The word "triggered" is used a lot in todays world. It's not on my list of favorite words, but it's alive and well in my life. I searched for a synonym for it, and came up with flashback, which is what I'll go with today.
I don't talk about this often, but most of my regular readers are aware that my brother Mahlon died of what initially looked like an apparent heroin overdose a little over six months ago.
It has been hard, but I'm doing okay for the most part. That is … until someone starts talking about addicts and their opinions of the epidemic or in some instances, making jokes about the use of illegal substances. When ever that happens I am all kinds of not okay.
It happened again yesterday. I was sitting there at homeschool group having a pleasant conversation with one of the other Moms while our children were in one of their classes. Someone else stopped by the church where our group meets and walked over to join us and turned the conversation to completely different topics that included how a young woman who is struggling with addiction has been written off by her family, which is as it should be, the person talking said in an assured manner.
Every fiber of my being wanted to get up, and run away. It was hard to breathe, my hands became cold and clammy, and a knot formed in my stomach. It was a physical struggle to remain sitting and try to tune out the conversation. A silent prayer whispered under my breath for strength, and then in my mind I was a young girl in my bare feet running through the flower filled meadow of my childhood with Mahlon, far away from this awful conversation.
I'm hoping I won't always have these reactions, but for now "flashbacks" are something I deal with.