Marianne Morris on trauma caused by activism

Marianne Morris on trauma caused by activism

for the final panel of Poetry and/or Revolution, we were asked to give manifestos, responses, or proposals. as my contribution, i wanted to make this material available for distribution. my closing statement was in part related to the trauma caused by activism and/or other personal history. you may have noticed yourself tremoring after a fight-or-flight event (like this polar bear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-H_PLi8-N4 ). tremoring is the body’s natural response to traumatic incidents; it releases the stress hormones created during times when the body is in fight-or-flight mode. for reasons unknown, this tremoring often does not happen in adult humans, and in these cases, trauma can have long-term effects. someone who is traumatized has trouble being in the world, being out of their home, making decisions in times of pressure, or in some cases, making decisions period. in order for us to remain able to work together and to think/act for ourselves/each other, we need a method of clearing this stuff. this PDF contains a section from a book on trauma, which shows you how to put stressors on your leg muscles to tire them out, which eventually induces tremoring. these releasing exercises have helped a number people i know who are coping with the aftereffects of trauma, whether from a history of abuse, activism, or living in war zones. they may be helpful for activists who have been in situations where ‘fight or flight’ takes over – running from police, witnessing/being a victim of police violence, watching friends/comrades being arrested, or being arrested themselves. one of the best things about these exercises is that you don’t have to talk about your experiences during clearing – it is a somatic process which releases the stress hormones that accumulate in your body during fight-or-flight episodes. the exercises are very simple, and the tremoring feels really good. they take about 40 minutes to complete.

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