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 Post subject: The use of "trigger"
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:00 pm 
When I first came to this forum(3 years ago), the absolute first post I opened up(besides my welcome one to check for replies), was a semi-lengthy thread between members with BPD, and a non who was going through a very angry phase and doing a lot of lumping. Having visited other BPD forums, I asked why there wasn't a "trigger" warning in the subject line, and it was said that it wasn't done on this forum...Actually, did a bit of digging, and this was the response from Harmonium:

Quote:
Miyasa,
Since you are new to this site, I felt the need to explain a bit. This thread is not typical of this site, although it does happen from time to time. Most of what we do here is BPD-ers trying to better themselves.

There are many triggering thoughts/threads posted around here. We do not put warnings on them. It is good for you to recognize and adapt to your own triggers. If something someone else has posted is triggering for you, I encourage you to begin your own thread on the matter to investigate your own response/reactions and allow others to attempt to help you sort it out.

Best of luck and all good wishes to you. We are glad that you are here.
]

At first, I found this a little frustrating. I had spent a little too much time at a non site and I felt like I walked directly into one again.

True to what I was told, threads like those are pretty few and far between here. But for the ones that did crop up(and other ones that may have upset me), I came to have a sort of appreciation for them. I learned more about what presses my buttons and why - And yes, something as small as this HELPED me throw a piece or two of the puzzle towards the big "Who am I?" picture.

I peruse another forum geared towards folks with BPD, and trigger warnings are mandatory there - If a moderator deems it trigger worthy, or another member declares they've been triggered, the subject line will be modified to say something like, "May trigger".

I just want to say, I am actually grateful we don't have that here. It feels a bit avoidant and like coddling to me. Perhaps this tactic works well for some, but I appreciate this approach more. I also appreciate that we can let it all hang out with the ability to come back and address it later when we are in a better mindset.


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 Post subject: Re: The use of "trigger"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Raeni, thank you for sharing. It's nice to know that the approach works - to a certain extent, for some people. Heh.

What prompted it for me was actually one of my first encounters with someone (at a long-distant board that no longer exists) and I mentioned something about my dad. This upset her because she had just lost her dad and it obviously triggered abandonment issues. Granted, this was a bit of an extreme case as most "trigger warnings" at other boards are for the most obvious things - self-harm, suicidal thoughts, overdosing, etc.

It occurred to me, though, that what was triggering for that girl who lost her father at a young age was obviously not triggering for me. Similarly, I can read things about self-harm and overdosing without being impacted because they've not been issues for me, nor was I ever in danger of 'going there' if you will. By extension then, it would become ludicrously impossible to accurately predict what might trigger someone else. Saying "the sky is blue" could be a trigger for someone cuz that was their ex's favorite color! Once I saw how ridiculous a "trigger warning" could be, let alone the administration of the "rules" for them, I decided to avoid using or requiring them at BPDR. (If someone uses one in a subject line, it doesn't bother me and I don't get militant about removing it though I may still comment about their non-role at BPDR.)

That long-distant board I mentioned was big on the trigger warnings - among a number of other things - and it was there where I started seeing how borderline some (aka MOST) of the BPD-related sites were. Instead of focusing on recovering from the disorder, the boards and sites were basically ENCOURAGING the borderline behaviour. And the whole concept of "trigger warnings" was - in that light - a way of trying to place responsibility for MY feelings onto someone else if they didn't put a trigger warning on something that upset me. If I'm upset, it's MY issue to deal with. I can't reasonably expect to function as a healthy, happy adult outside of borderline personality disorder if I go through life expecting other people to take responsibility for the fragile feelings and mental state I might have at any given time, on any given day, on any given subject.

And that, even though no one really asked, was WHY I went the route I did with "trigger warnings" at BPDR. Heh.

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 Post subject: Re: The use of "trigger"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:57 pm 
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I've always been glad we don't have much of that here. Honestly, pretty much any post at a board for people with BPD can be triggering, just because we tend to be a wee tad emotionally volatile. So technically, we might need to have "Trigger Warning" on most every thread, and the vast majority of posts within. Ugh.

Since the focus here has always been about learning -- learning what bugs us, learning how to manage our emotions, learning to take care of ourselves -- I have thought that learning to deal with things anywhere that upset us is the aim, and real life doesn't come with warnings. So we might as well start figuring out here and now that we're going to be exposed to triggering statements or ideas or whatever -- if not on this board, then in our families or jobs or inside our heads -- and we have choices as to how we deal with that stuff. We can quickly close the window or click to something else, or we can think about how we might constructively deal with our emotions. Practice the tools. All that. Then hopefully when we're confronted by something in real life, we've prepared ourselves a bit mentally, and we handle it better than we would have before.

It's worked pretty well with me. I'm visiting my sister at the moment, and sometimes she can do or say something that 5 or 10 years ago would have set me off on a rant, if not a rage. I still feel angry a bunch, seems like at least once a day, but I know I can ignore her, or change the subject, or walk away, and I can also remember that there are a lot of things about her that I love. If she walked around with a big neon sign (visible only to me) that said TRIGGER, I would probably stay away from her most if not all of the time, and I would miss the good stuff about our relationship. It's only by engaging the things that upset us that we learn to handle them, not by avoiding them.

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 Post subject: Re: The use of "trigger"
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:36 am 
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"It's only by engaging the things that upset us that we learn to handle them, not by avoiding them."

I agree with this
absolutely! If we keep things at "bay" we just never learn to deal with them.

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