ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
If you have been reading and discussing the poems "When Someone Is Vulnerable" and "Through Weakness and Vulnerability," then you know they deal with issues of capacity and consent. One of the crucial references had gone offline, as noted in the second poem.

[personal profile] thnidu has saved the day by reminding me of the Wayback Machine, which had an archive of the page with the terrific discussion of impaired capacity and consent as existing along a spectrum. While the particular context was aimed at guarding the ethics of human research with regard to individuals with impaired or absent consent, it generalizes to other contexts in which important decisions must be made but someone has less than ordinary ability to do so.

Let's look at some examples from the article and discuss how those relate to Turq...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] siliconshaman raised a fascinating point about soup fights. In his story "Chase" Part 2, the Ring Mistress shot Ashley (who was wearing an armored corset, so not seriously injured) and kept trying to shoot other people, and then clawed off Ashley's veil, so Ashley kissed her on the lips to deliver enough venom to end the fight.

This brings up some engrossing questions about ethics and rules of engagement. Discuss.

Spoilers are not blocked out below the cut. I recommend reading "Who Rekindle the Inner Spirit," "Capes and Credos," "Wrong," "Chase" Part 1 and Part 2 before entering this discussion, although it is not required.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I'm pleased to see someone else pointing out the general trend of shutting out trauma survivors from discussions about how to handle trauma triggers and trigger warnings.  When you don't respect the right of trauma survivors to make their own decisions, then you compound the damage done.  And when you don't talk to the people who actually have the experience you're pontificating about, then you tend to dream up a bunch of wrongheaded ideas that may have nothing to do with the facts in play, which can also hurt people.  Always involve the people most concerned with the topic in discussions about the topic.

In discussions of trauma triggers, people who do not have to cope with triggers generally seem to think of those who do as weak and pathetic.  Perhaps they are also the kind of folks who laugh at the kid using crutches.  But here's the thing about crutches: they let you go places you couldn't get to without them.  The same is true of trigger warnings.  These are discussions that really need the presence of people who have survived trauma, who have triggers, and who cope with them in various ways including trigger warnings.

Fortunately I'm not an idiot and I have fans who talk with me about how and why they use trigger warnings.  These include:

* Finding intense topics that they enjoy but other people find squicky.
* Avoiding topics they aren't interested in or that are too triggery for them.
* Sorting material by intensity so they can ramp up with a new author or touchy topic.
* Searching for a particular type of story to switch from their current mood to a different one.
* Managing topics based on mood and resources, so they can read challenging things at a safe time.
* Learning what kinds of things may be triggery for other people, to modulate how they discuss those topics.
* Looking for what to warn about in their own writing.
* Using warnings to mark their writing/blog/etc. as trauma-informed space.
* Talking about warnings as a means of managing space online or in person.

Although there are many ways to use trigger warnings, the two most common uses seem to be expanding what the person can read by choosing to read touchy things in a safe mood, and avoiding stuff that would be downright dangerous to mental health and safety.  Which is basically what any adaptive or safety device is supposed to do: let you do more, and protect you from possible injury.

My readers have consistently said that trigger warnings allow them to explore more things, because not only do they have more ability to make informed choices about reading, but also they come to trust me as a writer.  They know that I'm doing my best to warn for things, and that I handle harsh topics with respect.  And by "trust" I mean I've had people not only read things in the general topic that is triggery for them, but actually prompt for  me to write things in their trigger zone, as a way of coping with it.  Which has led to some very detailed, intimate, and intense literature for other folks to enjoy.  Literature is a terrific tool for confronting difficult issues, if handled with care.

So that reminds me of negotiations for other intimate and intense activities that people may do, where communication is utterly essential to make sure that a good time is had by all and nobody gets injured.  A responsible partner will see that everyone is on the same page and wants to be there.

Now consider that the same people who are condemning trigger warnings, a form of communication which is desired by enough folks to have started this conversation, are also often the ones yammering about the need for communication and consent in sex.  Which is to say, they  want to have all the control about what gets talked about and who gets to talk.

*edges away from the skeevy people*

As always, if you use trigger warnings as a reader and/or a writer, whether because of your own challenges or out of respect for other people's issues, you're welcome to share your thoughts on this topic here.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "trust someone" square in my 11-3-15 card for the Disaster Bingo fest, the "autumn" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest, and the "tentative" square in my 12-1-15 card for the Defining Character fest. This poem belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is mostly fluff, but parts of it get into some very deep emotional territory and trust issues. Turq is a wreck, and much of his past is appalling. The more time he spends with Ansel, though, the more glimmers of hope begin to emerge.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was inspired by discussions with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, arranged as barter, and posting now because it sets up for some later poetry. It also fills the "prisoners" square in my 1-1-16 card for the Spies, Secret Agents, and Noir Bingo fest. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


WARNING: This poem shows the first group therapy session that Graham leads at the prison, so it deals with a lot of intense topics. Highlight to read the spoilery warnings. It features complex responses to traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, mixed feelings about therapy, references to assorted crappy experiences in past therapy, difficulty with authority, hostility against superpowers, poor sense of self-worth, self-blame, communal trauma, voluntary abuse of illegal and harmful drugs, bad drug trip, feelings of abandonment and isolation, graphic description of a bad drug reaction, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Everything is bigger in Australia.  In this case, 20-pound pinecones falling from on high can injure or kill people underneath.

