on harm reduction as a survivor

things I am trying to remember as a survivor of abuse:

– my hurt is real and true AND I don’t want to project this hurt onto others

– I have a tendency to use controlling behaviours to hurt others, using my history as a justification, which is abusive

– my desire for punitive measures against others is understandable based on the hurt AND does not work towards the kinds of community I desire

– somewhere in my body I believe that people can grow and change and while it might not be my role to support this in people who have perpetrated against me, i don’t want to prevent them from having these supports and connections

-while it scares me, I value when people call me out/in for my abusive and controlling behaviours, many which emerge from my experiences of violence, as it helps me work towards healing and reclaiming my actions from trauma.

In all this I want to recognize that survivorship is a really complex and diverse experience. These are important rememberances for me and won’t apply to everyone who is navigating trauma and survivorship

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on harm reduction as a survivor

Needs/Wants

My needs and wants are real and legitimate.
And I am responsible for the ways I meet them.
The legitimacy of my needs does not negate the necessity to engage with the harm that may come about from meeting them.
I can continue to learn better ways to meet my needs that not only cause less harm to others and myself but simultaneously increase others’ abilities to meet their own needs.
I can find transformative ways of meeting these needs that expand the very limits of what I think is possible for myself and the people and spaces I relate to.

Needs/Wants

Strategies for Talking Shit

If you use the right language to talk shit about someone no one can ask if you are lying. No one can question the harm you are doing. Use the right words to do harm and you don’t need to think about where the hurt comes from or why you have chosen that person to project it onto.

Appropriate the right terms for who that person is and you can justify every punishment, every act of cruelty and exclusion. With the right words you grant permission to erase their complexity, nullify their words and experiences, reduce them down to evil. Use the right words and nothing is on you.

Now you can point fingers. You can kick people out. You can seek revenge. Catharsis. Temporary relief followed by devastating relapse. Your sorrow is still there, the deep pain is still there. And those right words have done nothing but caused more harm.

Strategies for Talking Shit