The News Triggers Me

Two big breakthroughs happened in the past week. The first being that I had my mandatory phone interview with the Social Security office to confirm my approval for SSI disability benefits. Considering how all of the questions in the forms I had to fill out related strictly to physical disabilities and illness, I was determined to find out I would be rejected the first time applying and me and my family would need to hire a lawyer. None of this was needed. Not that what they are doing to most people who suffer strictly from a learning disability or a mental illness is okay. It is unacceptable to the extreme. How I slipped through the cracks is beyond me. But it happened and I was beyond excited when I found this out.

The other big breakthrough actually happened AFTER my weekly therapy appointment, though we did discover more things together in that last meeting about my past and how I interpret things today, but this was one of those things I would find out later, and out of all places, within my own #MHCrisisAngels community.

It has been clear to my personal support for a very long time while being a strong asset to our team that many of my big triggers and feelings of vulnerability, self doubt and sadness come from big news stories. Especially within the past year. Obviously remembering that March For Our Lives in the wake of the Parkland tragedy and all of the emotion many of us felt with the victims/survivors had a profound effect on me mentally to the point where I would start this blog and join Twitter in the first place. If you read this blog you know that story already and probably are sick of hearing it lol. But honestly, since then, everything that was a big story, mainly involving kids and/or abuse, starting with the separation of families on the Mexican border, to the unraveled stories of rape and sexual abuse from Brett Kavanaugh, to the government shutdown causing many people to stop working all together in the midst of it, to more recently with the newest R. Kelly tapes, to resurfacing stories related to Parkland as it’s been over a year now since the tragedy. All of these things had an emotional effect on me at once yesterday where I had to talk a little bit myself in the DMs with the support Angels on my team I work with. I revealed that I often feel like I am in these events when they happen right after learning about them for the first time. And all of the pain these people are experiencing, part of me feels it with them despite not having any relation to the story, not to mention two of these stories are strictly about female victims of a sex crime. But regardless, it hits me hard. And I am not an empath. But some stories do resonate with me a LOT more than one would think. I also revealed a part of my life where I was institutionalized twice within a few months in the fall/early winter of 2001. This was right after I had experienced the peak of my physical abuse from teachers and staff in a “special” school I went to for a extremely brief period of time (just the first couple days of the first semester) and would be dragged in an ambulance to a borderline prison/mental hospital for kids and teens not so long after for reasons I am not gonna go into in this post. Lets just say after finally being released both times this happened, I was convinced I was born a bad person and I had to change who I was forever. While all of this was going on, 9/11 happened. When I came home after the first release/discharge (first time I was in this hospital/prison-for-kids I would constantly be promised I would be out “soon” which meant in a couple weeks in the end) everyone in every home around most of the country was glued to their TV sets. Watching the updates on the victims of the terrorist attack. Constant footage of the remains of the World Trade Center and it was impossible not to talk about this for some time. Me and my parents could not watch any of our favorite syndicated shows during dinner because all channels were tuned to their news hour for 24 hours and rightfully so. Even as a 13-year-old I knew our country would never be the same after this, and I don’t even need to get into how much of an understatement that would turn out to be. But it was my first exposure to a terrifying moment in history. And of course, it wouldn’t be the last.

After telling my twitter support team this, we had come to a realization that my constant triggers from big news stories I am now feeling not just because I am not numb from depression anymore, but it all links back to how my darkest days as a kid coincided with 9/11 and how it would be on the news everyday, all day for what seemed like an eternity. While the link is still very vague, we are pretty sure these things are very much connected in my psyche. And when I tell my therapist about this in the coming week, I guarantee she will agree.

Anyway, I consider that a huge breakthrough because these feelings I started having are the reasons I am on Twitter and my life changed for the better in the past year. Not to mention it’s what gave me the drive to apply for Disability last year as well. So it’s funny how after being on this planet for a while now how I still learn new things about myself each day that passes.

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