About Trigger Warnings

Upcoming Holidays

October
10/22 – 10/29 Preparation for All Hallows’ Eve
10/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallows Eve
There are two previous posts on Halloween:

https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/

https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/

November
11/S Full Moon
11/3 Satanic Revels
11/23 Thanksgiving
December
12/3 Full Moon
12/21 St. Thomas’ Day/Fire Festival
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/24  Christmas Eve/Satanic and demon revels/Da Meur/Grand High Climax
12/15  Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve
Important dates in Nazi groups
11/9 Kristallnacht
11/11 Veteran’s Day: Armistice, 1918

 

About Trigger Warnings

I know Halloween is fast approaching; it’s just around the corner. Part of me says that I should be writing about it because there are so many people who are suffering as they remember what happened during this season. The two major Satanic holidays are Beltane and Halloween, and I believe that Betane is organized around sex and Halloween around death. To me, death is far worse than sex . . . as long as sex does not culminate in death. So the memories of Halloween are horrible and the feelings are so intense that they are nearly unbearable.

But I have already written about Halloween.  I don’t think I could write anything as useful as those posts and there is something else on my mind. So I am only going to acknowledge the importance of Halloween and write about the pros and cons of trigger warnings.

First, how “trigger” is defined. It varies from person to person and time to time. I find it helpful to distinguish the ways it is used in everyday speech.

1. “Triggered” means being upset. There are many, many things that upset us, and most have nothing to do with cults. War, famine, storms, fire, dishonesty, abuse of power, and cruelty of all types. All of these things upset me, sometimes to the point of thinking that the world would be a lot better off without any people.

Now it is impossible to write about ritual abuse without upsetting people – at least people who have not dissociated and walled off their feelings. I should then, according to this definition, use a trigger warning  each time I write about, or even mention, ritual abuse.

2. “Triggered” means that something has elicited a memory. The memory may be just a glance at part of a past experience, a slight sound, or a whiff of a smell. Or it may be full-blown, as vivid as it was originally and accompanied by extremely strong emotions. The memory may be accompanied by switching, as one alter cannot bear to experience the whole flashback.

If people think that what they are about to say may bring up memories in others, they are apt to use trigger warnings. They would feel feel guilty if they learned they had triggered somebody, even inadvertently.

3. “Triggered” means acting on a post-hypnotic suggestion. If the relationship between the stimulus and the action is unconscious, one usually automatically does what the cult wants. If one is tempted to act but can resist the temptation, the link is usually conscious. Gestures, combinations of words, a series of numbers, a song, or an object may all be used.. For example, if the cult wants a person to go to a certain place, they may flash a series of hand signals, or may wear a necklace with special significance.

Although situation number three is the most dangerous of the three, it is less apt to be given a trigger warning than the first two. This may be because cues are not given  innocently. Even if they are given unconsciously, one part of the system is cult-loyal and knows what is going on. Using a trigger warning would draw attention to the cues and defeat the whole purpose.

 

I use “upset” for meaning #1, “triggered” for meaning # 2, and “cued” for meaning # 3. It helps me think clearly.

So much for the use of the word “trigger”. Now on to trigger warnings.

At first, the warning was called a spoiler or spoiler warning. This came from giving away the ending of a book or movie. It didn’t seem to be a totally accurate description and “trigger warning” soon came to replace it. Next, a description of what one was going to talk about was added. (“Trigger warning” or “may trigger”. . .. for talk of sex.)  Then a long blank space was utilized in the body pf the post so that people didn’t glance at the text by mistake and get triggered. That’s pretty much the way things are today.

Different survivor groups have different customs. Some are pretty lax about trigger warnings, others will hold a post or letter until the moderator feels that the trigger warning is adequate. Some groups feel that they can identify enough cues so that they can exclude people who are dangerous.

Now I don’t ask people to use any trigger warnings, and haven’t for years. I feel that anything a person can say might trigger a memory in somebody at some time. It’s impossible to protect everybody in a group all the time. Realizing this, many members of the group walk on egg shells every time they write something.

I think that a better system is to ask each person to be responsible for their own actions. I am sure that this is not the first time that the person has had a flashback, and they have experienced what is helpful and what is not.If they are upset or go into flashback, I ask them to seek support from friends, their therapist, or a hot line if needed. Journalling can help, and soothing objects or routines can help keep one foot in the present. Knowing that they are considered to be capable adults give people confidence and strength.

