[Linkspam] Monday, September 26

Sep. 26th, 2016 10:38 am
tim: A bright orange fish. (fish)
[personal profile] tim
'Ladies' Is Gender Neutral, by Alice Goldfuss (2016-09-15). "I hope this has opened some people’s eyes to what it feels like to be excluded, and how something so simple as a shirt that fits can make an impact."

My Childhood Was Appropriate For Children, by Annalee for The Bias (2016-09-23). "Bisexuality is perfectly appropriate for children, because many children are bisexual. Treating bisexuality as an ‘adult’ topic? As if it’s a deviation kids couldn’t possibly understand? That’s what’s not appropriate for children."

Valuing chronically ill graduate students, by Sarcozona for Tenure, She Wrote (2016-09-22). "None of my colleagues would ever say to me that they think I shouldn’t be a scientist or that chronically ill and disabled students should be barred from academia, but when there isn’t (adequate) funding for sick students, chronically ill students are effectively excluded from academia."

ADHD Tipping Points: Why people with ADHD suddenly seem to fall apart, and what you can do about it, by Emily Morson for Mosaic of Minds (2016-09-15). About why people with chronic illness (whether that illness is categorized as mental or physical) often seem to function normally up to a point, then fall apart during adulthood -- writte about ADHD, but I think it can apply just as well to C/PTSD and probably many other illnesses.

[CW: rape] Cockblocking Rapists Is A Moral Obligation; or, How To Stop Rape Right Now, by Thomas MacAulay Millar for Yes Means Yes (2013-10-20). Lots of good points in this, including the importance of noticing boundary-pushing, and this: "What can people do with unsubstantiated accusations? Quite a lot, actually."

Two pieces on the trash fire that is Out magazine's decision to profile professional harassment campaign organizer Milo Yiannopoulos:

Occupy Wall Street, five years on: fire in the dustbin of history, by Laurie Penny for the New Statesman (2016-09-17). 'Being on the left is, in some ways, an exercise in learning how to fail. Of course, all resistance movements eventually fail, because those which do not succeed in overhauling the existing order invariably become the existing order. Wilson, writing as Bey, reminds us that the Temporary Autonomous Zones are, by their nature, ephemeral. “Such moments of intensity give shape and meaning to the entirety of a life. You can't stay up on the roof forever — but things have changed, shifts and integrations have occurred — a difference is made.”'

Take the Cake: Fat Fury, Fat Love — Claiming 'Fat Space' In Activist Communities, by Virgie Tovar for Ravishly (2016-09-08). "I too feel intense pressure to be perpetually kind, patient, and educational whenever I write or speak about fat discrimination and body image. Often, I do genuinely feel kind and patient and educational. The problem is that when I don’t feel that way, I am expected to bypass feelings of anger or disappointment in favor of sublimation, with the idea being that this sublimation benefits me/all people (since I am a subset of all people)."

Why I Quit My Job To Live Off My Private Wealth, by Fiona Pearce for Reductress (2016-09-20). "Life is about choices, and you only get one life to live. The only way to take control of your destiny is to decide how you really want to spend your time—which is why I chose to quit my job and live off my vast personal fortune."

Done last week (20160918Su - 24Sa)

Sep. 25th, 2016 10:30 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

At work, we finally ran the numbers again and figured out that, no, $PROJECT is not going to be finished in October. Current target is mid-December, but even that may be a stretch. The good thing is that it isn't all my fault, though I still blame myself for most of the bad planning.

At home, I finished pulling up the bindweed. There are some stragglers, but at least it's no longer covering 50' of walkway.

I finally put in my passport renewal - I found the one place in the area that's open on Saturday, after trying on Wednesday at the courthouse and balking at the metal detector because I knew I was carrying a knife. The process of applying in person has gotten a lot quicker since the last time I did it, but I'm still down on myself for procrastinating past the point where I could have renewed by mail.

