Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Triggers & A Pinterest Poser Challenge

Trigger-- anything, as an act or event, that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or a series of reactions.

I've read a little about triggers and warnings lately.  I heard a whole segment on NPR devoted to how some universities have started providing warnings before classes with sensitive and/or possibly disturbing subject matter.  You know like "what you are about to hear might trigger very strong feelings and emotions, you have been warned." There were conflicting opinions about whether that was completely ridiculous or completely compassionate.  I like to think I lean toward compassion, always.

But I do wonder whether the warnings are realistic.  Especially for people that are highly sensitive.  The other day I had a trigger moment, but I am not sure a warning would have prepared me.  Because I am not sure we always know what will set off a landslide of emotions and feelings.

"I'd like to watch the game alone, so why don't you guys go home," Tim said to me this past weekend when we were all at Peyton's baseball game.  

Um, this was my trigger moment.  Yup.  He might as well have said, "I don't want to be around you ever again."  That's all it took to bring up my rejection/abandonment issues.  What the hell?

It pisses me off that something so silly can make me feel like I am that teenager whose parents left her.  It pisses me off that even though I have compassion for the decisions and life choices my parents made all those years ago, I still carry the "I might be unlovable and very leave-able" stigma in my heart.

I don't walk around feeling all these feelings all the time.  It has to be just the right blend of utter exhaustion, an over-busy schedule, money stress and parenting worries-- that's usually the perfect recipe to fall victim to triggers and vulnerabilities and excessive sighing and a few tears.

Tim of course had no idea that with one comment he had set off a fucking windstorm of anxiety and sadness and resentment.    But the wonderful thing about Tim is, that he's wonderfully patient and has a lot of compassion.  He doesn't understand me and how my brain works, but that doesn't stop him from loving me.  "Look, I've known you for 16 years, it's going to be okay," he told me after I got upset over the baseball game and then apologized for getting upset.  "It's ebbs and flows.  Just breathe and calm that head of yours," he told me with a smile.

His love and nonjudgement was my trigger to remembering that life is good and I've got somebody that loves me and isn't going to leave.

I'm not downplaying people with severe mental health issues and their need to understand their triggers.  In fact, I am encouraging everyone to pay attention to what triggers all of us, the good and the bad.  What triggers feelings of pain and sadness and loss.  What triggers feelings of comfort, familiarity and happiness.  Do what you can to get through the first one and make the second one happen more often.

A trigger for all my joy and "hell yeah, this is awesome" happened this past weekend too.  I went to a concert.  Not just any concert it was a concert of a band whose songs have become personal anthems---The Avett Brothers.

They killed my favorite song of theirs, Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise.  With lyrics like "There was a dream and one day I could see it; Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded somebody free it; And there was a kid with a head full of doubt; So I'll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out."  Yeah,  I feel like they wrote that song for me and all my triggers.

Watching them perform the song live meant so much to me.  So much, I wanted to do something, create something that triggered the memory of what amazing musicians they are and their message of "yeah, this shit is fucked up, but there is light, there is hope, there is love."  So I made a sign with a lyric from my favorite song of theirs for my back porch.  

It's this week's Pinterest Poser Challenge*--A Song Lyric Sign (to trigger inspiration). 
*In an attempt at not being a Pinterest Poser,** every week I attempt and detail a new Pinterest challenge (a recipe, a craft, etc.).  
** My definition of Pinterest Poser is someone who is all pins and no substance. 

I based on an earlier sign project I made that I love and that hangs in my bedroom.  This time though, my sign didn't turn out exactly how I wanted it too.
I'm not impressed. 

Instead of using a printer, I hand wrote the letters onto the contact paper.  Instead of painting the board white and then the letters black, I reversed it.  It came out looking well, like a serial killer or hostage taker made the sign.  But don't worry, my failure didn't trigger deep depression.  Honestly, the only thing it triggered was laughter.

Here's THE song that turned me onto The Avett Brothers--Paranoia In B Flat.  A song that my brother put on his annual CD of Amazing Songs for me a few years ago (a gift he gives me every Christmas, a gift I love).

And of course, here's the awesome Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise.

Have you made anything Pinterest inspired or worthy?  Leave it here in the comments or over on my Facebook page.

Make An Awesome Omelette--click here
Outdoor Lights Inspired by the show Parenthood- click here
Herb Garden with Chalboard Pots- click here
Backyard Graffiti Art with kids- click here
Happiness Notecards- click here
Gluten Free Rainbow Cake- click here
Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies- click here
Make Your Own Magnets- click here
DIY Painted Clay Necklace- click here
Dixie Cup Lights- click here
DIY Ornaments-click here
Gluten Free Clay- click here
Make Your Own Stamps- click here
Birthday Shirt- click here

Gluten Free Pop Tarts- click here
Front Porch Kid Art Display- click here
Door turned into Table- click here
Summer Wish List Chalkboard-click here
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Sandwiches-click here
Painted Mason Jar Vases-click here
Cinco de Mayo Paper Flowers- click here
Earth Day Cupcakes- Click here
Nail Art-click here
Homemade Photo Booth Fun- click here
Fake Bangs- click here
DIY Subway Art- click here
Furniture Painting and Bench/Chest Makeover- click here
Thanksgiving-y Project/Gratitude/Holiday Countdown- click here
The Smoothie-click here
The Free Printable Turned Artwork in a Boring Hallway- click here
The chalk board-click here
Seven Layer Dip in Individual Cups (my favorite so far!)-click here
The pumpkin address-click here
The Kitchen Dancing Sign--click here

  Head on over and follow my Pinterest boards-click here!

Oh yeah, and come follow me on Twitter @AngelaYBlood and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.


  1. I'm sorry about the feelings of abandonment and unloveable-ness, I get it. But I'm glad you have the support you need, and the positive turnaround! Also, sorry about the Pinterest fail :)

  2. You know what I love? That you acknowledged the good trigger, too. I absolutely understand the need for understanding triggers; I have a couple that send me into a tailspin. But I like the idea of seeking out ones that bring me back to (my) normal, too.

  3. Your face in that last picture cracked me up! Knowing a trigger is vital for me to not go in the deep end over every little thing. Perspective is everything, you know? And it helps to have a partner who knows your tendencies at least a little wee bit.