Content warnings: familial rejection, trauma, emotional abuse, anti-PTSD ableism and victim-blaming, bad therapists and lack of access to therapy, anti-atheist microaggressions, mentions of death Continue reading
on RFAS’s “Asexuality & Mental Health” page (not linked because c’mon) that says PLEASE DO NOT LINK THIS PAGE DURING AN ARGUMENT and yet people are still doing it.
If you link to us in order to argue on tumblr about whether aces count as “oppressed enough” to be included in any LGBTQ spaces (or acephobia or anything else), you will cause a wave of hostile traffic to a website specifically set up to support ace survivors. If you reblog an argument that contains such a link, the effect is the same.
Our bandwidth is NOT FREE. And there is an emotional cost to survivors when you decide to use our stories to win political points.
Ace survivors are not rhetorical devices. Mentally ill aces are not “receipts of oppression.” We are not sad puppies or oppressed lamps, and we are not your ultimate trump card. We are people. We have agency. And we are right here. We’re part of your community. We see what you are doing.
If you are going to engage with detractors, or “Discoursers” or whatever they’re being called by the time you read this, you DO NOT have permission to pull someone else into your argument. If you want to use someone else’s story as an example, YOU NEED TO GET PERMISSION FIRST. That is how consent works. If you circulate someone’s story without asking, you are non-consensually exposing them to a serious risk of harassment. Even if no direct harassment occurs (or can occur, because the person may have shared anonymously), just being exposed to the argument, especially when those involved have shown a disregard for your consent and your safety, is INCREDIBLY triggering and anxiety-provoking.
And there is splash damage to other survivors and mentally ill aces, including those of us who volunteer at Resources for Ace Survivors to help fellow survivors. You tax our emotional resources, and make it so that we are less able to help each other, because we have less energy to engage. And you make other survivors & mentally ill aces witnessing the argument feel LESS SAFE sharing their stories.
These kinds of arguments may make survivors and mentally ill aces feel too unsafe to even participate in the community at all. I have personally already withdrawn from the ace community for a few years because I did not feel safe enough to keep participating!
So if you do this, or if you reblog someone else who has done this, you are directly contributing to further harm of ace survivors and mentally ill aces.
Please, please STOP.
And look, I realize that a lot of you doing this are young and have never thought about this before. I get that. I’m sure you didn’t intend to harm anyone. But that still doesn’t erase the fact that it does harm people.
And I’m exasperated, because gentle reminders haven’t had much of an effect. I don’t know what will reach people. Please feel free to circulate the full text of this post on tumblr, because I am not connected enough there to make a dent myself.
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
This is part three 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 this post, I will talk about support networks and discernment. Please note that this post will discuss abuse, gaslighting, intersectional concerns such as racism, accessibility, and exclusion. These will be on an overview level, but some of the links may include upsetting details, so click through with caution.
This is part two 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, I introduced the series and covered tenacity. In this post, I will cover affect management and positive frameworks. Continue reading
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.
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
This post will talk a lot about video games, but even if you’re not into that, you might still appreciate this. I’ve tried to make it accessible to non-gamers as much as possible, and my thoughts here are less about gaming itself than about using games as a lens for real life activism, and applying lessons learned from games. This relates majorly to PTSD and recovery, and I can’t avoid discussing sexism or alluding to harassment and abuse, but nothing here will be graphic.
I like to play healers. Continue reading
This month’s Carnival of Aces topic is “living asexuality,” and since I saw this ask mention hypothyroidism, it’s been on my mind. I thought now would be a good time to explore it especially in light of this month’s topic. (Warning for medical talk, and brief mention of corrective rape, but mostly this is just focused on symptoms and treatments.)
I think I may have mentioned before that I have hypothyroidism, but I haven’t really gone into detail about what that’s been like—or, especially, its interactions with PTSD and how asexuality complicates both.
Laura also has hypothyroidism and wrote about her experiences here. It’s a pretty common disorder, and more common in cis women—I have met quite a few people who have had it over the years, both before and after I was diagnosed, and all of them by coincidence. Continue reading
This post is for the June 2015 Carnival of Aces on Mental Health. It is cross-posted to the Resources for Ace Survivors blog.
[tw: invalidation, gaslighting, vague mentions of abuse and compulsory sexuality]
If you spend much time around survivor spaces, you’ll see a lot of talk about resilience. What does it really mean, though?
Basically: resilience is the ability to recover quickly from really tough, painful situations. But there’s so much more depth to it than that. This isn’t the kind of thing that you either have or you don’t. If you’re dealing with PTSD, you may be tempted to blame yourself (as I did) for not being resilient enough, for not recovering on the timeline that others think you should, or for even having PTSD at all. But don’t. Or at least, try not to. Because it’s not your fault. And you are resilient. If you didn’t have resilience, you wouldn’t even be here at all.
Everyone has some degree of resilience. And it’s something you can always improve. It’s like how in World of Warcraft, you have a base percentage of the Resilience stat, and then you can add onto it. Unlike in WoW, however, it’s not as simple as putting on a different set of clothes.
Resilience is a complex abstract idea that doesn’t mean much until you break it down into the factors that make it up, and concrete practical applications of them. There are several components that are thought to contribute to overall resilience. Each of these is a skill that can be developed, or a practice that’s built up based on skills that can be developed.
In one of my first sessions with my current therapist, she gave me a little notebook, and had me write down these components of resilience:
- ability to manage affect
- support network
- ability to develop a positive framework for life’s issues
And it only took all of forever! :P
Check out our announcement post.
You can follow our RSS feed on Feedly or any other RSS reader you like. (Here’s a handy guide to RSS readers with startup packages of great ace blogs to follow!) Or, you can follow the Resources for Ace Survivors Tumblr, which will still be running alongside this new blog.
We will be integrating the new blog with the Tumblr in some fashion, and I’d like to make sure it’s comfortable for everyone, so please weigh in on what you think the best option would be. I’ll also be making a list of tags and trigger warnings for everyone to refer to when writing posts. If there’s one you want included (especially if it’s not typically included), please let me know!
We’re also still looking for moderators and writers to join our team. We’re still very short-staffed on the forum. Check out the post for more details!
Reminder: this month’s Carnival of Aces is on asexuality and mental health, and we will be integrating links to the submissions into a page on the RFAS site (unless you’d like us not to) to give these issues more visibility. We can host an anonymous submission for you on the site if you’d like.
We have a lot more pages we’re working on writing, and we have some great submissions to share soon.
Thanks so much to everyone who worked so hard to help me pull this thing together! :) You all are amazing. Be well!