Trigger warning: rape, eating disorders, fatphobia, abuse
I have a lot of trauma triggers. Some of them are big. Some, not so big. The big ones are ones more likely to be shared with a lot of other people — rape, abuse, etc — and as such are ones that I actually talk about, as much to just talk about them because I need to as to let people know it’s not okay to trivialize those things when they do. (Read: every damn day.)
Some of the smaller ones are so unavoidable, so everyday, that there’s no possible way I can ask people to not trigger me with them. I’d become impossible to be around; everyone would have to walk on eggshells. And truth be told, so many of these things happen to me even on days when I have no contact with the outside world — they’re just part of my life. Sometimes they’re so commonplace, I’m so used to being triggered by them, that I don’t even notice how shitty I feel until after it’s happened.
There’s not much I can do to get rid of a lot of these, save time, and slowly, ever so slowly working on my stuff. Hells, there’s not much I can do to avoid even the bigger ones — the other night I was watching True Blood with the Ogre, and there was an attempted rape scene. It was graphic, and brutal, and there was no real warning. Not much build up. I had to push through it, and content myself with hugs from the Ogre afterwards. Someday I’d like to see specific trigger warnings on films and TV shows; “Mature Content” doesn’t cut it, thanks. Until then, I just make sure I watch new things when the Ogre is visiting or I’m visiting him, so I can get snuggles and hugs and hair-pets afterwards. (Torso compression really helps calm me after a panic attack or a trigger, as does stroking of the hair.)
So if I can’t even fully avoid the big ones, I have no hope of avoiding the small ones. I count my victories when I don’t get triggered by them.
Friday night I made myself a midnight snack; I was suffering from insomnia again and watching Doctor Who until I was tired enough to actually drop off to sleep. (Yes, mom, I was up all night again, but I actually got the errands you wanted done on Saturday so please don’t bite me.) The snack was nothing really special. Peanut butter and honey (with just a sprinkle of choca vlokken) on sprouted grain bread. One of my faves.
Peanut butter has this odd place in my life. It’s a comfort food, but the comfort gained from it is usually only complete if someone else puts it on my toast for me, or if it’s on celery. If I have to spread it on the bread myself, one of my trauma triggers gets tripped, and I can’t fully enjoy my snack.
It was when I was settling down to bed for the second time on Friday night that I realized — this was the first time I’d made myself peanut butter on bread and hadn’t heard my father screaming at me about being a fat, worthless nobody who was being brainwashed by my mother who knew nothing about good nutrition, and by gods he’d beat it out of me if it was the last thing he did. It was my first flashback-free peanut butter on bread snack in…ever.
That seems like a small thing, and it is a small step, but I count it a huge victory. It means his hold on me is weakening.
It’s the little things in life that I have to celebrate.
PS: Been AWOL this week because I really overdid it while moving to the mainland, and I’ve been recouping spoons. Expect to see more posts in the future, but I can’t guarantee a return to my old schedule right away. I’m still very low on spoons.