Letters to Stories: Behind “Triggered: Skip it or Pull it”

By Simon Heywood

“Triggered: Skip it or Pull it,” now found on my Instagram page @simonjheywood , was actually written some time in 2018. I was just starting up another blog as a trial to see if I could, first, keep up with blogging, and two, not only write editorially, but also expand my create writing beyond short stories. Poems were always hard for me, so this first poem was my first and my trial poem to see how it did. Originally on my former blog, it was the second post ever on there after the review of “Honestly” by Gabbie Hanna, that article which I decided to transfer over here.

This poem was very much written on a whim. I remember this one night when my roommate had his girlfriend over and I just couldn’t sleep and he saw me frantically propping my laptop open and he asked if everything was okay to which I just abruptly answered back “yeah.” And it wasn’t anything towards him at all; I just had to write down as much of the poem I can possibly keep in my mind at that time.

As much as my previous works, this poem was fed by my past and how I perceived it and the aftershocks I still feel from them today. I grew up very emotionally sensitive and I was always told how no one would like me because of how sensitive I am. From a young age, I would strive beyond perfection, always falling short because I didn’t realize that there is no such thing as perfect. I was afraid of failure and rejection, and because my fears spoke so loudly, I was always severely misunderstood.

Because of how I experienced my past, I felt mentally and emotionally abused by many, especially by those who said that they loved me, those who were supposed to take care of me and raise me. Whenever I tried to be vocal of whatever I could be vocal about of the inner turmoils of my mind, I was brushed off. My efforts to get people to understand were always met with a cold, icy shoulder and all that was left was me having slipped off, bruised and damaged.

When I got around to expressing more societal definitions of femininity rather than the norm of “male has to be masculine,” I was shamed and misunderstood. Everyone assumed that I was gay, when in fact so far in my life, I could be bi-curious, but right now I strongly identify as an asexual, heteroromantic young man.

Every time the scars on my heart would show, when I started being really honest in a way those who misunderstood me could understand, they still didn’t. All they bounce backed with was “Why didn’t you say anything?”

Every time I tried to tell the truth, and to all the times that I did, they switched the story so that they were the victims. Instead of that cold and icy shoulder, I was met with intense heat, and I just found myself back at the bottom again.

As I grew up into adolescence, I realized how the people who were taking care of me were really trying to raise me to do all the things by their book, to make them look the best, so they could brag to their family and friends of how good of parents they were because I was getting straight As, doing house chores, being obedient, and doing what they wanted. It was always a comparison game within my extended family of who had the best child materialistically. They fed to me idealism and what they got were my insecurities.

So basically, my life story thus far inspired this poem. I played on the word “triggered” because that is a modern word that my generation uses to describe how they were offended by something. So I played with the word to instead mean how over time, because I was used and abused, I became worn and am numb to emotions and being pulled on to do my caretakers’ jobs for them. By the end of this poem, say it were a fictitious story, the person is shut down from the abuse and can no longer work. They’ve been triggered for so long, that now their triggers are broken.

Triggered: Skip it or Pull it is out now on Instagram.

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