“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror
OK, so this entry is going to be one of anger, there will be a lot of swearing and general outbursting. If you have a problem with that I suggest you leave now. And let’s get this out of the way, I am “triggered” by some of the things I’ll talk about in this. Now enjoy or fuck off.
It Is Not A Fucking Joke
So I need to talk about something. I’m not going to get political, I’m not gonna go into ethics and I’m not going to pick one side of any current debates going on because quite frankly EVERYONE needs to hear this.
The word “triggered” is not a fucking joke. It is not a fucking sly insult you can throw around when someone gets angry. It is not a fucking buzzword for you to use when you think you are winning an argument, or losing one for that matter. You are not “triggered” if you get sad at Yoda dying in Star Wars (not unless you had a bad episode with a vanishing tiny green man).
Fuck you if you do any of these things, you are an insensitive cunt with no respect for people with genuine mental illness and trauma in their lives/past. You have no understanding of what it is like and you have no will to change that. You’ve latched onto a buzzword without thinking through who that word is for or what it means. Just fuck you.
What you are (in those cases) is uncomfortable or sad. You can have an emotional reaction to something, of course you can. But to use a medical word with history, context and a proper understanding is just insulting to those who genuinely suffer.
I have PTSD so when I get “triggered” I am FUCKING terrified that my past is going to repeat itself, or I’m about to be attacked, or I’m going to drop dead or my heart will pack in because it feels like it’s about to burst through my chest. I can cry, scream, hallucinate, collapse, have a seizure or a myriad of other lovely things. I can think loved ones are my worst enemies or are going to attack/kill me, I could (and have in past) self-harm just to make it go away and bring me back to reality.
Me and my partner were watching a TV show not that long ago, one that we really enjoy and were working our way through on Netflix. I’m not going to say what but in that show there is a part where something (genuinely sorry for vagueness but you’ll have to forgive me I’m afraid) that happens that was extremely similar to something I went through in the past. Up until that point we were enjoying the show, we were relaxing and we were all cwtched up (snuggled for you non Welsh people) and then it got to that something.
Do you know what happened? I didn’t turn to my partner and go “oof, that’s a bit close to home” with a grin, I didn’t get a bit teary eyed and I didn’t “just” look away. No.
What I did was scream/shout, throw my partner off of me, burst into tears and sprint out of the room like my life depended on it (because I thought it fucking did). I collapsed mid-sprint and hit the door, then the doorframe, really fucking hard and nearly took the cunt off the hinges. I stayed there, frozen in place, I just cried uncontrollably and mumbled nonsense for a few minutes until my partner was able to bring me back to reality. Even when I had “calmed down” I still couldn’t stop sobbing.
I also have Emotional Intensity Disorder (or Borderline Personality Disorder if you prefer) so I was unable to regulate my emotional response for quite some time and I spent the next few days mostly in bed, sobbing randomly and being terrified something would happen to me.
THAT is being “triggered”. Go ask a soldier if getting flashbacks of explosions or gunfire is the same as getting upset in an argument. They would probably punch you in the face, and I hope they fucking do.
Look I know people get triggered by different things and war-induced PTSD isn’t the only kind (mine isn’t) but I used it as an example because it is the most well known, and accepted, form of PTSD. I hate that people think PTSD is one thing, but I needed to get my point across.
PTSD can come from pretty much anywhere. Substance abuse, domestic abuse, sexual assault, injuries, accidents, abandonment. The list is potentially endless. The point is PTSD is a mental health diagnosis, and being “triggered” is part of it. Being “triggered” is a psychological episode and it is insulting to use it casually or as an insult is my point.
People get triggered in different ways and all episodes don’t have to be intense as mine up there, and a lot of episodes can be a lot fucking worse. But there is no hierarchy of PTSD episodes and everyone should be treated with the same level of respect. But again, war-induced PTSD is the most commonly known so apologies if you feel left out or ignored.
Sorry for the ranting but I really needed to get this off my chest. Thank you for reading and until next time, look after yourselves. Peace.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health then please please please don’t suffer alone. Use the NHS service finder to find your local mental health services, ring the Samaritans or talk to your GP. One of the worst things about mental health problems is feeling that you are alone and if there’s one thing I can guarantee you, it’s that you’re not.
Again, from the bottom of my heart, if you co-opt “triggered”, fuck you.