It looks like we'll have a second tenant, so we'll be getting a little more rent. Because of initial clustering, she'll be referred to as C''. Our current tenant is C'. (I've picked up that notation from Haskell, in which "'" (pronounced "prime") is considered a letter. Haskell gets it from math, of course, but it's gone out of fashion in CS because programming languages are always hungry for quotation methods.)

I finally ordered one of the newest Thinkpad (KU-1255) keyboards -- it's still good. In some ways, slightly better than my older and much-beloved XK-8855s -- the one I'm using at work has developed a flaky space bar. (Too many aliens hanging out in it, presumably.) I like the fact that it has the page-up and page-down keys in the empty spaces above the left and right keys. Not only does that make the best use of available space, but it means that if I shove the keyboard under the monitor stand to protect it from cats, I can still navigate effectively in the browser. I don't like that the function keys are smaller and require a "FnLk" keystroke, and that it has a stupid micro-usb cable instead of one built-in with a compartment on the bottom you can curl it up in.

Otherwise, not too much to report. Some links on depression, though as I note on Monday, five of the ten symptoms of major depression start with the word "change", which is kind of useless when you can't remember a time when you've been that way for as long as you can remember. (You have to have 5 to be diagnosed as having it.)

awesome-awesome: A curated list of awesome curated lists of many topics is indeed awesome. So is Make a Lisp, which is a collection of Lisp implementations in dozens of different programming languages. The idea of implementing Lisp in make makes (recursion intended) my head hurt. In a good way -- I love GNU make.

Notes & links, as usual )

tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
[personal profile] tim
I thought I would make a list of my favorite Geek Feminism Blog posts, since it's a bit hard to find some of the great older posts there. I omitted my own posts as well as most cross-posts. (Excluding cross-posts excluded some of my favorite posts, alas, but I wanted to focus on content originally published on the GF blog.)

2009

Why We Document, by Mary Gardiner. "But what makes it worth it for me is that when people are scratching their heads over why women would avoid such a revolutionarily free environment like Free Software development, did maybe something bad actually happen, that women have answers."

Questioning the Merit of Meritocracy, by Skud.

2010

But Women Are an Advanced Social Skill, by Mary Gardiner.

Is requiring Open Source experience sexist?, by Mary Gardiner.

Self-confidence tricks, by Terri Oda.

Geek feminism as opposed to mainstream feminism?, by Mary Gardiner.

How to Appear Incompetent in One Easy Step, by Amber Baldet.

When You Are the Expert in the Room, by Mary Gardiner.

Meritocracy? Might want to re-think how you define merit., by Terri Oda. "It’s not the intelligence of the group members that matters; it’s their social sensitivity."

"Why don't you just hit him?, by Mary Gardiner. "Harassment is not a private matter between harasser and victim, and it’s not the victim’s job to put a stop to it."

Letting down my entire gender, by Terri Oda. "You feel like changing the world rests in your hands, and you let the world down because you had to say no. You had to quit. You had to hide."

2011

On competence, confidence, pernicious socialization, recursion, and tricking yourself, by Sumana Harihareswara. "It’s as though my goalposts came on casters to make them easier to move"

Impostor syndrome and hiring power, by Mary Gardiner.

in memory of nina reiser, by mizchalmers

Geeks as bullied and bullies, by Mary Gardiner

Online harassment as a daily hazard: when trolls feed themselves, by Mary Gardiner.

On being harassed: a little GF history and some current events, by Skud. 'I didn’t quit because I couldn’t handle the technology, or because I had a baby, but because I had become fundamentally disenchanted with a “community” (please imagine me doing sarcastic air quotes) that supports the kind of abuse I’ve experienced and treats most human-related problems — from harassment to accessibility to the infinite variety of names people use (ahem ahem Google Plus) — as “too hard”.'

2012

What she really said: Fighting sexist jokes the geeky way!, by Jessamyn Smith.

How I Got 50% Women Speakers at My Tech Conference, by Courtney Stanton.

