Anybody else have weird triggers?

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on my road trip, i got triggered everytime i saw a motorcycle.  ugh.  so i thought, ok, maybe i should do a posting about current triggers that im dealing with, and maybe others would like to record t

^ I tried to become as un-feminine as I could. I buzzed my hair off, wore unisex clothes and restricted my eating to look less curvy. So I can relate to being scared of looking conventionally attracti

The sound of a bath being filled. Doctors offices Male B.O. home videos Eskimo kisses. There is something very brave about sharing triggers. I have related to SO much of what

2 hours ago, glitterandcupcakes said:

What exactly is a trigger?

For me it is something that sparks a memory.  Brings me back to a place. Time.  Event.  I see it as positive and negative.  The negative ones can snowball into significant disturbances.  The positive being about memories that i can reminisce good times had.  Hope that helps.  

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Yes, Krismase that does help.

Different things make me feel different ways.  Like, tv shows or stories with that kind of thing in it will make me feel sick to my stomach, like I can't breathe, or tbh slightly aroused. Which then brings on guilt,shame, etc.   hugs or people in my space make me feel panicked or like I have to get away.  I'm afraid to sleep in upstairs bedrooms.  Is that what you all are talking about?

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@glitterandcupcakes yes. sometimes when i watch shows more so when i was younger before i had any memory resurface if i was watching a show where something bad was about to happen to a child. usually a girl i would get this feeling in my stomach and sometimes i was get aroused but at the time i didn't know that was what i was feeling. it brings  about a lot of shame. and disgust. theres a guy i work with and he says "thata girl" to me at times and man the first time he said it i dropped what i was carrying and it was like a punch to my stomach. it froze me. then for weeks i avoided him. i know he didn't do it on purpose. i don't like how he talks to me but i don't feel like i can do anything about it so i work on reminding myself that i am safe and not in danger from this man. that i am an adult now. that i am not that little girl.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

My daughter has one that was surprising which is walking down a street with shops on both sides. She's explained and I totally get why that is. She's come a long way in her recovery so it doesn't trigger as much now.

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My worse trigger is belts, if it's on someone I'm scared their gonna take it off. If it's on the floor or hanging up I'm scared he might use it. For the same reason I get scared of the sound of a swishing belt or anything that makes that sound like a tennis bat/fly swat.

Doors that stick, you can't open and shut them easily.

Bathrooms, large baths, frosted glass.

Smell of beer. 

Damp carpet.

People getting to close and not listening/getting the hint to back off.



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  • 1 month later...
  • Childhood cartoons from the 1980s
  • The sounds, smells, and sights of carnivals or fairs
  • Any references to the Book of Revelations in the Bible
  • Tongue depressors, throat swabs, dental tools, etc. (basically anything put in my mouth by someone other than me)
  • Sort of related to the above: wooden spoons, toothpicks, or popsicle sticks (even just watching someone else suck on a wooden popsicle stick squicks me out)
  • Being seated on the inside or middle seat of a booth at a restaurant (also being seated in the window or middle seat on a plane if I'm sitting next to a stranger)
  • Long nails on men
  • The smell of cheap drug store cologne
  • Large adult men with buzz cut hair
  • The visible rolls of fat / humps very overweight men sometimes have on the back of their heads
  • Prolonged tickling or roughhouse play, no matter how innocent the intent of the person doing it
  • Hearing the Unsolved Mysteries or Rescue 911 theme songs
  • Motels with individual doors facing the street or parking lot (as opposed to hotels with a central lobby entrance)
  • Truck stops after dark
  • Archie comics
  • The smell of cheap potpourri or bathroom air freshener
  • The growling and barking noises small, yappy dogs (like poodles or chihuahuas) make
  • A lot of things associated with charismatic, evangelical churches (especially Pentecostal churches) like fire and brimstone style preaching, speaking in tongues, the constant interjections of church members in the form of praying out loud, dancing, abruptly jumping up from their seats, etc. 
  • Bathrooms with multiple entrances
  • Bowls of sliced lemons
  • Sweet'N Low packets


Edited by fightingforpeace
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Guest lesolitaire

I don't know about weird, but...

