Friday Question – Survivor Skills

Friday Question – Survivor Skills

By | 2016-04-29T14:15:42-04:00 April 29th, 2016|Categories: Questions|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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—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

Sometimes trauma survivors are particularly hypervigilant, and pay a lot of attention to body language and vibes. We may feel guilty for our paranoia, or we may feel proud of protecting ourselves by avoiding situations we perceive as dangerous. Reading other people can become second nature and we may or may not be aware of how often, how quickly, and how accurately we do it. It can be both limiting and enriching, depending on how we react to our gut feelings.

What do you notice about your judgements of other people?


  • Is there a certain type of person you are afraid of?
  • Are there certain places you are afraid of?
  • Are there words or gestures that are triggers or signs of danger for you?
  • How do you react when you get the vibe that something may not be safe?
  • How do you feel safe again?
  • Do you find yourself suspicious of people or whether they are telling the truth?
  • Does “going with the flow” make you nervous? Does trust?
  • What sorts of things do you notice that you think other people may not?
  • Can you tell if someone may be a survivor also, or a safe person? How?

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. You can share as much or as little as you like.

On the Forum

Please note that we are still working things out in the forum, especially 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.

About the Author:

Bethany is an ace survivor who lives in Minnesota and studies gerontology. She has published feminist nonfiction work in online literary magazines, and she also posts writing prompts for assault survivors at

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