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Went to see Neither Wolf Nor Dog at Vancouver's old time Kiggins Theater. (Summary linked, and quoted below.)

Can't remember the last time I saw a movie, in a theater or out of it. This one was sparsely attended, and therefore fragrance-free enough for me, yay.

This movie is worth seeing. It is much more up close and personal than the summary implies. The Native Americans are saying, "Look at me! Look at us! We are PEOPLE. These atrocities happened to me, to my family. See us!" The white guy is saying "privilegeprivilegeprivilege oh wait maybe I'll see you a little bit."

I'm so glad the Native American folks got to tell their stories and show their lives and landscapes. I hate that the story centers on the white guy's narrative. He's the one who changes as the Native Americans instruct him.

The cinematography and secondary part acting are bare-bones. For me, that emphasized that these are real people, this really happened, this is the landscape where it happened.

Summary )
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
Right after the US House of Representatives passed their horrific "health" "care" tax cut act, I donated $100 to opponents of swing district Republicans who voted for the act. No idea if the money will make any difference or will even end up where it's supposed to, but I had to do something.

Yesterday I went to the vigil for Taliesin Meche and Ricky Best, the two men stabbed and killed by a white supremacist on the MAX train Friday afternoon. They stepped in to defend two young Muslim women from the white supremacist's harassment. Micah Fletcher, who also intervened and was stabbed, is expected to survive his injuries. The armed, violent white supremacist was taken into police custody alive.

The organizers didn't have sound amplification at the vigil, so we couldn't hear any of the speeches. We stood quietly with the candles someone kindly gave us, shielding them from the breeze. The people in the crowd looked kind, authentic, like people I would want to know. There were a lot (for Portland) of people of color, Middle-Eastern faces, Jewish faces. I felt like I belonged there.

There was a brief chant of "Not in our town!" Nice thought, but yes, this is happening in our town. Fascism and racism go way back in Portland. At the same time, it's good to know there are a couple of thousand people willing to stand in the heat on short notice to say "We're here. We stand for peace, and inclusion."

And then we biked home and sat on my front steps to enjoy the evening coolness and clear light. As we collectively spiral down into disaster, life also goes on more or less as usual. For those of us who didn't get directly affected this time.

The murders happened a couple of miles from where I live, at a MAX station I use sometimes. I went to the Farmer's Market right near there as usual the morning after, and people were chatting and buying vegetables in the bright sun, but with a jangling tension in the background. Too close to home. That could have been me. I keep reminding myself that people of color have been living in this dystopic world for a long time.

This spiraling descent like a bird pinwheeling out of the sky is not what I wanted to live through. And yet here I am, here the world is. We each contribute as we can, some by fighting disconnection, some by fostering connection. I don't know what doing enough looks like. I don't know if any amount would be enough to make a difference, to change our course.

I do think every little bit helps in the long run, making people's lives a little better where I can. And, the long run might be long. Things might keep getting worse for quite a while.
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I haven't been writing in my paper journal. Not sure why, might have to sit down and write about it to find out... Haven't been posting here either, although the reasons feel different to me. Maybe a sense of feeling less connected, or having less to say that's important to broadcast or get feedback on. Anyway, here are some links.

The Realities of Going No Contact with Abusive Family by Miranda Jayne Boyd. I exchange email with my mom once a year. Haven't spoken to my dad in decades. Nice to see the occasional piece of writing that acknowledges that no-contact is a thing.

The glass of dirty water: working with shame sociopolitically on Powerful metaphor for working with shame in a social rather than personal context.
I have used the above ideas in my practice by asking women, to think of shame as a glass of dirty or unsanitary water that has been and, indeed continues to be handed to them to drink. The choice of the word handed here is purposeful. It aims to establish a boundary or some distance between shame and the person who experiences it.

Previous two links via [personal profile] silveradept.

How to Embrace Living in the Unknown by Rachel Barenblat. She's writing about the process of divorce, but it's relevant to the US political situation as well.

How to Spot Fascism Before It's Too Late by Maia Kobabe. Beautifully drawn, gentle comic about an old person who grew up in a fascist country, and a young person struggling to understand what is happening in the US.

