I’ve finally allowed myself to be honest with myself. And as a result, I’m able to be honest with my partner.
I proceeded to tell them what happened. I didn’t have much in the way of details—believing that’s what they wanted to hear—but what I did share left them in a state of slack-jawed shock. They asked me to imagine for a moment if I had done to her what she had done to me, where I might be at that very moment.
I know few get the opportunity to heal. That’s the motivation that drives me to do healing justice work. But in offering community support, I often forget that I’m part of the community too, that I deserve access to heal from trauma. And those “I don’t deserve _____s” are all giving voice to my survivor’s guilt.
Past experiences of broken confidence held me back, and I had even less confidence that I would be able to find a queer competent, POC identified behavioral health professional with sexual assault experience who was worth investing time, money, and trust in.
Communication is super, super important. Yet no one really taught me how to communicate about sex. I’ve begun to ask myself why I am so afraid to be seen.
I know that I am good enough. I am whole. I am beautiful as I am. I am love as I am. I look in the mirror and see the spark in my deep brown eyes that reflects all the love I feel in my heart. I’ve come Black to Peace. Black to Power. Black to Love.
Dissociation makes perfect sense when folks have constantly been abused, silenced, socialized a particular way, oppressed, and constantly have had boundaries broken, or don’t even know what their boundaries are.
It took me a long time to adjust. To re-adjust. To redefine. The moment I started to speak in a language for myself, that was crafted around the way I want to understand myself, the clock began moving at a pace that felt eternally sacred.
Because we encompass gender defiant ideologies and reject the mainstream, we who visibly navigate queerness, who practice transfeminism, miss out on the queer capitalist extravaganza that everyone else benefits from.
Christmas started bullying me; during sleepless nights it showed a carousel of pictures of my childhood: the primary love I thought I had but deeply marked me, carers who gave me unhealthy bonding, yet carers who I deeply miss.
Still no matter how much I try to resist it / I wax nostalgic for a person who never existed
Often, I wonder if I love women because I’m tired of being hurt by men. In effect, I have the same question many queer survivors have: am I queer because I was abused?
I don't know what God meant to do by putting something so un-straight on top of a head so un-straight, but there are reasons they say this is unmanageable / Not because it is impossible to love, or to care for, but because it is impossible to subdue.
I’d like to think of this as a chance to force people to confront the differences between sex and romance. They don't always coexist.
Yes, you are smart. Yes, your friend is smart. Yes, your loved one is smart. And yet, the act of using our emotional intelligence rather than logic in supporting each other is truly one of the smartest ways we can respond to life’s challenges.
We are here, and we are healing by taking up more space through kink.
The media coverage granted to trans folks now doesn’t reflect true visibility. Our stories will be obscured until transgender individuals are trusted to represent ourselves.
I don't have Diabetes or any of my other Illnesses and Disabilities because I'm Fat. I am not Fat because I am lazy, have low self-esteem, lack self-control, don't know how to eat properly, or any of the other disturbing ideas you have imposed upon me and other Fat bodies.
I think of the story she told me of stealing fruit from her grandfather’s shrine to Ogun. I want to reach past her and my Christian grandparents, pluck that fruit, and make an offering of it.
Until a violent person takes accountability and creates change in their patterns of behavior, the best thing to do is limit the harm being caused.
Not only are mental health and racism deeply intertwined, but that connection is too often overlooked or denied. Intersectional mental health isn’t neat and tidy, with one problem over here and the other over there, and the messiness is what we need support to work through
Intersectional spaces are invaluable for creating a truly humanistic view of people whose voices and stories are often marginalized, distorted, or entirely erased.
When our experiences and identities are erased from history, from our lineages, from our traditional systems of community, we can only see ourselves through the negative lenses that remain.
every villain is often a caricature of marginalised identities, and every hero is a glorified image of the world that wants to destroy me and those I love.
The health of our societies depends on the community's ability to hold its members accountable in a way that makes space for each other's individual, predisposed fallibility and capacity for personal growth.
