Anonymous asked
I recently found out that my ex-boyfriend, who raped me repeatedly during our relationship, has since been raped himself. I'm asking you, because nobody I know would really understand how it feels, how should I feel about it? I can't get it straight in my head, it means I've felt nothing really since I found out... Help?

It’s complicated.

The truth is- you don’t have to feel anything. You don’t have to care. You don’t have to empathize with him.

At the end of the day- he’s still your rapist/abuser. and you are not required to have sympathy for him. you are not required to feel sad for him. you are not required to feel bad for him.

but you might.

and if you do? that’s okay too. but know that even feeling bad for him. even wishing he hadn’t been through that. doesn’t mean you need to be there for him. or that it would be safe for you to be there for him. or that he feels bad about what he did to you.

Do what’s best for you, okay?

I told y’all I would write this piece when I calmed down a bit. I’m not sure that I’ve calmed down on the subject any but after seeing a post claiming that not using trigger warnings is ‘helping survivors’ it’s about time I said my part.
Trigger Warnings.
What do they look like?
tw: sexual assault in the tags
'Trigger warning: this piece contains mentions of sexual abuse.' at the top.
Some people use content warnings or cw. That’s cool too.
But those things- are what we call trigger warnings.
Why use them?
Because you aren’t garbage. Unless you are- but if so, at least be honest about it. Be honest about the fact that you refuse to have compassion for a group of individuals who have already been traumatized because it either isn’t convenient for you- or because you are an indignant privileged sack of tartar-sauce.
Trigger warnings aren’t about someone being sensitive. They’re things to alert someone that a topic may contain triggering topics.
Wait- what does it mean when someone is triggered?
One of my least favorite pieces of commentary that comes from sacks of tartar sauce is ‘if you were triggered you wouldn’t be writing about it on the internet’.
I can kind of see where people come from where they say ‘triggered isn’t just being upset!’ because that is correct. But trying to police the edge of upset and triggered is very gross of you. Especially if you don’t know the person.
Being triggered can encompass a lot of things. It isn’t only having a panic attack or suffering from flashbacks. (and, fun fact, neither of those things look only one way. I’ve definitely attended classes and been on the internet while having flashbacks and flashbacks are definitely a form of being triggered. Many others can say the same about panic attacks. )
Being triggered can cause flashbacks, panic attacks, dissociation, self harm, resurgence of eating disorder behaviors and other really not fun things.
Even if your stereotypical image of what it is like to be triggered- were the only way to be triggered… I am going to let you in on a little secret… at some point- a triggered individual stops being triggered. and could then say something about it?
and taking four seconds to tag/trigger warn for common things really isn’t that hard.
What do you mean common things? are there uncommon things?
By common things I mean the biggies. The things that most people recognize can be traumatizing.
and if someone has asked you to- you should tag for ‘uncommon’ things too. Uncommon things are the things that are triggering because the person associates them with their trauma.
For instance I have a friend who is a CSA survivor who is triggered by the Rugrats. If she were to follow me on tumblr, I would tag Rugrats so that she could avoid seeing it.
But avoiding things isn’t going to solve the problem!!! They should just get help instead of asking people to tag things.
Indignant sack of tartar sauce, I know this may be hard for you to comprehend- but you do realize that it is extremely possible to be in therapy/getting help and still exist on the internet?
and that it often takes -years- for people to completely heal?
and that you are arguing against avoiding the thing and then arguing that they should avoid the internet instead. Which is extremely childish of you and selfish. 
Besides, not everyone asking for trigger warnings is looking to avoid it entirely. They’re asking so that they can be safe when they do look at those things and so that they don’t just randomly get slapped in the face with it.
and even if they were looking to entirely avoid it- unless you personally are going to be there when they get triggered and you personally are going to pay for them to get the help that they need-
you need to stop being an indignant sack of tartar sauce.
Okay?
Okay.

I told y’all I would write this piece when I calmed down a bit. I’m not sure that I’ve calmed down on the subject any but after seeing a post claiming that not using trigger warnings is ‘helping survivors’ it’s about time I said my part.

Trigger Warnings.

What do they look like?

tw: sexual assault in the tags

'Trigger warning: this piece contains mentions of sexual abuse.' at the top.

Some people use content warnings or cw. That’s cool too.

