trauma narratives

anonymous asked:

Famethyst should all live in ame's room and make pearl's live a nightmare until greg build them a house just next to their current one and ame go live with all her sisters 💜💜💜 i would love that,i just want ame to be happy and well surrounded 💜💜

TRUUUUE but knowing how shallow pearl is, they’re big and she’ll probably sing a song about how she now has fallen in love with one :/ smh

BUT AHHH i think it would be cool if famethyst lived with greg and he gets to teach them about beach city and they learn that here, they’re all equal and they won’t get hurt by anyone– like that’s a real trauma narrative tbh, the way holly treats the amethysts is horrendous (but at least you’re meant to hate her) and showing the amethysts that on earth, they’re safe, that would be really cool, esp if it’s greg teaching them that

that way, greg has a separate narrative that means he HAS to be out of the main cast and amethyst drives how we see the famethyst by checking in with them or going on adventures with them where they mutually teach each other things; for amethyst, that she’s loved and respected regardless of her size by her own kind and that there’s no right or wrong way to be– and for famethyst, that they’re safe, equal members of Earth who have a place that they themselves can choose

concept: forced revelation of memories via magic/book for fai/kurogane is a more literal manifestation of their respective relationship to traumatic memory and flashbacks - kurogane’s book is a history, of the past, while fai’s fragmentary reflections of memory reflects in him his immediate and incessant reliving of his own past (also, again, at the hands of the man who manipulated him and his memories, a perfect trauma narrative). both are personal violations of privacy but their contexts reveal a lot abt how they dealt w trauma and how the dreamseers that rescued them shaped their ability to move on (or not) from it

When there never was any "before"…

This is a submission to the #by ace survivors for ace survivors project.  See the submissions post for more information.

In a lot of discussions and advice and narratives about healing from trauma and especially the intersection of trauma and mogii identities, there’s this “before and after” thing. For example lists of possible trauma symptoms that directly reference a “before” state (“loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed” or something like that) or questions about whether or not trauma can cause or change someone’s (gender) identity or orientation. Sometimes the latter is even braught up by non-survivours distancing themselves from survivours by saying things like “We’re not like this because of trauma!!!1!”

And to me this is always very troubling and makes me really uneasy, no matter how these questions are adressed. Just the assumption that there even was a “before” (and sometimes even the assumption that the trauma was one singular event as opposed to countless events during a long period of time, as in my/our case).

Not every trauma survivour has had a life before the trauma/s. It can have happened/started in early childhood and/or there may be no memories of a life before or indepent of trauma.

And if that’s the case – I know it sucks! But you’re not alone. You’re not the only one.

And it’s possible to get better. I promise.

Even for people where there was a “before”, recovery is not about going back to that state, especially not if the “before” was a long time ago, in childhood or in a completely different stage of life.

We know it’s hard. Having to figure out everything new, what is a healthy coping mechanism and what’s not doing me good, how does a healthy relationship work/feel, what are my likes, interests, needs, skills, beliefs. What is my personality, who am I and what is really me and what is “just” due to trauma. This is hard to figure out and painful to even have to adress in the first place.

But it’s possible.

Try not to figure out who you would have been without trauma. Try not to prove that you would have been ace anyways or any other thing that you are. It’s enough that you are, that this is part of you and that’s valid. Full stop. Even if it changes as a result of/ during the recovery process. It’s still valid.

Take small steps. Celebrate every victory, even small ones! Make a habit of recognising and celebrating every little thing that makes you go “this is me”! Make a self-care list of things that you know are good for you and try to do something off that list when you feel bad, struggle with trauma symptoms, are triggered or feel like you don’t know who you are. These can be small things like “take a deep breath” or self-affirming sentences like “I’m allowed to be myself. I am a real person.” or big things like “take a whole day to do [favourite thing]”

Slowly, you’ll find more and more of what makes you you and what makes your life your life and the questions of what you were or would have been before/without trauma becomes less and less important.

And this process, like everything in recovery, is not linear. You’ll have ups and downs, days where you feel really secure in yourself and days where you really struggle, and you may go through phases and your likes and dislikes and interests and personality traits and so on might shift, even your identities might change – and all of that is OK. It’s not a bad thing. It’s part of recovery. Part of growing. Or just a part of life itself.

Sometimes to go up a steep hill, you need to go in serpentines and come across the same place several times instead of going straight up. Sometimes you’ll slide back down a few steps, but you’re still on your way. Sometimes you’ll need a break. Sometimes you’ll need to go in circles so that you have seen the area from all sides before you know how to go on. Sometimes you can use advice from others, especially those who’ve been there or are on the same path as you.

All of that is OK. You can make it. I promise.

And to stay with the metaphor: You don’t have to reach “the top” before you can enjoy your life. In fact, for most people, there isn’t even really one. And your life is worth living even while you’re still on that uphill path.

I’ve mentioned that a big part of trauma therapy involves narrative building. I just wanted to share something that my first therapist had me do when I was having a hard time working with vocal narratives (because triggers make me nonverbal). I made a collage narrative out of magazine and newspaper clippings, and it honestly did help. Another friend made mix CDs to tell her story. There are so many ways to tell your story, and you can tell it every single way you can think of, you can keep retelling it until you know yourself again. 

