supporting survivors

TO QUEER PEOPLE WHO ARE ABUSED PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, VERBALLY, ETC, BY THEIR PARENTS.

It’s not your fault, you don’t deserve this sort of pain as for any discriminated queer person. Your parents are supposed to love and support you as they have since they day you came into this world. You are forever beautiful and protected by this community. There will always be people you can communicate with to give you advice on what to do, I’m sorry your parents treat you this way. You matter as much as anyone else, your health matters and your happiness. Your identity is forever valid. Take care of yourself.

(Please add anything if I missed something. I feel like this isn’t enough I’m saying.)

To all my precious underaged followers:

- If a grown ass adult asks you for sexual favors (this includes virtual stuff like sending nudes)- tell a trusted adult to call the police on their ass

- If a grown ass adult approaches you and puts their hands on you in a sexual manner- punch that fucker square in the face and tell a trusted adult to call the police on their ass

- If a grown ass adult is making you uncomfortable with sexualized commentary- tell a trusted adult to call the police on their ass

- If a grown ass adult argues “oh but you’re so beautifully mature for your age!” and consistently tries to manipulate you into unwanted sexual scenarios- tell a trusted adult to call the police on their ass

- If you have a bad feeling a grown ass adult is watching you/following you home/taking unconsenting pictures of you- run the fuck away, don’t be subtle. Seriously. Scream, make a fucking scene so that creeper knows they’ve been caught, and then tell a trusted nearby adult to call the police. Go into any local stores or businesses if you have to. This one might actually save your life.

- If your underaged friend is in an unhealthy relationship with a pedophile and refuses to tell someone out of manipulation, desire, or fear- tell a trusted adult to call the police on their ass

DO NOT EVER BE AFRAID TO REACH OUT FOR HELP WHEN YOU FEEL THREATENED BY A PEDOPHILE. THERE’S NO SHAME AT ALL IN ASKING FOR HELP. I WILL BE SO PROUD OF YOU FOR BEING BRAVE AND STAYING SAFE IF YOU DO. THERE ARE TOO MANY PREDATORS AND CSA SURVIVORS OUT THERE FOR YOU TO TAKE THIS MESSAGE LIGHTLY. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION. I AM TELLING YOU IF YOU ARE EVER IN THE SITUATIONS LISTED ABOVE, THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. FIND A SAFE ENVIRONMENT AND TELL SOMEONE YOU CAN TRUST BEFORE THAT AWFUL CREEP ENDS UP HURTING YOU OR SOME OTHER PRECIOUS KID OUT THERE. KEEP KIDS SAFE BY PUTTING THESE SICKOS BEHIND BARS!

How to spot & help someone dissociating.

To better understand how to respond to someone who has dissociated, it is helpful to know what dissociation looks like and how to assist someone in that state. The following responses are examples of dissociation[1]:

  • Staring vacantly into the distance,
  • Spacing out or being uninvolved with the present,
  • Being unable to focus, concentrate, and respond to instructions, and/or
  • Being unable to speak.

After being triggered into a dissociative state, an individual may seem confused or vague and ask questions such as:  “Where was I?” “What did I say?” or “What just happened?” Some survivors only discover as adults that they dissociate under stressful circumstances.

To support survivors who have been triggered and ensure that they do not leave when they are feeling disoriented or embarrassed, it is best to:

  • Orient survivors to the present by reminding them where they are and what was happening when they began to have trouble staying present.
  • Encourage slow breathing (inhale to the count of four and exhale to the count of six), and if possible, do this sitting up with their feet flat on the floor.
  • Remind survivors to keep their eyes open and to look around the room.
  • Encourage survivors to notice physical sensations (e.g., the feeling of their back on the chair and their feet touching the floor, or sensation of air on their face).

As survivors become more oriented and responsive:

  • Do not touch them.
  • Offer verbal reassurance in a calm voice.
  • Avoid asking complicated questions or giving complex instructions. Instead, ask simple questions to try to connect with the person (e.g., “Are you with me?” “Are you following me?” “Can you stay present with me?”)
  • Allow them the necessary time and space to regain their equilibrium (a quiet room may be helpful).
  • Normalize the experience. If the survivor has disclosed abuse prior to this incident, let him/her know that some settings may trigger flashbacks or emotional responses, but it is best not to ask for details of past abuse that may have contributed to being triggered. If prior abuse has not been disclosed, frame the normalizing comments in terms of anxiety that many people feel when in stressful situations.
  • Ask if someone else can help such a friend whom you can call.

The more we can de-mystify the manifestations of abuse and understand the mind and body’s response to trauma, the more we can assist survivors in their recovery.

She is the brightest star on the darkest night
because she understands how it feels to be lost

She is the mountain that offers support and shelter
because she understands what it means to be a survivor

But she is also the ocean,
pulling her waves back into herself
as she rests between breaths- 

And she hopes that the world understands
that even the sun must set to be able to rise.

—  Emina Gaspar-Vrana, She Is
It’s scary when you question if it actually happened or not. That’s when you know it fucked you up so bad you tried to erase it without knowing. But you still feel the ache, the weight, the dirtiness of it all. And it never leaves.
—  Posted by Anonymous

to the people living with their abusers who aren’t able enough to get out, who are so traumatized that they can’t function, i hear you. you’re not worthless, you’re not weak or deserving of punishment. even if you’re an adult. when you’re traumatized and you live with the person (or people) who abuse you, that fear doesn’t always turn to active motivation to escape. sometimes being retraumatized sucks away our ability to function because we’re using all our energy focusing on the immediate threat. why would you have extra room to think about a job or school when you’re in danger? your brain is trying to protect you. please remember that you’re not failing. you’re coping with an overwhelming situation, and sometimes that’s the best you can do.

