a rose thread, on trauma reactions and responses, approx. 3,200 char,
* assuming good faith in all parties here, not at all touching situations where 'the person' mentioned is being clearly, actively nasty.
*this isn't a subtoot, just a culmination of things I've encountered + seen talked about, some of them today.
trauma being triggered makes emotions happen, and they're the sorts of emotions that start shutting down your thinking in an attempt to focus on survival.
the great thing about text-based communication is if something's brushed against your trauma and causing a reaction, you are under almost zero pressure to respond, let alone respond quickly. You can take your time to manage your reaction and make sure you're understanding their intention well, before you respond (if you still choose to).
If you just immediately respond, you'll likely come off as more aggressive than you intended, or accidentally respond to something that wasn't actually said, because trauma makes it suuper easy to assume bad-faith and worse intentions of the other person. (This is your brain attempting to prioritise survival.). This is upsetting and frustrating for the other person, and if they respond immediately, most likely it will be in a way that upsets you further.
It's also really easy when mildly triggered to start replying to someone, and then because you're upset, you keep going, and in a couple of toots you're not only responding to strawmen and not what the person actually said, but you've managed to upset yourself /lots/ more than you were by all this stuff you've (unintentionally) made up about the other person.
If it's a trauma reaction, then you had that reaction not so much because of what the person said, but because of your /history/ with that topic / tone / etc. Within the whole context of you, that emotional reaction is valid. The way you /react/ to that emotion might not be. The way you /behave/ is entirely your responsibility.
Again, this is the internet. This is slow, text-based communication. You are under no pressure or obligation to respond immediately, or ever, for that matter. It is your responsibility to notice when something has kicked up a trauma reaction, and it is your responsibility to manage how you respond. Because with trauma, it's /so easy/ for a little response to be mishandled and turn into a big response.
Pay attention to yourself, pay attention to how you feel, WHY you feel that - not to defend or justify it, just note what factors lead to it - see if you can figure out what was /actually/ said compared to what you first thought was said. If it was, and you opt to write a response? Double check what you wrote, and double-check it corresponds to what the person actually said, /before/ posting it.
You don't /have/ to respond, but if you choose to? It will benefit the other person AND yourself if you take your time, if you take a little extra care.
And you can bow out mid-conversation, if you need to. [insert Sharezone graphic here: "If it sucks, hit da bricks - real winners quit!"]
It's the internet.
You can slow down, here.
It's okay to take your time.
re: a rose thread, on trauma reactions and responses,
That point being, it is /hard/ to learn this, it takes a /lot/ of practice, and it's /really/ hard to do in the moment because smart-thinky-brain is shutting down.
But that's part of why the internet /is/ so great for this - dirtspace or other real-time interactions make this all /so/ much harder still.
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