June 23rd, 2009

Wandering // Naruto

Part question, part musings

Usually I never bother clicking on metafandom's links because I'm a lazy bitch, but I do once in a while, and impertinence's post on warnings and triggering (I'll go ahead and post her warning since she requests it: Warning: Very explicit discussion of sexual assault and the nature, anatomy, cause & effect of triggers. Is itself triggery.) and it made me wonder-- especially because
A. The fic I'm working on right now is triggery in couple of different ways, and
B. I suck at warnings. I'll admit it. Like, I SUCK. SO BAD. AT TRYING TO WRITE WARNINGS IN A WAY THAT IS COHERENT AND ACTUALLY HELPFUL.

And there was something that she mentions that really struck me:

Being triggered when reading descriptions of sexual assault usually follows two paths for me. The first is if an incident of sexual assault itself triggers me. This is, as I understand, fairly common. The second, however, is due to my having been molested, and also part of why I entered the current discussion on warnings in the first place. I spent sixteen years learning to gauge how things were going to go each day with my stepdad. I spent sixteen years learning to anticipate and analyze the creeping, mounting feeling that something bad, something non-consensual, was going to happen.

That is the feeling that anti-warnings people often pin down as a place where any survivor should know to leave a fic, no harm (or little harm) supposedly done. But that is the place that triggers me. The textual warning triggers me, which is why I need an extra-textual warning. By the time I anticipate it, it's too late; I'm back in the place where I'm trying to figure out if today is the day he stares at my crotch and licks his lips, or if I can talk him out of raping me, or at least into the living room so I have a chance to run away. For me this trigger is worse than being triggered by a violent rape scene. Because violent rape scenes throw me back into a specific assault, or at least a specific feeling. That creeping feeling, however, triggers me in a long-term, incredibly painful way.


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--Tl;dr, abstracts are really hard to warn for, it seems to me, so how do you warn for them? Also, what about situations where events are unclear and the audience can read into them what they like. Say, if a character may or may not die at the end of a story-- does it make sense to warn for death? Doesn't that take away the ambiguity?