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.
I would like to alternate hosting this discussion with other moderators, but at present we are stretched thin. 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
This question was suggested by one of our members, and I think it’s a really important one. We all make mistakes, but due to the abuse many of us have suffered, we may tend to be overly harsh with ourselves when we do. We may feel that we are just “a bad person who deserves bad things,” or dwell on times when we may have hurt someone even more than the person who we may have hurt does. That can sometimes lead to them feeling like they need to comfort us instead of being able to focus on their own feelings. Dealing with trauma often means we have to navigate tricky situations like this, so I hope that exchanging ideas about it will help.
How do you deal with your mistakes or flaws?
- How do you feel when you realize you’ve made a mistake?
- How do you feel when you think about a part of yourself that you’d consider a flaw?
- Do you feel like your self-perception is really distorted by your trauma?
- Have there been times when trying to take care of your own emotional needs or deal with your own trauma has led you to act in unhealthy ways that ended up hurting others? Have you been able to develop a strategy to help you cope in a better way in the future?
- Do you tend to find yourself over-apologizing? If so, how do others react? Do their reactions tend to help, or make you feel worse? Is there any way you’ve found helpful to interrupt this kind of dynamic?
- Are there any actions you can take that you have found can help you interrupt the cycle of self-blame or self-hatred?
- What are some affirmations or validating words that you can use as a mantra to help you get through times when you feel really bad about your mistakes/flaws?
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 last week’s question on toxic communities. We’ll be keeping an index of all previous questions as well, which doubles as a brainstorming thread.
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.