Playing with Triggers
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
Under a dark moon, I finished some spiritual work with a friend. In theÂ process Â of saying Â goodnight, Â she pulled a very old triggerâ€”one I wasnâ€™t expecting and one Iâ€™m Â desperately Â trying Â to Â traceÂ back Â to Â its Â origins Â and killâ€”a little like Terminators Â trying to kill the mother of their enemy before he was conceived.
â€œI really enjoyed playing with you tonight.â€
Such an innocent comment, but it stopped me in my tracks. She must have sensed it because she went on to explain that doing this type of work with me feels like playing to her.
It does to me, too. Iâ€™ve used that verb quite a bit to describe how I feel about new spiritual learning experiences. Theyâ€™re fun and itâ€™s almost like being a little kid again.
Somehow the word play conjures Â up something Â else and Iâ€™m not quite sure why and why now.
Perhaps the connotation is fresh on my mind because earlier Â in Â the Â evening, Â we Â talked Â about Â how Â we Â both sensed that a friend of mine, Â whom sheâ€™s never met, is being played, that heâ€™s going through a hard Â time right
now, but heâ€™s determined Â to break free of it. We sensed that there is someone in his environment Â who is playing him, messing with him, and doing little things that would take away his dream, Â his livelihood,Â his Â professional Â li- cense, but that he will be successful in breaking free and in the flourishing of his dreams into the prosperity and abundance that Â will come Â much Â more Â quickly Â than he thinks.
He knows whoâ€™s playing with him. Both of them.
It is, in so many ways for him, a repeat of his previous year. He gets Â the harsh Â lessons Â all over Â again Â but this time, instead of running away, he will find success in yet another new beginning, Â in one of his own Â making this time. Heâ€™ll break free and take charge of his life and his future and no longer be at the beck and call of those who would use his fire to fuel their own petty dreams. He will live his dreams, and be happy again. And I will be so glad to see it happen for him at last.
And I, of course, will do what I can to light the way
for him and send him whatever extra protection will help him through this ugliness. I promised the Goddess long ago that I would. His dream affects so many lives.
But somehow with the worry and annoyance on my mind that heâ€™s being played, the verb simply stands out in my mind and triggers old fears. I could say itâ€™s a trust is- sue, itâ€™s insecurity, but if I could track down its beginning, perhaps I could get rid of it.
Iâ€™m afraid of being played. There. I admit it. Thereâ€™ve been too Â many Â times Â in my Â adult Â life Â when Â Iâ€™ve Â been played and played with, led on, manipulated, hurt. All for someone elseâ€™s Â future Â gain or mere Â entertainment. Â Just when I think I can trust again, here comes this Â niggling doubt that once again Iâ€™m going to be wrong about where I put my faith.
I can take my fear of being played with back to my teen years, back Â to those â€œmean girlsâ€ days when I was fodder for the popular kids who were bored and enjoyed activities that were the moral equivalent of pulling off the wings of a butterfly and Â dropping it into an ant bed to watch it writhe.
I can Â go Â further back Â and Â then Â I hitÂ a veil. Â I was maybe six years old, no more than seven, and I canâ€™t re- member the exactness of it but I do remember different adults playing with me, telling me my worst nightmares, inventing terrible things, traumatizing Â me. Â For fun. Not my parents but other relatives, older ones who took great pleasure in seeing me frightened and then held my fear up to each other and laughed.
When I would cry for hours, my mother would scold my torturers. All they would answer was, â€œWe was jesâ€™ playinâ€™ with her.â€
As a grown-up, itâ€™s easy to look back and see how pathetic my persecutors were. Itâ€™s also easy to see how con- trolling and manipulating people are who try to play with my friend. With me, too. Itâ€™s all about power and domination. Just because I see it doesnâ€™t make it go away.
Itâ€™s an old wound, a very old wound, and it still has an effect. Iâ€™m not a little girl anymore though. Now I slap back when people play with me or mine.
Unfortunately, the ability to squash fools after the fact does not quell my fear of being played for a fool to begin with.