PTSD symptoms and boundaaries

KayW

Learning
Recently I was triggered and realised my response was trauma related. When Im having a trauma related response, I cant get the trigger event in perspective. But now Im looking back and thinking the person involved in the trigger crossed a boundary that she shouldnt have.

Ive been to lots of safeguarding training events in the past, theyre always unnerving, but theyre usually done sensitively enough that they dont trigger me, so I know Im ok talking about abuse in the right way in the right context.

So recently I asked a member of staff a question about young people and what could be a sexual fetish and where safeguarding reporting would come in. They werent sure themselves, so they asked another member of staff. It was the second member of staff that triggered me - she answered the question, but then she described in detail a hypothetical scenario of a person searching on the internet, that they would be groomed and theyd be made to do this (she described the details of this sexual fetish) and then theyd be made to go on to the next step which is this (again she gave detail of this sexual fetish).

In this context, she was in a position of power (her teacher, me student), it was after the lecture, so I was by myself with her, so I wasnt in a position to leave the situation without being disrespectful. She doesnt know about my history and I know shes not responsible for the effect it had on me. But is it ok for her to describe details of a sexual fetish to a student?
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
No, she didn't just bring in up to a student, she was asked a question and answered it. It would have been different if she had just brought it up. Sadly, there are a lot of triggers in the world and we have to learn how to navigate them to have a decent life. I hope you are doing self-care to help you with the feelings.
 

Friday

Moderator
But ethics and boundaries go beyond legal dont they?
Yep.

Which would make NOT explaining to a (University) student -who is both studying paraphilias & asking a specific question about them- a breach of their duty as an educator.

It would be like refusing to teach the glandular cascade order of male orgasm in an anatomy class.

When you’re studying any aspect of sex? Whether it’s anatomical or psychological or anthropological or criminological? The details matter. Withholding those details is something one does whilst teaching children. Not adults. Adults who are educating themselves (in any degree path) need not just the broad strokes of “x” exists, but also specifics AND context.

So to continue to use the glands involved in male orgasm, example? The details are vital, but context equally so (like what can interrupt that process? Infection, inflammation, injury, malnutrition, heavy metal exposure, certain cancers -not just local, but also CNS cancers/tumors/etc.- certain medications, autoimmune disorders, etc.).

A professor is ethically bound …to not just cough and mumble something about men have orgasms, with their -cough- parts & stuff, and move onto another subject… to both be as specific as possible, and to contextualise what those specifics mean. For both the students and their future patients, who will be depending on todays students being tomorrows experts.

So if you’re asking a question about when/why a specific paraphilia may or may not be reportable? It would frankly be bizarre for a professor to not lay out the scenarios that are in play, and what that means from a safeguarding perspective. (Which ties together several different specialties… and will be a different synthesis than if looked at through lenses of other specialties for other purposes). So the student asking questions today, in the future is the expert who knows what’s normal/healthy/of no concern, no matter how big and splashy it may seem to a layman; as well as what is concerning, and why, and in what context, no matter how small it may seem to a layman.

Does that make sense?
 
Last edited:

KayW

Learning
No, she didn't just bring in up to a student, she was asked a question and answered it. It would have been different if she had just brought it up. Sadly, there are a lot of triggers in the world and we have to learn how to navigate them to have a decent life. I hope you are doing self-care to help you with the feelings.
Hi Dharmagirl. Thanks for your ressponse. Im not new to PTSD and generally navigate triggers ok.. and with a lot of self care. But I think there is a tendency with PTSD to go... oh its all me, my fault, my PTSD... but for me, AFTER Ive dealt with my own triggered reaction, it is important for my ongoing development to look at where my boundaries are and whether thats ok for me... or whether thats somewhere thatbits ok for me to set a boundary that says - thank you for answerinng my question, but Id rather you didnt offer details of sexual acts.
 

KayW

Learning
Does that make sense?
Thank you, yes it did once Id looked up pariphilias (a genuine smile and appreciation for my own ignorance x)
Yep.

Which would make NOT explaining to a (University) student -who is both studying paraphilias & asking a specific question about them- a breach of their duty as an educator.
My apologies for not being clear in the op. Im not studying paraphilias, Im studying psychology of children and young people.This was a question about age appropriate interest in sexual fetishism and dangers posed.

The answer to the question was, yes, if a young person (beneath age of sexual consent) is looking up information on the internet, they may be at risk of viewing information inappropriate for their developmental age and IF they join an online community associated to that fetish, they may be at risk of grooming.

The above would have sufficiently answered my question in the context that it was asked in and the detail ofbwhat a child might go through if they were groomed doesnt add anything useful to it.

