I am sure that there are people in the world who are triggered into a downward spiral of thinking and emotions when they read something that has a specific connotation to them and their experiences. Because I am sure that these people exist, this is not a blog against people who put trigger warnings above posts they put up that may contain sensitive content for some readers. I appreciate that people take responsibility for what they are putting out there and recognize that reading about situations can “trigger” certain individuals.
As someone who has endured some pretty messed up circumstances, trigger warnings don’t faze me. Sometimes I read the warning, but I never let it prevent me from reading the content. In the past, depending on where I was, these warnings might have made me bookmark the page for another time; but I always read it. And I’m not triggered.
Everyday, we are bombarded with images, words, sounds and situations we have absolutely no control over. Or I am, at least (if you’re not, I’d love to know your secret). We have only seconds to react to these things. Radio ads, overheard conversations, interactions with or actions of perfect strangers. These are the things that trigger me the most; not a link I knowingly clicked on in the privacy of my kitchen or living room.
When I hear footsteps behind me when I’m walking… when someone approaches a hug from a certain angle or doesn’t let go when I want them to… when I hear certain words spoken aloud or when people say certain phrases to me (phrases that everyone says, idioms, catch-phrases, basic socialization)… when my subconscious peripheral sees something that isn’t there… Then my mind is triggered into a flashback or a negative thought or a lie.
When I read a blog about someone else’s horrible situation, the only thing triggered in me is compassion for them and rage or disappointment over the situation. When I read the comments on the same blog, I am triggered into writing a blog about triggers.