miss_invisible: (gws: Erin sadface)
[personal profile] miss_invisible
As the savvy among you may have surmised from my absence, I've had a rough patch recently that's gotten in the way of me updating here. I seem to have developed an unexpected nasty side of social anxiety to go with the garden-variety stuff, as well as serious issues with going anywhere outside my 'known territory.' Needless to say, it's inconvenient at best.

However, that's not actually what I want to talk about right now. I actually want to discuss triggers, because I recently got blindsided by one I didn't even previously know I had. It hit me while I was clicking through my tumblr dashboard recently– a friend had posted a series of reblogs that really upset me. When I brought it up, she reacted defensively and pointed out that it is 'far from the most offensive thing she has posted.' True enough– said friend pretty much says what she thinks when she thinks it and has a rather sharp sense of humor sometimes, and I'm used to that. I felt, though, like we were talking at cross-purposes, because the fact of the matter is that what is triggering and what is offensive are not the same thing, and I think that's an important distinction to make.

I can get over something offensive, though I generally cut people who repeatedly offend me out of my life (I'm not generally offended by her, though I can see how some people could be). Sure, it annoys me at the time, but I move on. A trigger doesn't work like that. A trigger is something that can rip someone open on the most visceral emotional level, and what is triggering is not necessarily offensive. It can be almost anything– an image, a sound, a place– the potentiality of what can be a trigger is as wide as the range of human experience. Those of us who have triggers do what we can to live with them, avoiding them or working past them or whatever solution we see fit. As much as we can, we try not to get into situations we know will trigger us, because come on, who really wants to go through that experience?

But it's not always predictable. We can run across them unexpectedly– sometimes we stumble on triggers we didn't even know we had in the past, as I did. And in such situations, it's important for others to respect that. My friend didn't know she was going to trigger me– how could she, when I didn't know?– but her brushing aside the issue was unproductive and hurtful.

For those of you who follow this blog, if you have specific triggers you know of that you need to be warned for, please tell me so I can allow for that in my post headers. Just a quick PM will do nicely– I don't want to trigger anyone who might be reading, but I can't know everyone's triggers. I've edited my profile to reflect this policy.
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