Self-Sweetness: an incomplete list

Sweetness for my body/mind/heart/soul is:

All-dressed chips

Long baths

Consensual pain

Singing at the top of my lungs

Shaking it off

Walking

Disco

Moisturizing

Extra water

Saying no

Sunshine

Being alone

Not washing my hair

Brushing my hair

Kissing what hurts

Selfies

Sweat

Tahini

Slowing down

Seeking fire

Feet on the ground

Wiggling

Bad puns

Chatting with ancestors

Tears

Jelly tots

Being naked

Stretches

Tattoos

Shoulder girdle down

Dark lipstick

House-only outfits

Dad dancing

Mixing music

Writing words

Writing gibberish

Grieving

Clean socks

Growing my nails

Asking for help

Talking fast

Jiggling my fat

Soaking in rain

Flexing in the mirror

Cuddling

Choosing risk

Running

Farts

Petting dogs

Touching all the things

Being touched

Expressing desire

Rocks in my pockets

Cedarwood oil

Headphones

Cooking food

Eating out

Soda pop

Sleep

White noise

Fresh pineapple

Black spruce

Listening

Telling the same story

Trying new things

Taking the long way home

Making lists

Looking at the horizon

The Moon

Zoning out

HGTV

Making less rules

Embracing flow

Humming to myself

Hands on my heart

Doing nothing

Fidgeting

Being vulnerable

Ignoring everyone

Siblings

Big burps

Trusting myselves

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Self-Sweetness: an incomplete list

you came back for yourselves

You came back to the place where they tried to kill you
Pummelling and punishing you into believing you were only shadow
Not even shadow but terrible evil

You came back to the place where your exclusion ensured inclusion
To cast you out was to be welcomed in
And your exorcism a right of passage to belong

You came back to the place where they feasted on your vulnerability
Sweet selves that had taken life times to coax out of hiding
And life times before that to know they were there to invite

And you came back
You rose up and came back
Incarnate
Alchemist
Survivor
You came back to the place
To take yourselves back
Collect them
Reclaim them
So all of you could go home

 

you came back for yourselves

reclaiming needy

Reclaiming NEEDY.
From abusers.
From isolation.
From ableism.
From misogyny.
From capitalism.
From domination.
From classism.
From shame.

No Shame NEEDY means:
Needy as boundaries.
Needy as connection.
Needy as engagement.
Needy as transformation.
Needy as honesty.
Needy as showing up.
Needy as contribution.
Needy as caring.
Needy as nurturing.
Needy as validating.
Needy as fulfilling.
Needy as reciprocity.
Needy as loving.
Needy as anti-capitalist.
Needy as anti-individualist.

Cause this world is needy:
Needing change.
Needing care.
Needing healing.
Needing power.
Needing transformation.
Needing justice.

reclaiming needy

to be honest (with myself)

to be honest

it would be easier to project on to others
to the people you spend your time with
to pretend that if you focused your energy on me
you would do the work
you would see me as myself
and want to contribute
but you wouldn’t
to be honest
if you wanted to
you would find space for me
you would find time to grow
to learn what reciprocity means
in practice and in process
no matter who else you love
to be honest
I stay connected to you
because you reinforce what I have been told
I am not worthy of love
my needs are too much
love is sacrifice
and that the most I can hope for
is to be consumed by another
to be honest (with myself)

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

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