When you've been through an experience that changes your life and who your are, you tend to categorize your life. At least, I think that's true for most people. It is for me. I define my life in three periods: pre, during and post. Memories are categorized. Anything that triggers a memory is categorized. People are categorized. EVERYTHING is categorized.
Pre- triggers are somewhat tainted, yet not all bad. Those memories are bittersweet. Anything associated with that part of my life stirs mixed emotions in me.
During- triggers are painful. Sometimes, they're sickening. They tend to be confusing. Once in a while, they still send me into tears of sadness. Most of the time, I wish I could forget them. Those are filled with regret.
Post- triggers are comforting. They bring to mind thoughts of unconditional love, grace, and mercy. Those are the sweetest. They sometimes cause me tears of joy.
So many things cause triggers: songs, movies, places, faces, phrases...the list could go on and on.
The experience is one that made me who I am today. I chose the hard way to get to where I am, but God's faithfulness is evident in all the categories of my life. He has used the experience to teach me things about myself and other people.