Triggers. They’re everywhere now.

42 Days of  Teresa- day 12

I have seen so many articles, Facebook feeds, posts and conversations around the use of warning people about trigger warnings. Has it gone too far?  I put trigger warnings on many of my posts to help those that are here to make a choice of self awareness.  I don’t want people getting re-traumatized even though what I want could benefit the reader. It’s not for me to say if that benefit would be realized now or later.  However, I’m talking trauma here.

I’m not talking about people taking offence to another’s point of view. Someone else’s leggings offend someone else and now they’re having such an emotional reaction that they are getting petitions online to having them banned.  How about, all the triggers around almost any kind of emotion?  Someone writes a happy post about being pregnant and looking forward to their baby making journey, only to have a perfect stranger attack them, for not putting a trigger warning on their post as they previously had a miscarriage.  While there may be a lot of pain, sadness and certainly healing around personally experiencing this, should every happy pregnant person be made to second guess sharing their joy in fear that others may find it offensive?  I’m just not able to hold my own experiences to a place that supersedes someone else’s.  Should no one be able to mention childhood sexual abuse around me for fear of upsetting me? I don’t think so.

While I appreciate that people go through different experiences in life, I have a hard time with the super sensitivity around taking someone else’s journey personally.  When I find myself having an emotional reaction to something, I usually manage to step back and ask myself what I’m processing.  If someone else’s choices and experiences are effecting me to the point that I now find myself in a completely different state of mind because of it, there is clearly something I haven’t dealt with that’s surfacing.

From a place of gratitude and self awareness, you could go so far as to thank the other person for creating the personal opportunity to recognize some old wounds.  Just when you thought you had all your shit together, something popped up and got you all riled.  While in a reactionary mode, you start getting defensive and putting blame on others for your emotional journey.  Once the time is taken to step back from the trigger, you can start to breath and pay attention to where the anxiety is physically in your body.  You can think back to the first time in your life you felt this way around the issue that upset you.  At this point you have the option to either take the time to look deeper into yourself and start releasing this old pain or simply observe it and make a decision to look into it at a time when you feel more comfortable doing so.  In either option, the actual resolution will have nothing to do with the situation that caused the emotions to surface.

Food for thought I guess….. reflection