I do not forbid the use of trigger warnings. If a person feels better using them, I would not take away that support. I often suspect that if a group member uses trigger warnings, it is for the benefit of parts of their system, not the other group members. And if somebody slips into guilt if they have triggered another, that is understandable. I’ve done this myself, embarrassing myself immensely.

This approach has worked well in the groups I have moderated. I think it is starting to become the norm in the comments section here. Anybody have feelings about whether we should use trigger warnings, and under what circumstances? I’m open to all points of view.

24 thoughts on “About Trigger Warnings

  1. So, my friends..it’s October 29th. and the dreaded night (at least for me and my systems) is all too quickly approaching! Although the intensity rapidly started increasing for me on October the 13th., I was still struggling before that time so I wasn’t even nearly stable to make a somewhat smooth transition into the dates written above! For me there really isn’t anyway possible to smoothly navigate these time periods even if I were feeling grounded and centered to begin with! I or “we” want to be very cautious as we write because we realize that this is a very tough time to live through for survivors and we don’t want to trigger or affect anyone else struggling in a negative way! But we come as we are wounded, in pain, traumatized, frightened, being constantly triggered, body memories day and night, severe lack of sleep, deprivation of food with aspects of my of our faces being sunken in, extreme anxiety to the extent of mania, no concentration, lack of motivation, intense emotional feelings with no tears to release them, flashbacks, nightmares, depression, self harm thoughts and thoughts much more dangerous than that, that I will not type out because if you are following us at all, you know what we are referring to! It’s a constant and strong back and forth pull and all out fight for our lives as we know it that over time intensifies! For us it more than a matter of good v.s. evil but on a much higher spiritual dimension that I will not further explain because some people don’t have this awareness and most of it is even hard for us to wrap our minds around! This is NOT child’s play! By that I mean that the “bad guys” are out to get what they want or think they deserve and since we are trying to escape them and get the freedom that we never experienced and running and hiding for our lives, they are hitting us even harder! Maybe none of this is making sense to anyone reading but we are presenting in all honesty of where we are! We would like to be able to mention technology at this point, too, but have to be very cautious as to what we disclose because of the potential threat of more danger being directed our way and also triggering someone else reading! But once again if you get what we’re alluding to and it resonates with you ,also, there is no need to go into deeper details! So we guess to try to sum it all up is impossible because we have only shared a very small fraction of what is going on both inside of all of us and the outside world who for the most part won’t even look at any of this because it is disturbing and impossible for some people to even entertain in their thoughts (much less do a little research on it to better understand). The aspect and growing evidence of S.R.A. actually being a reality (complex programming and mind control included, obviously) is popping up and being exposed all over the world but society has been so dumbed down to the point where this is being presented right in front of societies noses and they either don’t realize it or choose not to take any proactive stance to help stop it or at least try to educate anyone that may want to listen! The affect that this has on survivors is detrimental! The “bad guys” always told us that we were never to speak (which also came along with threat’s against our lives or loved one’s lives if we went against orders) because no one would believe us, anyways! Well, it’s time to wake up world! You are falling right into their well thought out plan and something needs to shift here and stop it! It’s reality and it would or could be confirmed if some people took the time to listen and really hear us! I We get it! It disturbing, tormenting, disgusting, traumatizing, dark and hard to believe but it does indeed exist! If you are not a S.R.A. survivor and reading this, you really need to count your blessings! The daily torment and hell that some of us go through on a daily basis is unfathomable! But we have to believe it because we are living through it and with it! It’s a very heavy load to carry alone and I would really appreciate any feedback or support from anyone who understands what we are saying! Thanks for reading…sending positive peace, light and energy to all of my fellow survivors or to those supporting us! Until next time…

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    1. This was one of the comments I couldn’t answer. Seems like it was a software glitch after all. Anyway, I am sorry,.

      What you wrote makes sense to me. And I know what you are alluding to and I agree with what you are saying about how society handles RA. The vast majority of people reading this blog believe RA exists and believe you and stand by you. It’s less lonely here, IMO, than in most parts of the world, where I, at least, feel invisible. I hope you feel the same way, less invisible and less lonely.

