consent Archive

Four Ways to Help Show Support to a Loved One with a Phobia

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Nic Alea. In their first post with us, they give valuable tips on how to support someone with a phobia or other anxiety disorder. Thanks for sharing with us, Nic!

One thing that has hurt me over the years is my consistent effort to try and tell people that I have Ichthyophobia (Fear of Fish) and people not taking it seriously. Well it’s serious. This phobia, although somewhat uncommon, can trigger me anywhere, whether it’s a picture on the internet or in a museum, a fish market, or walking into a shop with a fish tank, shit can be really scary sometimes. It’s already hard to tell people intimate things about ourselves and it’s even worse when people don’t believe it.

Living with panic attacks

When I panic, it feels like my heart is stopping, or that my guts have been turned inside out, or that some sort of massive steam shovel or something has pulled out all my insides and rearranged them and dumped them into random places in my body. Sometimes I feel like the walls are falling in on me, and I can feel the space I am in (or at least my perception of it) going dark. Sometimes I start self-harming by punching myself or slapping myself or punching walls or hard objects or hitting my head against them. Sometimes I become dissociative and do not remember the incident. Sometimes none of these things happen and it manifests quite differently.

Needles, Fear, and T

Trigger Warning: for those afraid of needles.

I have a fear of needles.

It is a pretty common fear. It kind of makes sense. I mean, needles do hurt, often just a tiny bit and but sometimes quite a lot, depending on what they’re doing. Plus, they invade some of the most private parts of our bodies and remove parts of us or put new things inside of us. It’s creepy. And people don’t always ask permission before they put needles inside us (although they almost always should). Needles can help us, but they can also harm us and/or reveal things about us that we may not wholly want to know. Needles can be violating.

Today, Like So Many Others, Is A Great Day

Editor’s note: This story mentions some severe triggers. Please be careful about reading this story if you are easily triggered by the topics mentioned in our trigger warning.

Trigger warnings: Abuse, including torture and child sexual assault, forced confinement, rape, violence, bullying, and hate crimes.

Yesterday/today was/is a great day. A day to celebrate. Any day that slaps me upside my head and and asks, “WTF you bitching about?” is always a great day!

How to be an Ally to Disabled & Neurodiverse Folks in Activist & Academic Communities

This is based on my own experience as a Disabled, Trans, Queer, Autistic activist. In compiling this list, I consulted other Disabled activists as well. Most activism I’ve been involved with has taken place in Queer, Radical, & Academic communities. I’ve been both a grass-roots activist and a student activist. I do not claim to speak on behalf of Neurodiverse or Disabled folks–or any group for that matter. Here are a few ideas I’ve compiled on how to be a better Ally to folks who have been left out of social and political movements/communities:

Dangerous Crazy Queers

There’s an organization in NYC that I’ve been really interested in joining. It’s called Rainbow Heights Club and its tagline is “Support and Advocacy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Mental Health Consumers.” Sounds great to me! I’ve heard some good things about it over the years from staff and members. Some of the groups sound really interesting to me. They include topics like sex, spirituality, stress, skills, and changing the way mental health services get provided to LGBT people.

A letter I wish I could send

Okay, family member. Do you think you are doing me and your son a favor by donating to Autism Speaks? You’re not. I don’t care how good your intentions are. First let’s take a look at Autism Speaks’ mission statement: At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with […]

Working with Hypersexuality

Living with bipolar disorder, when I get hypomanic, usually the first cue for me is wanting sex all. the. time. At times it gets so bad, it’s all I can think about, or I’ll spend the day masturbating rather than get any work done. Or I’ll spend my time searching for random sex partners to […]