Sophie's Secret LJ

(alias the Roost of the Purple Chicken)


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An incomplete list of things that trigger me
I like pi!
alias_sqbr
Every now and then someone I follow on social media will post something I find so upsetting I am unable to articulate my distress, and often I find myself in the position of either putting up with being psychologically damaged every time they say this kind of thing or silently unfollowing them, because I cannot see any way to explain my discomfort without getting into an argument I'm not up to.

So I've decided to try listing out my triggers, in hopes that putting them in the context of a large and frequently contradictory list makes it clearer that I'm not necesarily making a moral statement etc, and so I have something to link to when I'm feeling too freaked out to explain things. Some of these things I do have an ethical/moral objection to, but my emotional reaction is totally out of proportion, and there are other things I have zero objection to as long as I can avoid them personally.

I am not up for arguing about any of these (and it's not like you can convince me not to be triggered! That's not how triggers work!), but I can possibly offer clarification.

WARNING: Contains a whole bunch of common triggers!

Since not everyone's familiar with them, and experiences/definitions vary: What I mean by being triggered is a combination of anxiety and a sick feeling. It is very unpleasant and makes it very difficult to think clearly, and if I keep being triggered I become increasingly incoherent and miserable, leading in a worst case scenario to a semi catatonic state where I am literally incapable of speech and take hours to regain anything approaching mental equilibrium. Being pushed on a triggery topic makes the topic more triggery, and can create temporary secondary triggers that hit me with flashbacks and negative thought loops for months or even years afterwards. In very bad cases some of these secondary triggers can become permanent.

My triggers are from a mixture of past trauma and an anxiety disorder, and I personally cannot draw a neat line between the two kinds of trigger.

Don't feel bad if you have sometimes said some of these kinds of things (unless you're, like, racist. Then you should feel bad :P) I am able to cope with a lot of triggery content a lot of the time, it's only when something hits me at just the wrong angle that I have to disengage. Many of these are value neutral or even good, and some are things I post from time to time. Even some of the ideas I disagree with are coming from a basically reasonable place. If I find your blog/conversation too upsetting and I think you might be able to make it less triggery I will try and tell you, or I'll just unfollow.

Apologies to anyone who finds their reasonable (or at least not massively unreasonable) point of view/preference being lumped together with bigotry etc upsetting, I thought about trying to separate them into sections but just couldn't.

And now, the list of things I often find triggering!
  • The idea that if you trigger someone you are automatically at fault.
  • The idea that people with triggers need to suck it up and deal, including in the context of "if you do not reblog this post you are racist, even if it triggers you" etc.
  • The idea that the only kind of trigger that counts is a very specific sort of PTSD trigger.
  • Intermittently: Depictions of sex or nudity (plus actual sex and nudity, but that comes up less online :))
  • Kink shaming or sex negativity. I have seen discussions of sex negativity I could sort of agree with, but I still found them triggery, I guess because they emphasise the ways sex is unpleasant?
  • Depictions of underage sex, or the sexualisation of minors. The odd bit of labelled fic I can scroll past, but art or lusting over too young characters I find too much.
  • The idea that fictional depictions of underage sex/sexualised minors are morally equivalent to the kind of child porn made by raping literal children. Mainly because if you express an objection to this idea people go "so you're in favour of [graphic description of disturbing child porn]". I can deal better with more nuanced discussions of the complex moral issues around sexualisation of fictional minors, but still find it a bit triggery because it's discussing the sexualisation of minors.
  • Positive depictions of rapists or rape. Sometimes, any discusion of rape at all though I can usually scroll.
  • Anything accusing all people who create sexualised depictions of rape of being complicit with rape culture/morally equivalent to rapists/pro rape, especially if it ignores or talks over the many rape survivors who find catharsis from this kind of porn. The "So you're in favour of [graphic description of rape]" thing comes up here, too.
  • Ethnic prejudice/racism, especially anti-Semitism and anti-Palestinian Zionism. (I avoid discussions of Israel)
  • Arguing for the sterilisation/restricted reproduction/murder of "lesser" people. This usually comes up in the context of disability, race, and class eg "stupid people keep breeding"/arguments for letting refugees just die etc. Unfortunately, arguments against such attitudes are also often somewhat triggery, though I can usually just scroll past.
  • Anything that basically says I (or to a lesser extent, other people) are inherently Tools Of The Kyriarchy/Bigoted Againts Myself for preferences that feel hard wired into my psychology/identity, and should just choose to be otherwise: being femme/butch, being cis/straight/lgbt (including "there's no such thing as being genderqueer you just have internalised mysogyny) etc, but also really minor preferences like tv shows.
  • Bashing other fans for having the "wrong" faves/ships, even if it's against faves/ships I don't like much myself. Mainly an issue because it's SO MINOR that I feel silly telling someone how upsetting I find it. Worse if combined with other triggers eg "if you ship X/Y you are a LITERAL PEDOPHILE"/ "Anyone who ships EDI/Joker is ableist" etc.
  • Arguing that women actually have more power than men.
  • The kind of tumblr post that shows happy pictures of people and then it turns out to be about how they were horribly murdered by bigots, especially if they're the kind of bigots who might murder me.
  • Anything about the kinds of people who'd like to murder me, really.
  • Parasites and zombies.
  • Certain kinds of discussion of suicide and self harm.
  • Certain kinds of abuse apologism, especially anything erasing victim's experiences/accusing them of being liars/over sensitive.
  • Any sort of rhetoric which defines some people as Beyond The Pale and thus deserving of no pity/respect/compassion, even if I think the person has done something bad. And this gets circular with abuse: I can't stand abuse apologism, but I also can't stand "this person is an abuse apologist and therefore should be SHUNNED AND HATED BY EVERYONE FOREVER". Especially when the argument for them being an abuse apologist is what they ship!


I know there's more but that will do for now! I tend to find any sort of bigotry upsetting (especially if the person I'm talking to is in favour of it, but also sometimes when people are criticising other people's bigotry), but the sorts I've listed are more likely to send me into a sudden brain-freezing anxiety.

You can see how certain conversations are intolerable for me because both sides trigger me. Including, ironically, discussions of trigger warnings.

This stuff comes up in real life too, but I'm not usually in a position to go "hey can I show you this post I made about my triggers".

EDIT: I am so glad dreamwidth added a "edit this post again" link haha. *keeps poking at post*

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