My ex was also an alcoholic, too. So, when T wrote about her “triggers” in her current relationship, I got the chills.
I called LG right after turning off his car alarm. He was out of town with co-workers, and he didn’t answer. “Someone just broke into your car,” I said on his voice mail. “Please call me back.”
Five minutes passed, then 10. I called him again. No answer, so I left another message, feeling desperate: “Can you please call me back? I’m very shaken up!”
I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. Every time I shut my eyes, I felt scared. One moment, I felt like a little girl, crying and alone. The next, I remembered when I was pregnant, waiting for my boyfriend to stumble home drunk. Although I knew that my panic was much deeper than the break in, I couldn’t shake it.
So, I got up and texted him. My hands were shaking. “Calm down!” I ordered myself. But 10 minutes later, I texted him again. I felt so alone — and angry.
When LG finally called back an hour later — sounding so caring and concerned — I lashed out at him. Why didn’t you call me right back?
Hours later, after calming down, I felt so embarrassed for lashing out at him. I DO have the resources to take care of myself when I feel scared and abandoned. I’ve got to learn how to take care of myself in these moments.
Instead of calling LG over and over — and getting more panicked — I needed to call on myself. Unfortunately, I felt so wounded at that moment that I froze. In hindsight, I could have called a girlfriend. I could have run a bubble bath. I could have done some yoga.
Maybe I was too embarressed to tell you what really happened that night. Maybe I just needed time and space to process it all. Thanks T, for inspiring me to get it down. I’m learning how to pay attention to my own triggers — and realizing that I can use these very difficult moments to move past them.
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