As an individual that lives with PTSD there are many things that can trigger me: witnessing an act of violence, people invading my personal space, certain words that somehow keep reinventing themselves, being around abusers of course, and even strangers being nice to me in person.
The truth is, most abusers are nice at one point or another. They're nice, then it starts. So every time someone is nice I can see the same thing happen, just like before.
The second, and more effective reason, is because of societies view of nice people. When a person is nice they are excused automatically for many things. If someone invades your personal space, but they're nice, then you're made out to be an over reacting monster. Even if they touch you without your permission, you are still over reacting. You are overreacting until there are broken bones, blood, a sexual assault, or anything of that nature. I didn't mention emotional, psychological, spiritual, or economic abuse, because those are always your fault according to society with a nice person. Even after it's too late, those same individuals might come to your funeral and cry, and because they are nice, it's okay.
We need to be careful when making exceptions for any rule. This exception, and the fact that many will use it, terrifies me. It terrifies me enough that at times at hotels I do not leave my room because the staff are nice. I might avoid family, friends, co workers, all because of the nice conundrum. And when I do these things, in fear of nice people, it's just another thing I'm over reacting about, because to many, it's all just an overreaction. PTSD is an overreaction, and so are all other Mental Illnesses.
My point in all this is simple; Mental Illness is very real, stigma still exists, and exceptions can easily be manipulated and misused.
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Co-Founder of Muslim Community Link, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, a Novelist and the founder and editor of Life in My Days. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events. Follow Ahmad on twitter, instagram or facebook.