Fucked-up people are still fucked up when you get angry at them.
Fucked-up people are still fucked up when you are exhausted over how fucked-up they are.
Fucked-up people are still fucked up when you’re not around.
Fucked-up people are still fucked up when you decide they shouldn’t be anymore.
You cannot love away someone’s fucked-up ness.
Their love for you will not be un-fucked just because they genuinely love you.
They are not being manipulative, immature, or purposefully out to hurt you just because you expected them to be unfucked-up in a particular moment and they weren’t.
Fucked-up people’s self-perception cannot be cured just by you contradicting how they see themselves.
Fucked-up people who are fucked up because they were abused aren’t like people who just need a change of clothes. They’re like people who have spent their entire lives drowning living in a world that tells them that water doesn’t even exist, meanwhile splashing them with wet stuff constantly and wondering why they freak the fuck out.
Being fucked-up is not a thing we do that we can get rid of to please others.
So when you get mad at us for being fucked-up, we’re going to still respond as fucked up. Because we can’t just turn that off for you just because you think we should.
okay can we just one last thing
spreading the idea that one is only triggered when having a full blown, system-shut-down panic attack is damaging and delegitimizing to people who have physiologically and emotionally different reactions to triggers.
like slow burning, long lasting unease and fear.
that’s a trigger reaction too.
Fucking yes, this.
Also, startlingly: it’s possible to be only mildly triggered. The thing that makes a trigger a trigger isn’t the severity, though that can be completely life-derailingly severe, it’s the fact that it harkens back to and stirs up a pre-existing traumatic experience or condition. I understand why the rhetoric of “triggers are when you have a full-bore, completely dissociated from your present situation and reality flashback and you think the traumatic incident is happening again right the fuck now in terrifying Technicolor and there’s screaming and throwing up and it ruins your week/month/life” became the de facto explanation when it came to shutting down people using the concept incorrectly out of ignorance or malice. It’s scary and sounds serious and demands respect. (For that matter: that does happen, it’s not made up from whole cloth to scare people or something.) But there are other kinds of trigger reactions in varying degrees, and they are still distinct from getting mad, or getting upset with no previous traumatic experience at the root of the physiological and psychological responses. They are also serious and they are also scary, or at the very least shitty.
Hi Anon. I have a PTSD Service Dog. Her name is Sadie. She alerts me to anxiety attacks before I know I’m going to have them, flashbacks too, lets me know when to take my meds, helps me get out of bed when my alarm goes off, and basically get out of the house several times a day to walk her. She’s a godsend. Not only can I remove myself from a situation before my anxiety attack or flashback, but she keeps them from becoming fullblown and me having to take my meds. I can sit down with her for 10-15 minutes and play and then go on with my day.
I had to self-train her, because SDs are hella expensive and there are very few places that train mental health dogs anyway. Also an added bonus to training your own dog is that you have a stronger bond with that dog. It took about 6 months and A LOT of patience, but was WELL WORTH IT. ANyhow, this is really short, because I’m not sure what specific questions you have. Feel free to shoot me an ask at burrowklown.tumblr.com if you have something specific you want to know.
Here are some links for further reading into the subject:
What PTSD dogs can do for you: http://www.ppawws.org/PTSD-Dogs.html
Training your own PTSD dog: http://www.ppawws.org/PTSD-Dogs.html
The difference between an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and a Service Dog:
Psychiatric Service Dogs: http://trainyourdogs.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/psychiatric-service-dogs/
this is so wonderful why have i never heard of this before
I LOVE DOGS
[moderate trigger warning: prescriptivism, possible ableism, sexual abuse, suicide]
A couple of months ago a friend of mine (let’s call them Sky), who runs a relatively visible blog on their experience with sexual abuse, posted about how they were feeling suicidal. Shortly after this, Sky’s post was picked up by someone on tumblr and it was reblogged several dozen times. They ended up getting a ton of messages, mostly anonymous, from strangers telling them why they should not kill themselves. Most people would think that this is a good thing to do. After all, what’s wrong with wanting to get some support for someone who needs it?