I take it we aren’t cute enough for you?, by Mary Gardiner. "I want to get this out in the open: people love to support geek girls, they are considerably more ambivalent about supporting geek women."

Pipeline Guilt, by Jessamyn Fairfield. "It’s a heavy burden to want to be the best example for women in your field, at the expense of your own happiness. And it’s easy to hear about the leaky pipeline and see it as prescriptive, implying that individual women have to choose to stay in the pipeline in order to help solve the problem."

How do you look for jobs in an industry known for biases against women?, by Terri Oda.

2013

Dear male allies: your sexism looks a bit like my racism, by mizchalmers. "Here’s what I want to tell you, dear male allies. It is such a relief. Listening to other peoples’ voices? Is incredibly moving, and humbling, and endlessly interesting. Shutting the hell up while I do it? God, how I love the sound of not-my-own-voice. Going into battle against racists and so forth? So much easier, now that I have a faint clue what’s actually going on."

Book Club: Three times a Geek Feminist walked away from Omelas (and two times she didn’t), by mizchalmers. "Now I think the best we can do is practise vigilance. To watch out for people who might be locking children in rooms. And to refrain from locking children in rooms ourselves."

Tech confidence vs. tech competence, by Alex. "This is in stark contrast to communities where tech competence is valued above all else: where people feel they have to hide their mistakes. In such settings we routinely observe low volunteering rates from people in marginalised groups, with low retention from beginning volunteers, because people are too scared to ask for help or too scared to admit that they don’t know how things work."

2014

It is easier now that I look like a guy, by Fortister. "Instead of spending my weekend hacking open source I spend my weekend figuring out how to defend the notion of my humanity."

Dropping the F bomb, by Skud. "Women in tech groups are not necessarily feminist. Some actively work against feminist ideals."

Thankful Friday

Sep. 23rd, 2016 09:41 pm
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Ok, better late than next week? Anyway, today I'm grateful for...

  • Revised schedules. Still dicey, IMO, but at least it's possible.
  • Not being the only one responsible for the schedule slip.
  • Our tenant. Rent is not to be sneezed at.
  • Rain.
  • Ubuntu laptops with SSDs
  • Thinkpad keyboards. (Just got a new one. The one I'm using at work has developed a flaky space bar. Maybe too many aliens hanging out in it?)
  • Ticia.

Hack a Super Easy Audiobook Player

Sep. 21st, 2016 10:27 am
jesse_the_k: Hands open print book with right side hollowed out to hole iPod (Alt format reader)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
contents: outdated language, patronizing assumptions, great tech

A creative way to reuse an out-of-date Android 4.4 (or better) smartphone/tablet: transform to an MP3 audio player with the most direct UI I've ever seen.

Exact step-by-step details from the inventor, Marcin Simonides:

http://msimonides.github.io/homerplayer

If you live in the United States and can't read regular print because of any impairment, NLS (National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) provides thousands of books for free.

http://nls.loc.gov
jesse_the_k: harbor seal's head with caption "seal of approval" (Approval)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
USA elections are managed by municipalities.

Madison's City Clerk has made it much easier to vote by teaching basic election skills to all of our librarians.

http://www.cityofmadison.com/election/

Absentee voting is open now thru Sept 26.

I'm so grateful that librarians provide essential services like these (as well as welcoming all patrons, even those who don't have homes).

Free public libraries: what truly makes America great.

[Linkspam] Monday, September 19

Sep. 19th, 2016 05:35 pm
tim: A bright orange fish. (fish)
[personal profile] tim
Adult Film Site XHamster Buys Alexis Arquette Sex Tape, Immediately Destroys All Copies, by Don Crothers for Inquisitr (2016-09-18). Good.

White Woman at Her ‘Most Authentic’ When Appropriating Other Cultures, by Taryn Englehart for Reductress (2016-03-08).

