Can You Be Honest about PTSD Triggers?

I did it for the first time in my life. I told someone outright that he was triggering me.

So many different emotions are running through my head. Guilt, relief, fear, regret, shame, even a bit of pride – all of it is there.

What do I do now? Was it the right or wrong choice? Will I ever know that?

Being honest can be tricky. Telling the truth appears to be so simple. Just do not lie. That is what little children are taught.

However, sometimes honesty is painful. Many people tell little lies throughout the day. “I am doing fine.” “The soup was wonderful.” “I am actually busy. Sorry!” That is part of how humans normally relate.

Yet, telling lies is difficult for me. I do not understand deception. Yet, I am good at withholding information, especially that which might offend someone.

So, I wonder if being honest and hurting someone is the right thing to do. What about in the case of a trigger? What if it is a trigger of a past trauma? Should you speak up?

On one hand, that person might be deeply hurt. She had no intention of hurting you and feels confused and probably guilty. In fact, her guilt might come out in anger at you for making her feel like she did something wrong. Now you could even lose your friendship.

Yet, you gain peace of mind as well as a sense of safety. She might not trigger you again because she changes her actions. Otherwise, you might part ways and realize that it was the better choice than being friends.

Both sides have a point. I am inclined to say that honesty is the way to go, even in these difficult situations. However, this is one area where I rarely speak my mind honestly. Instead, I let people trigger me. Eventually, I either avoid them, cut them out of my life, or run away from them.

There has to be a better solution than that.


2 thoughts on “Can You Be Honest about PTSD Triggers?

  1. MEM says:

    How did the person react?
    Veracity is a quality that helps you to know how much of the truth to reveal. Although we do want to always be honest as part of being people of integrity, the entire truth is not always prudent to reveal. For example, a media story may allow intimate details of someone’s personal life to be made known to the public, a public who is unable to even ascertain if these details are correct or incorrect. This often leads to a defamation of the person’s character – without us even knowing what is true.

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