So these days on the internet everything seems to come with trigger warnings, even YA book reviews. I used to think it was a bit much (ok, I still do) until I realized how bad triggers can actually be.

I went to see the Reluctant Fundamentalist last night, and it was a really good movie. But it triggered so much. It triggered missing New York with almost physical pain. I don’t know why I so often feel my life would be better if I’d stayed. The harsh reality is that I would never have found a proper job and would have had to come back anyway. I would never have found this career that I love and in which I am appreciated and at which I succeed. But I miss it. I miss that belonging I felt there which I don’t feel here. I miss not being stared at like a freak because I dress like a thin woman; I miss public transport and the library; I miss that electric charge just being on the streets gave me.

It triggered all my loneliness and pessimism. A fifteen second montage of two people realistically falling in love and everything falling apart for reasons so far beyond the two of them. The story of how you can have a dream and do everything you can to make it happen and it happens and everything turns to shit. The story of how two people who are both good people who want good things and try to work together and find common ground can do everything within their power to keep things under control and still everything falls apart. Somebody has to lose. And in the large arena of humanity and the world, where is the hope for any of us? Half the people want to take advantage of everyone else, and the other half think that believing the best of people will bring out the best in them and everyone is shafted but the bad guys. Who can I vote for in the next election? Is there any POINT in voting for anyone since the Opposition will sabotage everything and make lawmaking impossible anyway? Even if there are laws who is going to obey them or enforce them?

As I drove home last night, in absolutely no state to go to the after party even though it was at Dirty Martini and I’ve been DYING to go, I decided to make a list of my triggers. And I began to understand why depressed people hole themselves up in a corner somewhere. Because if someone not answering the phone is a trigger, if the New York skyline is a trigger,  if a couple holding hands is a trigger, if the Knight planning a surprise birthday party for his girlfriend is a trigger, if the sight of CB in the office is a trigger, if any glimpse of a credible fictitious relationship is a trigger, if a beautiful photograph of my niece is a trigger, if seventy percent of facebook is a trigger, if a baby in a stroller is a trigger, if the name of some girl I used to know on the credits of a movie for some ridiculous bit part is a trigger–where can I hide?

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