triggers Archive

Four Ways to Help Show Support to a Loved One with a Phobia

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Nic Alea. In their first post with us, they give valuable tips on how to support someone with a phobia or other anxiety disorder. Thanks for sharing with us, Nic!

One thing that has hurt me over the years is my consistent effort to try and tell people that I have Ichthyophobia (Fear of Fish) and people not taking it seriously. Well it’s serious. This phobia, although somewhat uncommon, can trigger me anywhere, whether it’s a picture on the internet or in a museum, a fish market, or walking into a shop with a fish tank, shit can be really scary sometimes. It’s already hard to tell people intimate things about ourselves and it’s even worse when people don’t believe it.

Make Recovery Your Own

I always say ‘I’ve been in recovery for…’ and then either go on to say ‘Just about two months’ if I’m talking about my eating disorder or ‘Just about seven years’ if I’m talking about alcoholism. I’m not sure why. I guess because I have come to believe that recovery is only recovery if I’ve been ‘clean’ for a length of time. I’m not sure why; I do not hold others to that standard. I’m pretty much alone in that category.

Living with panic attacks

When I panic, it feels like my heart is stopping, or that my guts have been turned inside out, or that some sort of massive steam shovel or something has pulled out all my insides and rearranged them and dumped them into random places in my body. Sometimes I feel like the walls are falling in on me, and I can feel the space I am in (or at least my perception of it) going dark. Sometimes I start self-harming by punching myself or slapping myself or punching walls or hard objects or hitting my head against them. Sometimes I become dissociative and do not remember the incident. Sometimes none of these things happen and it manifests quite differently.

Faith and Sexuality with Bipolar

New to a wholehearted identification with the LGBTQ community, new to thinking of myself—knowing myself—as gay, my skin was as thin as paper when it came to perceived attacks on my identity. I felt as vulnerable and exposed as in the months after people learned I had a mental illness, so many years ago. I felt naked, like by coming out I had stripped away some vital protection that came with people thinking of me as straight, or even bisexual—capable, at least, of feeling sexual attraction to men—and that now I walked around people with an intimate part of me laid bare. To be gay, bi, pan, asexual, or queer in some other way is so much more than sex, but that’s what I felt like everyone in my family and close circle of friends were thinking about when they talked to me. I felt so incredibly revealed.

“What do you have to be depressed over?”

Ugh. Stop. Seriously, stop. I don’t get why people keep asking why I’m depressed, or what I have to be depressed over. Really, it’s a dumb question. Ok, though, in fairness, maybe it’s not actually their fault – society is probably to blame here. People say that something is depressing, or they’re depressed, and what they really mean is that something happened, and it sucks, it’s a bummer, they’d prefer it didn’t happen.

Hysterical Woman Problems: Jealousy

One of the most common things people with BPD have in common is abandonment/attachment issues. Mine run incredibly deep & I feel that I need to warn people about in advance so they can give emotional consent about whether or not they want to invest in a relationship with me. I feel the need to warn them that I’m incredibly sensitive, have a lot of unexplainable triggers that result in dissociation (a whole other article!), and that I have problems trusting that people aren’t going to randomly disappear. And while I own these feelings, actively work on them & and try my hardest not to bring them into my relationships (often going as far as to isolate myself for periods of time when I’m feeling them), they still come up. They still permeate every single aspect of my life. With such BIG emotions, I have to ask for a whole lot of patience & understanding in all types of relationships. People who are diagnosed with BPD often have the tendency to either dive in way too deep or constantly prevent themselves from dipping their toes in the water at all, all due to fears of abandonment. Some of us are trying our hardest every second of the day to figure out some sort of healthy balance for our interpersonal relationships to the point where it gets super confusing. Many of us are very, very tired a lot of the time because of this. Sometimes, I sit around and think about how fucking un-cute that must sound to all of my potential dates and I feel really fucking defeated & lonely.

I want Sexual Accountability

Trigger Warning: Mention of rape

I am beginning to pathologize the sexual desperation I have felt for a cis-male-flesh-cocked lover in my life lately. This is new for me as I have mostly never been able to enjoy penis-centric heterosexuality and I consider myself exclusively queer. I have been incredibly weighed down by my sexual dysfunction for my entire sexual life. By sexual dysfunction, I mean my inability to experience healthy arousal, be orgasmic and/or connect sexually with another person without fear of becoming triggered. I haven’t had many positive end results when attempting to experience sexual pleasure with another person of any gender/orientation.

“Good” Victim, “Good” Self-Care

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Nikki. In her first post with us, she talks about the expectations placed on abuse victims/survivors. Thanks for sharing with us, Nikki!

There was a thing going around Tumblr that I can’t find now because I still don’t totally understand Tumblr, and it was about being a “good abuse victim.” How a “good victim” never gets involved with abusers again. “Good victims” have scars to prove their abuse, they get everything documented, they go right into therapy. They get fixed, they don’t get abused again. “Good victims” publicly call out their abusers… or wait, is it that “good victims” just talk about it with people close to them and work it out themselves and never make a scene? I don’t know, I never did it “right.” I marched around calling myself a Survivor for years which, to me, was like a “better victim,” a stronger one. Cuz when you’re a victim you’re weak and when you’re a survivor you’re strong and you did “good victim” properly and graduated. I said FUCK YOU to victimhood like it was bad. But in retrospect that’s saying there’s a right and wrong way to handle abuse, and that’s bullshit. As a repeat VICTIM of abuse I wanted to look strong even though repeat abuse makes people look weak. But fuck these hierarchies of who handles abuse the best. I am a victim of abuse and I’m surviving.

My Tricks For Easing Anxiety Of All Sorts

I was diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder at the age of seventeen, though my anxiety has been around for far longer. I am now twenty two years old, a caregiver, a partner, and a writer. So it has been shown to me through my own approaches to my anxiety that I have got some hang on myself. I am no expert. I am my own person who has lived with this mental illness my whole life, so I can only speak for myself and my approaches to easing the ever looming anxiety monster and hope that these tips some how aide in the anxiety of another.

My Experience With Borderline Personality Disorder (Breyonne)

I am a 33 year old woman. I received a diagnosis about a year and a half ago of Borderline Personality Disorder. At first I didn’t really understand what it was. I thought, Isn’t what I have more serious than that? I was pretty sure I had something else, something more recognizable. Something I’d actually heard of, for instance. Turns out it’s serious enough. On top of the shitstorm of feelings and thoughts I have on a daily basis, professionals are reluctant to treat people with BPD. We’re notorious for being ‘hard to deal with’.