do i need to explain?

Let me give you a scenario:

I’m riding the bus, standing because we’re full beyond belief.  A younger man is standing behind me, we keep getting jostled as the bus bounces over the lousy streets.  At one point I slightly loose my balance and step back – onto his foot of course.  The guy behind me gives me a soft shove forward…

“Watch your step, clumsy.”

Trigger alarms go off in my head.  I stutter an apology but express in few choice words, how I wouldn’t step on him if he wasn’t right behind me.  About this time the bus reaches my stop so I leave.  But by this time I’m seething.  My anger is “way out of proportion”, according to my “inner guilt launcher”.  I get home and collapse in a chair, half-way between complete meltdown into tears and full detonation – throwing things and swearing.

And through it all?  I can’t get the guy off my mind.  Not because of what he said, but because of my reaction.  And now every fiber of my being says I owe him an apology.  I know it makes no sense, but a huge part of me wants to go out and ride the bus over and over in hopes I run across the guy and can apologize.

The above scenario is fictional, but it does demonstrate the issue.  I get triggered – I react.  Then I die inside of remorse over poor judgement in my actions while being triggered and how I wronged people.  I can tell when I’ve lost it – people’s faces show their shock at my instant mood swing.

I’m tired of trying to explain.  I really do NOT want to delve into my past and try to justify my actions.  First, they’re not justifiable.  Second, nobody wants to hear it.  And third – I just don’t want to go there any more.

So when I get that look and someone says “What just got into you?” – – –  How do I respond?  “None of your business” is what comes to mind.  Or “I’m sorry – just been a rough week.  Forgive me, I guess I’m more tired than I thought.”  That one works, sorta, but at the same time it doesn’t.

I feel guilty for being triggered.  I feel guilty for reacting poorly.  I feel guilty for not explaining.  I feel guilty for being so humiliated by my past that I can’t even START to explain.  Face it – I feel guilty.

Ok, so maybe a stranger on the bus really doesn’t need an explanation — but does anyone?  Is it my responsibility to explain myself every time I get triggered?  Or is it the responsibility of my friends (HAH) to accept me for who & where I am?



9 thoughts on “do i need to explain?

  1. You can’t stop to explain yourself everytime you get triggered.

    Here in NY I ride packed buses and trains. These things happen. Try not to beat yourself up about something you said or did in the heat of the moment.

    Happy Monday.


  2. All I would like to say is try and let go of those things that may have happened in the past. I know it’s easier said than done but that’s something that definitely helps in the long run.


  3. Guilt is such a powerful force, especially with depression. I’m not sure your heart and mind will ever completely be in tune, that’s the struggle for us. But we can learn how to manage it and help it pass more quickly through us. As for explanations, well it’s up to you. You don’t owe anyone anything. How they respond to you being triggered is their responsibility, not yours. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No need for explanations. Just a resolve in one’s heart to always smile and be indifferent when one gets the look, are you okay? I get triggered, within 60seconds, I ask myself what I stand to gain from being triggered, I can’t deal with all that emotion, so I just heave a relief sigh, I smile and I move on.

    Liked by 1 person

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