Blood Trauma by Nadia Owusu. A 30 year old woman writes about her mother leaving when she was 2 years old and its effects on her, in a way that's emotionally connected and not overwhelming (for me).

On being a fat medical student, at the start of our metabolism module at Raspberry Stethoscope.
And to those reading this who are fat patients, I want you to know that I see you. I see the times your heart sank as the new GP asked you to jump on the scales. I see the aches and pains you’ve put off getting treatment for because you know just what the doctor will say, and I’m so sorry. Medicine is not always a kind, compassionate profession when it comes to interfacing with people whose bodies look like yours and mine. But there are many wonderful doctors, nurses and students I’ve encountered since starting medical school who are trying to change that.
sonia: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory explains our nervous system and helps us make sense of our behavior.
Find Calm: A Polyvagal Primer

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

Updated FAQ
I updated my Frequently Asked Questions page to include a note on tipping (none wanted), after a question from a client. If you have a question that is not answered there, let me know and I'll add it.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
I missed March for making a donation. Didn't come across something political that grabbed me. I wanted to donate to Wallace Medical Concern, a wonderfully compassionate low cost medical clinic in Portland, but their online donation form was through a third party that didn't feel right for typing in my credit card number, and I couldn't find a donation address to send a check. I may still call them and track down an address, because I think that highly of them, but I haven't had the time/energy to make that a priority. Healthcare is STILL a hot legislative issue.

In April, I sent $100 to a friend who lives on disability largely as a consequence of terrible abuse she suffered growing up, because she needed money for groceries. The personal is political.

Just now for May, I sent $100 to StreetRoots, our local street newspaper organization. They have a campaign where you get some cool buttons if you give $25 or more.

I've been talking a lot with people about marathon vs. sprint, trying to feel okay about what I'm doing and not doing about the US political disaster. I saw a series of tweets about doing a tiny bit and building up strength slowly, because otherwise you just burn out. That resonated for me. I have a strong sense of what's right for me, and then I question it and judge it and shame myself. Wish I could do less of that! I do a lot of building the world I want to live in, rather than fighting against what I don't want to see, and that has value as well.
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I've had a website since 1999. In that time, I've had maybe 10 web hosts, choosing them by internet search and guesswork, or occasionally through someone's recommendation. At first I thought I was just choosing badly. Then I realized that part of my issues with support have come from sexism and disrespect of women. Then I realized, not only do they disrespect women, I know *vastly* more than first level support. Sometimes immediately asking to be transferred to second level support works better.

Most recently, I realized that a previously great web host can go rapidly downhill after being purchased by EIG, as Site5 recently was. I tried moving to HawkHost as recommended in comments to one article, but I'm having too much trouble with mail from their servers being labeled as spam, so I'm back to my Site5 account for now.

This article recommends InMotion hosting. Anyone have experience with them? Or a recommendation for a non-EIG cpanel-enabled web host?
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Want to find an old LJ friend? Linking DW and LJ identities by [personal profile] nanila. A useful list!

The Corporation Does Not Always Have to Win by Albert Burneko. Re: Dr. Dao being dragged out of his paid seat on a United plane by Chicago police. It is okay for the corporation to lose a small portion of what it has in terrifying overabundance (money, time, efficiency) in order to preserve what a human has that cannot ever be replaced (dignity, humanity, conscience, life).

SuperBabies Don't Cry by Heather Kirn Lanier. Countering the ableist narrative of New Agey positive thinking. Content Notes for quotes of New Agey positive thinking and description of some infant medical procedures.

Losing Friends to Ableism by Erin, aka GeekyGimp.
Losing friends to ableism exposes what people think of you as a human being, and that truth is painful. It’s another scar you get from living as a disabled person in a society that devalues you at every point.

Conscious Consumerism is a Lie: Here's a Better Way to Help Save the World by Alden Wicker. I thought about this one a lot, because I vote with my dollars whenever I can. The message of this post is that switching from one corporate purchase to another is less effective than donating money to organizations fighting for the environment, etc. I still believe that buying from local small businesses directly supports people I want to support, and I will continue that practice.