The problem is that Sky never asked for any help. And some well-intentioned but arrogant stranger decided that they knew Sky’s better situation that they did, and they decided to call the police on them.
The problem is that Sky lives in an abusive situation. They have a chronic illness that makes it very difficult to escape, and they see their abuser(s) on a regular basis.
When the police came to the door, they told Sky’s mother (who is one of their abusers) that someone had said Sky has PTSD, to which their mother replied: “from what?”
Yes, Sky is in a situation that is that fucked up and dangerous. Around people who regularly believe that the abuse did not happen, or, if it did, it was their fault. Sky has been surviving in this situation for years now.
Yet someone who has never met Sky or even talked to them over the internet or read what they write decided that they knew better. And many other people who have never had a chronic, debilitating illness or lived in a pervasive, abusive situation barged into their life and acted as if they all knew better. For the past few years, Sky has been gradually working at getting better and finding sources of strength for themselves. But this sudden intrusion forced them back into hiding. They had to abandon their tumblr page, which helped them find other, supportive people, and move into another page with less public attention. In the process, they dropped a lot of random acquaintances and other people who may have at least been decent.
The problem with this kind of “help” is that it is not asked for. It removes the ability for people to consent. Not all suicidal people have survived sexual abuse, but for those of us who have, being able to ASK and say yes or no is incredibly important. To take away consent not once, but multiple times by making a “HEY EVERYONE GO HERE AND MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT SOMEONE’S LIFE” type of post is incredibly hurtful. If you’re a very close friend and you know the person, sure, you might be able make that decision. But if they have said no, then you don’t do it. And if you’re a random stranger who barely knows them, you definitely shouldn’t do it.
Other times, people came from backgrounds where they just did not in any way understand. Sky received messages from total strangers who knew nothing about their situation— people who made annoying and obvious prescriptivist “solutions” or “suggestions” that they had heard time and time again. It wasn’t helpful in any way, just very tiring and yet another reminder of how marginalized they are.
In some ways, these responses were an insulting and subtle method of victim-blaming. There were lots of “I’ve been there! You can do it!” posts when no, they really did not know Sky’s situation in the least. These posts were basically saying, in a round-about way, “I made it through this! Why haven’t you?” Unfortunately, not everyone who wants to “help” in these situations actually wants to help. Sometimes they do it because they are insecure in some way, or because it helps them feel better, not the other person.
So although this started out well-intentioned, it ended up hurting Sky quite a lot. Sky’s story was picked up and their ability to consent to its mass examination was removed without even a second thought. That is not okay. Sky was incredibly lucky that their abuser was simply dismissive as usual— in another situation it could have ended very badly, maybe even in physical danger or death. This is not something you can mess around with.
Sometimes people need to hear a lot of messages of support. Other times, people need to hide away and speak only to a close, trusted friend. This is sexual abuse and other similar types of trauma, not, “my pet goldfish died”. I can broadcast a status about how cute the neighborhood cat is on Facebook, but I would never post a message about feeling suicidal in such a large, public space. It’s two totally different things. I suspect a lot of people (not all, but certainly enough to ask first) are like this too.
Today, someone pointed out to me that a site I used to link to on here participates in this kind of behavior— pointing out random people’s personal pages where they’ve expressed emotional pain and condoning random messages of “support” to “help” them. I apologize a million times over for that— I visited that page awhile ago when they were first starting up, and they didn’t do that kind of thing back then. I’ve changed the link in the top header to another site which does similar work, but which also connects to many other websites with specific resources.
Consent is important. People in these situations already feel powerless and like the world is not listening to them. To remove the ability to consent yet again is just demeaning and hurtful. In some cases, this kind of prescriptivism could be extremely dangerous.
You need to ask us first. If you can’t ask, then don’t “help”.
things we have in the oakland student affairs office at cca that folks should know about:
- free tampons
- free ibuprofen
- free stress balls (eh)
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yeah do that
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