To find Hillary Clinton likable, we must learn to view women as complex beings, by Caroline Siede for Boingboing (2016-09-15). "So why is Clinton critiqued for raising her voice like Sanders, speaking hard truths like Biden, and making an awkward Pokémon Go reference we almost certainly would have dubbed a “dad joke” had Kaine said it? Why do we find their flaws likable and Clinton’s flaws off-putting? Why isn't she seen as America's awkward aunt or nerdy stepmom?"

26 Things Emotionally Strong People Do, by Jeremy Radin (2016-08-25). "Emotionally Strong people have four emotions: strong, abundance, no I am not having a panic attack I’m just tired from being so busy manifesting what I am blessed about every day, and hashtag."

The lasting impact of white teachers who mispronounce minority student names, by Clare McLaughlin for Quartz (2016-09-07). '...it’s okay to make an error, “but it is not okay to ignore the mistake or not learn from it.”'

All 314 Bruce Springsteen Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best, by Caryn Rose for Vulture (2016-09-13). I feel personally attacked by this list in all sorts of ways, but I enjoyed reading it.

Mansplaining: how not to talk to female Nasa astronauts, by Laura Bates for the Guardian (2016-09-13). "In the meantime, here is a good rule of thumb for overenthusiastic men on Twitter to follow: if she’s wearing a Nasa spacesuit, take a minute to consider whether you really want to tell her how to do her job."

Why You Shouldn’t Label People “Low Performers”, by Ryan W. Quinn for the Harvard Business Review (2016-09-14). In general, labeling is a cognitive distortion. In specific, this article talks about why labeling employees as "good" or "bad" workers undermines an organization.

The Collective Gaslighting of the Trigger Warning Debate, by Miri (Brute Reason) for The Orbit (2016-09-13). "If people are telling you that they are trying to engage with trauma-related material and you insist that they’re actually saying that they want to avoid it–or literally ban it from being taught–you are gaslighting them. You are insisting that you know better than they do what’s inside their own heads. You are pretending that they said something other than what they actually said, making them doubt their own thoughts and words."

Real Talk: Women in Tech and Money, by Cate Huston (2016-09-15). "...if you know that part your career is likely to be over within ten years, you (if you are sensible) factor that into your financial planning. Looking at the data, it makes sense for women in tech to do the same."

Done last week (20160911Su - 17Sa)

Sep. 18th, 2016 12:05 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Back to work after a nice but too-short staycation. I got a little over half of my list done, and a few more started; that's about what I expected. (The actual list is in the notes, between Sunday and Monday.) I also spent all day Saturday (see last week) reconfiguring my household server after some hard drive corruption. So Nova has been switched from Debian to Ubuntu, and is being used as both the file server and my main workstation. Which has some advantages.

The vacation definitely reduced my stress level, though I think I'm still way behind on things at work. That wasn't helped by my swapping my secondary oncall, originally scheduled for the second week in October. However, I found the memory leak that's been blocking one of our deployments for weeks, so I'm feeling fairly pleased with that.

The charging port on Colleen's tablet finally got to the point where no cable in the house was making good enough contact to reliably charge it; I ordered a new part and some tools. Then ordered more tools, because the kit I ordered didn't include decent spudgers. (I love that word!)

I'm still spending too much time on Quora. Their user interface continues to suck, though, and I gave up on cross-posting to Facebook because they insist on posting an irrelevant image with a picture of the first few words of the question, instead of actual text. Still cross-posting to Twitter, and getting a little feedback there, but I don't actually read Twitter so I don't much care what it looks like. I put links here in the notes when I write something I'm reasonably pleased with.

In spite of my expertise in programming, I find myself mostly answering dating and relationship questions. I figure that 40-odd years of marriage at least indicates some familiarity with the subject, and in most cases the answers are pretty obvious. "How do I know whether X likes me?" "You ask them." "What should I do after she (always she -- funny thing aout that) rejected me?" "Leave her alone and go look for somebody else." I also do it because many of the other answers I see are not only clueless but amount to recommending harassment.