Sometimes, it actually IS hormones: a story of feminism and medicine by Chance&Lily Spy Cats. "We really need to work on research funding for some of these conditions."

Whites Only: SURJ and the Caucasian Invasion of Racial Justice Spaces by DiDi Delgado. SURJ and other all-white anti-racist groups should be accountable to people of color.
If history has taught me anything, it’s that there’s nothing more disappointing or dangerous than a room full of white people. With that in mind, I’d like you to consider why anyone would expect white-led anti-racism organizations to be any different. [...] Imagine a vast network of men meeting up on weekends to discuss dismantling patriarchy, and every once in awhile they check in with a woman to see if they’re doing it right.

Can you explain why straight passing privilege isn't a thing?
Regardless of your sexual orientation, the vast majority of people are going to assume you’re straight all the time unless you are doing something specifically coded as being romantic or sexual with someone of the same gender (or someone who is assumed to be the same gender) at that exact moment. highlights immigrant-run businesses in Portland. This StreetRoots article about founder Tim Cowley says, "Cowley’s career has centered mainly on assisting Christian-based nonprofits through digital media." Which definitely gives me pause.

The AP Stylebook’s New Rules On Gender-Neutral Pronouns Are A Small But Positive Step In The Right Direction by Natasha Guzmán. Go forth and use singular "they"!

The Trauma of Facing Deportation by Rachel Aviv. "In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country." Faced with inexorable threat to life, our bodies simply shut down.

Seeing My Body With Fresh Eyes by Ashley Ford. Original title was "My Boyfriend Weighs Less than I Do." Content Note for struggling with body hatred.

On Divorce and Ambiguous Loss by Rachel Barenblat.
The relationship through which I once self-defined no longer exists, but it will always have existed, and I will always be shaped by it, even as I work on learning to define myself in other ways.

At UCC Portland I saw an intense exhibit on Cambodian Resiliency. It included some vivid paintings by Vann Nath, one of a handful of survivors of Tuol Sleng Prison during the Khmer Rouge subjugation of Cambodia. He documents what he saw and experienced there. Content Note for depiction of torture and abject misery.

One more: To body positive friends who don’t wear plus sizes by Your Fat Friend via Shakesville.
Do not reject your fat friend’s experiences out of hand because of a lack of context. Instead, find the context. Look harder. Sharpen your vision. Listen closely.

Noted for my future reference:

Wire a privacy communication app. I have been using Signal for secure texting, which doesn't have a dedicated desktop app, so I'm thinking about trying this one when I have a little time to experiment.

ZEMS: The Best Hearing Protectors in the World by Kelly Dillon. Lightweight, inexpensive, effective ear protection. What's not to like? I will likely try these.

Private Internet Access VPN. I appear to have closed the tab where this was recommended. I will probably sign up, since Congress gave ISPs the green light to sell our browsing history.
sonia: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
"Should" makes us look over our shoulder to see if we are good enough yet. "Could" invites us to look inside instead.
Relieve Pressure: Replace Should with Could

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!

Touch for Complex Trauma
I recently took a three-day training on Complex Trauma: Touch-Based Methods for Early Trauma, Syndromes, and Trauma Structures with Kathy Kain. I learned several gentle techniques to help a traumatized nervous system learn to regulate, rest, and safely connect with others.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.

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A series of FAQs on how to discuss race with Black people, by @absurdistwords, whose byline is 5'7 Black Male.
How to Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 1 — Beginner "So. You’re a white person looking to hop into a discussion about race with black people."
How To Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 2 — Intermediate "Now you’ve got a good grasp of the basics. [...] Q: No offense, but what about black-on-black crime?"
How To Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 3 — Advanced "At this point, you’ve realized that acknowledging your privilege doesn’t mean that you are evil, nor does it mean that you have not struggled, worked hard or experienced hardship."

Why Lemonade Is For Black Women by Dominique Matti. "There is a specific betrayal in a Black man failing his daughter. [...] Even if she transcends them, even if she rises above the smoke, makes a phoenix of herself, a small girl inside of her will overcompensate for the parts of herself she believes to be intolerable — unlovable, disrespectable."

