The Friday Question: How it works
Every Friday we will pose a question for you all to discuss or privately consider. You can engage with it publicly here on the RFAS blog, or you can join our forum (details below) for a more private discussion. You can write it down to think about later, journal about it, or bring it in to a therapy session with you.
If you would like to volunteer to become a moderator and host future Questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org—or join our forum and post in the moderator volunteer thread. If you just have an idea for a future Question that you want to share, we have a brainstorming topic on our forum.
Something to Ponder Today
It’s entirely normal, after experiencing violence or trauma, to experience revenge fantasies, but many of us have a lot of trouble dealing with them. The vast majority of the time, there is no intent to actually carry such things out, and having such intrusive violent thoughts tends to feel very disturbing.
Do you ever have revenge fantasies or intrusive violent thoughts? How do you deal with them?
- Have you ever tried processing through art, writing, music, or something else? Is there a particular form of processing that works best for you?
- If you do discharge your fantasies through art or writing, it’s often recommended that you then destroy the art or writing—destroying the evidence or a representation of your abuser can be even more cathartic than creating it. What method of destruction feels most cathartic for you? (For example, you might burn a letter, cut up a collage, or flush a drawing of your abuser down the toilet—I’ve even heard a story of a kid gleefully going #2 before flushing!)
- Is there a person you can feel safe discussing these feelings with? A trusted friend, a therapist, a pet?
- If you don’t feel safe or comfortable discussing it with anyone, what is the main reason? Is there anything you can think of that might help you feel more comfortable with it?
- Are your fantasies explicit, or implicit? (What that means is, do they follow a detailed linear order—do they manifest like a story? Or, are they sort of just jumbled flashes of violent thought?)
- In struggling to deal with revenge fantasies or intrusive violent thoughts, have you developed any maladaptive coping strategies? For example, do you tend to turn the violence on yourself for lack of a better outlet? If so, do you have any strategies to help avoid or lessen the impact of that?
You don’t have to answer every (or any!) question, of course. These are just different ways to approach the topic which might be helpful to consider.
On the Forum
- You can discuss this question privately after registering at the forum
- Here are instructions for how to join the forum
- Here’s the invite request form
- You can also still discuss previous questions as well. There is no time limit for joining the discussion.
Please note that we are still working things out in the forum, including rules, guidelines, structures, and technical issues. We are gradually letting people in now who are not moderators or volunteers, but it can basically be considered “in beta” for now. So if you do join, please excuse our forum being a bit of a mess while we get everything tested. There may also be a little bit of a wait time for sending out invites.
Here are a couple of things you should know about posting to the forum:
- All posts are private, and can only be viewed by members
- It is against forum rules to discuss any personal stories shared on the forum with anyone who is not a member without permission of the person who shared it
- You can post as anonymous, once you are a member
The Spoiler Tag
You can hide especially triggering details behind a spoiler tag—which also works in blog comments. Here’s an example:
[spoiler title=’Triggering stuff’ collapse_link=’true’]Explicit/triggering material would go here.[/spoiler]
To make one, just type…
[ spoiler ] ... [ /spoiler ]
…without the spaces. I hope that this helps everyone safely navigate this conversation.