Fighting To Stay Present When Triggers Occur

She asked me, “where are you right now?”

Scarlett Jess Perrodin
Invisible Illness
Published in
7 min readSep 21, 2021

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Photo by RODRIGO GONZALEZ on Unsplash

Triggers, especially ones that resurface suppressed memories of traumas, can often lead to dissociative symptoms with PTSD.

In an instant, I am sent time-traveling as my body prompts my mind to return to the past. I am not here anymore. I am not present.

Dissociative symptoms are common when recalling past trauma, and can feel overwhelming because it takes away our ability to be present by redirecting our minds, rendering us dysfunctional.

It is difficult to function when the human mind is not tending to the present moment.

When a trigger leads me to relive a painful event, at a different place at a different time, the challenge is to return my thoughts to the “here and now.”

With complex-PTSD, the way to resolve or manage extreme dissociative reactions is through the hard work of healing. With extensive therapy and guidance, I began the task of chiseling at my most haunting memories with intention.

Still, sometimes they appear when I least expect it.

With recent family drama, a forgotten traumatic memory leaked through. One I had suppressed and was content to leave locked away indefinitely in storage somewhere.

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Scarlett Jess Perrodin
Invisible Illness

Mental health advocate, abuse escape artist, maternal aura, and comic. Personal stories. Some hints of humor. A diamond in the rough is still a diamond.