Trauma triggers aren’t something that you can just “get over” and no one, especially not your partner, should demand that from you.
Your boyfriend was being mean. Or at the very least, not at all empathetic or caring. It’s true that people who haven’t experienced trauma often don’t have any concept of what it is like to deal with on a day to day basis, but if you’ve explained that you want to avoid something, he should respect that.
In general, people who don’t “believe in trigger warnings” and shit like that, use the argument that “exposure helps people process trauma, so having your triggers around isn’t a big deal”.
Nope. Terrible argument, go directly to trashcan.
Trained professionals can help patients through exposure therapy, but that’s an intensive and *consensual* process. Knowing your triggers and avoiding them when you want to is healthy and normal. It’s more than reasonable to want your boyfriends house to be a safe place for you, and you’re not overreacting at all. He needs to respect your boundaries. What he said was unacceptable.
Be kind to yourself (and don’t feel obligated to be kind to him about this),
Comment: The character jesse in breaking bad is EXACTLY likewho raped me. style, mannerisms, use of language… everything is terrifyingly identical. but i pep-talked myself the same way op’s boyfriend did. the character nor the actor are NOT my rapist.
This is something I didn’t address in the original post, and I should have.
I don’t mean to make it sound like triggers are a lifetime sentence to either avoiding something or being terrorized by it.
But it is really unfair to call what OP’s boyfriend said a pep-talk. It clearly was said with the intention of getting rid of the inconvenience of his partner’s emotional distress, and directly contradicted their previous conversation’s about the OP’s needs as a survivor. It was flippant and rude and a huge breach of trust.
You’re right, that there are ways we can work to overcome triggers and the lasting vestiges of our trauma. But even in your comment, you say that you made the choice yourself, on your own time.
The person who asked the question has a right to avoid, process, and overcome their triggers, and the way that worked for you, doesn’t have to be what they choose to do.
I can’t tell if your comment was meant to be supportive, and I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it comes across as invalidating and disrespectful of the OP’s autonomy, and I can’t let it slide without some comment.
This blog is not for survivors who invalidate other survivors. (But it totally is for survivors who give well-intended advice and sometimes get misunderstood, I’m still not sure which you are.)
In relation to the OP and response: See I don’t understand people who do this. If you have no triggers, no traumas, you don’t get to dictate how someone manages theirs. A person I previously dated asked me why I got so angry at being triggered, why I couldn’t just tolerate it, why exposure to my triggers wasn’t desensitising me, why did I have tumblr savior. They very quickly got it after I told them - unless they had exactly my triggers from the exact same things, which no-one does - that they had no right to dictate how I manage them or try to recover from them, or even if I try to manage at all, if I completely try to avoid being triggered at all costs, which I do. Ironically the person in question now has triggers of their own, and while I’m not happy that they now have triggers, I’m glad they finally now realise what it’s like to have triggers, and to have people dismiss them.
If you have triggers, people need to respect how you wish to deal with them. If they don’t, then they have no respect for you as a person, and you should either give them a serious stern talking to, or get rid of them.
Bolded for emphasis.