I remember, much more clearly, the first time I was triggered.
I was adopted as a baby, and when I was in 10th grade, our Biology class watched a video about parents who'd had babies with Downs Syndrome, and what choices they'd made about their babies. There was a couple who terminated the pregnancy, a couple who kept the baby, and a couple who gave the baby up for adoption.
It turned out that the couple interviewed who'd given up the baby, one of them was my 10th grade Geometry teacher.
The teacher spoke to me in private well before the video, offering me the chance to go to the library for those periods. I remember feeling defiant about it. I was never ashamed of being adopted. I didn't see why there was a problem.
I watched the video. I remember my Biology teacher watching me closely during it. I remember thinking that it was fine. Even as my heart started to pound, as my whole body was lit up with prickling heat, as my thoughts started to circle around the question of how could she how could she how could she. And then I went to Geometry, and I don't think I blinked the entire class. I stared at my teacher, consumed with a kind of rage that was so cold and bitter it frightened me.
At the end of class, I went to leave, and she stopped me. She said that if I had any questions, she would be happy to answer them for me.
I think that I looked at her and said "I have nothing to say to you." I don't really remember. I know that I barely spoke to her after that, and she avoided me as much as she could. I got Cs in Geometry. My heart slams if someone asks me talk about proofs.
I don't know what to say about Neil Gaiman's new short story anthology. I think the vast majority of people that I know already dilute the word "trigger," the same way they dilute OCD to mean wanting your desk really clean, or depression to mean that they were like totally sad this one day. I don't think Gaiman is the worst offender, though he may be the most famous. I remember that when I first saw the title, my brow kind of crinkled up in surprise, and I was a little bit displeased. I had a feeling of "I thought more of you than this." But not much more than that.
I don't know why I'm rambling all through this. I don't have a solution, a strong statement to make. Except maybe to say that this afternoon, I was reading Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are which is blowing my mind like Easy did, like Speak did, and one sentence moved me so much that I ended up scream-crying in my living room for fifteen minutes, and hysterically-tweeting Courtney Summers to ask her how had she known that I would need to be reminded today that nobody deserves that?
Triggers, man. Fucking suck.