Dear child eyes UK campaign
You really should listen when someone tells you what you're doing is triggering people,
So, on Sunday, kids arguing over a game of minecraft, husband telling me some office based anecdote I've heard a gazillion times, I click on the twitter app, and half switch off. We all know twitter's a funny old place at times, I still forget that, quite a lot. So, as I scroll down, I see an EVB post, that I don't fully get as I don't know the context, but it's suggesting to someone that the hashtag #rapemags, isn't really very nice. Woah, I log off "I don't wanna know what a rape mag is, sounds vile", and I slope off outside for a crafty fag.
And whilst I don't want to know what a rape mag is the lurid combo of memory and imagination is doing it's work...and I'm not even gonna type why was going through my head, as it seems ridiculous now, and I'm a bit embarrassed, but rationality and logic don't get much of a look in once anxiety has reared it's ugly head.
Of course, now I realise, that I'm heading towards a panic attack...normally I catch the little fuckers before they kick off, but imagination and memory had me distracted back there ("Jesus Christ, what if there's a rape mag, that he's written in? What if it's all written down somewhere?"). So now, the tight chest, the lead like legs, the numb arms, it's all there. And then I remember that at the mo I share a garden with my Dad, and he doesn't know I have panic attacks, he doesn't know why I have panic attacks, so what if he comes out into the garden now...and by now I'm stuck to the spot. So then, the spinning starts, and I'm trying to focus on a tree, but I can't, it's circling around my head and I start to think maybe I'm gonna pass out, or puke, coz that's how it works, once it starts, it feeds itself. I don't pass out, no one "catches me" having a panic attack, I get it under control and go back inside.
Much of the rest of the day involves me disappearing from time to time to get my anxiety under control, (I consider myself the head of the dept for discreet panic attacks). Then we move onto the night, husband departed back to his week digs for work, doors checked every ten minutes, knives hidden, a plethora of obsessive checking rituals, heightened awareness of every noise, odd moments of sleep, but mostly with nightmares worse than the sleepless pacing of the hallway.
And so it's Monday morning, I've got a meeting at a venue I've never been to, with someone I've never met. I arrive early- sometimes you have to timetable in those darn panic attacks, I survive the meeting (only had to excuse myself once to get my breathing and shaking back in check), tonight I'm reckoning on a bit more sleep, tomorrow I'm hoping I'll get the anxiety back under control, or if not maybe by Wednesday....until next time...
Being triggered doesn't just mean, feeling a bit sad for a moment, or not liking how someone's said something.
I can't speak for others, but I'm pretty confident I'm not alone here, being triggered means being thrown unexpectedly and totally off kilter, in every aspect of your life, for days at a time....feeling like you've gone backwards by years, and cancelling things in your diary in case you "lose it", and wondering if you're ever just going to be "normal"...and I've said all this, not to be self indulgent, although I'm aware it may seem so, but to try and put a bit more to that word "triggered", and just what it means....it's not just a phrase on twitter people use to disagree with you, it's real, and it fucks you over- and over again..
So, if someone says they're being triggered by your words, or wording, or actions. Or someone who knows their stuff in this field says that you're triggering people, it would kind of be, just nice, to maybe listen.Download this post as PDF? Click here