Why I don’t use trigger warnings

Once upon a time, I was going to college for foreign languages and put in some applications to graduate schools for linguistic anthropology. Language is one of the things I love deeply, and I will defend it no matter how many people think it should be censored. A lot of people don’t seem to have any idea how language even works, how it changes over time, etc.

You get people saying gay people can’t reclaim words like “queer” because of the history, but those same people seem oblivious to the fact that “gay” didn’t even mean “homosexual” until quite recently. Therefore, the meaning and connotation has changed. The same goes for any “reclaiming” of words.

However, the most irritating thing, for me, is when you tell people you’re against censorship and they automatically assume you’re in favor of bigotry and hate speech. That’s not what it means. Hate is what drives hate speech, the words are somewhat less important than the hate. And if you are not hateful, you can use those same words in non-hateful ways. I don’t think censorship is ever the way to go.

But on to trigger warnings. I don’t use them. This doesn’t mean I’m in favor of upsetting people, this means I consider other people to be in control of what they’re doing on the internet. You know what upsets me? The pope. Catholicism. Christianity in general. But I would never, ever, ever expect people to put “trigger warnings” every time they talk about Christianity. Mental illnesses or not (and I consider my overreaction to be mental illness-related), I don’t consider it their responsibility. I’ve also read that the more you avoid “triggers,” the more scary and debilitating they become for you. So I don’t avoid things that upset me greatly; in fact, I often seek them out on purpose. I don’t expect everyone to do that, but I imagine that most blog posts, etc. have titles that tell you what might be in the content, and you can avoid it if you want. I did actually add a paragraph to my sidebar here, simply stating that if you need trigger warnings for any reason, maybe it’s best that you don’t even look at my blog.

I also think the widespread use of trigger warnings minimizes the experiences of people who actually have PTSD (and, with the extent of trigger warnings on the internet, I doubt all of them have it. I think many of them may just not want to think about certain topics). And like I said, I completely lose my mind with rage when people talk about Christianity sometimes. But that reaction is my own, and no one is under any obligation to cater to me and censor their speech or writing about Christianity in front of me. If I expect to interact with people at all, I realize that I need to accept that other people have different beliefs and ideas that I do. Avoiding it just makes the reaction that much stronger. I recall that, after years of not really being around any type of religious people, how shocked I was when a distant relative started calling me “stupid” and “evil” just because I am not a Christian. I was not exposed to that sort of religious-based hatred for a long time, and likewise, I think she surrounds herself with people who think exactly like her and no one ever says anything that might upset another person, so it’s just a big echo chamber and they don’t know how to react to other kinds of people. (It wasn’t so much the name-calling for not being religious that made me rage about her, it was the homophobia and the protesting against gay rights.)

And likewise, I think people would find it fucking absurd if I asked them to use “trigger warnings” when they mention religion, but I’m pretty sure I get as upset at the mention of certain things about religion (esp. Christianity) as they do when people use certain words or discuss other “triggering” topics.

Also, I am unable to write much more than a sentence without including something that’s potentially triggering to somebody, so it’s much easier to just say “don’t ever look at my blog, don’t read anything I write” than to get into the particulars. I can understand the reasons other people do, but I wouldn’t remember when to do so, and would probably need so many I wouldn’t feel like doing it anyway.

The pope is at it again

I’ve been through this shit before, but once again with the “no true Scotsman” fallacy: the PR Pope’s latest soundbyte is that Donald Trump isn’t a Christian. I disagree because I define “christian” as “follower of Christianity,” not “nice person” or “person I like that I want to be associated with.” Adolf Hitler was a Christian. So was Fred Phelps. So is Donald Trump, if he claims he is. Because if you don’t acknowledge that, then you’re saying you can void anyone’s religious affiliation just because you don’t like them as a person or you don’t like their actions/words. This is bullshit also because all religious people cherry pick their texts. You can’t do otherwise, because the texts contradict themselves. Otherwise the definition of “Christian” depends on the speaker. If it’s a Protestant, then it doesn’t include Catholics, and so on. As a non-Christian, I see no alternative to defining “Christian” as [self-identified] follower of Christianity, and I find it absurd that anyone could even disagree with that.
At some point last fall, I had to unfollow several Facebook pages because they did nothing but post about the pope, and I had developed a massive psychotic hatred of both him and the Catholic Church. Not like a normal, rational hatred of the pope, but I mean I lost my fucking mind if I saw a photo of him on my newsfeed. I nearly left Facebook because I couldn’t avoid all the pope-fellating and it was bad for my blood pressure. This rarely happens, getting angry over something like this, but when it does happen, it’s always something to do with religion.

Edited to add that I just saw another meme, this time saying something about people “realizing that a socialist Jew is the most Christian candidate” running for president. There is so much wrong with this. For the last time, “Christian” doesn’t mean “good person;” it means “follower of Christianity.” Bernie Sanders is Jewish, and regardless of how religious he is or is not, he certainly is not a follower of Christianity or a member of the Christian religion. What a shitty thing to say, as if a Jewish person can’t be a good person unless someone erroneously calls them a Christian to elevate them from their Jewishness.

