Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Oh, I Triggered You? Too Fucking Bad!

I've had a long, hard life.


Sometimes that long hard life has been soul-crushingly hard.


Things have happened to me that I don't wish on my enemies.


I've been the victim of abuse, both as a child at the hands of my parents, and as an adult by a woman I thought I could trust.  I've been raped, and then treated as a joke by the authorities I tried to report this crime to. I've suffered broken bones, and lacerations. I've contracted bubonic plague, a disease you only read about in stories. I've seen friends die bloodily in front of me in accidents. I've had my life all but destroyed by people I trusted with everything.


So its safe to say that I know what "trauma" means. Trauma is some form of horrible, damaging experience that usually involves some sort of peril or loss that left a lasting scar, either physically or psychologically. And personally, I deal with my own trauma by talking to people. By writing this blog. By sharing my experience with others.


According to a certain young lady, my entire understanding of what trauma is and is not is completely and utterly mistaken. Apparently, trauma is now defined as "anything that makes you upset". And the way to prevent forcing someone to relive "trauma" is to issue "trigger warnings". That is, a warning that certain material might contain words, themes, or ideas that trigger "traumatic memories" in people who were once upset by something. Its a way for people to avoid that which bothers them rather than having to face it and deal with it. She explained, thoroughly, that a person should be able to expect a "safe environment" where nothing 'triggers" their "trauma".

It was the stupidest thing I've heard in months.


You know, I feel for people who really went through traumatic experiences, but my empathy ends when these people demand that society change to suit their personal desire to permanently avoid ever experiencing bad memories. Its like no one ever told these crybabies that they have no right to expect that they will never, ever be reminded of a bad experience ever for the rest of their lives.


And don't think I'm making an exception for myself. I have problems. There are things that make me flash back to bad times, too. You know what, though? I'll deal. I'm a fucking grown-up, and part of being a grown-up is dealing with the pain of your life. I have never demanded that women in elevators leave so that I can ride with the men, just because the thought of being alone in an elevator with a woman terrifies me. I've never mentioned to anyone how seeing a broomstick in the hands of a woman makes my legs shaky. I do not need to get a "trigger warning" because some TV show is running a storyline dealing with domestic abuse.


You know, my grandparents generation fought the worst, most damaging, most horrific war in the history of our species. When they were done, they came home and built this country into the land of opportunity that it was for the longest time. And they didn't do this by walking around as if the boogeyman was going to jump out at them at every turn. They didn't demand other people change to protect their tender sensibilities. They just dealt with it and lived their lives.


If these people are so psychologically fragile that they fall to pieces over the merest mention of something vaguely related to their "trauma", especially if their trauma wasn't actually all that traumatic in the first place, they need to seek out serious professional psychiatric assistance. They belong in a mental ward, not in a college.


And they certainly have no place dictating what other people can think, say, and do.


How self-entitled do you have to be to think that you have some sort of right to dictate to other people how they run their lives? To expect everyone around you to cater to your own psychological problems?


Seriously, how narcissistic do you have to be?


So again, if your past bothers you so much that you feel the need to complain about what other people are doing or saying, then get help. See a psychiatrist. Get over it.


Don't try to tell other people what to do.


Just grow up.


Deal.


Because that's how real grown-ups handle life.


8 comments:

  1. (2/2) Maybe nobody was good to you. Maybe you were made to just deal with it the rough way. Maybe no one validated your feelings ever. But that doesn't mean you have to treat others the same way. Your experience doesn’t make it ok. What happened to you wasn’t ok. It’s ok to say so. It’s ok to cry about it. There is no need to act “manly” around women with broomsticks. While it is true that we should work on our issues so that they affect us as little as possible, If I was your wife, I would never purchase a broomstick for the house. We’d only use vacuum cleaners. It is ok to say “I am weak in this way” and to be accepted with your weaknesses. You can be accepted exactly for who you are, fears included. You should be respected for who you are, for what you have lived. You deserve to be loved and never EVER again be made to feel bad.

