(Please note: triggers present, please read with caution but also with good energies)
There are many individuals that work in the anti-violence movement that are also survivors themselves (or are the friends/family of survivors). Across the board, we are all in a place to understand physical, emotional, psychological, cultural/spiritual, etc. violence and knowing what being triggered means (by-proxy or by experience). “Speak Your Mind, Even If Your Voice Shakes.”
Yes, that one can resurface and feel real even years after a bad experience. While perspectives, untrue gossip that precedes us, perceived challenges that become pseudo-fact sharing, prejudice/pre-judging, heavy workloads, passing the torch of tasks, limitations of capacity, disagreements, or unknowns about another person’s workload can be triggering or might even lead to relationship hardships where there has been no “communication” or “confrontation”. The anti-violence movement is full of this, the work is crisis and crisis work is hard. Our identities as advocates is promoting and providing mechanisms for healing and safety for survivors. While doing the work this sometimes happens: we come across those bad times where we feel hurt doing the work.
Hurt by actions, words, isolation, work flow, the list of options goes on and on. How does violence within the anti-violence movement mimic the experiences of survivors is a great question we are not always “brave” enough to speak out loud.
In wellness trainings, it has been identified in many parallel ways. For me as an individual, in times I was abused- sticking up for myself was gearing up in the midst of extreme fear and vulnerability, heart racing and bounding, hands trembling, shrinking in fear as I intended to “stand up”. Even after years and years of healing work, standing up for oneself can feel the same: to face adversity or to address a “pickle”, issue, or challenge we might face in the work can be lead to extremely vulnerability and be difficult to do. We all want to move forward in good ways, so that we honor the strong and beautiful leaders that come before us: “Treat Each Other As Relatives”. In order to do so, that sometimes means not harboring challenges but instead coming forward with all our bravery to speak our feelings (could feel like fear and vulnerability, heart racing and bounding, hands trembling, shrinking in fear as we intended to “stand up”). Just like “survivordom” we have masks to wear (the ones that we wear in public after an assault, or covering up our hardships; We know the masks by wearing them or supporting a marginalized survivor who has to wear them). In the beautiful diversity that is the human race, people present themselves in the way they can in their healing process. Some of us may be “blunt”, “look confident”, “sorry not sorry”, or maybe quiet, heartfelt, intimate and soft, some may bite or snark…. We never know the “hows” and “whys” of each of the diverse ways we confront or address challenges. One recipients “trigger” may be one person’s delivery “mask” that circumstantially just creates awkward communication that just isn’t landing in the healing intention both people had the goal to accomplish. What is even worse, is when masks are worn in public for a public persona or perception, and then in private someone is mean spirited- or opposite, dismissive in public and kind-hearted in private where no one can see or understand the perception goal. Kindness is King. Quality is Queen. We are each valuable and worthy.