Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I wish politicians came with trigger warnings.

    You know -- like when you read articles on your favorite feminist blogs and they always, always have trigger warnings when they contain content about rape or sexual abuse or ten million other painful things the people reading may have survived and reading further might trigger painful memories. The trigger warning is a thing.

    I haven't experienced being triggered in a long time. Not since my late twenties. So many years ago. Maybe one incident during a fight with my baby daddy when I was pregnant -- maybe a small moment of desperate fear there, but fleeting. I spent countless hours in therapy, years working my way through it -- the fear, the despair, the shame, the sadness, the guilt, the anger, the paralyzing feeling of "I am alone in this." I don't get triggered by reading things on blogs, or in the news, or in books. I just don't.

    Until now. And I don't even know what to do with it. Mostly the last several days I've spent silently raging, except for that one misplaced incident on Saturday afternoon when I screamed at the television over the hypocrisy of the Penn State community acting all falsely pious and sanctimonious over what they've been through -- what?? You people haven't been through shit. I think my husband was a little freaked out. But he also thinks it's kind of awesome when something riles me up and I start shouting, and I'm sure he just chalked it up to being one of my normal rants. It was also fueled by prednisone -- let's give credit where it's due.

    I was raped. It happened in college. It was someone I should have been able to trust. By some miracle he was prosecuted and went to jail -- not for raping me, but for raping two other girls. I was a witness in the trial and it was like I was on trial. I had nearly forgotten the physical state that feeling all those emotions all at once -- fear, despair, shame, sadness, guilt, anger -- once brought me to.

    But these last several days have brought it back. I tried to chalk Thursday and Friday's asthma meltdown up to allergies and too long without proper treatment. But I really think it was this -- these disgusting human beings who don't have the first fucking clue what it even means to be raped, who say rape is a "method of conception" when talking about abortion, who believe anything beautiful can come out of being raped. I mean, I can feel my chest tightening up right now just typing this. Which -- I suppose that means I should stop.

    But they would love that, I bet. They would fucking love it if I stayed quiet forever.

    I guess they should have thought twice before triggering me.
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.