Badly Triggered

I was badly triggered by all the news about Kavanaugh and the abuse that was being denied.  Saturday I talked to someone I have a business relationship with, and she told me something that involved a dear friend, something about being worried that she would be alone in the house with a man.  I felt worse and worse as the day went on, and I could feel that my brain wasn’t working very well.  I couldn’t remember the exact words that were used, and I got angrier and angrier about the idea of a woman lying about abuse.  For all the women who have lied — and I’m sure there are some — there must be at least 100,000 women who were assaulted and never said anything.

From my journal for Sunday

Because of all this, I went through yesterday in a world totally without spirit, filled with people who were without soul, greedy and malicious.  All the faces looked ugly and suspicious.  I isolated the rest of the day, ate at the open table, did not engage in conversation, left as soon as I was finished eating.  Called Christine right away.

Christine is a supportive friend who I knew would listen to me while I tried to figure out what was going on.  I got clearer about my thinking and what action I wanted to take if what I thought was true.  I wrote a couple of angry emails to my business friend.  Written in longhand in my journal, I knew I didn’t want to send one without editing.  The one I finally sent was not so angry.

[Actual email]

I’m getting increasingly concerned and upset about the suggestion that [my friend] might lie about a question of sexual abuse.  Both she and I are baffled by where it is coming from.  It’s true that abuse issues are all in the news right now, and a lot of people are claiming that the women involved are lying.

What is your take on the issue?  Do you think a woman would lie about such a thing?  Please give me a call so we can talk about it.

At this point I was feeling pretty shaky & off balance.

At Neskaya, I was worried about my ability to teach. Practicing the dances I felt really wobbly.  Once I started the program itself, I felt a lot better.  In fact I felt like I had re-entered my body.  I have never felt that so clearly.  It’s a sign of how badly I was triggered.

When I got back to Hanover, I got two unpleasant angry phone messages from B claiming that she did not trash my house, and I periodically go off into fantasies of meeting her and her saying a lot of the same shit, and me just feeling sad.

I knew I was going to have a difficult conversation on Monday.  I asked for help on Facebook.  Posted on my page, the Circlework Graduates page and the Kindred Spirits page.  I got a lot of supportive messages, from friends and from people who don’t even know me.  It really strengthened me.

So when the call came, I was in a mindset of open curiosity instead of angry confrontation.  I asked questions about what had actually been said, and found out that I had misunderstood.  My trauma, already triggered by the Kavanaugh stuff, misinterpreted what I heard — hijacked my reasoning brain.  When it was over I felt such enormous relief.  I feel like I can go on with my life now.

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