Triggers-----Sometimes It's Not Just About Us.
I pray everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. However I am sure there were many that found this holiday to be a "trigger" for their mental health. PTSD is a disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or who have been threatened by death, sexual violence or serious injury (American Psychiatric Association, 2022). My heart cries for anyone who was negatively impacted by the celebration of this holiday. I remember many years ago I met an individual who had gone to war. I talked to him rather often and he seemed quiet but "normal" (by societies expectations). I was outback with my children getting ready to begin a wonderful evening of cooking out, and fireworks. My children were so excited, as I'm sure all children are when they get to set off firecrackers. I placed everything on the grill, closed the lid and proceeded to set off firecrackers for my children to observe while waiting for dinner to be finished. There were others out back of my complex at the time seeming to enjoy much of the same activities we were. I excitingly lit the first bundle of firecrackers and stepped back to be sure all of us were a safe distance away. Then that exciting crack, crack, crack, crack started and the laughter of my children just made my heart smile! As I was sitting there observing my children's excitement I looked over and observed a man laying on the ground covering his ears...I knew this man was a war veteran so it was instincts for me to immediately understand what was going on. I had triggered this man by setting off fireworks. I had returned him to the war that he fights daily to get away from. My heart sunk at the moment...in guilt that I had brough such fear and pain to another human being. For me the sadness I felt for this other human being was far more important to me then setting off more fireworks for my children's enjoyment. I explained to my children the facts of the situation and we decided to go elsewhere to set off firecrackers later that evening. Many would say, it's my house I'll do what I want...however we forget to see the big picture. First lets start by saying this man sacrificed his life for our country, second this was also where his home was, why should he have to leave. I could have chose to teach my children to be selfish and continue participating in the activity that I know was causing this man I barely knew, such pain and discomfort. Instead I used this opportunity to teach my children about PTSD and the impacts it could have on an individual. I know we sometimes get caught up in everyday activities without a care in the world. I'm writing this post to share with others in hopes that it will allow you to see the world through your heart rather then your eyes.