    You understand the pain a child is going through, when they are abused. You may even understand that sometimes the pain is so much that it is hard to wake up every morning not feeling suicidal. So you can be different. You can give victims of abuse a different experience than you had. A better one. A compassionate one. A validating one. An understanding one. A patient one. Because compassion and love truly heal… I’ve experienced it in my own flesh.

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    Replies
    1. And maybe I'm just more mature and psychologically capable than you are. Maybe you're just weak and want someone to hold your hand and boo-hoo over you and tell you how much of a special snowflake you are.

      I stand by my statement. Grow the fuck up already.

      I have empathy for those who have gone through real trauma. But I will not structure my life to make sure you aren't ever reminded of your life. That, lady, is arrogance writ large. You want someone to soften the world for you.

      Sorry, the world is not a soft place.

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    2. You seem full of anger, and that is ok. But I will tell you that the anger you show doesn't denote that you have worked through your issues. It shows that you haven't worked through them enough to be at peace with the world... that you don't feel happy enough to want happiness for the rest. Hate is like poison, and it stains everything around you.

      Our reality is the one we make. Things aren't the way they are "because they are." Things are the way they are because we make them so. For example, if you smoke cigarettes, then you are a smoker. If you stop smoking cigarettes, you aren't a smoker anymore.

      I don't want to soften the world, The world is beautiful and soft already. It is us that make it cruel. It is only us that can change that, too.

      But it's easier just to say "this is how things are so I guess I just won't put any effort in changing it." Yeah. It definitely is easier to just accept cruelty than to feel capable of changing the world.

      I just don't believe in doing what they tell me to do, but in doing what feels right for me. Being compassionate brings love to life. I will always choose love over hate.

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    3. And one more thing... Abusers brainwash you to mold you into being exactly what they are telling you you are. They use phrases like "you are weak" to make you feel weak and stop you from fighting them. They say things like "you are a slut anyways" to make you feel like you really are, and therefore shouldn't care about being abused. I see a dangerous pattern in you... because you have now taken the place of the abuser, and are putting people down for simply being human beings with feelings.

      Please, don't hurt people. If you think you are going to... call for help. It is not ok to abuse people. It isn't ok to make them feel inferior to you. When you brainwash a child to make them feel like they are nothing unless they are exactly what you want them to be, you are condemning that child to a life of poor self-esteem and a lot of self-doubting. You could even be creating another detached-from-their-feelings person that will, in turn, continue the abuse cycle.

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    4. Here is something that is quite interesting to read:

      How Abusers Use Brainwashing Techniques Naturally

      According to Ms. Brown’s book, abusers do not feel the way we normally think of what it means to feel. Due to childhood abuse or perhaps mental disorder, many if not most abusers detach from their feelings at an early age. Instead of feeling, they observe how other people behave, and then mimic those behaviors appropriately. In this way, abusers become expert behaviorists without taking a step inside a classroom.

      They know what works and what doesn’t work to manipulate you to do what they want. And because they’ve detached from their feelings, abusers do not feel guilt for their manipulative actions. This is probably why abusers cannot take responsibility for what they’ve done to you or admit they abuse you (with lasting regret). They do not comprehend that any wrong took place and may think that your fear and tears are merely a show designed to manipulate them, and baby, they ain’t fallin’ for it.

      In short, abuser’s use brainwashing techniques naturally because “the set-up” is all they know.

      Lifton’s Brainwashing Technique

      Robert J. Lifton was an early psychologist who studied mind-control and brainwashing. He broke the brainwashing technique down into the following categories. I’m going to change the descriptions to align with domestic abuse. (See the original list at ChangingMinds.org.)

      Assault on identity

      The abuser attacks the victim’s self-identity by making statements that define the victim, eventually causing the victim to break down and doubt their own perceptions of who they are. ( i.e. “You’re not good with money” “You are a slut!”)

      Guilt

      Arguments in which the abuser expresses hurt or discontent leads the victim to feel guilty (these complaints may be completely fabricated or loosely based on fact). Eventually, these arguments cause the victim to break down and feel guilt and shame for almost everything they do and come to feel they deserve punishment.

