Silence is a trigger for me. I’ve tried to stop using the word trigger because it’s become such a joke in modern-day, but that’s what it is. When people don’t talk to me and I have no context for why, I tend to think I’ve done something wrong and I’m being punished. This mostly comes from bad relationships with peers and partners. My family never punished people with silence. If someone had fucked up, my family made sure they knew. But peers and partners have ghosted me, given me the silent treatment, avoided me until they decided it was time to blow up. Therefore, I require a lot of reassurance that I’m okay when things go quiet.

Silence has been coming up a lot lately. I have a partner who, when they fall into a serious depression, they shut down and don’t talk. When they first did this, I thought it was because I’d told them off and they were punishing me for being honest about my feelings. I have friends who, in an effort to deal with their own deteriorating health, have logged off the internet. I talk to people less and less each day and it scares me. I retreat into myself and I don’t even feel comfortable in my worlds at the moment. I have been struggling to write in these plague times.

Trying to find comfort in fantasy has always been a way of handling triggers for me, but the sheer volume of what I’ve been dealing with has made it hard. It’s like everything I’ve been dealing with, from bills to animal deaths to work struggles and relationship struggles, refuses to be ignored. And I have to acknowledge it in silence.

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