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 am abusing drugs and alcohol entirely too much this week.

bipolarFound my last therapist receipt while cleaning out my backpack. Equivalent to bipolar NOS, i suppose. Anyway, just saying the “psychosis” part isn’t really new since I’ve been diagnosed with it for 20-some years. ^_^ I think I function pretty well most of the time, regardless of where my mind is at. All of my websites were created while manic, also.

ETA: I bought TUMS for the calcium, forgetting that I am having trouble with certain tastes. I am having a terrible fucking time trying to chew/swallow two of these things. Should’ve at least gotten peppermint. Ugh.

ETA pt 2: I am abusing drugs and alcohol entirely too much this week.

I spent the past years largely in a sort of depressed brainfog wishing I could be me again; now it seems that I am but “me” isn’t necessary an easy person to be. Dealing with excess energy and lack of desire to eat and sleep. I forced myself to very nearly eat a normal amount and variety of foods yesterday but it wasn’t pleasant, and it was only after spending a couple hours wandering around town in fairly hot weather and feeling like I was going to pass out.

Currently listening to The Beatles for about 12 hours a day, but still listening to a lot of Elton John, too. I get weird like this and it’s like I am attempting to make up for all the time I was unable to listen to/enjoy music while in a depressed state. I tried listening to the Grateful Dead last night and didn’t find them as interesting as they seemed to me a month ago. Likewise, if people suggest music for me to listen to, I am unable to comply due to compulsively listening to either the Beatles or Elton John. Repetitive/obsessive/compulsive behavior is pretty normal for me while manic, but I like to document it so that I can recognize things if they recur. I now feel like I should’ve recognized something was a bit off when I started buying a bunch of Grateful Dead stuff. [shrugs]

I am trying to stay away from the liquor store because I feel like I would attempt to buy half the alcohol in the store and drink myself to death. I was in a somewhat dysphoric frame of mind last night.

It’s not that it’s terrible to not sleep due to tiredness, because I don’t really get tired, but it’s more like it would be kind of nice to just shut my brain off once in a while (drugs don’t seem to work, i know because I’ve tried). On the other hand, this is actually a whole lot better than the depressed state I was in, because I really was not seeing any reason to go on living in the state I was in for the past 7-8 years.

I am taking a short break from Facebook today because if I see one more motherfucker saying how great the pope is, I’m gonna fucking break something. I’m experiencing a massive psychotic hatred of the pope right now.

I had a granola bar today, I’m off to a good start. I have a lot of work to do today.

I got on the scale today and started swearing because I didn’t think it was possible to lose that much weight within a single month. I’ll have a few more granola bars, I think. =/ I mean, I had it to lose, but shouldn’t have been able to do so so quickly.

Then I spent 20 minutes in front of the mirror marveling at the fact I have a lot more white hairs than I seemed to last time I inspected my hair for them.