The smell and feel of sweat. The feeling of being sweaty or of sweat (or water, like from my hair after a shower) rolling down my body is also very hard to tolerate.

Feeling someone else's breath on my skin

The sound of someone else breathing. 

Male sighing or groaning always feels threatening

Sometimes teasing from friends or family makes me feel scared and helpless

Many negative emotions trigger intrusive thoughts - embarassment, anger, confusion, ANXIETY, loneliness

Having my period

Someone not hearing me or ignoring me, and/or having to repeat myself to get someone's attention.

Squeaky or thumpy noises that repeat at a fixed interval

My hands when I have to grip fabric with not just the tips of my fingers.

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Guest Shell15

I'm reading through all of your comments in complete awe of how strong you guys all are for sharing your triggers.  It's something I have been talking about with my support worker recently and no matter how many times she tells me it is a completely normal, and completely understandable reaction to trauma, I just can't make myself believe what I understand...does that make sense? I know it's normal, but still feel like I'm losing it? 

I haven't really shared much about what happened to me with many people and have only started talking to my support worker recently about what triggers me, but the definite triggers I've identified so far:

•him, seeing him, him talking to me, others talking about him, particularly where people are being positive about him (he has now moved back to the town where I live)

•anything covering my face, neck, arms and legs, basically anything that makes me feel restricted.  Most clothing is ok, but if it feels a certain way I can feel myself getting more and more anxious until I can change/reposition it.  Things like bedding lying on me a certain way cause the same reaction

•unexpected touches (by people or objects), particularly if I can't see it coming before it/they touch me

•bleeding (have had a 6+ month long period so this one is just ace 😩)

•medical procedures, particularly anything gynae/gastro, which is unfortunate as I have issues in both of these areas.  I actually had a minor gynae operation a week ago and suspect this may be why I'm feeling low at the moment 

•scars on my arm/chest sustained during the assault.  The one on my arm was very close to causing a panic attack last week while in hospital as they were trying to put me under as they couldn't find a vein to put me under for the op and when they did manage to get one it's right where my scar is and I felt awful 

•strawberry scented things.  It's not really a trigger as such, I don't think? He made a comment about me smelling of strawberries recently and it's changed how I feel about them, to the point I don't want to use my favourite shower gel-I'm working on this not becoming the issue it could, as I don't want to give up yet another thing that makes me feel uncomfortable because of him

•knives, or if I'm already struggling, anything with a sharp or pointed edge (to the point I have to remove them from sight)

•darker nights, particularly walking to and from work if it's dark 

•people turning up at my house unexpectedly, knocking at my door, unknown callers on my house phone/mobile 

•a particular men's fragrance (I don't know what it is or if it is even a specific brand, there's just a certain smell some men have and it could be a mix of products for all I know)

•certain sexually explicit phrases that he either used during the assualt, or has said to me since (I can't even type them, but I probably wouldn't as I suspect they may be triggering for others) 

•any conversations about rape, assualt or anything even remotely related.  I find it particularly difficult when others don't believe those who have experienced it, or if they make comments about the perpetrator in a positive light (I'm sure this is a rarely common issue amongst us)

•latex.  I have a pretty bad latex allergy (and other allergies) and I feel I'm far more likely to overreact to seeing something that potentially contains latex in it, than I am to seeing something that contains another allergen.  I had my first mild reaction to latex during/following the assualt (although I didn't know that's what it was at the time) and I feel like I associate latex with this rather than just one of my other allergies, if that makes sense? 

I feel like I've just written a book, sorry guys!

S x

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Overweight men, since my abuser was a really heavy man and it always reminds me of him

Having exits blocked or feeling trapped, especially if it's during sex/sexual situations

The word cu*sl** is especially bad. (I don't know if any of you can figure out that word with the stars but I didn't feel comfortable typing it out...). The first time I was with my abuser intimately he wrote "(his name)'s cu*sl**" on my stomach in sharpie, as if to mark me as his property.

When I first got together with my boyfriend I even had a hard time with just the word sl** on it's own since I got with him almost right after I finally left my abuser, but over time I've gotten a bit better with it, but if it's used in a certain tone, sometimes I still don't like it


The idea of a threesome with two men makes me very very nervous as well. Does that count as a trigger? I've done some things where it's me and my boyfriend and another woman, but the thought of two men still makes me anxious and freeze up, since my initial SA occurred with two men. Also, darker skinned men as well is included, since the other man was darker skinned as well as my abuser during my SA incident.

