ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, based on discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "enlightenment" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series, and is a direct sequel to "Sanitation Engineers."

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
One thing that happens to me a lot is that people ask if I'm a psychologist or counselor. Technically, no; I've only taken a few classes in that sort of thing. What they're picking up on is that I'm a student of human nature, I like digging into the source code of the wetware not just the user interface, and I've researched a ton of this stuff for my writing projects. The practical application is from pastoral counseling; when you're a priestess, the community's problems wind up on your couch, and you either learn to deal with it or you find a different social role.

That said, one of the most common reasons people identify me that way is validation. It's something I do a lot. There is a tremendous amount of imposter syndrome, gaslighting, internalized oppression, bad tape, and other bullshit that distorts people's worldview and makes them question their own perceptions. This is best addressed by having an outside source validate their perceptions. It's particularly useful in cases of trans identity, abuse, and other things that are highly targeted. So if someone posts about their gender realignment work, I'll validate their expressed gender. That comes not just from my study of how humans work, but my archivist tendency to protect the truth. Validating it helps it stick. I've had people say that just this was more useful than what their professional therapists have done, so clearly there's a need for it.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] perfectworry, LJ user Westrider, and Deb1789.  It also fills the "parent(s)" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

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 ... piloting a BattleMech.  This is a brilliant metaphor that will make sense to many gamers.  Remember that once the systems have overheated, it takes time  to cool down to a functional level again.  This is useful if you or someone you know has PTSD or any related condition.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the September 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by Anthony Barrette, sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "We're all going to die!" square on my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.

WARNING: This poem talks about cancer; the original prompt was for cancer survivors. It's mostly in allegorical terms, but that's the main focus. If this is a squicky topic for you, skip it.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This app allows users to record the quality of their interactions with local police.  That will make it possible to identify which law enforcement services have a positive or negative impression in their communities.  With that data in hand, it would become possible to study the good ones for successful techniques to replicate, and the bad ones for mistakes to avoid.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The problem with teaching "no means no" is that for a lot of people, it doesn't. When they say no, people ignore them and force them.  This happens all the time.  People in power want what they want, and often they don't care how that affects others.  They want things done their way, even if it doesn't work for someone else.  They want rules to be followed, even if that hurts someone.  

The result is that people learn, "power means no."  If you have power, you can say no and force people to respect that.  If you don't have power, people will do whatever they want to you, and your wishes are irrelevant.  Saying no just pisses them off and often makes them hurt you worse.

So if you want to stop all the massive problems that are caused by violating people's agency, you can't just say "no means no."  You have to DO it.  That means accepting "no" when somebody says it to you, even if you have the power to force them.  Don't force an issue unless it's a serious matter of safety -- and even then, consider the cost.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Apparently Satanists are asserting their religious right to make medical decisions based on science, and claiming that distorted anti-abortion propaganda violates their rights.  So, Satanists are treating people better than Christians are.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of discussion with [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. It also fills the "next best thing" square in my 5-22-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. This poem belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense topics, and some of the warnings are spoilers; highlight to read. There are good intentions turning out badly, aftermath of offstage child abuse, verbal abuse and other foul language, lousy interpersonal skills (and some good ones), hurt/comfort but mostly hurt in this episode, and other touchy topics. Also Stan gets dumped again. So now you know why Lawrence is such a hot mess. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether you want to read onward.

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I found this article about rape resistance strategies, which includes:

* Non-forceful verbal resistance (crying, pleading, etc.) is 4% effective in halting the attempted rape.
* Forceful verbal resistance (screaming, etc.) is 50-56% effective.
* Running away is 85% effective.
* Physical violence is 86% effective.  Striking works better than shoving or wrestling.
* Armed resistance (knives, guns, etc.) is 99% effective, and furthermore reduces the rate of injury to the attempted rape victim below statistical significance.

* One third of the women who were sexually attacked did successfully avoid sexual contact by resisting.

This matches the resources I saw in my women's studies classes.  It directly clashes with most advice on what to do if sexually assaulted.  Of course, women who injure men are far more likely to be prosecuted and harshly punished, whereas men are frequently allowed to harm women.  But in general, if someone attacks you and you are willing to hurt them, the odds of success are strongly in your favor.  

 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a post about overcoming limits, or not.

What it does not mention are limits that one could, but should not,  push past.  That is, a body/mind has things it can do safely, things that can be done but are unpleasant or harmful, and things that cannot be done at all.  That middle range is where most people get into trouble, and they are far more likely to do so with other people yapping, "Go on, try!  You can do it!"  

It's like mad science.  Just because you CAN do something, does not always mean you SHOULD.  Always think about the cost-benefit balance.  Don't hurt yourself on account of other people urging you forward where it's not safe, or because you really want to do something that is not safe for your body/mind.  Know yourself.  Know your limits.  Understand which ones are soft limits that you can push sometimes but not routinely, and which ones are hard limits that will do real damage if you smack into them.  Treat your limits with respect and your self with compassion.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
In doing research for characters in various sorts of trauma recovery, I've found mood trackers and other worksheets for personal maintenance and growth. I couldn't find a similar one for feeling safe, which is an issue for many people, so I made one based on some other examples.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written an excellent post on how to make and use a self-soothing kit.  This is a small collection of items that you find comforting, which engage your senses with something positive instead of negative.  It is essential for trauma survivors, but frankly advisable for everyone in the exact same way that a first-aid kit for physical complaints is.  This kind of thing is a basic form of emotional first-aid.  Everybody has bad things happen to them sometimes, so you should know how to cope.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Remember how I've been talking, with regard to the Polychrome Heroics series, about the importance of being prepared for anything, because you never know when the world might need a hero? That everyday life sometimes throws out challenges without warning? Well, that's a thing that happened today.

Power went out in our house because somebody plowing a field hit a pole and knocked it down. So there we were without electricity, so we decided to go out. On the way into town, we came to an intersection with a fresh car wreck. We didn't see the crash happen, nor did the lady who flagged us down, but there was nobody else managing the scene. So we did that.

The following event analysis is my best recollection of what happened, presented here so that folks can see how a crisis response unfolds, in case you may find that useful for creative or personal-growth applications. It is detailed in ways that some people may find uncomfortable, so think about whether you really want to deal with that before clicking through.

Update 4/27/14: Here is the first brief news report on the accident.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)

This poem is spillover from the March 18, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] siliconshaman.  It also fills the "sports and games" square on my 1-31-14 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] lb_lee.  It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.



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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is self-injury awareness day.  Understand what self-harm is and isn't.  I write about this topic, so I wanted to provide a space for discussing it today.  If you have a story to share, this is safe space for that.

There are ways to support someone who self-harms, or to stop hurting yourself.  Learn how to talk about self-injury too.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Know the many uses for a tampon in survival situations.  

Also, a plastic wrapper can be used to make a partially occlusive bandage for sucking chest wounds.  If you're somewhere that you need to use a tampon wrapper for that, the victim's probably doornail anyway, but you can at least try to buy some time.

I am now tempted to write about some macho guy bleeding out because he would rather die than have his life saved by a tampon.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I love this comic, "Superman: Grounded." It's a brilliant example of heroism in action.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
See a radiation graphic.  This is useful if your characters do things that might make them glow in the dark, or you worry about things that are said to be "safe" that might not match your own standards thereof.

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