I once dated a woman who had previously had a relationship with a very abusive man. Over several years, she endured beatings, rape and emotional abuse — mostly when he was drunk but sometimes when he was sober.
Soon after I met her, she told me that she should wear a sign on her shirt that read, “Caution: I have many hidden emotional triggers.” It turned out that she was right. She was so filled with painful memories of past experiences — full of post-traumatic stress syndrome — that she found it impossible to have a normal relationship.
I’ll never know what it feels like to be in a mind such as hers, but there are times when I feel as though I’ve had a taste of it — just enough to be haunted by demons that arise when someone triggers one of my own emotional buttons.
Today was filled with that feeling. Tonight, I’m left going back and forth between emotional numbness and rage that makes me want to hide from the world.