Tuesday, December 10, 2013

When I See a "Trigger Warning"...and Choosing Someone

Here's a quick tip: If something says "Trigger Warning" don't read it and don't go to it.  Just move on.

I recently got caught up in reading a webpage that had a "Trigger Warning" on it.  It wasn't pornographic by definition, and was actually meant to be a supportive awareness-type page.  It had pictures of victims of sexual abuse holding a hand-written sign in front of them with the phrases their abusers used against them.  Many of the phrases were demeaning or manipulative, some were excuses.  It was supposed to be a way to free these victims from the abuse they had experienced by speaking up about what they had gone through.  But for me, I guess it was a trigger.

I couldn't stop reading.  I couldn't stop going to the next photo to see what the next abuser had said.  I don't know why it became so hard for me to stop.  It got me in a bad place, and I felt Satan's angels around me tempting me to self-gratify.

I didn't.

But I wasn't happy because of the spirit that it had brought into my heart.  My husband got home from work while I was on my phone and he was annoyed because he thought I was on Facebook again (one of my other addictions) and so the rest of the evening went horribly.

I know it was because I hadn't stopped to begin with.  I hadn't realized that "Trigger Warning" was for me.  I didn't realize that I had a trigger like that.  But the fantasies that overcome me sometimes are caused by things like this and I need to realize it, acknowledge it, and so now I can avoid it.

Progress?  Well, I still haven't read my Step 5 to anyone.  But I think I need to continue because this stagnant stage I have gotten myself into is not helping me one bit!  But I am going to continue on to Step 6 keeping in mind that at any moment I will return to Step 5 to read my inventory aloud to someone because I know I need to do it.  I just don't know when or who, and I feel that it is a decision I need to make very carefully.

Which is odd, because I naturally have always been the type of person that spilled my soul out to whoever was passing by just because I never felt the need to keep my own secrets.  But I think finally I've worked the steps deep enough to get to those shameful nitty-gritty details that I just can't confide to just anybody.

Maybe I need to choose my old friend and confidant...she hadn't come to mind until just now because I don't think she has worked the steps or gone through the program.  But she is a social worker now, with a Masters.  Perhaps she is my best choice.  Time and distance have created a sort of rift between us lately.  Maybe I'll bridge the gap by being incredibly personal all of a sudden.  I'll pray about it.  Wish me luck.


  1. Good point. I crave looking at things with such warnings too... it's like I'm living on the edge; it's somehow exciting. Well - the adversary makes it exciting - but it's not so exciting once I'm sucked in and bound. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Thanks for commenting! -Jane

  2. I did the same thing yesterday with an article on sex trafficking. I caught myself, but it was close. Thanks for the reminder. And if I could make suggestion. Don't put Step 5 off. The key to Step 5 is confession, ignoring it and moving on to Step 6 is, as the manual says, like acknowledging a wound but not treating it. You can also confess to your bishop or Stake President. But someone of the same gender and in the Recovery program is best. We need to feel that we can share all of our inventory and confessing to a friend may lead to dishonesty and an incomplete confession. Do pray about it! :)

    1. Yes, I know I need to do my step 5 completely. I have already spoken with my bishop but he didn't have the kind of time needed to read my entire inventory out. So I need to find someone else. -Jane


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