Watch on notlostonanadventure.tumblr.com

I don’t watch Survivor, but this moment just hit me in the gut.

You know the show. It’s tribal council. The losing team is deciding who to vote out. Jeff Varner, a gay man, knows he’s on the chopping block but tries to turn it around by saying fellow players Zeke and Ozzie have a secret alliance. “There is deception…on levels we don’t understand.”

Then (it’s at 1:55 in the video if you’re impatient), he turns to Zeke and asks, 

“Why haven’t you told anyone you’re transgender?”

Yeah, you read that right. Zeke just got outed on national television. 

The reaction itself speaks volumes, as it shows what I think is a powerful microcosm of society in 2017. 

Yes, it’s 14 minutes, but it’s the most powerful 14 minutes I’ve seen on tv this year.

Watch and reblog if you support the trans community. 

I hate crying in front of people because my abusive mom always called me a drama queen and accused me of trying to manipulate her. When I can’t help but cry, I’m so ashamed. The tears, the shakiness, the trembling, feels so fake and staged even though I have no control over it. I can’t be comforted by other people anymore and it’s all her fault. I just want to be able to cry in someone’s arms without feeling like a monster.
—  Posted by Anonymous
My mother loved me, but she was never supportive, never there when I needed her, and never understanding. She was always right, and I was never good enough. She tore me down, made me feel worthless and stupid every day of my life, and responded to my insecurities and needs with sarcasm and insults. I know that she loved me. But she was never there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on or a problem I needed help with. “What the fuck do you want me to do?” Was her favorite response to me.
—  Posted by Anonymous

Some thoughts about the “DC sex trafficking ring” stuff spreading all over FB this week:

You know statistically, it’s very likely that missing kids are runaways/throwaways (50%), or that they’re reported missing due to a simple miscommunication (38%), or were taken by a non-custodial parent, which typically happens as a kinda revenge against the custodial parent (7%). That’s 95% of cases right there.

Underage people who run away or are kicked out have an increased chance of entering the sex industry, but a study conducted in NYC showed that extremely-few underage sex workers are even pimped: for some kids, doing sex work is actually preferable to whatever shitty things were keeping them trapped at home. I don’t wanna argue about the “ethics” of underage sex-working or whatever, it’s just a reality of what some teenagers do to survive in nearly-impossible circumstances.

Which brings me to another concern about how we ignore the systemic, and much more difficult to address, reasons why kids end up missing. It’s rarely stranger-danger, and more likely something like abuse (physical, mental, sexual, etc.), or a broken child welfare system, or queer kids feeling unsupported at home or whatever.

Politicians and law enforcement and whatever other opportunists love to jump on whatever new sex trafficking panic rears its head (which happens routinely in different forms) as a way to crack down on already-marginalized communities (poor ppl, poc, sex workers, illicit drug users). They arrest a buncha of adult streetworkers and massage girls, tossing em into the inherently-VIOLENT carceral system, and get pats all around for “at least doing SOMETHING”.

And ppl point to sketchy-but-more-benign magazine-salesperson recruitment posters and stuff as proof of trafficking (pix of which a number of folks on my feed have been passing around this week), thinking that that’s what trafficking looks like, just out in plain sight like that (believe me ive had some sketchy jobs like that and so have my friends but they were technically legal and non-sexual! There are tons of ways to economically exploit highschoolers that won’t get you thrown in prison bc “free market” n shit).

— 

-a woc friend who is shy and wants to remain anonymous.

but just a reminder: the stats around trafficking are deliberately vagued up by antitrafficking orgs who stretch the definition of youth and the definition of trafficked, but the info we have gives us no reason to believe that sexual exploitation numbers differ materially from sexual abuse and rape numbers; that is, two thirds of sexual abuse and assault are committed by people known to the survivor or even their family.

if you want to support kids and survivors of sexual violence, you need to be supporting the creation and funding of youth shelters, day centers, drop in centers, the renewal of RHYA and the inclusion of LGBT in the population services it funds, and a total overhaul of the child welfare system AND the DHS: adults in foster homes and developmentally disabled adults are exponentially more likely to be sexually exploited and abused than almost any other category of adult.

Shout out to all my mentally ill beans who get told their choice to isolate as a coping mechanism is “bad and unhelpful”


Shout out to beans who isolate themselves due to overstimulation


Shout out to beans who isolate to keep themselves safe


Shout out to beans who isolate to keep others around them safe


Shout out to beans whose isolation resulted in them being described as cold, unfriendly or antisocial


Shout out to beans whose isolation resulted in them losing friends and loved ones because they all misinterpreted it as being unwanted or hated


Shout out to beans who isolate but still desperately search for someone to reach out to them


Shout out to beans whose isolation helps, I’m glad you found something that works for you and I’m sorry people who don’t experience what you do feel the need to tell you what you’re doing for yourself is terrible. It isn’t. If it makes you feel better to take a few days to yourself, you do that bb. It isn’t selfish. It isn’t hurting anyone. You’re doing what you think is best for you