When I was much younger, I was a pretty tolerant person. Read: I was a fucking doormat. I’ve always been a people pleaser. It made my life a least moderately easier, living with a narcissistic mother, then husband. If you wanted someone around who would agree with you, or possibly just play devil’s advocate, I was your girl.
Not any longer.
The older I get, the less I tolerate just for sake of avoiding confrontation. This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn, as I would rather do most anything on this planet than deal with confrontation. Nothing can change if I continue to stand by and keep my mouth shut, I learned this the hard way.
This does not, however, give me the right to run all over someone else’s feelings about a subject. Especially when it comes to something that may trigger them. I’ll admit, I had never heard the word trigger used in this way until I started using tumblr a few years ago. Due to the nature of accounts I followed, there were a number of posts that began with “trigger warning.”
I was diagnosed with PTSD about five years ago, due to long-term abuse and multiple instances of sexual assault. I’ve also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety. Throw all of those things together, hold your mouth right, and stand on one foot and some days, it feels like the world is a fucking trigger. I do my best not to lash out about it, it’s not someone else’s problem nor their fault that certain things cause a visceral reaction.
However, it is a serious problem when someone minimizes your pain, your emotions, and your trauma.
Since the #metoo movement began, there’s been a surge of what I’ll call anti-metoo memes and posts all over the internet. Men and women alike, telling survivors of sexual assault that they have no reason to be triggered, that their triggers are bullshit. People telling survivors that they got what they deserved. Some people, going so far as to say survivors are lying.
I can’t express loudly enough how fucked up this is.
Another thing I’ve seen lately is, mostly men, calling for people to “stop being triggered by everything.” Their point being, if everyone would just suck it up and grow up, they would be able to get past whatever traumas they’ve lived through and get on with their lives, trigger free.
If only it were that simple.
Sadly, a lot of the men I’ve seen posting this shit are veterans who I know for a fact suffer from PTSD as well. Combat induced PTSD is no different than trauma induced PTSD.
They are both brought on by trauma, period.
We each handle trauma in our own way and to tell someone who is dealing with the same disorder that you are, to just suck it up and get over it, speaks volumes about the way men are taught to deal with their emotions.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking down about veterans in general. I come from a huge military family and am married to a medically retired Marine. I’m thankful that mine understands how complex things can be and doesn’t pigeonhole me and my emotions.
We’re all entitled to our opinions. My grandfather was fond of saying, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Like dicks, just because you have one, doesn’t mean you have to be one. Let’s take the time to understand that each person deals with things in their own way. And if that means scrolling past a video, post, or photo in order to keep their wits about them today, what is it to you?