In this counseling answer:
- Seek a professional who can help you learn how to identify and respond to these triggers.
- Remind yourself that this is a normal and automatic reaction of your body that was once exposed to a threat.
- Learn more about grounding techniques that help you relieve your distress after a trigger.
Salam alaikom dear sister,
Your question is very brief: how to recover from abuse and leave it in the past without reliving it every time he says and does certain things that trigger you.
Dear sister, I am sorry for your struggle, I know it must be hard to deal with those triggers.
I do not think that you are overly sensitive, but you might need to work further on your traumatic experience to be able to manage these triggers.
You do not detail, so I have a bit hard time to understand what kind of abuse you suffered from and that who is the „he” you mention in your letter. Is it your husband, who has nothing to do with your past, or is it maybe your past abuser— a family member, for example?
I do not know whether you have ever tried to treat this trauma with a professional, but if not, I strongly recommend seeking someone who can help you learn how to identify and respond to these triggers.
It can be especially important if this was sexual abuse or if you were exposed to long-term abuse.
Sister, somehow, most of us get triggered by our past negative experiences in present situations and react with those fears and emotions that belong to a past event.
Unfortunately, those who have suffered any type of trauma experience these triggers in a more intense way, and they need deeper work to be able to learn to live with them.
What can you do, using your faith, to lessen these reactions?
Sister, forgiveness is a powerful tool. I do not know what happened or whether you were able to forgive that person for his wrongdoing. But I recommend to try to do that.
You can soften your heart by trying to ask Allah to forgive that person for what he did.
Know that Allah is Al-Adl, the Most Just, and His justice will decide the destiny of each soul. Everyone will be held accountable for their deeds, good and bad.
Seek the Wisdom Behind
This does not mean that you need to love something that is not right and has caused you pain.
At the same time, you can ponder upon what is the wisdom behind all evil that happened to you. For instance, these trials may help you in your spiritual growth.
You may join a support group related to your specific trauma.
You will see that you are not alone. Supporting each other on the healing journey will give you strength, in sha Allah. You can even volunteer for those who went through a similar situation.
Talk to „Him”
You mention someone, maybe your husband, in your letter. If he has nothing to do with your past trauma, talk to him and explain that in certain situations you have a reaction that belongs to your past.
You may react and say things that are not “meant” for him. Ask him for his patience and understanding if you hurt him back during these moments.
You might ask him to avoid acting in a specific way if that is your trigger.
Learn to Recognize Triggers
When you are confronted with a trigger, you may experience physical and emotional changes in your body, such as a rapid heartbeat, fear, anxiety, sweating, trembling, and so on.
When you notice these symptoms again, remind yourself that this is a normal and automatic reaction of your body that was once exposed to a threat. And that will pass.
Also remind yourself that it has to do with a past threat and is not happening at the moment.
If you need to take a break, ask „him” to give you some time until you calm down.
Neutral and Ordinary Things
Sometimes your triggers are ordinary, neutral things or words that, in themselves, are not dangerous and have no negative consequence. But your brain linked them to your traumatic experience. These can be images, smells, words, and actions.
So, try to remind yourself that just because he says a certain word does not imply that you will suffer from abuse again.
Maintain Your Focus in the Present
When this happens, try to maintain your focus in the present moment and remind yourself where you are, with whom, and what you are doing exactly.
Learn more about grounding techniques that help you relieve your distress after a trigger.
Help of a Professional
Finally, once again, I kindly recommend that you get a couple of counseling sessions where you can elaborate more on what happened to you and get more specific support for your exact needs.
May Allah help you with it.
More from Orsolya Ilham O.
- Child Sexual Abuse: Action Needed
- All I Can Think of Is Hell and Hellfire
- Am I Going to Die or Just Having Panic Attacks?
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.