I have been on one of those forums. I feared being reprimanded for using a trigger warning incorrectly so I ended up not posting at all. I felt very much silenced. I felt like I had to be a mind reader and manage everyone else’s emotions. It wasn’t a good experience for me and so I left.
I honestly love that this site doesn’t use them. When I come here, I’m working on exposure sometimes. Some days I come here and just read what I know will cause increased anxiety/panic attack/flashback. I don’t think they’d be helpful at a site like this. I’m at that point. A year ago, no I couldn’t do that.
However, if I’m just scrolling through facebook and something says TW/CW: rape, abuse etc. I can decide if I’m in a place to do it. A year or so ago I wouldn’t have at all, and when I did I was thrown into a spiral of flashbacks and nightmares for days, depending on the content. Now I can.
I appreciate them in a broad sense but as adapted as they are they aren’t really helpful. You can’t possibly cover everything, of course. I can’t control when Starbucks plays this certain song and I have a panic attack. After that I played the song over and over until it didn’t bother me. I learned from being triggered. I was raped with certain movies and TV shows on in the background. I can’t stop Rick and Morty ads from popping up or my friends posting about it, and no ones going to trigger warning that.
I also hate when people use them in a sense like “that upset me so I acted out”, or use it as an excuse for getting into hysterical arguments. Like, someone having a different opinion “triggered” me and now I verbally attacked them.
I only know how I feel. I have described this site to my therapist as a straight up, no nonsense site where people are not afraid to share their opinions in a respectful manner, as opposed to the trigger warning, coddling, oh honey, it's ok sites. I feel like a child on those sites, I feel like a respected adult on this one. I don't want to be a victim, or coddled, or told it's ok to act out. I want real opinions on my behavior, and real opinions about my problem. Empathy, not sympathy. I believe trigger warnings are coddling. If you want to get better, you have to learn to calm yourself when triggered, decide for yourself if you want to read further, and become a survivor, not a victim.
I haven’t been on for a while, but I’ve been digging into “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces”. They’re usually employed in online niches where people are ‘scared something might upset them’, to the extent they think content might traumatize them.
I’ve dealt with a few of these and most often they don’t have PTSD. Not saying they never have PTSD, but a lot of them are just frightened young kids, who think any bad emotion is an assault on their senses. They won’t grow up to be very sturdy people.
There are cases where trigger warnings may be justified. But everybody should decide for themselves if they want to warn others and read material provided by others. As for this forum, the name itself is warning enough.
I appreciate being able to write down everything inside me. I've carried many things inside me almost my whole life. I can't even say most everything, but I can write it. My two sisters are the ones I've told details to. And I can't talk it I have to text it. The words don't come out. But I can write. And I can write here, thank you. Having to worry about others, I wouldn't write anything.
Thank you for writing this article. The lack of trigger warnings has been helpful to me as it encourages my personal awareness and autonomy. As part of my being abused consisted of others thinking for me and them expecting me to think for them, (e.g., I state a desire and then being told, "Oh, you don't want that..." and such), having a sense of self and my ability to make choices is impaired as is personal boundaries, but getting better through therapy.
By all means, keep the "no trigger warnings" policy. It helps me on my path.
This is a really interesting article. I like that we don't have trigger warnings on this site. But I do try to write a brief warning before writing anything graphic on here.
I think trigger warnings should be used a bit more in general life though.
Eg. I was training for my current job, and the trainer was super lovely, and we were talking about customer feedback. And she spent ages warning us that a piece of feedback she was going to show us mentioned someone having cancer. Which was fine. But then she suddenly showed a picture from a terror attack with absolutely no warning. There was context as a piece of feedback mentioned people who had been evacuated, and our staff were super helpful. But after loads of warning about mentioning cancer, and then to suddenly show a picture of a terrorist attack was a bit of a gut-punch. So I told her afterwards, that in future it might be worth giving a bit of warning before showing something that could potentially be that triggering.
So I think reading things is fine, because mostly if you see something you don't like, you can just read on. But showing graphic/upsetting images should come with a warning in my opinion.