Tag Archives: suicide

Should You Include a Trigger Warning?

There’s some discussion about trigger warnings on books. Should you include them for your book? The answer is “Maybe”. Let’s take a look at what kind of content may require trigger warnings.

trigger-warnings-include | I Am RosaIn a previous post, I explained trigger warnings and why you may want to include one in the description of your book. You can read it here.

I understand that there are some readers who go overboard, wanting warnings for ridiculous things or not reading the book description to see a warning and then complaining there wasn’t a warning. Some warnings might limit your marketing options with libraries and schools. Things like this can make authors feel like they’re in a no-win situation or overwhelmed by the struggle to decide whether or not you need a trigger warning.

I’m not suggesting every story or scenario needs a warning. Your genre and blurb should give readers a general idea of what to expect. And, a well written story will give the reader a lead up to disturbing events, assuming the reader isn’t so engrossed (or oblivious) to notice. But, your genre and the indication of mature content is not always enough. I’m asking you to consider adding trigger warnings – or at least making it clear in your blurb – if your story includes any of the following:

  • Rape
  • Abuse (physical, mental, emotional, verbal, sexual)
  • Child abuse/pedophilia
  • Self-injurious behavior (ie. self-harm, eating disorders, etc.)
  • Suicide
  • Kidnapping, forceful deprivation of/disregard for personal autonomy
  • Depiction or denial of oppression, marginalization, illness, or differences
  • Anything that may trigger phobias or OCD thoughts

 

 

If you write Young or New Adult books, there are additional issues that need to be considered. For example, the words stupid and dumb are generally deemed “normal” or “lesser offenses” by older audiences (and authors), however today’s society considers these words slurs.

Young and New Adult

  • Swearing
  • Slurs
  • Sex (even consensual)
  • Pregnancy/childbirth
  • Drug use
  • Descriptions and/or pictures of medical procedures
  • Descriptions and/or pictures of violence or warfare
  • Death or dying
  • Shaming, hatred, and -isms (ie. racism, fat shaming, anti LGTBQ+ views etc.)
  • Scarification (body modification created by cutting, scratching, etching, or burning designs, pictures, or words into the skin)
do-you-need | I Am Rosa
Please, feel free to pin and/or share this list

I Thought about Quitting …

I’ve seen a few status updates today talking about Suicide Prevention and I know a few people on my social media lists are struggling with depression. I want to share something, because I’ve lost too many loved ones … and I was almost lost myself.

(Warning: Strong language)

quitting - title | I Am Rosa

About 15 years ago, I was living in Toronto on the 5th floor of an apartment building. I’d been broke, homeless, and hungry so often during the previous 8 years that it seemed like those things were the fabric of the marriage I was in at the time. I didn’t know how long I was going to have a roof over my head this time and, I was recovering from a near-death illness that made it impossible for me to even think about getting a job. I was scared all the time. I was angry and frustrated … and …

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was depressed. I didn’t know it when I gave away the things I loved and valued. Precious things from my childhood. Beloved things I had carefully saved up for – not expensive or grand items; books, a pretty blouse … things that made me feel happy.

It didn’t dawn on me that I could possibly be depressed, because I was always the up-beat, positive, forward-moving one that people looked to when they needed to be lifted up. There was always hope! Tomorrow was a better day waiting to pounce on us!

I had no idea I was depressed until I opened the bedroom window one afternoon, pulled the screen off, and hoisted myself over the sill. Hanging half-in and half-out of the window, I looked down at the pavement below trying to decide if 5 stories was high enough to kill me. I figured if I went feet first, I might just end up breaking a lot of bones, but if I went out the window headfirst …

That thought didn’t scare me. Not a bit. I didn’t think about how anyone would miss me or what would happen to them afterward.  Except, I did wonder one thing: What would *I* do after I was dead? Believing that I am an eternal being meant that death wouldn’t end the pain I was in. I would take that shit with me into the next realm and probably into the next life. I couldn’t stomach the idea of dragging my pain any further – infecting my eternal life with a temporary torment.

I climbed back into the bedroom, sat on the bed, and cried. Then, I went hunting. I tracked down the things that were making me unhappy. I dug to the roots of the pain, took names and notes, and when I could, I began eliminating those things.

See, I had something call “Situational Depression“. Change the situation that’s causing the depression and it goes away.  I dug deep and turned to face the enemy that put me so low in order to attack those hateful things instead of myself … I knew I had to share with those who are struggling right now. I desperately need to tell you this:

“Thought about quitting, then I noticed who was watching.”

“Thought about quitting, then I noticed who was watching”

GET THE FUCK UP!! FIND YOUR ENEMY AND FIGHT, DAMN IT! I love you and you have no clue who needs you! Find your enemy; situation, environment, chemical imbalance, whatever it is – hunt it down and FUCKING “KILL” IT! Remove it from your life with extreme prejudice like you’re a fucking sniper with no mercy.

sniper

You are the Light the others (including me) rely on when seeking an escape from their own Darkness .

Fight the Darkness Without Mercy. Lay your head down to rest. Then, get the fuck up, and fight some more.

You and me: We’re going to win this fight together!

glitter heart | I Am Rosa