I think the real reason I do it is that it counteracts my near-total lack of self-confidence in my social skills. Not that I can actually apply those "skills" in the field, of course. Not that I take my own advice and, um, practice. Oh. Right.

If you're looking for something fun to read, Lúthien: Tolkien’s Badass Elf Princess is a great retelling of "Beren and Lúthien in "Badass of the Week" style.

Notes & links, as usual )

Many deep questions about Star Trek

Sep. 17th, 2016 08:50 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Watched "Where No Man Has Gone Before" on the wall with the new projector! OMG!

Notes:

Massively shiny velour shirts!

Cannot remember how my perceptions must have changed from watching this till age 10 on a tiny black and white TV. Maybe saw color stills and just... in my mind my memories of it are in color! But they can't have been.

They carry around little stacks of what look exactly like bright colored 1990s floppy disks. Kirk has some on the bridge on the edge of his command chair, and they have them in sick bay, and everyone has their own stacks in different colors in the conference room. They have sort of built in ipads in the desk.

I adore the giant lithium power packs!

The psychiatrist, Dr. Dehner, is wearing pants. Yay, pants! Hilarious space purse on a big strap. The doctor (not McCoy yet) has both a giant leather space briefcase and a leather tool box on a strap.

The scene where Kelso gets strangled by the giant cable really was familiar. Once the cable started to move I remembered being impressed by that scene when I was fairly small.

It did not seem to occur to Dr. Dehner (even though I kept screaming it to her) that it was up to her and her mighty ESP equipped womb to bear the entire new race of Esper gods! It didn't occur to Kirk either!

Everyone is very into the constant racist aggressions on Spock! I know that only gets worse, too.

Can't wait to rewatch the whole original series... in order.... well rough order anyway.

Exhausted to the bone

Sep. 17th, 2016 03:13 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Deeply exhausted. Pep talking myself and asking zond7 to tell me reassuring things.
Last week I made the call at work to delay the release and then things got a bit better and caught up, and were looking good. But then Thurs. early afternoon this big old security issue drama unfolded (not really a drama, but oddly hooked into existing drama situation). Other stuff kept popping up in demanding ways. I did feel kind of happy that my friend is now running some things in another department, and I was able to support her reasonbly well and am also just like so glad she is incredibly capable and a good leader for that area. I also said no to many other things/teams who wanted a thing that is impossible.

Yesterday was long and draining. I had to wake up this morning and work a bunch. Then MORE things came up. I wrote a half assed email to deal with the more things, and cced people so that if it is overly half assed, one of them will correct it. (Also, so that the others who are newer can know the sort of thing you should do, even if my email isn't the best example of its kind).

Went to the cafe with Milo and caught pokemons and had a bagel and I finished the 3rd draft of one more poem. Then he went off to catch the bus to his dance class. (Popping..... he is learning a lot)

I tried to work further on the translation and kept realizing I was just staring off into space.

Then as I looked at what was left realized I left out 2 solid pages of a dense prose poem right near the end. It is about Nixon and Elvis, Vietnam and probably also about pinochet somehow. Fuck!!!!! OK. deep breaths!

Grocery shopped and got extra groceries for my friend. I am worried about him.

Exchanged messages with Mars woman who came up to me in the restaurant last night and we agreed to meet some time soon. Maybe I will have a nice local poet friend? I need poets to babble with.

I felt sort of despairing but then came home to lie in the sun in the flowery back patio with zond7 and the cat. I also sat on the side path and did some very minor weeding and watered the plants. All like, 100 times what I was able to do even a week ago!

But my overwhelming feeling is of sadness and failure like, "I should be able to crank at this translation for at least half a day.... if not all day... like 8 hours of work". Despite all evidence to the contrary that I have never, ever done this and have max 3 hours translating/poeting in me at the best of times.

Something about it being 1pm and you realize you have nothing left of energy!