Who else is thinking it would be fun to drop one on the Spectrum?  Because obviously they're not going to mind the signs.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 They do shit like this.  And yes, some of them can do that in real life too.  I'm telling you, they are like oldschool D&D mages.  Everybody laughs at level 1, but by level 9 they are fucking unstoppable.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article on how PTSD may be concurrent with or mistaken for ADHD. This is actually true for a variety of other conditions including depression, social anxiety, and explosive outbursts.  

Trauma -- especially if it happens over time, as in PDSD -- causes biological changes that are difficult or impossible to reverse.  While the symptoms may closely resemble those of mental illness, they aren't.  It's a mental injury.  There's a world of difference between being unable to do something because your body/mind built itself wrong or went awry due to internal flaws, vs. getting hit by a truck.  As the article points out, the treatments  differ enough that what helps pure ADHD may be ineffective or actively counterproductive for PTSD.

Why are the numbers going up?  Well, if they're right about the stacking and/or misdiagnosis, it's partly because poverty is going up.  Stress and low resources can do a great deal of damage.  Of course people wind up with problems.  It's worse in children, who have minimal control over their lives or coping skills to buffer the damage.  So if it's not correctly identified, it basically ruins their life.

This really got me thinking about Shiv, and for that matter, a lot of my other supervillains.  Most of them come from a crummy background, especially poor or working class.  Most of them have been abused and/or neglected, often starting from a very early age.   You can see why so many minions can be "bought" for three hots and a cot, why the Marionettes have such a strong Family structure, why Kraken seeks out troubled youth to recruit and offers them an honestly terrific benefits package.  It's also how Shiv wound up in such a mess.  His trauma started so early, he never had a chance to develop the usual skills of self-regulation, and he expressed his damage in some very disturbing ways.  So very quickly he went from being considered a victim to a problem.  But it's not a mental illness.  It's scar tissue.  The symptoms are the same, but the source is different, and none of it is going to get any better without going back and repairing as much of the earlier damage as possible.  Create healthy connections.  Teach coping skills.  Understand that when he acts out, it's not because he's a bad person, but because his life fucking hurts  and he can't help flinching.  And with that in mind, look for ways to prevent him from harming himself or anyone else while he's skilling up.  Or at least minimize it, since he's not actually willing to let go of either the sadomasochism or the criminal profession.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I hate electronic locks because they're so much glitchier than mechanical ones, and can be picked by program instead of manual skill.  But they can also store data which can be very dangerous -- and so can the key fobs that go with them.  It's a serious problem because privacy laws have not kept up with technology.  People use all kinds of computerized gadgets now, and most users have no idea how badly that information can be used to hurt them.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is something I'd been thinking about for a while, particularly after writing "The Lights Behind Us." Then we watched a performance and that cemented it. This poem also fills the "exhausted" square in my 8-31-15 card for the Tones and Voices Bingo Fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Granny Whammy and SPOON thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem touches on some sensitive issues. Highlight to read the details, some of which are spoilers. It contains historic references to racism, classism, and possibly also mistreatment of people with special abilities -- the results of which are fatal. Plus some other angst like floundering through a task not really suited to one's skillset and dealing with loneliness. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. Also, this poem is written in two parts, one set in 1955 and the other in 2013, so keep an eye on the timing.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
After about a 20-year gap, the Navy is teaching celestial navigation again.  Someone there fin-al-ly realized that it was a terrible weakness to rely altogether on technology.  With that, my SF story "Clean Sweep" becomes obsolete.  \o/
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, based on input from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "respect limits" square in my 8-1-15 card for the As You Like It Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Danso and Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. It is a direct sequel to "Fear into Freedom," so if you haven't already read that one, double back and do it first.

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ysabetwordsmith: Victor Frankenstein in his fancy clothes (Frankenstein)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls based on discussions with [personal profile] lynnoconnacht, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] technoshaman, and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

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ysabetwordsmith: Family and horse in front of barn (Hart's Farm)
This poem is from the September 3, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon, [personal profile] rix_scaedu, [personal profile] chordatesrock, and [personal profile] thnidu. It also fills the "sexual extortion" square in my 6-10-13 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the freebie for the September 1, 2015 fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. It belongs to the Hart's Farm series.

Warning: This poem features some intense topics. Highlight to read more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. There are examples of internalized homophobia, negative coping methods, sexual extortion, attempted help that goes awry, a fistfight, emotional angst, and other challenges. And despite efforts to clean up the mess afterwards, it doesn't have a completely happy ending. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This guy tried to rob a martial artist and she throttled him with her mighty thighs

So basically, that's what kind of thing happens when someone annoys Fortressa, only she tends to squeeze hard enough to break something.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the September 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "soothing" square in my 8-31-15 card for the Tones Bingo fest, and the "fun" square in my 8-1-15 card for the As You Like It Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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