Being triggered means that an event or conversation triggered an old painful memory of a traumatic experience from the past. It can be someone shouting at you, lying to you, being mean, disrespectful, or perhaps rejecting or abandoning you. You may experience the same trauma all over again, experiencing the same emotional and even physical pain. This is always an indication that you need to heal that wound from the past. Let me explain:

  1. If you are triggered when someone leaves, it means that you have unresolved abandonment wounds that you need to heal.
  2. If feedback feels like pure criticism or if you constantly worry whether someone is upset with you, you may have had a harsh, critical, punitive, disapproving parent or caretaker.
  3. If you are startled by loud noises or suffer from sensory overload, you probably grew up in a chaotic environment and need to heal the effect it had on you.
  4. If you have a problem with authority and being given direction, then you probably grew up in a controlling environment.
  5. If you constantly feel like a burden and sense that your needs are dismissed and feel unimportant and unworthy or like you are not good enough, then you still need healing around your needs being dismissed, or not being allowed to share emotions, and having to ‘perform’ to earn attention and love.

How to heal old wounds

Trying to avoid what happened in your past won’t serve you. Feel your feelings. Identify the emotions – fear, anger, sadness, guilt, jealousy, disgust, and shame are some of the painful emotions you may feel. Allow the emotions to be there. Try to identify a painful event or conversation from the past, perhaps from your childhood, that caused you similar pain. This may be challenging, so, ask for help. Find a good therapist who can explore this with you. Healing your old wounds will set you free.

Elsabé Manning