Triggers are so unexpected, although years of therapy have calmed waters and allowed me to cope with PTSD, in an instant a flashback sends me into panic mode. In this situation, I had unloaded my groceries prepared for the cashier checkout, when I noticed the guy behind me unloading his. It was his black, greasy fingernails that triggered me.
The explanation for my trigger stems from childhood sexual abuse by a neighbour. He was forever underneath the hood of his car, working endlessly on I don’t know what, but all I can recall is he had dirty hands, and filthy black, greasy fingernails. Therefore, to this day, if my eyes catch a glimpse of this sight anywhere, in a split second I am six years old again being raped.
Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time. You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place. You may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event.