Complex trauma - self-care as a political warfare

What makes a girl start a fire in the hall
Leave a lipstick scrawl on the bathroom mirror?


What makes a man take a hammer in his hand
Shatter every last window of the company store
At 3 AM with the furies back again?
Now it's him against them in a personal war

Ezra Furman: Trauma (lyrics, video)

I feel like this. Full of fury. Or, rather, on a pendulum between fury, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Ezra Furman says of the song: "It's a song about the brutality of people seeking power, and the trauma it causes to almost everyone else. And I think it causes real trauma. It's traumatising to grow up in our world."

And that's how I feel now. Like I don't have enough trauma already. But yesterday the doctor (doctor? Can you call such a person a doctor?) of the mutual insurance company, with his cruelty, pushed me again to feel suicidal, triggered, again, the memories of abandonment of my childhood, all the shit of my complex trauma. I think of my inner child, whom I only found a few days ago, and I see them sitting on the floor in a corner, knees as close to the body as possible, arms protecting their head and covering their ears and eyes, and I feel exactly the same. How can I now tell my inner child that they don't have to be afraid, that I can take care of them, when I am very scared, and I don't even know how to support myself if the Social Security follows the mutual insurance company's proposal? I feel like hiding, like my inner child, I feel like going to bed, covering myself and crying. Crying, crying and crying.

"Self-care is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and an act of political warfare," says Audre Lorde in the epilogue to her essay A Burst of Light. But how do I take care of myself when I now need to channel my energy into maintaining my livelihood, sick pay? Just the thought of going back to work makes me feel suicidal, and I prefer not to think about this option. My first political battle now is not really self-care, but defending the economic conditions that allow me to take care of myself.

According to an article on the process of a mutual insurance company's proposal for ending sick leave, "If, in view of the medical data and/or check-ups carried out, it considers that the worker's sick leave should be ended, it will have to initiate the procedure by informing the worker concerned in writing and the National Institute of Social Security (INSS).

In this case, the mutual insurance company must send the proposal for ending sick leave to the medical inspection of the public health service, which must be accompanied by the reports and tests that may have been carried out, if any.

For their part, the public health service doctors have a non-extendable period of five days to decide on the proposed end of sick leave, either confirming the sick leave or issuing the corresponding medical discharge.

In the event that the sick leave is confirmed, the diagnosis, the medical treatment given, the causes that justify the discrepancy and the medical care and check-ups that are considered necessary to be carried out will be stated."

I will fight back! I'm not going to give up, I'm not going to do the mutual insurance company the favour of committing suicide. I want to live. I want to defend myself, I want to maintain the conditions I need to take care of myself, to take care of my trauma. I am starting an EMDR treatment, working on the blockages that prevented me from following EMDR in a first session, and I really don't need to have to divert my few energies to this struggle now, but the alternative would be worse.

But, in this system our mental health doesn't matter. And I go back to my fury, to avoid feeling suicidal, and think of this song by the German anarchist rock band Ton Steine Scherben:

Trains running, dollars rolling
Machines running, people working,
Building factories, building machines,
Building engines, building cannons.
For whom?

Destroy what destroys you!
Destroy what destroys you!

Ton Steine Scherben: Macht kaputt was Euch kaputt macht (1971)

I feel like destroying, destroying this shitty system, this cisallosexualheteropatriarchal system that makes us sick, that traumatizes us (as Ezra Furman says), that kills us. And, we have to destroy in order to build. Destroy the mutual insurance companies, destroy the weapons, the forces of state repression, the whole system of control that only serves to keep us in "our place" (below) so that they (in masculine!) can continue enriching themselves and destroying our planet.

I will fight! I will fight for myself! I will fight for my right to take care of myself, to take care of my mental health!

But I need you, my friends. I think again of my inner child, trying to hide and protect themselves. I feel the same, and I feel the risk that I stop feeling you, I stop feeling that you are there, I start to feel abandoned, like my inner child does. I am not going to abandon my inner child again, now that I have found them. And I need to feel that you are there, that you don't abandon me.