Trigger Warnings

I want to preface this with saying that although I wrote this, I use trigger warnings for common triggers online, and respect other people’s triggers when they tell me. What I’m trying to say is that often triggers can’t be predicted, and in real life, we have no such warnings. I hope that comes across.

life doesn’t come with trigger warnings

Alan Kurdi
a wee Syrian boy lying dead on the beach.
the photo went viral online
was on newspaper covers across the world.
it was a distressing image
enough to trigger
but yet, there were no trigger warnings.
– just his tiny, bloated body
for all to see.

life doesn’t come with trigger warnings

tiny things can trigger
– seemingly innocuous things
a song, a smell, a colour, a taste
a touch on the shoulder.
even ‘soothing’ things can trigger
– baths, beds, hugging and being held.
when everything is a possible trigger,
how can we possibly know what our words or actions will do?

life doesn’t come with trigger warnings

so why should art?
some things are obvious
– graphic violence, sexual abuse, suicide.
things which upset most people
and trigger many.
warning for these things is only right.
but where do we stop?
when do we go from being sensitive
to ‘overcautious’, ‘overprotective’?

because still, life doesn’t come with trigger warnings.

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