2017: Reflecting, Revising, Restructuring, Recovering (Part 2)

I’ve been reflecting back on my hard-won personal progress of the past year and making notes about what’s working best for me now, so that I can come back to this post in the future and remind myself of these strategies when I need to. Continue reading

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2017: Reflecting, Revising, Restructuring, Recovering (Part 1)

Let’s be real: 2017 was a bullet-hellscape full of dumpster fires orchestrated by a cartoonishly evil rich white predator, surrounded by a bunch of rampaging swamp monsters spewing corrosive acid at the foundations of democracy and decency. This state of affairs is not normal.

We all know this. But this post is not about politics. I’m not going to let the bitter, caustic acid of hatred and bigotry we’ve had to endure all year be the focus of this post.

Instead, as the year draws to a close, I’m looking back on it intentionally with an eye towards what progress I’ve made, in my own personal life, so that I can take from it what lessons I’ve learned and apply those toward the future. Because I’m definitely going to need them. There’s a long, hard road ahead and many more battles to fight.

[Content note: So this is a pretty personal post and usually, I would put some content warnings right here, but honestly, I’m not really sure what to warn for in this one. It’s mostly a very general discussion of PTSD/trauma symptoms, with mentions of abuse, and some discussion of lack of access to medical treatments and med-shaming. But I’m actively avoiding getting specific. If you see something else I should warn for, please let me know.]

Continue reading

I’m Not Okay

I was hoping the nightmare would be over today, but it’s not. It’s just beginning.

I’m not giving up yet, but honestly? I don’t know how I’m going to continue to survive. I don’t know how many of my friends will make it. I am terrified for all of our safety, especially the most marginalized among us.

I am from the southern border, and I have lived, literally, right on the site of a historic battlefield. I’m genuinely concerned that kind of violence will happen again. I’m terrified for my Mexican-American nieces and nephews (by pretty-close-to-marriage) growing up in this kind of environment, and all my Latinx friends.

I’m scared for my Muslim friends, my Native friends, my Black friends, my Asian friends. It will undoubtedly be much worse for all of you, and I will do whatever I can to support you. It may not be much, but at least know that I care about you, and I hope you are safe.

As a queer woman, as a (highly visible) survivor already struggling with PTSD… I just don’t know. My country has just told me how much they hate people like me, shown how utterly unconcerned they are about electing a person who openly brags about sexually assaulting women. I have to go on, but I don’t know how. I truly thought we were better than this.

I have no survival plan, because how can you possibly prepare for something like this? I will figure it out day-by-day. I have no idea how this is going to play out long term. For the moment, I’m staying put, I’m laying low. I’m grasping at whatever comfort I can. In nine days, Pokemon Sun & Moon will come out, and that is the only thing I can look forward to right now. It isn’t much, but it’s enough.

I’m not okay, and I don’t know how to be okay, but maybe one day I’ll get there.

I hope that you will manage, too. Reach out. Do whatever you can.

List of Suicide/Crisis supports in the USA:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Online Chat
  • Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
  • The Trevor Project (LBGT+):  1-866-488-7386 (also available by chat and text)
  • Trans Lifeline:  (877) 565-8860
  • RAINN provides both an online hotline and a national telephone hotline 1.800.656.HOPE (also available in Spanish)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
  • List of Warm Lines by state
  • Resources for Ace Survivors offers a peer support network, here’s the FAQ. Please keep in mind that this is not nearly as immediate as the options listed above, so if you need urgent help, try one of those first.
  • We also have some local affiliated organizations, including a new one (in Iowa this time), but this got out ahead of our announcement. It may take us some time to get our bearings, because I think we are all pretty overwhelmed, and most of us have been for a while now. I will work on getting some of this sorted out soon, but right now I desperately need to go take a nap.

Also, here’s a list of calming sites/activities in case you’re looking for something like that.

Comments are closed on this post because I am not opening myself up to gloating trolls, but there are other places you can reach me.

 

Spanish Translation of Info Sheet for Health Professionals

We now have a Spanish translation of RFAS’s info sheet for health professionals available for download! Check out our official bilingual announcement here!

Thanks again to CT for working so hard on this. :) More translations are also in the works!

My next task is to come up with a list of key words to provide a translation for, so that when people give local asexuality 101 presentations, they can also give people a way to access the Spanish-language ace community even if they can’t translate everything. If anyone has suggestions for words to put on this list, please let me know! (I realize that a lot of words we use in the anglophone ace community don’t really have any equivalent in other languages though, so they may be hard to translate.)

We’d love to be able to offer this in other languages as well, so if you’re interested in translating, please get in touch!

Components of Resilience: Creativity and Adaptability

This is part four of a series of posts dedicated to breaking down components of resilience. The series is an elaboration on a post I made in 2015, continued now as part of the June 2016 Carnival of Aces on Resiliency. In part one of this series, I covered tenacity. In part two, I covered affect management and positive frameworks. In part three, I covered support network and discernment.

In this final post, I will cover creativity and adaptability. Compared to most of the other items, these two are fairly self-explanatory. Since I don’t have to focus on giving an overview, I’ll be focusing more on my own experiences this time. Warning: I will discuss parental abuse, including some major privacy violations, and invalidation/gaslighting. I allude to but do not mention other kinds of abuse, but mostly it’s just general trauma/recovery talk. Continue reading

Components of Resilience: Tenacity

In June 2015, for the Carnival of Aces I hosted on mental health, I wrote about resilience.  This year’s June Carnival of Aces is about Resiliency. I find it pretty awesome that discussion of mental health and wellness has not only not faded into the background, but that we’re officially returning to spotlight this topic one year later.

Note: This post briefly mentions transphobic bigotry, hate crimes, the mass murders in Orlando, using survivors as rhetorical devices, and abuse. These are mostly contained in a single paragraph (you’ll spot it), and I don’t go into detail.

Introduction

In my post last year, I gave an overview of a working concept of resiliency passed on to my by my therapist. Because, while “ability to bounce back” is a good nutshell definition, it’s not very practical when it comes to actually attempting to build up your own resilience. For that, you need to break it down into smaller components—and then from there, into concrete steps you can take to work on strengthening yourself in those areas.

Personally, I like to think of it in terms of video games, but that can potentially be confusing because some games use “resilience” as a simple, single stat. It’s actually more like a meta-stat, like how in Diablo III, Toughness is a calculation of your combined Vitality & Life (HP), Armor, Resistances, and any passive damage reduction you have to estimate the average amount of damage the player would have to take in one hit to go from full health to zero. There are lots of variables that this doesn’t take into account, but it’s just there to give players a basic idea of where they’re at. Continue reading