I do love when I hear from readers. Just the simple fact that someone cares enough about what I write to contact me is a big deal to me. Even when people hate something I write, I enjoy a good debate when we are able to discuss differing ideas. I know I am not the smartest person in almost every room I walk in, so I feel completely unthreatened when people see things differently than I do. When people do not like how I present what I am presenting, I will usually try to see if there is a way I can accommodate them. If I can, I usually will. This week, this proved to be more than I was willing to do.
I received the following email, presented here with any identifying points removed:
I recently discovered your blog. You have a unique method for approaching some issues that are important to me. But you need to be more careful in your style. In reading your blog post on (I’ll leave this blank), I became triggered. Your approach was rough and uncaring for the people who might live in a situation you were only writing about.
I suggest you could start by offering trigger warnings on your blog posts. Once you do this a few times a simple “TW” will do. Put the trigger warning, and then space down a few times to be sure that sensitive readers don’t become triggered through careless spacing.
I am willing to help you decide what needs trigger warnings, but if you do not want my help, a good way to tell if your post needs a trigger warning is if you wonder if it should have a trigger warning. If you have to ask, then it needs one.
I replied to the email. I thanked the person for the feedback but offered that I am looking to help people become better equipped to face the less-than-pleasant parts of life. I offered my view that trigger warnings allow people to stay in a bubble of comfort and that they become divorced from reality. Lastly, I thanked them for their time in contacting me and hoped that over time they might not become triggered by my writing style, noting that I never intended to come across as rough and uncaring, but maybe it is good to be reminded that rough and uncaring people exist and always will.
Don’t you hate it when you try to console someone, only to find them to be inconsolable?
The reply to me was fast. It was obviously typed in haste (or possibly hate?). I will spare my dear readers the details, but it was a profanity-laden tirade filled with pseudo-threats and lacking anything resembling an argument.
I will not be adding trigger warnings to what I write. If you need that kind of nonsense, read something else written by someone else. Things are not going to get any better. I have several drafts in various states of completion that are covering some really touchy subjects. If you can’t take what has already been published, delete your bookmark to this site and walk away slowly. Some subjects have been handled with kid gloves for too long, and unnecessarily so, I must say.
For those of you who have stayed around this long and continue to do so, I thank you. Likes and shares are deeply appreciated! Also, while I do not give trigger warnings, I do give spoiler warnings whenever necessary!