**Trigger Warning: I do write about things that could be potentionally upsetting to some people. While I don’t go into specifics here, I do include a link that does. If you are afraid you might be triggered, please don’t click the link. Thank you**
There are some things that I know are going to be constant in my life. There are certain inevitiabilities that everyone deals with (death and taxes). Then there’s the personal situational ones. If you’re someone who’s been sexually assaulted, then there will be a time that you will be triggered again.
They say that you are largely over your PTSD is you can talk about it… but really, you never really get over it. It’s something that stays with you. It’s a matter of how often you are triggered.
I talked about my rape when I was 18, 5 years after the rape itself. I’ve even written about it here. (This link needs to some with a trigger warning. I talk about my sexual assault.)
I also like to see if I can tolerate certain things. After all, I try to live my life as full as I can. I don’t like that there are certain things that I can’t tolerate to see. For a long time, I couldn’t watch Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, since most of the crimes are largely sexual assaults. You never know what you can tolerate and what will trigger you until you test your boundaries.
I was reading an article that a year old talking about the open letter to Facebook asking them to not allow rape jokes on Facebook. Linked in the article was a link to a page that documented all the things that were posted. The words “Trigger warning” were clearly posted before the link.
I thought to myself, “It says trigger warning, but I’m going to look anyways.”
So I did. I don’t consider myself a comedian, but all the “jokes” they showed weren’t funny… not even in the tasteless humor sort of way. Some of them could be tantamount to admitting to a felony. But I looked because I need to see where my limits are. I need to see how far I’ve come when it comes to dealing with my rape.
I’ve come far. I took quite a bit of the horrific images to get to me. Then there was one that was exactly the same circumstances as my rape. I tried to ignore it, but the “joke” keeps running in my head. And it’s not all that funny when it’s not a joke but a reality.
Of course, I have no one to blame but myself. It said trigger warning. I knew the risk I was taking. I still triggered myself. Yet, I’m not really mad about it. I’m saddened, I’m disgusted, in many ways I’m disappointed.
Maybe I might be a little sensitive because I’m a rape survivor and I don’t see jokes about rape and domestic violence to be funny. They’re both serious problems and should be discussed with sensitivity. Sometimes humor can be used to bridge that gap, but this isn’t the way to do it. These “jokes” aren’t really there to make one aware of the situation.
Do I think that humor could be used as a teaching element in these instances? I honestly don’t know. Humor can help broach some of the most difficult topics. Is there a way to use humor to help bring awareness to the topics of sexual assault and domestic violence? I don’t know that there is. Patton Oswalt actually writes an interesting piece about rape jokes in this closed letter (it’s #3). Well worth the read.
So, why am I writing this? What’s the point of it? It helps me mentally process what I’m going through, what I’m dealing with. Abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence… these are things that have long-term repercussions. This is something that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life. I’m hoping that the more time that passes, the more things I can tolerate; but for now, I need to do the best I can to keep myself functioning. So, I’m doing that the best I can.
Hopefully I can purge that horrible image and “joke” from my head. It won’t be easy, but I hope to be capable to do it somehow.