I have been reading about debates regarding whether or not schoolteachers should use triggers warnings. Both sides have good arguments, although I lean towards not using trigger warnings. That is something I think is better reserved for social networking sites like tumblr. That place is truly toxic. Like Twitter, people post blurbs that are not meant to make you think, or encourage civil discussion, but to automatically react in the worst way emotionally. There are some great bloggers, sure. But even sane people may well make it a point to not read all the comments to their posts. Some people get very hateful, as illustrated by the comics below. While these people can be encountered in real life, they are all the more brave for being able to post online and not having to be personally confronted.
Back to mental illness. Tumblr is toxic for mentally ill people in the sense that not only does it involve hateful people but triggering topics such as rape. As a fellow radfem brought up, white women saying “kill all men” is racist, and it’s ironic coming from women who’ve never been through a genocide and will never be killed due to racism. There are also a lot of petty in-clique fights among radfems; usually, whoever made them uncomfortable is not addressed by name and their post is generalized and comes off in a passive-aggressive way in order to make people suspect and guilt-trip them into support, or to divide women even more. This is emotional manipulation, and some people believe being marginalized gives them a free pass to not have any ethical behavior or courtesy, even in their dealings with other people in the same class (to say nothing of people who self-diagnose themselves as mentally ill when they’re not, as an excuse). cf. The suffering Olympics in mental illness
And while righteous anger is a good thing, it is ultimately exhausting to be angry all the time. It becomes an obsession when one could be doing better things, and will eventually turn into bitterness if it goes unchecked. Plus there’s the fact that while emotions are valid, the context surrounding them aren’t always valid in justifying them at that place and time; much like it’s not okay for an abuser to say,”You provoked me.” So it is perfectly fine to take a break from sites such as tumblr. We encounter hate in real life all the time; we are not obliged to be constantly bombarded by it online, too.
Nor is tumblr a news site. People will uncritically reblog posts without adding commentary or fact-checking, and this is incorrect and misleading. It is better to experience the world for yourself rather than believing the picture other people have painted for you. And those same people will remain strangers and not your friends, because they encourage a paranoid sense of hypervigilance, distrust, and isolation. That’s not activism, much less solidarity; that’s being a keyboard warrior.
“Emotional Intelligence is defined as “the ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups” (Salovey and Mayer). Developing your Emotional Intelligence means that you know what to do with the emotional information you receive and it’s not just a burden you must bear anymore.” -Elise Lebeau
I have found some resources that really help with explaining how the processing of C-PTSD/trauma goes in a beneficial way that does not involve the blunders of exposure therapy (including EMDR, which is similar). These are meant to shrink inner/outer critics as well as recover the feeling nature, as in a variety of emotions besides anger, sadness, shame and anxiety. Trauma causes dissociation and disembodiment; when we recover our feeling nature, we are embodied once more, not only to live but to thrive. Perhaps the greatest, and certainly the number one common feeling, in traumatized people is that of shame. This leads to them feeling worthless and that they are “bad people” who can only ever do wrong. This causes problems with cognitive thinking and having a sense of personal identity. Shame, coincidentally, is also a huge theme in the Abrahamic religions.
The conditioning of the abused to please other people and sacrifice oneself leads to neuron mirroring, and a highly developed sense of empathy, often to their detriment. Not that being empathic is all that special. Empathy is something most humans have; it’s just that some people are more empathic than others. But I can see how it would not be the norm in our culture with the sex industry increasing sociopathic and narcissistic behaviors, including a lack of empathy and the desire to create a ‘willing’ victim. Add to that the virgin-whore dichotomy, the hierarchy of Man > Woman, feelings of shame (especially surrounding the desire of sex, creating so-called ‘rape fantasies’ in women), and the hatred towards victims of any kind, and we have a rape culture. Such a culture does not socially ostracize men who hold harmful views about women, which makes it easier for sociopaths to be accepted and go undetected as wolves in sheep’s clothing, and bigots to not even have to think about their harmful views; men enjoy generalizing their class and support each other when defending their actions but will resort to “not all men” when being condemned (especially by feminists).