March 4, 2024

Weird Uncle Al

Jacques de Villiers, motivational speaker in South Africa, writes about triggers and Tourettes Syndrome.

Jacques de Villiers – writing quest: Article 36/365

My child thinks I would be called The Triggerer if I were a superhero because I have a knack for provoking people. Perhaps a tad unkind, but I think they’re right. I, of course, would rather like to be known as The Truth Sayer. But those aren’t really popular either.

I’m like a young superhero still discovering my power, and sometimes I lose control because I haven’t learned to tame it yet.

It’s like I have some kind of social Tourette Syndrome.  I just blurt shit out and watch the chaos that ensues. I’m like that weird uncle (Al) at a wedding – you have to invite him because he’s family, but you’re scared he’ll try to give a speech, and you know it won’t go well. 

Weirdly, this superpower is in full bloom when it comes to waiters at restaurants. Near me, they drop stuff, they stutter, they get the order wrong, they trip. And, I’m so gentle with them, but it doesn’t seem to help. They’re like exorcists who can spot a demon at 10 feet. I always tip them huge amounts for their pain and suffering and subsequent therapy.

If I’m honest, it’s not just waiters. Nobody wants a mad truth sayer near them, triggering them. I’ve learned to mask my triggering power by shutting my mouth.

When I am asked my opinion, I preface and end it with softeners. You know the throw up in your mouth ones: “I say this with the deepest respect. I say this with love. You know I love you, right? I love how enthusiastic you are, but …”

I’m still struggling to use WhatsApp because the trigger is still there in the conversation, haunting both me and the person triggered. I’ve found that hug and heart emojis come in handy here, and work well as softeners. ⊂◉‿◉つ (。♥‿♥。)

I say this with so much love for you. You’re a chop. ⊂◉‿◉つ (。♥‿♥。) You have so much potential. ⊂◉‿◉つ (。♥‿♥。) Please convey my regards to Katrina. ⊂◉‿◉つ (。♥‿♥。)

Of course the real power of The Triggerer is the ability for the triggered to face himself. 

There are two possible responses.

  1. Denial. The triggered can look at The Triggerer and, say or think. “I say this with the deepest love. F%#k Off. ( ° ͜ʖ͡°)╭∩╮Take your opinion and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.” ( ° ͜ʖ͡°)╭∩╮”
  2. Curiosity. “Mmm, that’s so interesting that I’ve gotten triggered by those words. Let me investigate my feelings and see where they’re coming from. The Triggerer helped me discover something that is keeping me at a lower vibration and holding me back from reaching my true potential. Hooray for The Triggerer, my hero!”

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

Carl Jung

Uncle Al puts the bottle of wine down and stumbles up and says, “And now I’d like to say a speech to the wonderful newly-weds.”

Wedding f*#cked.

Uncle Al goes home and sleeps like a baby. (>.⁢) zzZ

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