Those are the main ones, I don't have too too many off the top of my head right now. 

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My ultimate trigger is people who don't understand how I feel.  It puts me on the defensive, makes me angry- like I have to defend myself.  I starve myself so I can have control on a daily basis.  So I can torture myself and prevent any kind of happiness.  I have no where to put my anger and struggle constantly to feel happiness...  Anyone understand this?

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On 10/17/2017 at 3:16 AM, hedgiemom said:


I have many triggers but at the moment I'm having a panic attack. Not related to reading your post but at the thought of having to take a shower tomorrow. It's been days and my hair is starting to get matted. I know it's dirty and nasty not to but, having to shower makes me freak out. I hate being that vonrable and naked. The shower also makes it hard for me to hear what's going on around me which just heightens the fear and widespread panic I feel. I think this is so weird because my abuse never happend in the bathroom or anywhere near water. I feel much more dirty getting clean the. I do if I'm dirty. It's one of the hardest things for me to do. At least for right now. 

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  • 2 months later...
Guest HuskyV

Hey, great thread! This is my first post in this forum, and I've been slowly accepting what happened to me. Especially after all of the gaslighting, I don't even know if I truly was raped since I've repressed those memories somehow.... 

But triggers I'm working on now: 

- thunderstorms 

- any horror film, doesn't matter how stupid it may be 

- on the topic of film, anything with Jack Nicholson in it. 

- vests 

 - Enya, the artist. or any music that's similar in style to hers 

- Being touched on my shoulders or the back of my neck

Triggers I've made progress on: 

- Being teased 

- Not receiving replies to texts or messages for hours due to someone being busy, not mad at me or anything like that 

- Being touched in general 

- Being intimate with another person physically 

- Trusting other people 

- On that topic of trust, trusting myself and my judgment/gut again 

It's been a long and somewhat lonely road but I think I've really made a lot of progress :)

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Not sure if this is still

open for discussion but Yes! Social media, tv, movies .. anything with female sexuality being displayed....I can't watch movies with attractive women in them with my partner because I get so triggered and think he and the whole world ate everything bastards sexualizing women. I get super bitter and rant and have even gotten mildly violent. I hate Hollywood and the media and its depictions of women. And me too... any talk of women and sexuality like stoppers prositutes etc... podcast about murder and rape make me so mad and sick because people are getting entertainment off of rape and murder. It's made it really hard to be with a man because of this deep seated belief that they are always going to be sexuluzing women in their minds and I can't deal with normal relationship my partner glancing at a attractive women. This ptsd and my inability to find a way to heal is getting devastating to my self love and worth and to my boyfriend , who is taking space from me right now because I haven't been treating him kindly or trusting him.

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Also to reply to Guest Ell... yes my anger is overwhelming and I've pushed three men a way in the 7 years all of whom I loved very much. It bubbles up in me when people are not sensitive about topics such as rape, women's sexuality and strip clubs, prostitutes.... my partner wrote a instagram post about a mountain in Alaska called the "brothel" and made I guess what he thought was witty comment about it being easy to get in and hard to get out for snowboarding...and even now I can feel upset about it and it was a year ago. It's just this sick right feeling in my stomach...Rap music , the word ho. Anything I feel is degrading or sexualizing towards women. The name Caesar as one of my rapists had that name. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Street harassment

Thinking about street harassment

Children, especially young girls (not sure if I just hate thinking about how their experiences will change them as they grow up)

Men in college or men going to college, especially those in Computer Science and other STEM fields

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been struggling a lot with identifying these lately.  I have been safe for about 4 years now, and some things jolt me right back to that place. 

- Water or any liquid being poured/spilled/splashed on me when I am not expecting it. This is the strongest one, sends me into full fledged, sobbing panic. 

- When anyone screams/yells/is too loud while in the car, especially when I am driving. 

- For a long time I had a problem with lighters, that has eased

- The college we went to together, and subsequently, academics. Fighting back against this one hard though, almost finished with my BA. 

- SO many bands that I love. 

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