I am resting and enjoying the day! I am nurturing myself and being nice to myself and I get to live in this nice place. Not beating myself up for not finishing the translation project.

I would like to ship the work stuff and have some feeling of relief, and I'd like to not have this book hanging over me. 10 more pages or thereabouts.

I emailed the editor what I have so far (just past the long airplane poem). Oh, god! I hope he doesn't hate it! It all feels kind of clumsy and in my usual M.O. I know it would take me ANOTHER YEAR at this pace to feel happy with it. At least 6 months. I need to look at 1 poem per day and like, meditate on them and let them cook. Also i have so many questions and uncertain bits. Oh, my god.

Super hoping I dont have to get together & ship another build at work (not inherently hard, but hard because it is the weekend and it's a process across several teams). now, on the other hand, I am proud both that I called the delay when I thought we needed it, and that I am capable of hustling (and getting everyone else to hustle, i hope only when necessary.)

I may have it in me to cook some dinner.... Actually that is amazing as a week ago I could not stand up to brush my teeth....

I think I am also having some withdrawal emotions/shakiness from the prednisone (day 2 off of it completely)
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Dave Hingsburger is as always, brilliant:
begin quote
No wonder people who are recently disabled have such a tough time with disability - not because of the reality of the disability, although that takes getting used to without a doubt, but because of the voices, voices, voices of people throwing pity and sorrow and sadness onto a situation. How do you dig yourself out of a tough situation if people keep dumping their own shit into the hole?

end quote

http://davehingsburger.blogspot.com/2016/09/stfu.html

When I began using a wheelchair, I couldn't parse the intense attention of nondisabled people. I thought it was personal; that I was doing disability wrong.

Before and After

Sep. 14th, 2016 08:28 am
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
[CW: child abuse, trauma]

There's gonna come a day when you feel better
You will rise up free and easy on that day
And float from branch to branch, lighter than the air
Just when that day is coming, who can say, who can say?

-- the Mountain Goats, "Up the Wolves"


I came across an extended excerpt from Catherine Woodiwiss, "A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma" on Facebook. I was struck by how much of it made the assumption that "trauma" doesn't refer to complex trauma; that when you address trauma survivors, you're necessarily addressing people who survived a single traumatic event (or a few discrete events) rather than an extended period during which we were repeatedly traumatized and could not escape. Like being held prisoner, which usually means being a child, since all children are held prisoner, though some prisoners are treated better than others.

So, point-by-point, I want to ask whether each of these ten statements applies to people like me who survived complex trauma.

"1. Trauma permanently changes us."

This is true, and this is even harder to reckon with when you have no "old me." The desire to go back to the "old me" is still there when your trauma began before you can consciously remember it, but the difference is that you have no idea who that "old me" is. Is there even an old me when the only "you" before trauma is a less-than-three-month-old baby?

I don't think the idea of "recovery" makes sense for complex trauma that begins in early childhood. You don't heal. You learn to live with what you have; to work around your limitations. If surviving trauma is like recovering from an illness, surviving complex trauma is like managing a chronic illness; it's more like a disability, which must be recognized and accommodated. Searching for a cure isn't useful.

And how do you know what is "you" and what is "only a result of the trauma", anyway? I imagine that people who have survived a single traumatic event as an adult have an easier time sorting that out, since after all, they remember the baseline of who they were before and can compare. We don't get that. So I think we might as well accept that our traumatic experiences are an inextricably part of who we are -- beyond "trauma permanently changes us", and into "trauma is us." People, usually those who are not survivors, tell us "don't let your trauma define you", but the alternative is to have no self at all.

2. Presence is always better than distance

I suppose that in some abstract sense, it is. But surviving childhood with no reliable caretaker teaches you that other people are dangerous; that it's not safe to be close to anybody, that all expressions of love are Trojan horses. And when people who do show up ask questions like, "So what did your mother do that was all that bad, anyway?" it seems better to avoid them; and to, when you have to be around people, put in the huge amount of energy required to fake normal.