Thank you for your response, I hope you accept my reply as me working through this, not being disagreable.
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
I difficultly see how that teacher could answer without being thorough. The problem with safety issues and grooming AND internet moderation is that the lines are quite blurry between informational content and engaging content, and it’s hard to explain these dynamics without taking a particular example (I worked as an indexing mod, yea sometimes you get to see pretty grey to outright dark shit, but it’s something near impossible to render if you don’t get into a case example).

I don’t see how that person could presumably know that you had a specific problem about something you explicitly asked. So as much as it was triggering and it is a triggering topic, she didn’t break any student boundary by simply answering a question and being thorough, giving an example that helps to know where to cross the line psychologically. In the context of children’s and adolescent psychology I also do find it pertinent. As a teacher I wouldn’t have felt like I answered the question in detail if I didn’t give any detail.

Not saying that your feelings are wrong at all but just trying to put things in perspective.

Now cases where stuff alike CAN in fact be a breach of ethics and even be a form of sexual harassment:

A teacher who repeatedly comes up with sexual content whereas it’s entirely tangential to the main topic. Where the main topic is dropped to the profit of whatever sexual considerations. Where they target students to make examples (like, oh by example if you, there, were into fetish X or Y, and describing it with enough projection on the student to make them uncomfortable or at least placed on some kind of spotlight). Where they regularly target the same profile of students, seemingly according to a sexual preference. Etc.

I had a teacher like that. His class was generally more than suggestive, oblique and distracting. It was semiotics but somehow it always landed back on some sexual fantasy and it was evident the guy liked to talk about HIS fantasies, and twisted the entire class to fit his fetish. You could also sense he got some satisfaction in seeing everyone cringe or zone out, would make fun of those who looked embarrassed, and would push the ones incidentally interested to interact with him with graphic speech as much as possible, thus imposing that awkward interaction on the entire class. Comments were personified and never hypothetical, and slightly offensive. Like not stating "if someone…" but "If you…" and then "but yeah, you look like a bore so you’d probably wouldn’t anyway". Things like that.

It’s that degree of personal implication that really is characteristic of someone who’s crossing the line, as opposed to someone who’s flatly describing a situation where fetish happens to be an issue.

I hope it wasn’t too triggering and that it gives you some more elements to see what is okay and what isn’t. These things can be pretty greyish and confusing. I do believe that many situations of grooming and abuse actually come from the fact that victims will be incapable of characterizing what’s wrong with precision, out of fear, confusion, and avoidance. So in a sense keeping triggered by being explicit really doesn’t serve us. Now it doesn’t mean that we have to impose ourselves to read graphic content and singing along, but actually doing like your teacher and being very precise about what is okay and what isn’t and giving an idea of the progression into the not-okayness is empowering because it gives discernment. As much as it can be very difficult sometimes.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
The above would have sufficiently answered my question in the context that it was asked in and the detail ofbwhat a child might go through if they were groomed doesnt add anything useful to it.
I strongly disagree here. I understand you're working through your own response here. But I'd say the details are quite important in the answer to this scenario. So "it puts the kid at risk" is an accurate summary but "at risk" means different things to different people. So explaining previous examples is usually a good way to explain why things are.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I don’t see how that person could presumably know that you had a specific problem about something you explicitly asked.
I agree here, and I hear you @KayW that you didn’t want to hear about specific examples. It sounds like you didn’t realize you were being triggered while it happened, maybe because…
incapable of characterizing what’s wrong with precision, out of fear, confusion, and avoidance.
But then later you were able to recognize that the teacher said too much *for you*. Whether or not the teacher giving examples would be helpful for most people, I imagine that if you are ever in a situation like that again *and* able to recognize it in the moment, you could speak up and say something like, “Thank you, but I’ve heard enough to understand your point.” Whether or not you’ve heard enough to be “expert level” isn’t really important, in my opinion. You can take your time and navigate that on your own timeline, in my opinion.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
Whether or not you’ve heard enough to be “expert level” isn’t really important, in my opinion. You can take your time and navigate that on your own timeline, in my opinion.
This is very dependent on the course studied. I totally understand that it's hard to hear details etc. But if the person will potentially end up as a child psychologist it's worth noting that right now may not be the right time to be graduating. If it's high school then cool, yeah. No pressure (obv there's mid level stuff). But there are definitely courses you should take some time out from if youre finding them too triggering.
 

KayW

Learning
Thank you for all the replies. I can take it that this isnt a boundary issue and that helps me in letting it go and working with this lecturer without boundaries worrying me.

Having done some reading around this subject though, the graphic information wasnt accurate and didnt offer any further understanding of the fetish. There are a lot of academic articles on the subject and offering knowledge of their findings would have been teaching. So I do disagree with this as an excuse. I think it more likely that she wanted to appear more knowledgable than she actually was.
 
Top