Hétéroclite

a little bit of everything

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anononthewater asked: hi! um, it's ok if you don't have energy to answer this. I'll make a presentation on fanfic, and I remember that it's often spoken about survivors writing and putting characters in situations that resemble their abuse, and this somehow helping them (this comes especially in discussions about trigger warnings). I know it can't help as much as real therapy, but if it helps, how does it? do you happen to have links/special psyhological expressions/names of mechanisms I could google?

hobbitkaiju:

This is a fascinating question, so I’m publishing it publicly because I’ve never seen this discussed before.

I know that I (as a survivor and fanfic author) absolutely do this, but until now I’ve never actually thought about finding links addressing the phenomenon or using psychological names to describe it? So this really got me to sit down and think about what I’ve been doing. If anyone’s got links to resources, please send them to me!

Writing characters in situations of abuse you’ve experienced is often partly a visualization exercise, trying to visualize how things could have been different for you/could be different for you in the future. It’s also accurate to call it a thought experiment on those grounds. It can often be an expression of intrapsychic dynamics—parts of the self interacting with each other in symbolic ways, with one character representing one part of the author’s self and other characters representing others. A term for these parts is ego states—everyone has ego states. All of us have child ego-states, for example, and survivors always have multiple ego states associated with the trauma(s). One of those ego states is always the victim but another is always the abuser, and sometimes survivors can develop a “good caregiver” ego state to take care of the victim and counter the abuser. A character can represent a single ego state (out of many) in the writer. Dealing with issues in this way can be a form of sublimation, which is a defense mechanism in which feelings/desires/thoughts are pushed down into the unconscious and the energy that would go into expressing them is instead put toward some productive activity (in this case, writing). Or it can be a function of outright denial, if the author isn’t consciously aware that they’re dealing with any of the issues they’re writing about. (I did this; for years I wrote fiction/fanfic about issues I was not prepared to deal with consciously yet, such as rape, abuse, and gender dysphoria. You see this a LOT in fandom, where authors will realistically depict rape/abuse but deny its real impact and then turn the story into fluff or romance.) When denial is at play, the writing may be a way to express the opposing/conflicting beliefs sustained by compartmentalization, often by giving one set of beliefs to one character and the opposing one to another. Dissociative identity disorder (DID, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder and now sometimes referred to by people with this diagnosis as multiplicity or being multiple) is simply the most extreme form of several dissociative processes that many people use, some of which I think come into play for people who process via characters. In DID, parts of the self fragment or split away, often in response to trauma. (lb-lee writes often and well about DID if you want to know more from a non-ableist non-othering source) It’s possible for people to fragment and split the self without losing a sense of overarching identity or single-self wholeness, however, and some people do this via characters. These can be original characters or ones co-opted from elsewhere, as in fanfiction. The cue that there may be dissociative processes going on when writing is if the author finds it difficult to transition in and out of the mindset required to write, fails to notice bodily cues when writing (such as hunger, need to urinate, etc), or actually changes their behavior (especially to more closely resemble the characters) when they’ve been writing a lot. 

Hope this gives you some places to start looking! 

18,759 notes

awkwardsituationist:

elephants are conspicuously expressive and joyful creatures. when celebrating a birth or reuniting with old acquaintances, elephants will intertwine their trunks together and engage in friendly trunk wrestling. when trying to console a loved one, elephants will stroke or caress each others’ heads and backs with their trunks.

demonstrations of true consolation in animals are rare, and has only been documented in the great apes, canines, and some corvids. this might be because complex cognitive abilities are required for consolation, such as the ability to empathically take the perspective of another. elephants are one of the few animals to pass the mirror test.

with their strong social bonds, it’s not surprising that elephants show concern for others. elephants get distressed when they see others in distress, reaching out to calm them down. the consistency with which elephants responded to a friend in distress is quite remarkable. rarely does an elephant give a distress call without a response from a friend or group member nearby.

photos by mario moreno. some text from a february 2014 wired article

(via imsittinginatincan)

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stereofeathers:

stereofeathers:

stereofeathers:

stereofeathers:

FUCK I FORGOT THAT THE BIRD STORE I WORK AT HAS ONE BABY BIRD THAT LIKES TO SLEEP IN PEOPLES POCKETS IM HOME AND SOMETHING IS MOVING IN MY POCKET OH FUCK


YEAH ITS THE BIRD I JUST ACCIDENTALLY STOLE A BIRD

 MY BOSS JUST GAVE ME THE MOST STERN LOOK OF DISAPPROVAL BEFORE HE STARTED LAUGHING SO HARD HE HAD TO GRAB THE EDGE OF A TABLE

NO GOD PLEASE DONT LET THIS BE THE POST THAT MAKES ME TUMBLR FAMOUS

(via thecutestscribeoferebor)