      Read more here: http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2012/06/brainwashing-abusive-relationships/

      I will leave now, as I have had my share of emotion for this morning... but I honestly wish you the best of luck. I wish you can find the inner love towards the world that you are missing, and that you may heal from your wounds.

      Delete
    5. Ok, I lied... One LAST thing. I read one of your other posts, and look what it said: "This is why I make such a big deal about this subject, folks. I make a big deal about because there are men out there who have gone through this trauma (and yes, it is a trauma) but who feel they can't come forward for one reason or another, and who nevertheless who need to talk about it with someone if only so they know that they are not alone. That there are other men who have gone through this, and that there are people who understand and who care. That he isn't weak. That he is still a human being and that he still matters. And if I only reach one of them, if what I do only helps one such man, then my job here is done."

      Let me point out the part that I REALLY liked, so that you may reread you own words and, hopefully, actually believe them "That there are other men who have gone through this, and that there are people who understand and who care. That he isn't weak. That he is still a human being and that he still matters."

      "That he isn't weak." And I agree. Abused people are extremely resilient. We are still here, even after all that everyone has done to us! Keep on having THIS message, and not the cruel one you displayed here.

      Delete
  2. PS - I couldn't edit the posts and I am a perfectionist... so I deleted the post a couple of times to be able to edit a few grammatical mistakes (in case you wondered about those empty space)

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  3. Here is part 1/2 again. I believe you may have, mistakenly, deleted it. If you believe in free speech... let this loving speech exist.

    (1/2) Trigger warnings are not about growing up. They aren't about just handling life. They could be the difference between death and life. I have been triggered to the point of wanting to jump from the balcony. I don't consider myself to be a crybaby or a child. If I went to a mental ward, they’d tell me to go away. After all, I am a super happy girl most of the time. I just consider myself to have gone through such pain (your story is actually similar to mine) that my brain is simply unable to handle going back to that place sometimes.

    Trigger warnings are about having empathy. They are about knowing that, even though you have been able to work through your issues and can now feel ok discussing certain things, there may be other people that are simply unable to do the same. And to me, that is ok. I don't need to make a rape victim relive her rape just to feel better about myself... I don't need to prove to myself that I am much better than the rest, a much more mature person, by putting others down and hurting them emotionally.

    You say that people need to go a psychologist to fix themselves, but I bet you already know that a psychologist can only do so much. Childhood abuse, specially, leaves lifelong emotional scars. Some people spend years in a psychologist just to be able to say “NO” to future abuse. When you have been a victim your whole life, it is hard to stop being one. The abuse doesn't end when the abuse ends. You know this. The abuse continues in your mind. It pours through every aspect of your life. It affects everything.

    I still have issues having mundane "fights" with my boyfriend, because, when someone yells at me, sometimes, I turn into a 12 year old in my mind all over again. I am unable to fight back. I am unable to say what I think. I simply start dissociating from the situation... and then you could do anything to me because I am just not there anymore.
    My mind and body learned to dissociate to be able to handle the abuse I was going through at the time. Now it uses it as a first instinct defense mechanism. Is it my fault? I don't think so. Bad things were done to me. Things that should have never been done to a child. My mind has been damaged because of what was done to me. And now you expect me to agree with you in saying that I should just get over it? No way. I deserve to feel the pain I feel. I deserve people to have compassion for me, because I also have compassion for people. I am a human being, and deserve to be treated as such. My feelings deserve to be validated. I deserve patience, so that I may undo the damage done to me. Damage that was done for over 15 years can’t be erased in just 2-3.

    I will tell you something… Your attitude reminds me of myself in the past. I once even asked my psychologist if she thought I lacked empathy. She said "you will start having more empathy for people when you start having empathy for yourself." And I have started realizing that it is true. Me not having empathy for others was a way for me to deal with my own pain. Instead of accepting that something horrible had happened to me, and therefore I deserved to feel bad about it, I tried to make it seem like what had happened to me wasn't a huge deal, and therefore no one could really complain if the same thing had happened to them.

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