3. Healing is seasonal, not linear.

Can't argue with that, with the caveat about healing.

4. Surviving trauma takes “firefighters” and “builders.” Very few people are both.

What does this look like when you had a fire burning for 16 years and everybody refused to see the flames, pretended they didn't smell the smoke, because parents are considered all-knowing when it comes to what's best for their children and so if they're setting the house on fire, it must be because it was cold? If nobody helped then, why would they help now, especially when survivors of childhood abuse constantly hear the message that we should just get over it, when adult survivors who exact revenge on their parents -- or even just talk about their experiences -- get labeled as whiny spoiled kids?

The author says "trauma is a lonely experience", and I agree -- but even more so when you can't describe what happened and if you try, few people hear you and then you have to experience the trauma of being unheard or unseen again. The risk of being unseen and unheard is so much more pernicious when your trauma centers around an extended experience of being unseen and unheard than when it's a one-time blip in a life where the people around you were mostly good enough. Who's going to show up for you when you look fine? And if someone does show up, how can you trust them?

5. Grieving is social, and so is healing.

The problem with grief about complex trauma is that the change that precipitates the grief is not trauma, but the achievement of consciousness that trauma occurred. And, possibly, the realization that it's not occurring now, despite what all of our bodily and emotional reactions tell us. These realizations are their own kind of trauma. By means of awareness that it is better, we feel worse. And sometimes we "get worse" -- we become less functional -- once we're no longer dissociating or numb all the time. We feel that other people might prefer us in our dissociated state, during the time when we weren't so "sensitive" and didn't ask for accommodations, when we didn't defend our boundaries.

So grief looks completely different for those of us who have survived complex trauma -- perhaps unrecognizable as grief to those who have only grieved the loss of a loving person in their life. How can grieving something you never had be social? Not very many people want to confront the reality that many people who raise children aren't competent to be parents, and that resilience is mostly the product of environment rather than character. How can you show your grief to others when you're not even sure what it is you lost? And when it's not so much "lost" as "never had"? Does that even meet the definition of grief? Are you entitled to ask for help if that's what your grief looks like?

6. Do not offer platitudes or comparisons. Do not, do not, do not.

I agree with this: "What we need in the aftermath is a friend who can swallow her own discomfort and fear, sit beside us, and just let it be terrible for a while."

7. Allow those suffering to tell their own stories.

Also agreed.

8. Love shows up in unexpected ways.

I suppose. But again, if you've had no practice dealing with love that wasn't the kind of love that puts your needs ahead of its own need to express itself, love may not be recognizable at all when it does show up.

9. Whatever doesn’t kill you …

Again, I suppose. But again, how can there be an "after" if there never was a "before"? "insatiable anxiety in places that used to bring you joy" implies there were places that used to bring you joy "before it happened". If everything that did really bring you a little bit of joy while it was happening was a coping mechanism, it's hard to figure out which of those could be set aside once you're in relative safety, and which ones can still bring you life.

10. … Doesn’t kill you.

"In the end, the hope of life after trauma is simply that you have life after trauma." Except that -- again -- when there was no "before", "after" is complicated. I take a few moments most days to appreciate that I'm now free to go where I want (except in those dreams where I'm somehow living with my mother again, despite being an adult and am trying desperately to find a way to move out), free to choose who to be with and who to reject. I appreciate the magic of that in a way that people who aren't survivors of complex trauma probably never will. I remember the deliciousness of moving into my dorm room at Wellesley when I was 16, having a space that was shared only with a roommate close to my own age who had no desire to control my life, and feeling that from now on, I got to make the rules. It wasn't that simple, but on that day, it was. I think most people get a rush from the sense of freedom of moving out of their parents' house, whenever that happens, but it's that much of a sweeter memory for me. So yes, this part of the advice isn't wrong. But I still wish there was more written for those of us who can't partition life easily into "before" and "after".

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