All in the amygdala (and in the world). Spreading the word about the internet community “the red pill” and it’s effect on actual living humans. Content warning: abuse, PTSD, the red pill

I just saw on article about “the red pill” shared by The Body Is Not An Apology on my Facebook feed and my body went limp around my over laboured heart as the violence came flooding back.
It was difficult to write this post, had to lay on my side and practice breathing slowly and with conviction.

When people make fun of content warnings and safe spaces it reeks of a lucky life untouched by trauma and the after effects and it quite heavily annoys me as it undermines my experience of life as someone with PTSD. Either that or they’re just ignorant of the meaning and purpose of procedures that help preserve people’s choice to be exposed, or not, to content that might make them go to a scary place.

If you don’t know what the red pill is, the article is here. I haven’t read it because I can’t but I trust the source that shared it, The Body is Not an Apology.  (NB: If you need a resource I would recommend this website and it’s affirmations of “radical self-love”.)

When I get like this I have to assert my own worth to myself as my body aches and tires from the vivid muscle memory of abuse.

The doctrine of the red pill is one of dehumanisation and allows people to be humiliated, manipulated and mistreated at the hands of people they should be able to feel safe with- intimate partners. It creates a place where boastful discussion of abuse is met with applause and fraternal approval, and it normalises disturbing notions and behaviour.

I’ve had to talk about it in therapy before but I feel it is widely unknown about even by professionals in mental health, I’ve had to explain what it is more than once to counsellors.

Anyway, I suppose I want people to know about the damage things like this can cause because the Internet and groups that form or congregate there are part of our real life and they have real life consequences on real life brains and bodies and the daily lives of human beings.

I feel vulnerable writing this so I just want to do a little heart to share the love ❤ . Remember that your worth is not affected by the things you suffer through.

H x

P.S. The amygdala is the place in the brain that is responsible for fight/flight and freeze responses, it sort of processes trauma and makes your body act and feel as if you are in a dangerous situation even if you are not.

It does this by recognising flags such as particular sights or sounds that remind one of previous experiences of trauma and fear. It works to help us survive but it’s response is often unneeded and excessive in the case of PTSD.

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Therapy notes

When I was in therapy

CBT for my PTSD

I had to tell the woman what happened

And she recorded it,

I had to listen to this hour long thing,

As many times as possible to get used to the feelings and process them,

Desensitise myself,

Here’s what I wrote the second time I listened to it

(I had to note down the bits that were particularly difficult, when I got upset.)

24 mins in the word sex. Right at the start when I was talking about being ashamed. 26.42 Start of the description. Safe place 37 mins.

Just the embarrassment of her asking me to go to my safe place made me get twound,

As if I didn’t deserve to go there.

The first time, I heard myself cry quite a lot

I heard myself cry in a desperate way

I heard my breathing become heavy and laboured and I heard the distress

That helped me have the empathy I have for myself now,

Strong woman,

I treat myself like a treasured friend.

When I told what I thought of myself after, she asked me :”What would you say, if your friend told you this?”

I’d say it wasn’t her fault, and I wouldn’t be lying.

I deleted what I wrote the first time I listened to it – I didn’t want to see it again,

She also said I could delete the recording now,

And I did, and it felt good.

 

Mercy

Knowing I’ve been through worse,

Helps me keep going.

I’ve dealt with cruelty and violence and fear,

I wouldn’t hesitate to fight back now,

Even though my arms are weak

I’d impale you if I had to, on something sharp.

I’d pop eyeballs to protect myself

And I’d scream so everyone knew.

I am so strong, I did a 3 hour exam sat just three seats behind you.

When I saw your block head, I wanted to drive my pen into your temple.

I used it to pass the test and that was a victory.

It’s a victory I’m here now.

I’m lucky I had people to help drag the weight around with me.

If the tables were turned, you wouldn’t have coped.

You have no excuse.

Violence

I’d love a divine hand to come down and slap you silly.

I want you to know you’ve done a bad thing,

I’d like you to really feel it and know it was from me.

My gift to you would be that knowledge,

Your gift to me was a stagger and a flinch.

Your soul is marked, not mine.

I’ll grow violets among your violence,

How dare you raise your hand to me.