I always feel confused when people say I have a lot of triggers. I’m not even sure what that means, exactly. I know that I can be bopping along reading a sweet letter from a mother to a daughter about Santa and burst into tears because all in a flash I think of my mother. I think that my mother didn’t actually get to have visits from Santa when she was a child. The first Christmas stocking my mother ever got in her life she got from me when I was 16. I was absolutely horrified when I understood that she had been filling stockings for her children for 29 years and she had never gotten one herself, ever. My dad was an asshole; he got one every year of their 15 year marriage.
I have been married for five years. Somehow I doubt that their marriage was like mine five years in. For my mom and dad that is when Jimmy was being born. All of my mom’s stories about my dad are tinged with bitterness, so I can’t get a straight answer about anything. He was an addict, I’m sure it was up and down. Noah doesn’t seem to think I am an addict. I suppose that’s good. Things are up and down anyway.
It’s interesting how music is universal. Yes, that’s a topic shift. You can listen to a song and feel identification with it no matter how close your actual life experiences are. At the moment I’ve got Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing” and if ever there was a song that lots of people feel inspired by… even while they know they are drowning in their own cheese. This song is increasingly popular again. And it’s not because it’s a great song. It’s cheesy and pretty silly. But it’s fun and it’s how I find my pleasure. I have a play list called “healing”. I haven’t listened to much else in the past year. Periodically I will hear a song on the radio and add it. It’s four hours long. These are the songs I listen to over and over again. I like songs like Dolly Parton’s “Better Get To Livin'”.
This is a mixed thing because unless I only pick music that has been written in the past ten years… I have associations with my early life with most songs I would pick. I sit back and think of driving with my mom. I must have been six or seven. It was before the accident. We were singing along with the Four Tops on the tape player. Same Old Song. “It’s the same old song, but with a different meaning since you’ve been gone.” I had no negative associations with music then. We were singing along loudly. The windows were down and there was a nice warm breeze.
I remember stretching back in the seat, back in those days six year olds sat in the front seat without a seat belt. Shhh don’t tell anyone. The seat belt law was passed when I was four. I found out about it in school when I was eight. I read my mother the riot act and I started insisting on wearing one. I also made her wear one. That is why the government wants children in public school, just saying.
I looked at my mom while she sang along. She was so cheerful and happy. She was hardly ever happy. She was usually sad. If that song came on the radio while I was on the freeway I might cause an accident because I would cry so hard. I miss my mom.
Recently I sent my friend this article on gaslighting. In further conversation with him I made a point that I realized is the point for me. I’m tired of having to defend my arguments basic validity. Not that I think I shouldn’t have to argue my side of the issue. I’m tired of having to bring in a long list of sources before I am “allowed” to have my side. Before I have proven that my side is an acceptable side for someone to hypothetically have. This.
What does it mean to be triggered? Isn’t everything all connected for everyone?