I have never understood trigger warnings. You know the ones that you see before you watch a movie or tv show, read a book or see a photo online? I always saw them as unnecessary as I anticipated uncomfortable topics in movies or books and those topics or visuals also never really bothered me.
Yet, all of that can change in an instant.
My school doesn’t have mandatory attendance and I make of use of that more often than I should but mostly unintentional. However, the week before Christmas I skipped a psychology class because I knew that the topic of violence and sexual violence would be covered and I just didn’t want to be in that. Little did I know that they didn’t manage to finish that lesson and it dragged into the class we had yesterday. So there I was, innocently expecting to talk about death and grief and suddenly I get hit with the topic of sexual aggression.
And all of the sudden, completely unexpectedly, I could feel how my body tenses up, tears are forming in my eyes and I see this very specific face in front of me. A face that I shoved in the back of my mind. Or so I thought.
While my instructor went through all of the information she kept looking at me and I was trying really hard not to cry, unsuccessfully. I was going through the entire night, trying to make sense of it all based on her input and the only feelings I were left with were: so all of this is my fault and you are now asking me to feel bad for the guy?
She wasn’t trying to say any of what I was feeling; she wasn’t justifying actions but considering we are becoming teachers she wants us to be aware. The irony behind it all is that she was teaching us exactly how triggers are formed and why we aren’t aware of them. And all of the sudden trigger warnings make so much more sense and I am so glad that someone caught onto their need.
I really wish that class would have come with a trigger warning.
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