I’ve been putting off writing this post since I started the blog. There aren’t many things that I have hard time talking about, but this post will touch on one of them. By now you should have noticed that I often talk about sensitive issues in this blog, but I never put a trigger warning into my posts. I do this because I hate trigger warnings for many reasons.
Trigger warnings exist to enable people to avoid pain in such a way as to make the world seem like a place made of sunshine and rainbows. But the world is not made of sunshine and rainbows. Trigger warnings allow people to live in a fantasy world and damage their ability to face the pain of reality.
Being triggered is not always a bad thing. Every time you stand up and face something that makes you uncomfortable instead of running away, it becomes easier to handle that thing the next time you encounter it. I often compare it to weight training where you push the limits of the amount of weight you can lift so that you can eventually lift more weight. It’s not that I don’t understand the urge to run; I spent a long time running away from things that made me hurt, but eventually I realized that what I was really running away from was life itself the decision to stand and fight is one of the best I ever made because, without it, I never would have recovered. But I made that realization before trigger warnings were common place and a seriously doubt I could have made it if there had been trigger warnings everywhere making it so easy to keep running.
I also find that some of the most valuable information I’ve ever gathered came from sources that were very triggering. For example, back in July I read an article a Reddit discussion on the other side of rape. This article taught me a lot of things like how sometimes rape happens because of misunderstandings and that it can hurt a lot from both sides of the issue. But most importantly it featured a very graphic quote from a serial rapist. Just thinking about it, even now, makes my skin crawl and I can feel my breakfast threatening to come back up. Needless to say, it was extremely difficult and unpleasant to read, but contained within it was a section where he said that most of the women he attacked never actually said the word, “no.” And that right there was one of the most important things I ever learned, because… I never actually said, “no,” either and I carried the guilt of that fact with me for 20 years until I found out that it was common place.
And that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever confessed to anyone. You’ll have to forgive me for this shorter than normal post but I just don’t have the energy to write much more about this right now. Just one more thing: I believe that trigger warnings do more harm than they do good.