But those things- are what we call trigger warnings.

Why use them?

Because you aren’t garbage. Unless you are- but if so, at least be honest about it. Be honest about the fact that you refuse to have compassion for a group of individuals who have already been traumatized because it either isn’t convenient for you- or because you are an indignant privileged sack of tartar-sauce.

Trigger warnings aren’t about someone being sensitive. They’re things to alert someone that a topic may contain triggering topics.

Wait- what does it mean when someone is triggered?

One of my least favorite pieces of commentary that comes from sacks of tartar sauce is ‘if you were triggered you wouldn’t be writing about it on the internet’.

I can kind of see where people come from where they say ‘triggered isn’t just being upset!’ because that is correct. But trying to police the edge of upset and triggered is very gross of you. Especially if you don’t know the person.

Being triggered can encompass a lot of things. It isn’t only having a panic attack or suffering from flashbacks. (and, fun fact, neither of those things look only one way. I’ve definitely attended classes and been on the internet while having flashbacks and flashbacks are definitely a form of being triggered. Many others can say the same about panic attacks. )

Being triggered can cause flashbacks, panic attacks, dissociation, self harm, resurgence of eating disorder behaviors and other really not fun things.

Even if your stereotypical image of what it is like to be triggered- were the only way to be triggered… I am going to let you in on a little secret… at some point- a triggered individual stops being triggered. and could then say something about it?

and taking four seconds to tag/trigger warn for common things really isn’t that hard.

What do you mean common things? are there uncommon things?

By common things I mean the biggies. The things that most people recognize can be traumatizing.

and if someone has asked you to- you should tag for ‘uncommon’ things too. Uncommon things are the things that are triggering because the person associates them with their trauma.

For instance I have a friend who is a CSA survivor who is triggered by the Rugrats. If she were to follow me on tumblr, I would tag Rugrats so that she could avoid seeing it.

But avoiding things isn’t going to solve the problem!!! They should just get help instead of asking people to tag things.

Indignant sack of tartar sauce, I know this may be hard for you to comprehend- but you do realize that it is extremely possible to be in therapy/getting help and still exist on the internet?

and that it often takes -years- for people to completely heal?

and that you are arguing against avoiding the thing and then arguing that they should avoid the internet instead. Which is extremely childish of you and selfish. 

Besides, not everyone asking for trigger warnings is looking to avoid it entirely. They’re asking so that they can be safe when they do look at those things and so that they don’t just randomly get slapped in the face with it.

and even if they were looking to entirely avoid it- unless you personally are going to be there when they get triggered and you personally are going to pay for them to get the help that they need-

you need to stop being an indignant sack of tartar sauce.

Okay?

Okay.

In honor of that: Major trigger warnings for sexual assault/rape for all of these.
But I think.. poetry and knowing that other people experience these things too allows us to connect. It can help inspire us to write our own pieces. Poetry can help us process. But only listen if you’re going to be okay doing so and make sure to take care of yourself.
Blue Blanket by Andrea Gibson
One Color by Neil Hilborn and Ollie Schminkey 
Black and Blue by Jasmine Mans and Alysia Harris
Communion by Jeanann Verlee
And/Or by Jeanann Verlee
Paperdolls by Sierra Demulder
Unsolicited Advice (after Jeanann Verlee) by Tony Ingram
An Open Letter from Harley Quinn to the Joker by Lauren Bullock
A Survivor’s Guide to saying Yes by Anna Binkovitz
Trellis by Andrea Gibson
On Admitting You are an Abuse Survivor by Sierra Demulder

and this poem has nothing to do with the topic- but it’s the poem that I listen to to make myself feel better. so I’m sharing it here with you. It isn’t a particularly inspirational poem and I can’t tell you why it makes me feel better- but it does.
For those who can still ride in Airplanes by Anis Mojani

In honor of that: Major trigger warnings for sexual assault/rape for all of these.

But I think.. poetry and knowing that other people experience these things too allows us to connect. It can help inspire us to write our own pieces. Poetry can help us process. But only listen if you’re going to be okay doing so and make sure to take care of yourself.