I wish I didn’t have a sex drive

[Forum post plus some discussion from other people]

I’m not sure where I am at. I’m comfortable for now not talking to people in real life. I no longer get the urge to. There was a time when, if I felt bad or whatever, I would have an urge to talk to people in real life and have a conversation. That’s gone now.

Mainly these days I just wish my sex drive would go away. It’s especially upsetting because, due to medications, I thought it had gone away forever and I was very disappointed and disturbed when it came back (common symptom of bipolar mania: “hypersexuality”).

Here’s your TMI for the day:

Despite, after many years, getting over the Catholic guilt concerning masturbation, it doesn’t really help me much because (1) it seems a bit second-rate, and (2) it occasionally makes me cry, which makes it especially unpleasant and unhelpful. It’s not that I’m not good at it, I think I’m pretty good at it, it just seems like I’m lacking something I guess. It has diminished slightly since the psychotic episode last summer, though, but it’s still there.

So, not really sure where to go with that. If you’re horny and haven’t had any success having sex with other people, masturbation would be the obvious way to go, but it doesn’t seem to help me much. I guess I’m just waiting for menopause now because it’s my understanding that that can help to diminish sex drive.

I used to abuse drugs and alcohol very heavily to reduce or eliminate my sex drive, but it’s my understanding that that isn’t necessarily a healthy thing to do, either.

I don’t have any real hopes of ever being in a real relationship (I assume that would potentially be helpful with the sex drive), because, after 17 years or so, I have gotten discouraged by being rejected by everyone I ever attempted to initiate a relationship with and either (1) I am just not attractive to people in that way, or (2) I am doing something very wrong and I can’t fix it because I don’t know what I’ve been doing wrong.

There has never been a time where someone wanted to start something up with you, where they initiated the potential relationship?

No. I mean, not since like 1996, and he was cheating on me since the very beginning. So I always figured it was up to me to make the first move, but that always ended up leading to rejection and/or losing friends. I don’t think I’m creepy or anything, and the most I ever did was suggest that me and another person hang out (alone, without other friends), and I never even got that far* with people I normally hung out with (around other people), I would either be told they weren’t interested or they’d agree to hang out or go somewhere and then never show up, and then never talk to me again because apparently that made it weird. I also never considered myself anything worse than average looking, so I don’t think that’s it, and I had great tits in college.

*Not counting some drunken messing around with some women when i was 18 or 19, but that was more in the realm of 1 night stands and not potential relationships.

Mental illnesses report, Jan 25

It has been several months now since the bad chemicals in my head have changed their configuration. It might be not quite perfect to refer to things as only mania and depression, but that’s the best vocabulary I have at the moment. Sometimes I’m on, sometimes I’m off. I’ve been on nonstop since last August, and it’s beginning to wear on me.
I find it kind of funny, though; I spent the whole time I was depressed wishing I was manic, and now that I am, I’ve actually found myself longing for the depression. I know I don’t really want that, either, though.

This is greatly complicated by the medications I am on. I am convinced that there is little hope of psych drugs stabilizing my moods. I have tried that, and with fucking disastrous results (nearly hospitalized once) and no psychological changes. I don’t like therapy and I don’t feel like it helps me or has ever helped me or ever will. And it was costing me hundreds of dollars a month. I feel like my problem, other than the obvious bipolar disorder, is that it is complicated by the medications (corticosteroids), which exascerbate it and make it sort of unbearable, except for short periods of time when I am falling down drunk or engaging in ebay/amazon “retail therapy” (lol), which is to say, obsessively buying shit and then obsessively organizing and reorganizing the same shit. Books are nice, too. Started writing again and have been drawing more. If I can’t sleep, I have about 50 books of classical sheet music, and I do enjoy just kind of zoning out and playing some Beethoven on the piano. It is almost relaxing.

I could function more or less like a human before the prednisone. With the prednisone, I am barely holding my shit together. The depression sounds nice just because it seems like a very stable, calm, Vulcan-like state, but while depressed, I really I am just completely numb, apathetic, can’t enjoy anything, and am vaguely sick of being alive. While manic, I can be irritable, I can start raging or crying at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, I alternate between extreme egomania and something like a post-Catholicism super-masochistic martyrdom complex, but I am very productive and when I enjoy shit, I enjoy shit a lot. So there are good and bad points.

I have tried probably dozens of drugs over the years (talking about psych meds here) and nothing ever had any positive impact on me. Most of the time there was no change at all, and if there was, it was something unpleasant like an allergic rash (depakote) or constant diarrhea for months on end (prozac), or the zombie-like state I was in when they had me on anti-psychotics in the late ’90s.

I have given up on being stable. Part of me enjoys being unstable, just not *this* fucking unstable. So I am just hoping I can reduce the corticosteroids, maybe find something else that works, and at least get to the point where, if necessary, I can more or less pass as a human for short periods of time. I’m not there at this point, I’m more like a very volatile walking pharmacy/toxic waste dump.