit, I immediately can go into fight or flight…
Exactly. Because I am the same self that is experiencing both the immediate and justifiable negative reaction to another's anger and the deeply entrenched feelings from the past, I have a hard time deciphering which to react to, which to talk to my bf about, which to meditate on and work out on my own. I do think that with awareness and time, it gets better.

Thanks for you kind encouragement. I'm glad my thoughts resonated with you!
 
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