Blue Blanket by Andrea Gibson

One Color by Neil Hilborn and Ollie Schminkey 

Black and Blue by Jasmine Mans and Alysia Harris

Communion by Jeanann Verlee

And/Or by Jeanann Verlee

Paperdolls by Sierra Demulder

Unsolicited Advice (after Jeanann Verlee) by Tony Ingram

An Open Letter from Harley Quinn to the Joker by Lauren Bullock

A Survivor’s Guide to saying Yes by Anna Binkovitz

Trellis by Andrea Gibson

On Admitting You are an Abuse Survivor by Sierra Demulder

and this poem has nothing to do with the topic- but it’s the poem that I listen to to make myself feel better. so I’m sharing it here with you. It isn’t a particularly inspirational poem and I can’t tell you why it makes me feel better- but it does.

For those who can still ride in Airplanes by Anis Mojani

Anonymous asked
Can anyone friend you?

Yes ^^

You never had to prove them wrong

realsocialskills:

When you grow up with stigma, people tell you a lot of well-meaning things that actually cause problems. When you face people treating you like you’re less of a person, someone will often say something like:

  • "You’ll prove them all wrong some day".
  • "It’s ok. You’ll show them. You’ll prove that you’re better than they ever could have imagined."

And then, when you accomplish things, it often becomes, “Well, you proved them wrong, didn’t you?”

People who say this often mean well, but this is a form of victim-blaming, and it can hurt people who believe it really badly. The truth is:
You didn’t prove them wrong. You never had to prove them wrong. They were already wrong.
Prejudice is not something you have to earn your way out of. Dehumanization isn’t your fault. You don’t have to prove that you are human in order to be human. You don’t have to have amazing accomplishments in order to prove that you have worth. Everyone has worth. People who don’t recognize yours have always been wrong.
You didn’t prove them wrong. They were already wrong. About you, and about everyone else too.
You might have to fight to be seen as a person. You might have to fight for your life and your safety and for basic respect. That’s a fight you may or may not win. It’s a fight that, no matter how hard you try or how good you are, you will never win all the way. There will still be those who hate you and see you as subhuman.
But you can be ok, anyway. You’re ok. You’re whole. You deserve better. It’s not your fault they don’t see it. It’s theirs.
You have always been a full person, fully deserving of respect and equal treatment. People who treat you as a lesser being have always been wrong.
Knowing that helps.
Anonymous asked
I can't seem to find the SCaR thing on facebook, how would I find it?

Like I said in the thing- you can’t find it. It’s unsearchable for safety reasons.

You have to friend me here. and when people add me- I add them to the group. Or if you know someone else already in the group- they can add you.

But only group members can see the group. That way people don’t have to worry about their abuser seeing that they’re in the group and they don’t have to worry about family/friends who don’t know asking questions if they see the group.

Anonymous asked
Sometimes i fucking hate my body cause of whats happened to me and how my body was used by my rapist and molester and everyone and i just want to hurt myself or escape this fucking shell somehow. Advice on how to deal?

You’ve made the first step by at least recognizing /why/ you hate your body.

Knowing the exact problem allows you to better problem solve.

You hate your body because it was hurt. and it was used.

and here’s the thing- hating your body is a step better than just hating yourself…

but it is highly indicative.

the biggest piece? is forgiving yourself. and your body.

and understanding that you are your body and your body is a part of you.

it wasn’t your fault.

it wasn’t your body’s fault.

nothing about you caused the rape to happen.

your body did not cause the rape to happen.

other than that piece- there are other things you can do.

One thing is to appreciate what your body does for you. and like consciously. We get messages all the time to consciously hate our body- or we do it because it doesn’t do something we like.. but we very rarely stop and appreciate what our body does do.

It feels really ridiculous- but sometimes when I hang out with one of my friends- who I call absinthe, and we’re just kind of laying in a pile… I take a second to appreciate that I have a body that can cuddle and tickle and allow me to take comfort in someone else’s body heat.

He’s really the one.. when we were seniors in highschool we went to the beach and it was hot. everyone else was walking around in shorts and bikini tops or tanktops.. and I was wearing jeans and a hoodie. I rarely took my hoodie off in highschool and definitely never wore shorts.  until Absinthe. The boy is topless whenever it is legally allowed. and he appreciates his body. Truly appreciates it. and all the weird things it does. (He can do this weird breathing thing that makes his stomach swell up like he’s pregnant. and it’s great to hang out with him because he’ll just randomly do it and start patting his stomach because he’s so amused.) and he has four nipples though the extra pair are really small so if you don’t know you might just think they were moles.

and just.. like my mom has a picture of me and him after pride one year- and I had a Z done in glitter on my chest and I’m just wearing a bra and my jeans- and he had my initial done on his chest too.