      Are things any calmer for you now that the day has passed? I have a friend who calls them hellidays and I think that is right on.

      Two things – you don’t have to censor yourself to protect others. You should do what is best for you, what makes you feel that you have spoken honestly but not gone too far, not gone beyond what you-all can handle. Basically, don’t trigger yourself needlessly, but don’t worry about triggering others. They will just stop reading if it is too much for them at the time.

      The other thing, which I don’t know how to handle, is that a blog is not set up to follow a conversation over time. You have been posting on “About Trigger Warnings” and the comments build on each other and fit together. If you always commented on the latest page, it wouldn’t fit together anymore. But I don’t think people go back and read comments on any posts except the current one. I wish there were some sort of message-board type feature; that would take care of the problem. But it is possible that I am the only one reading, and therefore that is why you haven’t gotten the feedback you asked for. Bummer.

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    2. Hi,

      Just wanted to let you know that I’ve read your post, I don’t know what to say because words aren’t really helping. It sounds really dark and scary. I’m sorry you all are struggling so much. I hope it is somewhat better now that Halloween is over.
      Kate

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  2. Earlier on in my healing, at a forum I was on, it was very helpful and important for there to be trigger warnings and a lot of space before the text of the post. Especially for my littles. Back then, everything seemed to be triggering. And once triggered I could spin out four hours, even days. Now, I understand that whatever I read may have the potential to trigger me, but at this point, I am a lot less triggered by the things I read. And I know when to stay clear of certain things. The triggers still happen, but not as frequent, and they are often a less traumatic/devastating experience than before, and thankfully, my recoup time is shorter.

    kateplusmore, I relate very much to your experience. For Us, A lot of self talk about current safety, and what was dangerous then may not be dangerous now. Trying to understand why it feels so dangerous. Giving those parts a voice, And reassuring everyone we will not do anything that is dangerous now, and until it feels safe we will take it slow. The sad thing is you did not make it up. You are not crazy. What they did to you was crazy. It made you feel like you were crazy, but no, you are not crazy.

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    1. Good point – people may respond better when there are trigger warnings at one point in their journey, and not need them in another. AS long as we have choices in forums,messages boards, and email groups, it should all work out. I’m glad you found a place that met your needs!

      One point for kateplusmore, reassuring inner people/parts that it is safe now only works if it *is* safe now. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for survivors to enter therapy while they are still being abused. Figuring out if you are being left alone or not can be difficult. Sometimes inner people can tell you, sometimes friends can monitor your behavior and whereabouts, sometimes you can tell from marks on your body. It’s a hard time for sure.

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      1. Thank you woundedhealer and jean for taking the time to write. I think ‘safe’ is a trigger for some to send dangerous memories/the wish to act out dangerous impulses so we will have to find different words that won’t have the same hidden messages in them.
        Woundedhealer, thank you for the reassurance. I sure feel crazy (and maybe it’s even wishful thinking) but reading your words helps me taking mini steps forward.
        Jean, there is a lot of pull inside to contact dangerous people, especially if they make contact first. It seems that it isn’t dangerous now, but I’m always trying to keep an eye out, it sure feels dangerous but I think those are feelings from the last getting mixed in or activated.
        Thank you for the book suggestion as well, it feels dangerous to share things with my therapist, somehow it seems to activate all the cues and punishment within so slow steps.

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        1. Safe is a difficult word for me, too. I was locked in a large safe, like banks have, and told it was to prevent me from hurting somebody. So “safe”, to me, means imprisoned because I am so evil. I have just come to accept that they fucked with all important words having to do with relationships with self or others. I use “okay” a lot instead of those loaded words
          because my perps were too stuffy to use such a slangy word.

          I think it is old feelings, but I think it is also feelings that fit the present situations. Seems dangerous to me that they are contacting you, and dangerous that there is an inner pull to contact them.

          Well, anything that makes your therapist stronger and more competent is not good news to them. So if that happens, the people inside who have been given the job of punishment try to act on their instructions.