When I made this, it was only a year after I had gotten away from my abuser and come out of the closet. I was struggling with an intensely low depressive episode and I was going to therapy every Tuesday. 

We have just been shown the secret of this world on a macro level. The shape of the bird cage. The structure of it.

But on a micro level, on an individual, personal level, Tokyo Ghoul has another recurring cage. The Black Goat’s Egg. The cycle of abuse. The place survivors of terrible things, of violence, of trauma, of twisted abusive love find themselves. Kaneki’s ever present fear of turning into the son of the black goat. Into Rize. Into his mother. 

The cage that is violence and control in all forms, and the violence it begets.

So it’s… fitting, then, that just as we see time and time again that victims of violence, through good or ill intent, can get twisted or forced or molded into the role of abuser, or forced into violence themselves - that ghouls should run the very system that oppresses them.

A long while go I wrote about trans-generational trauma and the self loathing being an oppressed minority can create. 

What role did that play for the Washuu clan in the formation of this cage? Is this twisted good intentions? A means of controlling the violence? Of begetting violence while trying to prevent it, like Kaneki’s crazed half kakuja in Kanou’s lab?

Victims of trauma often put up walls, form cages of their own making. Try to shield themselves and others. Try to organize and control the world so it won’t hurt them again. Sometimes they adapt to what the world wants them to, their psyches molded by a need to survive, and stuck in fight or flight.

How did this bird cage come to be, I wonder.

There is also the recurring presence of the kakuja itself to consider. A Kakuja is born from cannibalism. Ghouls praying on ghouls. The oppressed feasting on the oppressed. In-fighting instead of uniting. 

And it causes cells to mutate, and drive a ghoul insane. We’ve seen kakuja’s that seem to eat the ghoul who produced them. Out of control, a kakuja is a monster.

What is the CCG but a kakuja armor itself? Born from generations of cannibalism, of ghouls preying on ghouls. Devouring them for more power.

Has the CCG survived with it’s sanity? Can it control the monster it has become?

The babadook is so important because you can’t get rid of the babadook!

I watched it with band friend, and he was like ‘well that was depressing’ and I said it was the happiest horror movie I’d ever seen. Like, it never goes away, but you can manage it. You can tell it that everything’s okay, and take care of it, and keep it from ruining your life.

I think he understood a little, which was good.

If you read as much Johnlock fanfic as I do, you see it’s clearly been well-established that John has nightmares about the war as a matter of fact. Not just before he met Sherlock, but continuously. Or he now has them *about* Sherlock (you’d imagine the fall would disturb his sleep). Whatever it is people come up with in regards to John’s nightmares in actual Johnlock fics, it’s rarely as shippy and transparent as what we’ve actually seen at the beginning of HLV, even in fics written post-S3. In HLV, John’s dreaming about Sherlock, yes, and about the war, still. Except it’s not a nightmare. He wakes up with his hand on his crotch, energized, desperate to see Sherlock. These bits of ASiP were happy memories for John. He misses the war, and he misses Sherlock: neither is in any doubt.

I’ve long said fandom’s way more interested in ‘realistic’ psychological trauma narratives than the show appears to be (although I’ll argue that the show’s characterization is actually more nuanced and naturalistic than your average headcanon by far, in some ways). We can see that play out in lots of different ways, particularly in terms of what sort of outcomes fans consider to be acceptable character growth, but this intro shot of John in HLV is perhaps especially telling. He doesn’t have *nightmares* about the war anymore. There’s no more obvious way to say this is no longer early-ASiP John. As Mycroft had said, Sherlock Holmes is John’s battlefield, and this equivalence is fully in play, made more explicit than ever in HLV. He wants action, he wants to go out and get it, and he wants Sherlock. One suggests the other.

As I wrote earlier, the Work is important because it’s what John and Sherlock do to ensure their emotional survival. That’s really why I always argue strenuously against devaluing its importance for the two of them. The Work and the Relationship are two sides of the same coin in this case. In the end, there are no nightmares as long as there’s Sherlock, for John. Sherlock cures what ails John in ASiP by offering him what he needs. If Sherlock offers respite, it’s mainly from the ordinary, safe, grey and mundane existence John would otherwise have (even with Mary). Not to downplay their sweet domestic moments, or the fact that John’s very fond of Sherlock’s 'true nature’, when he’s not being 'Sherlock Holmes’. That is, of course, a major part of the central unresolved conflict in their relationship. I will say, though, that even cozy domesticity with Sherlock Holmes is full of weird hijinks, suspicious experiments and probably a few mood swings (on Sherlock’s part). I wouldn’t separate their existence outside of their cases from their dynamic during them; we all know John’s also an addict, and will indeed need his fix both of the action and of Sherlock himself.

I understand that everything we broadcast onto digital airwaves is public

But there’s something incredibly sinister about white academic feminists lifting content and trauma narratives from teen girls and PoC on tumblr for their thesis. It may be legal to do that, but to me it’s not a legal issue, it’s an ethical one. And if you’re gonna do that, okay!! Whatever!! but you’re gonna have to come up with a better argument than “it’s legal” because to me that just means there’s no actual conscience stopping you.