Let's Talk About Triggers

I think most everyone knows what a trigger is- thanks to the "TRIGGERED" meme. The triggered meme doesn't bother me much considering internet ignorance is nothing but a norm. Having said that, I do think it'd be great if people took the time to understand why triggers happen and what they actually are because they're pretty fucking shitty, ya'll. I'll also put it all in layman's terms for easy accessibility. Just kidding, it's because I don't know how to say it fancy, anyways. Triggers are generally- WOW I literally got triggered writing about triggers and had to put this on the back-burner for awhile. *finger guns* So, anyways, it's a new day so let's try this again! Triggers are things that basically bring you back to a traumatic event- the event is called a flashback. You genuinely feel as if you're living it over again. They're awful and not things to just toss out lightly. When you're being an asshole and someone calls you out, don't say "haha triggered" because it makes you a moron. When people are discussing social justice and you come in simply to tell them that they're triggered, you're a moron. Can you just not? For those who don't really know anything about triggers, I'll use some examples that I live through; my PTSD was brought on by sexual assault. -A certain shade of blue, like sort of IKEA blue but lighter because it's a colour I associate with my abuser from an old inside joke we had. Once, a couple years ago, I saw it and immediately started to shake and cry. I didn't even realize why at the time. -O'Sister, a song by City and Colour because it was a song my attacker attributed to me long before the assault. I haven't listened to it in years. -Sometimes, simply being touched because I'll suddenly feel touches on my body exactly how I did when I was assaulted and it makes my skin crawl. I've gone months without wanting to be touched, at all. Five years after it happened, I still go through long stints of despising physical contact. -Resident Evil 6, and I know it sounds bonkers. I actually only realized this yesterday. I hate it because it's legit just a bad game, but it dawned on me why I have a TENSE aversion to it and it's because it's a game my abuser and I co-oped together during a gaming marathon. But that goes to show you how triggers can be the strangest things. The game doesn't really effect me too much in a way of causing any sort of panic, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. -A simple one- sexual assault in media. It doesn't always bother me to the point that I'd consider myself triggered, but it does happen. I've had to ask Kyle to please turn a movie that we were watching off because I couldn't handle it and I'd have to go and just lay down to clear my head. -One time a male manager of a pub I was at walked out of the girls washroom right when I was walking in. He breezed by me and my knees nearly gave out seeing a man in an unexpected while I was alone scared the life out of me. I returned to my table shaking like a leaf to a point where my friend had to ask if I was okay. -A huge triggered moment was the final push that put me into my current mental health spiral: I walked out of the kitchen at work and saw someone who looked just like my abuser. I saw him, froze and then managed to back into the kitchen again. I returned to what I was doing and tried my hardest to shake it off, but I was in flashback central. Standing there, I was still and quiet but in my mind I was reliving one of the worst things to ever happen to me. I had my head down and I was crying so I went into the walk in fridge, sat on the floor and had a meltdown. It was awful. And this was at a point where I'd actually been doing pretty well for a good long time regarding my assault. -As I said, simply writing about triggers fucked me up yesterday. And now? I still don't feel great. My mind keeps seeing things I saw, my body feeling ways I felt and my toes and hands curl so tightly at moments that it hurts. My skin is crawling and I feel the urge to wipe at my skin as if I can rid myself of the sensation. There's tons more, but I'm just trying to get a point across. Triggers are PSYCHOLOGICAL. They're not our choice. We're not sensitive. We're not snowflakes- we're fucking traumatized. Damn. That's the quick and dirty on triggers. I'm gonna cut this short, though, cause my brain doesn't like this topic right now. Thank you for reading! xo Shay

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