He’s been such a big help in me becoming comfortable with my body.

We don’t often get messages to appreciate our bodies. and we don’t talk about appreciating them either. 

another thing is just.. I like to take time to do things for my body that my body likes.

Like touching soft fabrics.

and cuddling.

or making nice meals and just.. appreciating the taste and appreciating that this- this is a thing I can do. 

and scrubs to make my skin feel nice.

or sometimes I dress up and appreciate the way that my body looks- even though it isn’t the stereotypical definition of beautiful.

and loving our bodies is hard. and accepting our bodies is hard. especially with a history of trauma…

it’s been an uphill battle. I wrote a piece a while ago and it should be in the msc tag- but I wrote a letter to my body. and towards the end I said something along the lines of

'This isn't a love letter.

but I would like to write you one.. someday.’

I have at least stopped hating my body for things that weren’t its fault. and understanding that it truly is a piece of me. that I’m not just a brain piloting a slab of meat. that I am allowed to be a cohesive being.

and so are you.

Take care of yourself, okay?

Also- if you offered to mod and have not received the questions yet- could you shot me another email if you’re still interested?

I promise it wasn’t intentional- but over a hundred people have offered and I replied to everyone individually and someone this morning was like ‘I haven’t gotten the questions yet’. and there may be more than just that person.

Anonymous asked
One of the worst parts about having a history with sexual abuse and rape is that I feel so isolated because of it. I have no friends that I can confide it who would understand and be supportive. The few people I have told, have not been fully supportive and have said some pretty awful things. I've had several people say "Oh, so that's why you're bisexual--you're just scared of men". I can't tell anyone without them invalidating my identity.

selfcareafterrape:

That isolation can be pretty awful. I’ve been very lucky to have supportive friends who actually helped me realize that what happened to me wasn’t consensual. I know not everyone is as luck as I am and it can be a very difficult journey. The amazing thing about SCaR is that there is a great community of survivors here. We all understand what it’s like to go through sexual abuse and to feel isolated. And I can guarantee you there are plenty of people here who will not invalidate your identity and will understand your experiences and support you in any way you need.

You’re not alone.

-Amanda

Just so you know- there’s also a SCaR facebook group- though you’ll have to friend me (Kris) in order to join it because of the privacy settings. (only people in the group are able to see you’re in the group. the group cannot be searched for. For safety reasons.)

and even if you don’t want to utilize SCaR like that? there are other options too.

There may be a survivor support group near you. Or a women’s center (if you’re a woman. but even if not- the one I used to volunteer at was welcoming of other genders.).

Or other blogs on the internet. there are a lot of people with blogs solely about being a survivor that they use to interact with other survivors- so that they can have their personal blog that they already use.. and still have somewhere to go where they can choose how open they are with who they are.

and you aren’t the only bisexual to go through that, I promise. If any of my other followers would like to speak up and offer to talk maybe? I know some of us have gone through similiar things. Unfortunately a lot of people think there has to be ‘a reason’ that someone is different than them. and that’s wrong and causes them to hurt people with their comments. Your identity is valid. and nothing is wrong with being bisexual and you don’t need a reason to be it. Your identity is valid because you are valid. 

Anonymous asked
One of the worst parts about having a history with sexual abuse and rape is that I feel so isolated because of it. I have no friends that I can confide it who would understand and be supportive. The few people I have told, have not been fully supportive and have said some pretty awful things. I've had several people say "Oh, so that's why you're bisexual--you're just scared of men". I can't tell anyone without them invalidating my identity.

That isolation can be pretty awful. I’ve been very lucky to have supportive friends who actually helped me realize that what happened to me wasn’t consensual. I know not everyone is as luck as I am and it can be a very difficult journey. The amazing thing about SCaR is that there is a great community of survivors here. We all understand what it’s like to go through sexual abuse and to feel isolated. And I can guarantee you there are plenty of people here who will not invalidate your identity and will understand your experiences and support you in any way you need.

You’re not alone.

-Amanda