The Writing Life of A Disorganized, Antisocial, Black Single Mom with ADD by Ijeoma Oluo. "I sit and “listen” online, in person, on tv, in articles — to what isn’t being said, and I ask myself why."
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Older Queer Voices, a collection of writings.
As [personal profile] alatefeline says, put together specifically to highlight the voices of the LGBTQIA+ elders who are still with us and teach us how they have done survival activism and superb art in a time and place that hated them.

Essays, art and opinion exploring the lives of people living with disabilities at the New York Times, via [personal profile] jesse_the_k.
This is a weekly column, so there are a lot of articles to browse through. Here's one that spoke to me: Love, Eventually by Ona Gritz.

Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed by Ijeoma Oluo. A primer for folks just starting out with anti-racism, and a good reminder for the rest of us white & privileged folks. "Racial privilege is like a gun that will auto-focus on POC until you learn to aim it."

Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America by Chris Ladd. "Americans with good jobs live in a socialist welfare state more generous, cushioned and expensive to the public than any in Europe." (Of course, those good jobs are meant for white men.)

The Problem With Facts by Tim Hartford, via [personal profile] supergee. How the tobacco industry intentionally sowed doubt to continue profiting from a cancer-causing product, and how their tactics are being used by the current US administration. This one makes me sick to my stomach.

Always Go To The Funeral by Deirdre Sullivan, via a friend on the occasion of a former coworker's unexpected death. I was surprised how many of our former coworkers planned to go to the funeral, and she pointed me to this. I have felt extremely awkward at funerals where I felt I didn't belong, so I think it can go both ways. But the larger message stands.
In going to funerals, I've come to believe that while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life's inevitable, occasional calamity.
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This Is A Letter To My Son by K. J. Kabza. Science fiction about a trans kid, and people finding their way. The writing is full of light, and full of deep emotions handled just right.

via [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, who edited the story.
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Paying attention to our limits helps us compassionately care for ourselves.
Cherish Your Limits

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

Waiting list
My schedule has been full and I have continued to receive calls from new clients, so I started a waiting list. I'm both delighted to be in demand and chagrined to turn down people reaching out for help. Based on past ebbs and flows, I expect to have more room in a month or two.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
We are entitled to complete autonomy over the insides and surfaces of our bodies.
Healthy Entitlement: Discern Your Domain

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

Wellspring of Compassion ebook update complete
You can now order the updated Wellspring of Compassion ebook, with current weblinks and better formatting, for $4.99 directly from me (epub, Kindle, and pdf), or Amazon (Kindle only) or Apple iBooks (epub only). If you already own the Kindle version, you can update it via the Amazon "Manage Content and Devices" page.

French translation
My article The Betrayal of Not Being Heard has been translated into French by Armelle Pernet for Association Internationale des Victimes de l'Inceste. If you understand French, take a look! Ne pas être entendu, un sentiment de trahison.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
Apparently I haven't been posting these! Perhaps I've been a bit distracted by current events. Here, have several in a row.

Emotions are meant to move. Giving them more space allows them to flow and change, peak and ebb.
Counter the Feelings Police

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

Presence After Trauma available as ebook!
You can now order Presence After Trauma as an ebook for $7.99 directly from me (epub, Kindle, and pdf), or Amazon (Kindle only) or Apple iBooks (epub only). The ebook includes all the illustrations.

Wellspring of Compassion ebook update
The next task is to update the Wellspring of Compassion ebook with what I learned making the new one. If you already own Wellspring of Compassion as an ebook and you want an updated copy, email me and I'll send you a new one when it's ready. I'll update broken web links and remove repeated images, so it will be a somewhat smaller file.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
This month I made a donation to Outside In because of the assault on trans rights going on everywhere. Their mission statement is, "We help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency." Their website also says, "The point of return." They have a low-cost medical clinic, and I associate them with being very trans positive and helping trans kids who end up on the streets (which is a lot of them).

I'm finding that I want to keep my donations local, or at least make them to smaller local orgs that won't be the first organizations people donate to nationwide.

I also put up a yard sign from nwgsdpdx, which I had guessed was NorthWest something something Portland, but turns out, fabulously, to stand for Nasty Women Get Shit Done (in Portland). Their yard sign sales have raised over $10,000 to subsidize rent for incoming refugees as well as making the neighborhood look firmly welcoming. I was more than happy to fork over $10 and carry my sign home.

