Everything You Need to Know About Boundaries

The topic of boundaries comes up quite a lot during discussions about trauma and mental health but even therapists can skimp on the details of how to actually formulate, set, and enforce boundaries! It took me many years to learn that a boundary is not a tool to control the actions of others or to prevent harm from ever reaching me. It is an agreement that I make with myself about how I expect to …Read More

Hiding Behind “Good Intentions”: Why Good Intent Does Not Erase Oppressive Impact

CN: general discussion of oppressive social dynamics, brief discussion of misgendering We’re all familiar with the people who tell you outright that they hold hateful opinions towards oppressed groups. But for every blatantly malicious bigot, there are 10 people who “meant well” or “didn’t mean it like that” or “had good intentions” when they said or did something that actually had a harmful effect on a member of an oppressed group. You have probably been …Read More

The Problem with Misrepresenting Oppression as Just Part of Life

CN: extensive discussion of the mechanics of oppression, oppression-based violence and discrimination, and racism; brief discussion of ableism, sexism, trans-antagonism. Note: This article was published after the first week of Black Lives Matter protests but it was written back in March. Due to seasonal health issues, from mid-May until September I am rendered almost completely incapable of writing new material which meant that I could not write a response to current events. A guest article …Read More

The Problem with Slurs

CN: In-depth discussion of the usage and purpose of slurs and the common defenses for using slurs; discussion of racism, sexism, anti-gay bias, and classism. Warning: There will be a couple of slurs written out in full in this article. They are written this way to maintain clarity in a purely educational piece. I made a point to limit how many slurs I used and to avoid using any slurs that would be particularly egregious …Read More

Power Dynamics Part 2: Privilege and Power

CN: discussion of 45, Brock turner, Kavanaugh, sexual assault, erasure of Native American history, racism, ableism, poverty, the manifestations of oppression. Mention of sexism, genocide, police corruption, and rape culture. Have you ever thought something like, Why am I so frustrated that this guy on the internet who I’ve never met doesn’t think that sexism exists? Why didn’t he listen to me when I told him about the time someone was sexist to me? Did …Read More

Essay on The Bezine: Using Social Interactions to Create Change

An article of mine was published today on The BeZine, an online magazine that looks at efforts for peace, sustainability and social justice through the lens of art. They publish photography, poetry, essays, fiction, even music, that coincides with the theme of each issue. They are particularly interested in looking at the world’s problems with the intention of finding solutions. The BeZine also has direct ties to 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC), which was …Read More

Power Dynamics Part 1: What Happens When Someone Has More Power Than You Do?

CN: reference to abuse of power, toxic work environments, and physical threats or sexual assault from authority figures. What would happen if you, an employee, walked into your boss’s office unannounced, interrupted their phone conversation, and gave them instructions on how they were to proceed with their work? What if you told your boss that their clothes are a violation of the dress code? What would happen if you told your boss that their work …Read More

Spoon Theory: What Silverware Has to Do with Chronic Illness

CN: General discussion of the experience of having a chronic illness, reference to ableism and mental illness Have you ever dealt with a chronic illness and struggled to explain to your healthy friends why you just can’t go out with them anymore? Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t have the spoons for that,” and wondered what they were talking about? Simply put, spoons are a unit of measurement for resources. When someone references …Read More

A Comprehensive Guide to Assisting with a Mental Health Crisis

Over the course of three months, guest blogger Lucy Merriman put together an amazing 5-part series entitled, How to Lend a Hand in a Mental Health Crisis. The series looks at the gaps in our current mental health care system and provides information on how to fill those gaps on an individual basis, even if you yourself have little to no crisis training. All five parts are published in the “What Can I Do?” section …Read More

What Does It Mean When a Group Has Power?

CN: sexual assault, racism, chattel slavery, ableism, trans-antagonism, mention of suicide and murder rate statistics. When discussing oppressed and privileged groups, you’ll frequently hear me talk about who in the interaction has the most power. But why is identifying the power in an interaction so important and what do I mean when I say a group has power? For a person or a group to have power refers to the ability to make certain choices …Read More