Trigger Trash

Last night my husband was preparing for his annual guys weekend fishing trip.  This is trip #2 since D-day.

I can honestly say, while it doesn’t bother me for him to be gone on this fishing trip, him being gone in general brings up the memory of him moving out.

The fishing trip doesn’t bother me probably because it’s 20 – 25 men, 90% of which are STRONG Christian men, in a tiny backwoods midwestern town.  They fish, mushroom hunt, and tell tales by the campfire.  When they come home they haven’t showered or shaved in 2 1/2 days or been to a “real” bathroom in the same amount of time, but they are smiling like little boys on Christmas morning.

He needs this.

And honestly, I probably do too.

But what surprised me while he was packing for this trip, was the hidden trigger.

When Hub went on his vacation with M last year he bought a new travel bag (because he was moved out of our house & needed a travel bag for his week+ long trip with her).  He bought one.  When he moved home the bag came home too, but was quickly thrown under the pool table & forgotten about.

Until last night.

I was playing cards with our son on our bed while my husband was getting his stuff together.  He walked in our bedroom, placed the bag on the bed & began to pack for his weekend with the guys.

I felt fear instantly grip me & tears began to flow down my cheeks.

He asked what was wrong.

I shook my head, not wanting to admit a stupid bag threw me back to that place.

He asked again…and questioned if I was not wanting him to go on the trip.

I asked our son to leave the room.

Then I said…”I know this sounds stupid, but that bag.  That’s her bag.”

He picked up the bag, walked downstairs, opened the door and threw it in the garbage bin.

When he walked back upstairs I said “I would have rather had a conversation about it, than you just decide to throw out a travel bag that’s only been used for 1 trip.”

He said “No – I don’t want you to worry about.  I don’t want you to see it.  It’s done now & gone.  It had a ripped out pocket anyway.”

And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about that.

First of all, why is it I feel conflicted about almost EVERYTHING now?

Secondly, I truly believe he was doing what he thought was best to help me.  And that feels good.  I felt relieved & pleased.  But…

I need to heal.

Is throwing away triggers really going to help me heal?

I believe it goes deeper than a travel bag.  I think the travel bag is just the symptom.

And shouldn’t I have some say (some control) over HOW I heal?  Meaning: shouldn’t I decide if I want the bag thrown away or not?

Maybe that was right thing to do.  Ok…it most likely was the right thing.  Yes, alright, fine – he did the right thing.  But, maybe I’m feeling like he’s taking charge of my healing.

Actually, as I type this out – I’m wondering if he’s taking charge of it because he thinks he needs to step in and take care of me now.  Maybe he thinks that’s the right thing to do?  OR maybe he thinks I can’t really take care of myself right now?  Maybe for the first time he’s seeing himself as my protector and this is his way of filling that role?

I don’t know.

But I do know, that again (for the second time this week) – I saw his resolve…and I found that attractive.


6 thoughts on “Trigger Trash

  1. Your husband did good :). Hugs. Been there. Made my husband throw out all his new shirts that he bought during that time. I needed it. His reaction was horrible but he did it and then told me during counseling session last year. Anyway, triggers happen and if they can be thrown in the trash by the men, all the better!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel sort of weird saying this, but maybe it was just a bag? He didn’t think about it until you mentioned it, it bothered you to the point of tears, and being a man, he just tidied up the problem. Quite possibly that’s about as deep as his thinking went – made my wife cry because of associations, it needs to be gone from our lives.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. My ability to overthink anything is legendary in my household, so I recognize wind-up potential. You have good reason to examine matters with extreme specificity, though, and I am relieved you were not offended by my observation.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh heavens no. As I read that comment I actually chuckled and thought “knowing my husband this sounds more like his thought process than what I drummed up”.

        Liked by 1 person

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