That’s the word my stepfather used before he started in on me.
Each and every time.
I knew what was coming.
I was just a kid.
The sexual abuse went on for three years.
Before he touched me, he would always tell me to relax.
I was fifteen when I escaped and left home.
No longer would my stepfather tell me to relax.
Many factors and hellish moments filled those days, and months, and years.
They are still a part of me.
My only choice was to come to terms with it.
My stepfather telling me to relax was a problem.
My therapist, Buddhist teacher, or friend telling me to relax was not the problem.
Even I could tell myself to relax.
Trigger words are all around us.
Let’s neutralize them instead of allowing them to haunt our lives.
I started to find it all ironically funny.
That was probably the moment I decided to make friends with my fucking trigger word.
My stepfather no longer owns me.
Cancel his hold over me.
Cancel it all.
But let me keep my ability to relax whenever the fuck I want to.
Or choose to.
Some hurts stay forever.
Some things are beyond my reach.
Some anchors still hold me back.
But not reacting to a word is comparably easy to fix.