I know for me, often the things that trigger bad memories and strong emotional reactions are very personal and wouldn't seem to be anything negative to anyone else, or at least anyone who didn't know me very well, like lilacs on Mother's Day, or the song My Immortal. Meanwhile, I can usually handle a factual discussion of topics related to traumatic events and stay perfectly calm.
I had no problems watching the Kill Bills, both very violent movies, except for the one scene where the woman's eyeball got popped out. I can't deal with anything like that and even typing that was difficult.
So often, the things that trigger me are an image, a scent, a song, or some other thing that is only connected with anything negative in my own memories. My mother died on Mother's Day, while lilacs were in bloom. My niece commited suicide on MLK day. So, both of their deaths have double anniversaries- the date and the holiday. I can deal with statistics about teen suicide, and discussions about complications from surgery, but I haven't eaten potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce since the morning of the day my niece took her life.
I don't expect to go through life avoiding any mention of things that trigger painful memories, I'll just try to block it out or not let myself think about it if I'm in a situation where I need to stay in control. So, how do you figure out what counts as a trigger and what doesn't?