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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 [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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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.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a great idea for coping with disasters in the news: create a safe space to talk about good things instead.  This is always, always helpful when people are stressing out.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an example of asshole behavior following a disaster.  

Note that one company practiced price gouging and another showed civic responsibility.  The latter displays far greater business acumen.  If you act like an asshole, you can rob people while they are helpless.  But they will hate you for it, and they will not forget.  They will turn on you if they ever get a chance.  Conversely, if you help people, they will think of you favorably for a long time to come.  That inclines them to keep doing business with you and encourage their friends to do likewise.  It makes your society a happier, more productive place.

Don't be an asshole: it's not just immoral, it's actively counterproductive for you as well as your victims.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

The general fund poll for the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl has elected to sponsor both $15 poems and put $5 into epic poetry.  This poem was inspired by [livejournal.com profile] e_scapism101.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)

This poem came out of the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] baaing_tree.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.



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This poem is overflow from the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] perfectworry. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  Read the sequel "Tikkun Olam"  and follow the series Walking the Beat on the Serial Poetry page.

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Recently I got to thinking about how most wheelchairs, even sport models, aren't effective outside relatively even surfaces. Or even on them, in many cases.  It turns out there are a few other options ...

Here's a very inexpensive wheelchair that uses leverage to navigate over rough terrain.

This handpowered trike is based on mountain bike technology.  It's lower-slung than most wheelchairs, which is a plus.  If I were designing an off-road chair, I think I'd trade height for stability, and arrange the seat for legs straight out rather than knees bent.

The six-wheel drive electrical wheelchair has all-terrain capacity.

The trackchair has tank treads.  Fuckin' awesome.

I woke up thinking about space exploration and adaptive equipment.  Hexbots with six wheels, antbots with six legs, designed to cope with hostile terrain.  So far the closest I've found has been this wheelchair that climbs stairs.  I think a six-legged chair has potential.  I also remembered these cooperative robots, who link together to scale obstacles none of them could master alone.  Imagine a set of wheelchairs that could hook together and do that.  I bet some disabled folks would love to join a hiking team like that.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 So you want to do some bodily harm to some characters.  Read this first.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about radiation exposure and its challenges to a manned Mars mission.  The proposed solution is to hasten the trip by improving propulsion.  That's a useful idea.  But it's not the only  option.  We could also seek better ways to shield people from radiation, which would be quite handy and not much more challenging than propulsion.  Or we could look for ways to boost human tolerance of radiation, which is a lot more complicated and harder to do, but again would have further benefits.

I'm in favor of exploring all  of those options.  They'd all help us get to Mars, they'd all have space-inspired benefits elsewhere in life, and if we're exploring multiple things then we'll probably find one that works sooner.

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