Triggers and the 'Seat of Consciousness'
There are many parts of the Self buried deep in the unconscious. Some of these parts have experienced severe trauma, particularly parts from childhood and earlier. Although they may remain out of conscious awareness, these parts are still feeling the pain and shock they experienced in the original trauma. Sometimes in daily life something happens that 'triggers' one of these lost or 'shadow' parts. The triggered part then comes flying up into consciousness.
It's as if there is a 'seat' of consciousness in the tip of the iceberg. Ordinarily the adult self occupies this seat, but when a triggered part rises into consciousness, it knocks the adult part out of the seat. The triggered part then takes over the identity of the whole person. "I am hurt." "I am angry." "I am afraid." are statements of identity, and behaviors in these states tend to be childlike and unproductive to healing, or to life in general.
There is a principle in the unconscious where old traumas try to resolve themselves by drawing similar circumstances and triggers that enable the trauma to reenact itself. The feeling essence is very magnetic and quite capable of manifesting the elements of these reenactments from situations in the present.
Strong inner resources are necessary to provide the resolution and healing that traumas seek. However, with the inner adult displaced and unavailable to help, the hurt child has usually re-traumatized itself in the reenactment. And the adult has had to wait for the pain to subside and the part to return to the unconscious before it can take its place again in the seat of consciousness. An imprint has taken over and is now dictating what will happen.