When I walk into a room I always scan the are. It’s just what I do, looking around to see if there are any potential Triggers that may bother my Husband, my kids or myself. It could be something as simple as a magazine on a table or the shoes the hostess is wearing. It’s crazy time, but real life for us all. Just like the Family of an Alcoholic would probably not pick a table by the bar with or without their Recovering Family member in tow. It just stings everyone just a little being so close to what took their Family member down a long dark rabbit hole. For someone recovering from sex addiction sitting in a waiting room alone with stacks and stacks of magazines filled with half clothed women can be rough. It takes strength and Jesus to get through a scenario like this. I remember a time in the very beginning of recovery when my Husband came with me to an appointment and he was sweating like a marathon runner. He told me that he was struggling just knowing what was there. He asked me if it was okay if he stepped out for a minute. I said sure, but I asked him if he wanted me to flip them over. He was grateful and appreciative that I would do that, but ultimate knew it wasn’t My responsibility to keep him on the straight and narrow. When he came back in, I told him that he just needed to be honest and open with me. He explained that he was fearful that I was being triggered by the magazines and worried what I was thinking and what if some half dressed lady walked in and I went all crazy. Now, I can totally see his point. And in that time of our lives a commercial could take me from Ms. Hospitality to Madea in like 20 seconds!!! At that point we decided to be Open Books to one another, to hide no feelings or thoughts, by doing so the other could relax without worry.
So, how do I deal with it when running out of a situation screaming at the top of my lungs taking out whoever/whatever is in my way is just NOT an option? Well, first of all I always prepare myself before going anywhere. I remind myself who is in charge…..The Lord of course! Also, I remember that the past is the past. Sins have been forgiven and washed clean. And the only thing I can control is my Actions and my Attitude. I tell myself that yes there will probably be temptations and triggers today, but I can’t control them….only how I respond to them. I usually talk to my Husband too if there are any concerns. Like over the Summer we were invited to a BBQ by friends who have a pool. We talked about the possibility of revealing bathing suits, inappropriate guy talk regarding women and possible music selections that may be triggering to me or the kids. We came up with boundaries that at no cost should be crossed, talked about our exit plan and prayed for each other.
This is how we live life now….we respect each other and communicate our expectations, fears and victories…nothing is off limits. He works hard to create safety for me and our children and I work equally hard to encourage, love and support him through his recovery!