Friday, August 19, 2016

Holding the Trigger Finger at Bay

Pet peeves are those little things that get our goat. Things that often don't mean a hill of beans to the next guy but can keep us up at night thinking about it. Truth is, if my peeve is that big, it would be better labeled as a trigger.

Triggers make our guns fire. Sometimes we aim at others, often we aim at ourselves and that translates into something horrific like a night of tossing and turning, overeating, or chewing our nails to the quick. Or worse...drinking until drunk, over-medicating from the medicine cabinet or outright getting high from illegal drugs. Cutting. Fighting. Closing ourselves off. Even sleeping around.

And then there's the not sleeping at all thing. Torture.

Except for the last item, which is a result of an overly wound up nervous system, all of these reactions are an attempt to numb pain so we need to understand the difference between a peeve and a trigger. Peeves aggravate, triggers activate. Sometimes a peeve can turn into a trigger. I think most, if not all the time, we have some say in whether or not that happens.

A few days ago, I was peeved. It could have become a trigger, but because I knew I was close to letting it become a trigger, I countered to keep from over-reacting to the imbecile who isn't adopted, isn't a first-mother and isn't an adoptive mother, talking to me as if she knew what she was talking about when it was clear to me at word five that she was...well, as I said, an imbecile.  

We were speaking of my recent illness, (which she announced before the entire produce section of the grocery store). I ignored her rudeness and figured since we were going public, I'd use the opportunity to get in a plug for the need of adoptees to have access to their history. I told her I had just recently discovered via my birth dad that I have a genetic predisposition for the particular illness I'd suffered. 

Think, whiny voice:
Her: "Oh...thaaaat's riiiiighhht...I forgoooot you are adoooooooooopted." (In the sense she is speaking, I am not adopted; I WAS adopted. See my former post on the importance of this semantic.)
Me: Smiling nicely for all the grocery store people: "Yes, and it's really important that access to records..."
Her: "Well, I can see that access to meeedical history could be necessary..."
Me: "Yes. It IS necessary...for more reasons than medical...Oh, look at the time! Did you see those Cotton Candy grapes they're selling? Gotta go get me some of that! -See ya!"

A quick wave and 25 deep breaths later, I'm fine.
Except for now because I'm hashing it all up again. I guess I better forgiiiiiiiive her. (Really, I promise to...In fact, I'm already there.)

My pseudo friend honestly didn't have a clue and was really only concerned with pulling off the facade of being wise and get her worthless two cents worth in. My counter? To smile, politely nod and quickly end the conversation so I could continue my shopping without losing any more precious energy.

I've been learning a lot about expending emotional energy and gauging whether or not I'm up for it, and more importantly, whether God would have me engage. See, if I left it up to me, myself and I, I'd always be engaging...hotly, most likely. But He gave us these fearfully and wonderfully made bodies that He programmed in such a way as to recognize stress...if we'll listen...and avoid when necessary. 

That day, avoidance was necessary. In fact, I'm finding most days, it's necessary. 

So, yes... a peeve for me is a person spouting off about adoption when they've never experienced anything to do with it. Or maybe they've dabbled on the fringes without actually diving in to see what it's all about. They have all the conventional answers and the conventional answers that peeve me the most are those that come from white-washed walls painting a white-washed picture of the truth and then spreading the tall-tale to others. 

And when these energy-suckers clash with my daily day, I have to choose not to engage in battle. Sometimes, depending on the person, their mood and mine, I'll tell them about Adoptee Heart. Other times, when I know they won't listen because they already know all they want to know, I just smile and go buy the Cotton Candy Grapes for $4.99/lb. Expensive yes, but it held my trigger finger at bay, kept my blood pressure down, and I've rationed the grapes daily, so I still have a few more left for tomorrow. (OMGranny, they are some kind of good!!)

Here's to you, my friends...Keep those triggers tamed! <3

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