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          1. I’m sorry you had to experience something so horrendous. For what it’s word, I don’t think you’re evil. I recognize the double meanings of words, for me, the words seem to be words therapists often use so I’m constantly doubting the safety of therapy. But maybe that is exactly the purpose so we don’t tell. I don’t know. ‘Okay’ would be an okay word for me to use 😉
            Thank you for the insight about giving my therapist information, I’ve noticed that anytime I or somebody within is trying to give information or help there are massive reactions. Not being able to talk, forgetting what I’m talking about, feeling sleepy to almost falling asleep, feeling weird, becoming overwhelmingly fearful, flashbacks, to feeling absolutely fine and/or empty, having to repeat the same sentence over and over, the pull to quit therapy there are so many things and it feels so scary.
            (Feeling, another word that isn’t safe. I don’t know how I’ve found your blog but I’m feeling at least a tiny bit less insane)

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            1. That falling asleep etc. reaction to giving information is also in that article. I wish he had written about the programs in more detail. But still, it was validation to mr back then.

              You are right about trying to make words therapists use toxic. Sometimes when pple use an innocent word that has a double meaning for me, I get pissy. “How are you feelings? “With my hands, stupid.” It’s just a fleeting thought, I would never say that.

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  3. Hm, I think by visiting certain sites or blogs you also accept the fact that you can be triggered. I don’t think putting up trigger warnings could prevent that.
    Can I ask something about the cues?
    I’ve been experiencing certain parts who seem to have assigned jobs within the system but seem to be walled off and just the idea of cues and jobs and having no free will and being created for certain jobs is so scary and feels so dangerous that everything gets pushed aside and therapy is having no effect whatsoever because that feels dangerous to.
    I don’t know if maybe you could do a post about this, or just tell your experience? I just, it feels like I’m going crazy and just writing about this triggers this enormous fear. And maybe I’m making it all up?
    I don’t know what to think of this, or if this is even real, but since you’re writing about it, it must be and I’m not the only one.

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    1. That’s a really good topic. I’m not he best person to write about it, as that’s not inside me, but I could try. Maybe somebody here would like to be a guest author!

      Until I – or somebody else – get a whole post written, just a comment.

      Don’t keep trying directly in therapy. Start by wondering why it is so dangerous and reassuring all parts that you don’t want to put them in danger, but you would like to understand better.

      And no, I am sorry, but you are not crazy.

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      1. Thanks for your quick and helpful reply! My therapist doesn’t really understand what the hell is going on (and me neither) so hearing I’m not crazy is really reassuring (and scary)
        I thought you had this inside as well. Sorry!
        I think the fear is dying when we tell (or have to hurt the body/contact dangerous people) or being hurt.
        I don’t know how to differentiate hypnotic suggestions and messages/jobs and ‘just’ fear from memories.
        Most of the time I don’t understand any of it. I’m so thankful for your blog and understanding words.

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        1. I think a hypnotic suggestion and a message to do a job are the same thing. And contacting dangerous people is a “job” with the trigger being telling. Make sense?

          I sure relate to the fear of dying. For me it was remembering that set off that fear. I just didn’t think I was strong enough to remember all those terrible things. Also, the fear of dying was part of the flashback: that was how I had felt as a kid. For you, I would bet that you were told that you would die if you told – that’a a very common threat.

          Your therapist might get some guidance from “Miller, Alison. (2112) Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control. Karnac Books, London, England.”

