However, I'm not sure if "trigger" is the appropriate term here, but I was set off by someone turning around and essentially making the kinds of statements (even though they may not have been intended that way) that have made my life hell over the past 8 years. Namely, someone coming along and saying "I am in a very bad state mental health-wise, and it is entirely your fault. You are responsible for what happens to me next." In other words, Adelene's reaction very quickly made this feel like an unsafe space for me as well.
1) It's not entirely your fault; I consider my original abusers significantly culpable, among other considerations.
2) I'm not sure what you mean by 'what happens next', but that doesn't sound like any part of what I was intending to communicate.
What I was intending to communicate was more along the lines of "That was triggery. I suspect you don't want to say things in triggery ways here; here's what you would have had to do to make that not triggery." Less "you hit me! I'm going to sue!" and more "ow! Please be more careful so you don't step on my foot", in other words. There was more to it than that, which I'll get to in a minute, but that was the first-order intention of my communication, and at no point was I angry or intending to place blame. (Terrified, yes; angry, no. The difference can be hard to tell via text, especially if you haven't seen the person in both states.)
Adelene, I honestly feel like you viewed my situation through the lens of your own experience and created a narrative about me that has little relevance to the actual situation.
I can read this in more than one way, but it sounds like you think I was drawing parallels between myself and your sister that aren't accurate, and that's not what was happening at all.
Have you read the (trigger warning: discussion of rape culture) Schrödinger’s Rapist
post at Shapely Prose? It's very relevant, except that I'm always asking is "will this person try to have me institutionalized, if I seem weird to them, and if they have the opportunity?". Treating forced institutionalization as minor (e.g. considering it not worth warning about, discounting its effect on someone) or as a foregone conclusion if someone has X or Y issue (e.g. "implied under 'eating disorder'"), is a sign that the answer to my question is not a good one. The issue isn't that it reminds me of something from my past; it's that it makes me feel less safe about what will happen in the future, either to myself or to other people like me that you might wind up interacting with.
I do have a bit of a hair-trigger about that; I'd rather false-positive sometimes than miss a dangerous situation when the stakes are that high. But the things that set me off are actual things that happened, not imagined parallels.
I do, now that I'm not panicking and I've read your replies, consider it plausible that you were distracted by the more important parts of what you were saying, and would in most cases be more sensitive to these issues.
Namely, I resent your referring to me as the "privileged" person in that situation. I WAS A TEENAGER.
Privilege isn't that simple, and the fact that someone is often unprivileged doesn't mean that they don't ever have privilege over others - including others who often have privilege over them. Please read this
. It makes the relevant points better than I'm able to.
I may start my own thread on this, but being the sibling of someone with an eating disorder is a hellish experience, decidedly not "privileged." They call us "backburner kids" for a reason, and I have read numerous stories about siblings who became family "scapegoats" after outing the anorexic behavior because a) the body of the person with an eating disorder works biochemically against refeeding and recovery, and b) you are telling your parents, over and over again, something they REALLY DO NOT WANT TO HEAR. So you get labeled as selfish, jealous, someone who's just looking to cause trouble in the family.
Believe it or not, I actually get this. I have a younger brother who's also autistic (and on a less NT-looking part of the spectrum), who was badly bullied at school by the other students and by his teachers. My parents blamed me for his resulting emotional and anxiety issues, and for a lot of his general autism issues before he was diagnosed. He also was and is obviously my parents' favorite. I doubt my experience with that is anywhere close to yours as far as scope (though I'm giving a very abbreviated version of the story here; I could make a reasonable case that my parents' treatment of me in that area was abusive, though not badly so), but I'm not completely in the dark when it comes to that kind of dysfunctional dynamics. It sucks, and I'm sorry you were put through that.