Free downloads of their great graphics available in 8 languages so far. Graphic based on a design by Jason Maxfield.

Check out this awesome sign! )
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Why Does Dating Men Make Me Feel Like Shit? by Emma Lindsay
Usually instead of saying “I am turned on by that woman,” a man will say “that woman is hot.” The first phrasing places the locus of control within his own body (aka, in a way, making it “his fault” if he gets turned on), the second phrasing places the locus of control within the woman’s body (making it “her fault” if he gets turned on.)

This article explains rape culture. Men locate control of their sexual feelings in women instead of themselves because they feel ashamed. Wow. I've noticed the shame, but never understood it this clearly.
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On Belonging by Kate Leth

"I don't count because I'm in a relationship." "I don't count because I've only ever kissed one girl." "I don't feel like I count in the queer community because I have a boyfriend." "I want to go to pride but people always scoff at me and my partner." "I'm not gay enough." "I'm not straight enough."

It's not something any of us bring up at the dinner table unprovoked, but I have heard it over and over again.
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As it was introduced on twitter: Content warning for PoC. White folks, this video can be a first step for talking to our “colorblind”/ignorant/racist family members.
Blakc parents explain how to deal with police by Jason Kottke.

Made me cry. Made me think. Made me want to spread it far and wide so people understand the weight of our already existing police state.
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How to Talk About Race by Natalie Kim. A quick, clear comic.

Malkia Cyril: Net Neutrality Is the Civil Rights Act for the Internet by Mike Ludwig.
In 1965, when the Civil Rights Act was passed, it was passed to ensure, to prevent discrimination in housing and transportation. It was basically the act the ended legal Jim Crow. And net neutrality prevents legal Jim Crow online. It prevents people without means, who are disproportionately people of color, people without wealth, small businesses, independent artists, regular people, it prevents them from having to be tracked into a subpar and inferior internet experience and internet life.

Rebel Girls: 33 Badass Women Leading the Resistance (On Twitter) by Carmen Rios. I take issue with some of the descriptions and selected tweets, but still, putting this here for reference.

I feel like one thing the “queer is a slur” crowd overlooks... by Alexandra Erin, via [personal profile] tim.
If “gay” is trying to appeal to a bigoted admissions board by being smooth and shiny enough to slip in, “queer” is challenging the admissions board to accept or reject you on your own merits as you exist, and challenging the bigoted assumptions that underline the power structure as revealed by this. It’s bypassing the admissions board by creating your own infrastructure for sharing resources and information.

About Southerners On New Ground via [personal profile] elainegrey. A cool organization that came up in the same conversation as the previous link.
Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.

I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah by Kieryn Darkwater. Somewhat off-theme, but explains a horrifying piece of what happened?!
Homeschoolers may make up a small portion of students as a whole, but they are loud, have time and can be activated with one email blast.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
I went to Unite Oregon's No Ban No Wall rally in downtown Portland yesterday with a couple of friends.

I'm glad I went! )

We stood for an hour. My back hurt by the end! Rallies require able bodies (or assistive devices). I have mixed feelings about going to more rallies myself. I'm glad they're happening. I like adding to the count of people there, connecting with other folks resisting, and feeling the support of the speeches. At the same time, I'm not convinced it's the best way for me personally to resist. Still thinking about that.

I guess my objection is that I'm not sure this deserves the Tikun Olam tag. It's definitely resistance, but did I make the world a better place, even incrementally, by attending?

Erik Loomis says Keep Protesting!
As I and many others have stated, if you ever wondered what you have done when Adolf Hitler took power in Germany or Francisco Franco in Spain or Augusto Pinochet in Chile, well now you know. You would do exactly what you are doing now. If that’s going into the streets, then great. If that’s complaining about protestors or whining about liberals or whining about the left, then that’s what you would have done in 1933, 1937, and 1973. Only you can stop Trump. So do it.
I suppose in that context, yes, attending rallies does incrementally make the world a better place, or at least tries to keep it from getting worse quite so fast.
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