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    2. Dear kateplusmore,
      Days ago when the trigger warning topic surfaced, I wanted to write a comment but there seems to be a lot of comments being posted about this currently but I have felt the need to reply to your October 22nd. the day that you posted it! I apologize that I couldn’t respond sooner but I am also struggling SEVERELY and did not have the capacity to reply at that time! I’m actually still declining and need support too but I wanted to send you a message first and then I can post about my current situation later? I was happy to see that other’s have reached out to you and giving you support for the past couple of days and it is taking everything that I have right now to think clearly enough to perhaps try to offer you a little insight or at the very least let you know that you are not alone and I can really relate to what you posted. I totally understand the place your brain can go to and make you question about whether or not you are making this all up or that you are crazy! I still feel that way at times and remember when my therapist told me that I was not crazy or making anything up. Parts of me were devastated because it meant that what I was experiencing was real and that it couldn’t be that easily explained away! If some of this does not fit for you just leave it and take whatever may seems to resonate for you. Since you referred to parts and systems and other things I picked up on as being an S.R.A. survivor and D.I.D. myself, I suspect that you are, too but don’t want to make an unfair assumption but clearly I can relate to all that you said. You made mention about parts with jobs and the feeling of that being walled off. I refer to this as amnesia walls and could get in depth about it but will try to keep it simple. I experience this myself even though I have been in therapy for D.I.D. and S.R.A. with a competent therapist that addresses S.R.A. specifically. From what I have learned about it through my own experiences, the cult intentionally places these walls inside of the system so that you cannot reach those parts and get help with them! And it’s scary as hell too because you’re having these experiences and the thought of even exploring the unknown of what you were MADE to do, not by your choice, can consume you with shame and guilt! I know that feeling and it is terrifying and emotional as f**k! I GET IT!!! I’m dealing with it right now and I am suffering a great deal! I apologize to anyone on this forum if my message is too long but am only trying to help anyone who is experiencing this, also! But one more thing before I send this to you. I know for me and from what I’ve learned through working through my own S.R.A. and D.I.D. issues that feeling of thinking you are insane and making this all up is a program, too! The cult intentionally puts that there so that you can appear crazy and can be labeled as a mental patient, put you on meds that don’t work, lock you up in psychiatric wards…it’s an endless vicious cycle to diagnose you as something you are not so that the reality of S.R.A. and D.I.D. goes totally unaddressed, therefore leaving behind the fact that you have experienced severe trauma and torture and do not get the help you need! I am also dealing with that right now!! So, sorry for rambling but am realizing that I needed to be reminded of all that I just wrote to you for myself, also! You are not ALONE!!! I am right here for you just as you have seen other’s are, too! I pray this helped a little for you and possibly others? If you feel like it, I would like to hear how you are doing and will be sending positive light, energy and peace to you and all survivors struggling during this difficult time of year! My heart and soul go out to all of you! Until next time my friends…

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        1. you didn’t do anything wrong. I was busy running around in circles – sorry, I do have those days! It’s not too long and I think it is very insightful.

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      1. The cult is very good at taking what happens naturally and making it into a program. Makes it harder to sort out what is real and what is their post-hypnotic suggestions

        I first read about that program in 1991 (can you imagine!)in this article:

        “Common Programs Observed in Survivors of Satanic Ritualistic Abuse” David W. Neswald, M.A. M.F.C.C. in collaboration with Catherine Gould, Ph.D. and Vicki Graham-Costain, Ph.D. The California Therapist, Sept./Oct. 1991.

        http://ra-info.org/for-and-by-survivors/programming-articles/common-programs-observed-in-survivors-of-satanic-ritualistic-abuse/

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      2. Hi earthen hearthstone,

        Thank you for taking the time to write, I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling, it sounds like things are all really hard and they are taking up all of your energy.
        A lot of what you write resonates with me. And that feels scary, but at the same time I feel nothing and just this hunger to read everything and try to understand anything without seeing the consequences (becoming triggered etc)
        I know that for me, usually when therapy comes to close it seems like everything gets wiped away and I truly believe nothing ever happened. What weird heads we have!
        Thank you for pointing out it could be a program running. The whole program thing feels utterly weird but at the same time it seems like it’s the only thing that truly ‘fits’.
        I seem to have really strong barriers between inside and outside world. I have three young children and I’m usually more than able to be a good-enough parent. But then it’s like there is no last at all. I just exist in the moment. It’s the unexpected triggers or being in therapy that throw me off balance.
        I really hope you will find some stable ground soon.

        (And thank you jean, for the list of programs, I wasn’t able to read all of it, it seems that I can read something and it just doesn’t mean anything, I can’t grab the words so keep reading the same thing over and over, but I have it saved and please say if it’s bothers you that I seem to have taken over the comments section. I’m sorry!)

        Kate

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        1. I read everything I could lay my hands on in the beginning and was a mixture of confused, repulsed, validated, afraid, etc etc. I still have a strong desire to read about this stuff.

          I think that belief that nothing happened is a protection from when things look like they are getting too much to handle. If it is a program, if you talk to it (eg the alter(s) who have been programmed) and that it for protecting you and telling it what a hard job it has, and how well it has done that job, and some day it may not be necessary any more, you may find that the program feels understand, relaxes, and becomes less intense.

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  4. Good subject Jean. I vote no for trigger warnings. All of the bad stuff is triggering so I do not need a warning for it. This is a tough month. Courage to all.

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