Childhood Triggered by a TV show


I've just watched a TV drama. I wouldn't notmally watch anything that had any reference to CSA but I didn't know it was going there until the last episode of a four part drama, and like an idiot I kept watching.

I've hidden from my past for so long but I am really trying to heal from it and part of my healing is trying to cope with hearing about it, watching things etc in small doses, and trying to increase my tolerance I guess but this was too much and now I am just left all alone and seriously struggling with it.

I have no idea what to do with myself. Breathe I guess. Breathe and try and get some sleep. It's 2am here.

I'm just so fed up of living this life. I'm fed up of having this weight around my neck all of the time. I'm fed up of being so messed up. I'm fed up of being triggered at even the mention of CSA.

I hate it and yet I can't see a way out of it. I am six years in to therapy and honestly, some days it feels like we haven't even made any progress at all in this area. I can't see a way out and that kills me.


I am six years in to therapy and honestly, some days it feels like we haven't even made any progress at all in this area.
From the outside looking in: you're now at the point where you understand what causes you distress, why, and how to manage it successfully 90% of the time.

You also have coping skills to use when the world finds a way around your coping skills (breathing is rock solid, reaching out here is also really helpful sometimes, right?). And on top of all that, you've actually gone through those helpful coping skills at the right time!

So quite the opposite of no progress, you're well on the way to really managing this major trauma history in a really healthy, functional way, even when life hits out of the blue.
Breathe and try and get some sleep.
For me, being gentle with myself when I'm really distressed at 2am means definitely the mindful breathing (or just deep belly breathing if the mindfulness stuff is an added distress for you).

But with sleep at this point? That can become an added worry in those early hours. Suddenly I'm now worrying about getting to sleep as quick as possible, on top of the stuff that distressed me in the first place. And I definitely don't need extra worries at 2am.

So I change the internal dialogue to "let's get my body and brain as much quality rest as I can". Sleep is bonus. The goal is now just rest.

That means plenty of breathing (I use guided relaxation because it makes that a lot easier for me), and plenty of thought diffusion - every time my brain wanders away from breathing and relaxing my muscles? I acknowledge that my thoughts have wandered off, and gently guide it back to my breath.

Hope something in there is helpful, because yeah, I can relate. Movies and tv shows can throw in seriously triggering content at the most unexpected moments. It makes sense that would be deeply distressing though, so be gentle with yourself.


I agree with what Sideways has said. It's easy to lose sight of the progress you've made when you are super triggered but it seems like you have.

I hope things are going a little better. I know how it is to get this surprise triggers. It's happened to me before reading a book. Sending gentle thoughts your way.