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Since then, she’s become aware of other triggers, and how to work through them to calm down and feel safe.

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Rachel, a 26-year-old survivor of interpersonal relationship violence, said that for a while, she didn’t have any triggers at all because she had repressed everything.

“I started sweating and my head started spinning so I left the room,” she says of the first time she experienced a trigger.

Triggers cause charged emotional responses, where survivors of abuse may feel altered, may get extremely angry, cry, or withdraw and dissociate.

Feeling simply upset, which is still valid, is different than a trauma response.

“It's not about you, it's about them, and loving them, supporting them in creating the relationships and experiences they want and need and deserve.”How often you should check in with the person will vary, according to Dr. However, it becomes easier to know when you might want to check in if you pay close attention to their emotional responses.

When it comes to being a loving partner or friend, Goerlich says it’s often best to “follow the survivor’s lead,” because someone who has survived a trauma has had their sense of control stripped from them.Although it’s been years since the abuse, her best friend still sometimes meets people on dating apps or in social situations who look or sound like her abuser.When she’s triggered, Wren says she’s gotten calls from a bathroom stall at a restaurant, and come to get her.“Whatever she needs, I'll drop everything however much I can to make sure she know her feelings and concerns and memories are valid, and real,” Wren says.Some survivors may have repressed the trauma and may be triggered by something but not know that what they’re experiencing is a traumatic trigger.And even if someone doesn’t experience moments that make them feel overwhelmingly retraumatized, that doesn’t mean they’re not dealing with a great deal of stress or an extra emotional or physical burden on a daily basis.It turns out, there are many ways to ease the blow of trauma, according to the survivors and experts spoke with.

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