We all deserve healing. Yet many of us are still fighting for that basic ingredient, rest. Each decision to resist capitalist pressures, to disengage from harmful systems of power and truly rest, is a transcendental moment. But who has the power to make that choice?
HALT stands for never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
Lighting candles, burning sage, going to therapy, accessing medication, praying, giving offerings to the ancestors have all been ways that I heal at the intersections of my beautifully complex existence.
My immigrant mother is a Korean herbalist and healer. She sang and talked to her plants, viewing them as living things that felt vibrations. She bestowed my body with the magical protection of her prayers and murmured blessings on me when I lay feverish in my bed as a child
On low-energy, high-burnout days, I’m still feeding the cycle of working too much, not really resting, and definitely not feeling restored. To pay down rest debt, I have to notice when I’m doing this and give myself permission to pull back.
Each interview is a gold mine, a feast of quotes to be hung up on walls, tattooed on arms, and copied in notebooks. A flurry of words to hold close on nights when being seen seems impossible and it feels as if no one else in the world knows who or what you are.
Every day that passes, I have come to know who I am a little bit more, and I like who I am. I have a life and a future out there in the free world, and resting for resistance keeps me sane so that I can avoid any issues that might keep me here any longer.
The “to do” list implies that each 24 hours is an uphill battle.The “done list” says that I’m conquering the day one step at a time.
When we heal, we are able to be more to each other and ourselves. And not in that way where it eventually makes us good productive workers. We become more invested in ourselves, and we have more of ourselves to utilize in the ways that bring joy for everyone, including us.
Still no matter how much I try to resist it / I wax nostalgic for a person who never existed
I’m not doing it on purpose, I promise. But when I’m in the bathroom alone I look at myself in the mirror and I go to a dark place within my own body, somewhere that I haven’t yet exorcised and burnt incense in.
Once I began to receive my benefits, I began to distance myself from an idea that productivity defines whether I am deserving of respect.
I am doing my best to prioritize self-care. I am redirecting anger into providing information on Puerto Rico’s colonial status; however I cannot dissociate from the heartache. No action can eliminate the exhaustion and the sorrow.
The role models I had access to were white, affluent and held a lot of disdain for women with lives different than theirs. But back then they had an image, and their way to be trans was what I had.
You refuse to engage with your abuser. Their presence reopens old wounds. You try to heal but it hurts. You like a worm on a bamboo stick hooked on the teeth of lies. Pain pushes you to find silence somewhere.
When abusers deny us our reality, it’s gaslighting. When we enact that denial on ourselves, it’s equal parts survival skill and self-harm. Yet we have the ability to change how we treat ourselves, even if we can't change how others treat us.
Thoughts of suicide come when we run out of options. The more we’re oppressed, the less power we have, which means thoughts of ending our lives might come up a lot. Here are resources and strategies to help you keep fighting for your life without compromising your agency.
In order to harm ourselves less and care more, we need to look at our relationship with the world around us. The problem isn’t how we’re hurting ourselves, but that we’re hurting ourselves at all.
Becoming sober has allowed me to discover who I really am and has allowed me to fall in love with myself. I still battle with thoughts of drinking because I live at home with my dad, but I know that putting my life in jeopardy and hurting my loved ones is not a risk I'm willing to take.
Ask them what they can offer you besides coping skills, and remember that you’re worth it.
I felt something stir up inside me when I was around my Native brothers and sisters. What awoke inside was how much I’ve been running away from myself.
Banner image description: A stylized illustration of hairy brown legs wearing black footwear surrounded by the words “Rest for Resistance” in colors fading from blue on the left to pink on the right. The background is a powder blue bed sheet with yellow marigolds and black squiggles to indicate fabric wrinkles. Art by Frizz Kid.
Landing page image description: Two thin, light-skinned Black women lie on a pink couch together, facing opposite directions. Both are smiling, wearing tank tops and underwear. One person is resting their right hand on their forehead, holding up a yellow-petal rose with their left. Photo by Eli Sleepless.