Considering all the trauma blogs I follow, 99% of the time I see the word triggered on my blog it’s in the context of explaining why ‘triggered’ jokes are a pile of bullshit. We’ve already stopped using it.
How else do we explain why sometimes the sound of a car can make our heart stop, or why someone raising their voice can make us bee-line for the closest exit? “It got to me,” we say. “It reminded me of something,” we say. I was uncomfortable, it was weird, I don’t know what happened, don’t worry about it. “I’m fine,” we say. I’m fine now.
I say “triggered,” and react shame. I use a good word to describe the intimacy of how I hurt and why, a word that says it all without having to re-open the wound, air the dirty laundry, whatever, and now when I say, “That’s triggering,” all I can think is: I really am a walking cliche aren’t I? But that’s false, the whole thing. If someone hears me say triggered and can’t sidestep the trend of dismissing those who’ve lived through trauma, then it’s not my problem to worry about, it’s theirs.
Believe it or not, I’m pretty done carrying shame that doesn’t belong to me. I’m triggered like a gun, like an earthquake, a fucking seismic event, and that’s just nature, not something to be apologized for.
Your triggers are valid. Different traumatic experiences cause different triggers. It sucks having to deal with them, but please don’t ever put yourself down for having a ‘silly’ trigger. There’s no such thing. Triggers are triggers, and your triggers are just as serious and deserve to be taken into account just as much as anyone else’s.
summary: andrew minyard and nathaniel wesninski meet on the titanic in 1912. neil’s a rich runaway who’s finally being made to atone for his crimes against the family, and he feels like there’s nothing left to live for- until andrew promises to show him that there’s more to life than just survival.
word count: 5444 / 11836
trigger warnings: major character death, homophobia, suicide, guns, knives, violence, murder, death
there are voices approaching the cabin, so with a quiet question, neil takes andrew’s hand and leads him to the elevators, running to evade the valet
he chases them, no doubt on orders by riko, through the halls and down elevators
neil feels lighter in a way he’s recognizing only proximity to andrew makes him feel
he tightens his grip on andrew’s hand as they make their way through the ship’s incinerators and when andrew glances back he looks years younger than usual
somehow, they make their way to the cargo, and neil is done with running. all of his life, he’s been running, and even though it’s different with andrew by his side, it’s time to stop, just for a while
he sees andrew’s eyes catch on a car, one more expensive than andrew would probably ever be able to afford, so neil slides into the back of it with as much pomp and circumstance as he can muster. it’s the closest thing he can do to granting andrew permission to get into the car
andrew looks around, as if checking they haven’t been followed, then seems to concede that the back of a car isn’t a bad place to hide for a short while, and he climbs in next to neil
the silence isn’t tense, but it’s heavy, and neil doesn’t want to waste a second with andrew if they’re numbered
“tell me about your family,” he says, because they’re the only thing he really knows about andrew, and he doesn’t know enough
andrew doesn’t seem offended by the question, but he gives neil a considering look nonetheless. “what will you give me for it?”
“are we doing a truth for a truth again?” neil says, the hint of a smile on his lips. “anything you ask.”