Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pull the Trigger...

I can't blog about the one thing that I truly want to blog about today. I can't talk about the pain that's in my chest or the tears that I've cried, or why I've spent all day on the edge of emotional chaos. I can't talk about counting the sick days that I have left and wondering if it's worth it to just stay home, in bed tomorrow, and avoid everything.

I can't talk about these things.

However, I would like to talk about Triggers. Not the kind on your gun, though those are certainly important as well. I want to talk about psychological and emotional triggers.

We all have them. Some are fairly benign, and even beneficial. The smell of bread baking triggers an emotional response - you feel at home in your mother's kitchen, and instantly you feel alive, comforted and safe. The smell of fresh cut grass takes you back to your high school days and stirs the emotional response of how you felt when winning that championship game against your rival.

However, there are triggers more malignant than these, and we all have them, too.

Wikipedia defines emotional triggers as such:
People who go through these types of extremely traumatic experiences often have certain symptoms and problems afterward. How severe these symptoms are depends on the person, the type of trauma involved, and the emotional support they receive from others....Triggers and cues act as reminders of the trauma, and can cause anxiety and other associated emotions. Often the person can be completely unaware of what these triggers are. In many cases this may lead a person suffering from traumatic disorders to engage in disruptive or self-destructive coping mechanisms, often without being fully aware of the nature or causes of their own actions. Panic attacks are an example of a psychosomatic response to such emotional triggers.

I think that sometimes, people forget that the words they say have an effect on people. That you never really know what sensitive topics you're bringing up could possibly have an emotional effect on the ones around you, sometimes in a way that you may not expect. That what you say or do could make it really difficult for another person to get through their day-to-day, and could possibly trigger greater emotional issues. There are the hot-button topics out there; rape, murder, religion, homosexuality, politics, war in Afghanistan or Iraq, car accidents, deaths...

There is a time and a place for discussing issues which may serve as an emotional trigger or sensitive, emotional issue for other people. I think sometimes people forget that they should remember their audience, and that you never really know what someone else has been through. You never know what their fears are or what their own experience is. You never know how the words that you say, even unintentionally, could really hurt or effect someone else around you.

You never know the emotional toll a simple word or an action can take on someone else.

If there is anything that I could stress to the world, any lesson that I could convey that would change the course of humanity forever, it is: Think before you speak and carefully consider the impact of your words and the ripples that they may set into motion. There's a great quote on this:

“Before you speak, think -Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?” ♥ Sri Sathya Sai Baba


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