I really hate the phrase “trigger warning”. I think it’s a copout for not facing the difficult things in life. Lots of things in life are unpleasant and we grow by living through them and coming out the other side. To avoid the things that say trigger warning is to remain a child and not to grow up. Grown ups do hard things and hard things make you grow and become an interesting and fully actualized person. People who do not grow up are, quite frankly, bores and not worth bothering with.
As I said, life is about change. It’s about facing challenges and meeting with them. It’s about overcoming the hard things in life and triumphing over them and going on the next challenge. It isn’t about hiding in the dark and avoiding the painful. Lots of life is painful and a lot of life is unfair. Being a grown up is accepting that.
And lest you think I’m being harsh, I have walked my talk. I was born with disabilities and with help, I learned to deal with them. I have lost most of my family now to illness and disease and many friends. I lost a great many friends in the 80’s to AIDS, it felt like life was one never ending funeral. I lost my little brother to cancer. I lost the ability to dance, something I loved to do after blowing out my knee and spending a year and a half in a wheelchair and on crutches. I’ve been laid off twice and the last time it took 5 and a half years to find the one I have now. I was a suicidal child and grew to finally after one last try as an adult to see that unless I have a terminal disease I want to keep living. Partly I suppose because I was dealing with being molested as a child.
If you don’t want to be a whiny unfulfilled asshat, you grow up and you learn how to use the things that hurt and challenge us. Besides all the bad things, I’ve learned good things. I’m a silver smith, I’m a fairly good illustrator with pen and ink. I’m a good Naturalist. I’m a pretty good writer. I’m a good photographer. I worked at camps for many years and met thousands of kids. I’ve been a Girl Scout leader and professional and designed and wrote program for my council. I’ve been on call clergy for the AIDS service center where I lived. All of these have helped me grow past the things that could “trigger” me. I have also had a lot of therapy.
If everyone is always freaking out about alleged triggers there are going to be a lot of shallow, annoying, and boring people around that are afraid of living. Get up, pull up your big girl panties and face your demons and dragons and stop avoiding everything that hurts. Yes, there are monsters under the bed and yes, they can hurt you but people who love you will help you face down and kill the monster under the bed. And even if you don’t have friends, kill the monster anyway and go on to the next one. Learn to LIVE and not just live. LIVING involves pain and hurt and it makes you a better person.
CLimbing down from my soapbox now. I have to get my sword out to slay the next monster.