Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind



Many folk who have experienced a trauma develop emotional triggers that can be set off by apparently innocuous events. This is perfectly understandable. I have a few of my own.

Usually, when someone is triggered others display some degree of empathy or sympathy to that person and make some allowances for the response. Usually, the party or event that inadvertently caused the trigger is not considered blameworthy because there is usually no reason for them to think their action could be harmful..

So how come, no matter whether I’m the trigger or the triggered, I’m an arsehole and the other party is the victim. How does that work?

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

14 thoughts on “Triggers

  1. So how come, no matter whether I’m the trigger or the triggered, I’m an arsehole and the other party is the victim.

    Welcome to America!

    What you describe is every day life in America. That’s a good description of our culture wars.

    • I last visited America 20 years ago and even then the divisions were very apparent to me. I really wouldn’t like to be immersed in that culture now. Perhaps there’s a limit to population size beyond which inclusiveness and a sense of unity collapses to parochialism, cronyism, suspicion and division?

      My post was an attempt at a bit of humour in regards to the relationship between neurotypical people and neurodivergent people. It’s a relationship where us neurodivergent are, in the eyes of most neurotypicals, automatically wrong, at fault, inconsiderate, selfish etc, instead of simply being different.

      • I spent most of my time at a university, and there wasn’t much evidence of culture wars there. It seems to be the conservative churches that are stirring up a lot of the divisiveness.

        • I suppose it’s a matter of perspective. I was attending a seminar in Costa Mesa, CA in the summer of 1999. All but a handful of us were Americans. The two Brits and I ill at ease due to some vaguely defined tension in the community we could not put our hands on. I had openly wondered if it might have been a tension between the Latino and non-latino populations, but I was assured that was not the case.

          One lunchtime a group of delegates including myself and a Brit were strolling along a busy street looking for somewhere interesting to eat when a series of loud bangs rang out. Suddenly I realised that the Brit and I were the only two people in the street who weren’t crouching down or hiding behind something substantial. Very surreal. It never occurred to the two of us that it might have been gunshots, but it turned out that everyone else in the street had thought that the possibility sufficiently high to take cover.

          Only a third of the population here claims a Christian affiliation and perhaps a majority are at the liberal and progressive end of the religious spectrum, and most Christians are left of centre politically. Conservative right wing churches are something of an oddity in these parts and their adherents are too few in number to do much harm here.

  2. (I think I messed up the blockquote tags in the above).

    • Looks good to me 🙂

      I have noticed that over recent months WordPress often appears to make a total mess of a comment, only for it to correct itself some time later.

  3. For some reason, I have not been able to discover what would be for me a trigger event.

    • Perhaps you don’t have any 🙂

      Mine are specifically related to the bullying and violence I was subjected to from my early teens to my early twenties, and from the many putdowns throughout life that everyone, including myself attributed to being “flawed”. Since my autism diagnosis and a realisation that the put downs were based on neurological differences and not flaws on my part, I respond more strongly when I experience them now.

      • Perhaps you are right. I don’t have any.
        You have written about the bullying a number of times.

        • In my youth bullying was often considered a way of “making a man out of you”. I’m not convinced.

          • In our days there was bullying in high school. People have killed themselves because of it

            • A friend of my sister threw herself off the war memorial tower – 33 m (104 ft) high – after a prolonged episode of bullying during her senior high school years.

              Strangely, it has never occurred to me that I might be better of dead and can’t think of any circumstances under which I might want to cease to be. But I guess everyone processes emotional trauma differently.

            • But I guess everyone processes emotional trauma differently.

              You are right.
              I think for some the bullying is so intense that they feel they are better off dead. The possibility of winning becomes to them unattainable

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