Decent survivor politics starts with how we (survivors) make each other feel…by Dina Poursanidou

Somebody not long ago asked me to discuss ‘big issues’…I was not sure how to respond to start with…I said to the person who asked about my ‘big issues’ that an important issue for me is how to survive (as mental health service users/survivors) without hurting each other…something that I feel requires a great deal of skill, conviction and effort.

The joker
(https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/554224297866733889/)

I have been thinking a lot about survivorship in mental health lately…I have come to the conclusion that decent survivor politics starts with how we (survivors) make each other feel.  So I wonder what kind of survivor politics each of us, personally, is in a position to contribute to…starting from myself here (as a traumatised person). I wonder what kind of survivor politics traumatised people are in a position to contribute to…given that – in my experience – traumatised people sometimes hurt each other deeply… a lot of the time unwittingly. Lately I have seen and experienced traumatised people hurting each other deeply both in physical and virtual encounters…

I imagine that some or a lot of survivors may think this is a defeatist (and therefore not appropriately activist) stance that cannot drive us forward in building strong survivor politics…and hence, a stance that perhaps should not find expression publicly…I am happy to accept it as defeatist…but also as expressing very strongly my/our (?) deepest fears, anxieties, discomfort and – above all – sadness and grief around what trauma and madness have done to us…

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