Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Anticipatory Victimization, Trauma, and Re-empowerment

TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of violence



Disclaimer: My statements here do not come from ignorance. I suffer from PTSD, as I have been a victim of extreme violence.

-We cannot remain in a state of anticipatory victimization. Our extinction as a species should not have any bearing on how we view ourselves in the interim. To hold on to the identity of the victim, we sabotage the opportunity to make the most out of what very well may be our last decades on this planet. Our narrative is such that we are prone to falling into a Post Traumatic Stress (or perhaps I should say Pre-Traumatic Stress) reaction. Dealing with this reaction means that we must reclaim power over our lives, and re-frame our narrative to one of empowerment.
- The first step that comes to my mind is that we must not blame ourselves. A major tactic of corporate power, and one that the mainstream NGO environmental movement buys into, is to lay the blame for climate change at the feet of every individual who uses fossil fuels. This has a bi-fold effect. Number one, it removes blame from the powerful, who under this rubric only share as much blame as poor people driving to work at McDonald's and Walmart. Number two, it derails the environmental movement into a foray of useless spending habits, personal guilt, and at the extreme, suicidal grief and depression. In short, we must understand that this is not our doing.
- Overcoming trauma means re-framing the narrative of the traumatic event as to empower the victim. The traumatic event that we are dealing with is gradual and unfolding. This makes even perceiving the narrative as a whole very difficult. However, it also means that we have the opportunity to shift the narrative in real time, as someone fending off an attacker might do. Although our actions may not change anything in the long term, and our species will still be doomed to extinction, we can live our time left on our own terms.
- What does this mean for how we live? What would fending off our attacker look like? I don't make claims to know exactly. I know how it feels to be a victim, I know how it feels to shed that identity. I know that we will not be able to shed that identity if we do not call out those responsible. I know that not doing so is paralyzing, and that, we cannot afford. 

5 comments:

  1. Its because we are an organism that absorbs and reflects its environment and are not independently intelligent. Capital/empire/The Arrogance Of Leadership learned this and they learned integration and normalization from an authority perspective (behavior modeling) since 1907 They also knew that children's minds are absorbent to nuances, read this blog https://organismtheory.wordpress.com/ The answer is to integrate behavior modeling into activism, the problem is 'group dynamic behavior modeling', we have lost our immediate family group and are born into a false one based on class, that some are more important than others, I call it Behavior Modeling Fascistitice

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  2. I thought you might enjoy this article. https://orionmagazine.org/article/beyond-hope/ - I feel beyond hope, but it gives me freedom to act. I participate in Non Violent Direct Action, trying to shut down a coal mine for good. It is what I want to do, it is what we all need to do. Anything else is just a cop out.

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  3. Thank you for putting this into words. I agree. And I am ready.

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