Wednesday, March 20, 2013


This post is not about triggers. This post is not about trigger warnings, although I will talk about them.This is about one trigger. My trigger. My hidden trigger that got pulled yesterday.

I am using terms without much 101 today - I need to get this out now or lose it.

Trigger warnings are good in visual and audio media, I support their use. In written media, I find the genesis of them in lazy writing. If you, as a writer, hit even three of your Ws (I count six: who, what, when, where, why, WTF?) the reader should be able to tell if the piece is safe for them. Now they have become de rigor for most folks of conscious out here in the wilds, including me, but I do stand my original opinion.

I had grown, developed, been imbued with by circumstance, a trigger. Sexual assault touched our family recently and has caused rifts and deep harm. I had not done the usual self analysis that would have let me know I had a trouble button waiting to be pushed. I had been busy, you know, living this out and doing what I could for my family.

There is no shame in having a trigger. Life is life, and sometimes life is just fucking hard. It leaves it's marks, and sometimes when coping we develop these fetid warts of damage. With good self-maintenance, some folks can reduce or remove those warts. Not everyone can, or should be expected to, and the advancement of trigger warnings in media is a boon to the folks that are dealing with triggers at any stage. (I have noticed that they have a great side effect: teaching those new to the ideas of triggers what the whole thing is about when they hear "trigger warning" from a trusted source.)

In a discussion of rape culture on a podcast, I was participating in the chat room and my trigger got pulled. I started typing one phrase repeatedly, and until some called it a trigger I had no idea I was doing it. #ShoutOutToTheChatroom, there were wonderful about the whole thing, never ridiculing and being exactly the sort of folks you need in that situation. Thank you, Chat Room. The show runners were great, checking to see if they had done something to provoke it. They had not, and I thank them for asking. If I did not see it coming, I do not know how anyone without a knowledge of what me and mine were going through lately, could have seen it coming.

So, if life is hard, remember to check yourself for untended damage. Get help if you need or want it. Do not be ashamed.