23 September, 2011

trigger warnings!

responding to a comment on this post

I'm sorry if I'm being defensive. This is a really long comment, I know it sounds really douchey at the beginning but bear with me if you can.

I haven't ever used trigger warnings on this blog, not because I have a problem with them (I use them sometimes on tumblr), but I guess because a blog is more like a home and it would feel like redecorating. I write about ableism and abuse, I write about stuff that makes me upset (I go back and forth on using the word "trigger" about myself because I still feel like I don't know exactly what it means and I don't want to appropriate it), I write about really bad brains and stuff I felt and said when I was in manic, suicidal, and/or violent states which often includes hatred of other disabled people. I guess from an aesthetic point of view I wouldn't like to adopt a policy of warning for this stuff because it would feel like oversimplifying and spoiling what the post is about. I've written fiction all my life and I studied creative writing in school which probably makes me more touchy about style and composition than makes sense for what the blog actually is. But I haven't really thought about this in depth, because no one has ever said anything about my posts being triggering (at least not in a direct way that implies I should do something about it) so I figured that people who were likely to be triggered by my blog were just choosing to read other blogs.

I mean maybe people just haven't wanted to speak up and ask for trigger warnings because I might react really defensively! Here you are commenting for THE FIRST TIME because this is important to you and I'm like...feeling (and sounding, to myself at least) really defensive.

Possible background!

I am kind of sensitive about this particular issue because of what happened when I made my tumblr post (which did have a trigger warning) in the spring. I was obviously feeling suicidal and dissociative and was having all these violent urges about myself and other people. However, only one of the people who reblogged the post on tumblr expressed that they were worried about me. Everyone else, including people I considered friends, just reblogged it to call me out for being ableist. At one point I started self-injuring and posting about it to try to prove that I wasn't less severely affected than the hypothetical people I was mad at. The person I was talking to continued to call me out for being ableist. People I didn't even know reblogged the post from her and wrote comments about how my post was "the dumbest thing ever" and I obviously didn't understand what psych-disabled people were going through. Anyway. It was a really bad experience, and while it was bad for everyone else and not just me, I still feel resentful about it because I felt like people only wanted to point out the flaws in my argument when like...my argument was obviously super flawed because I was MANIC.

Anyway, because of all this I felt like you were calling me out and telling me I was wrong for having those feelings or even mentioning having had them...when it's just as likely that you were just telling me that my blog wasn't accessible to you and I should make it more accessible. Thoughts? (If you want.)

I would also like to hear if anyone who reads this blog finds it really triggering in a way that makes them not want to read it or makes it really stressful to read, in a way that could be avoided with trigger warnings and/or another solution.


  1. I find some things in your blog triggering, like the post that your responding to the comments from, but for me the way you write doesn't hurt me too much, it's more like a relief that I'm not the only one that think something a certain way sometimes.

    So I don't really need trigger warnings here, I obviously don't know about other feelings on this.

  2. I'm not really hip to the lingo, i suspect, but in the context you wrote, i haven't found the five things (wait. . . four? ) that I've read by you particularly triggering. I'd say I'm thick-skinned, but I know that's not actually the case, so I think you can do without the warnings.