Shiny new minis!

Feb. 18th, 2017 09:45 pm[personal profile] jewelfox
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So I'm on vacation in Calgary with [ profile] alias-pseudonym for all of next week, and at one of the smaller games stores we found a set of Frostgrave treasure tokens! These represent the valuables which the players must try to recover.

We picked up some paints, brushes, and non-spray primer, and these are the results so far:

Picture! )

So that's the story of how I went to Canada, and my partner gave me Frostbite. \ ^^ /

redsixwing: Picture shows a red-winged angel staring at a distant blue star. (Default)
Leftovers => Dessert. Cut for pic! )

In other "too small for its own post" news, I downloaded Fire Emblem: Heroes and it is ridiculous fun. :D

Why CBT Is Bad

Feb. 14th, 2017 09:02 am[personal profile] tim
tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy often gets pushed, to the exclusion of all other therapy modalities, for a range of mental health issues: depression, anxiety, insomnia, phobias, addiction.

I can't speak to how well it works for all of those issues, but one of the things wrong with it -- not with it, rather, but with the privileged place it's been given in the current medical model of mental health issues -- is that it's close to useless for people with a trauma history, and trauma is the underlying cause of all five issues I mentioned for many people. (I could write a separate post on why it's been given that privileged place, but I'll leave that to your imagination for now.) I am not a medical or mental health professional, just someone with a lifetime of personal experience.

[personal profile] azurelunatic's post about being prescribed a CBT workshop for insomnia is a great example. When I read it, I thought about my own sleep issues and how useless every behavioral approach -- both CBT-type approaches, and "sleep hygiene"-style approaches -- have been for it.

I have obstructive sleep apnea, so no behavioral approach can address the fact that untreated, I wake up more tired than I was when I went to bed, because I wake up many times an hour unable to breathe. But the main issue is that my body learned when I was a child that sleep was dangerous, and neither cognitive nor behavioral approaches can make my body unlearn that -- it's something I learned before I was developmentally able to use cognition or to reflect on my behavior.

As a child, I had an abusive parent who would force me to go to bed hours before I was actually ready to go to sleep, because she thought it was good for children to be on a regular sleep schedule. (Or because she wanted to control somebody and doing things to children that are generally believed to be for their own good is a socially acceptable way to do it. I don't really know.) So I learned that sleep meant lying in bed for hours, awake and intensely bored but not allowed to get up and do anything. When I got a little older I would get up and night and go into a walk-in closet in our apartment and read for as long as I could get away with it. When my mother figured out I was doing this, she unscrewed the light bulb. I learned to associate sleep, as well as going to bed early, both with an abusive parent who I knew was incapable of knowing what was good for me, and with hours of boredom and anxiety.

Therapists (and others) who apply CBT simplistically would tell me that the lasting, physical residue of these years are "cognitive distortions" that I need to reason my way out of. They would be wrong, because there's nothing distorted about mechanisms I learned in order to keep myself safe. Being awake is safer than being asleep in an environment that is dangerous for you, and for a child, there's nothing more dangerous than an environment that contains an alternately intrusive and inattentive caregiver and nobody else.

It's safe for me to relax now, and has been for the past twenty years, but because trauma changes your body in chemical and physical ways, just telling myself that won't make me go to sleep. I use chemical solutions to a chemical problem: medication. Maybe someday, I'll have had enough trauma therapy that I won't need it as often. But in the meantime, I'll be able to get enough rest and avoid some of the constant physical stress that arises from inadequate sleep.

CBT is politically attractive because it individualizes responsibility . Better to blame people's suffering on their own cognitive distortions, and teach them that they need to do work to overcome them (under capitalism, any solution that gives already-overworked people more work to do gets conferred with near-religious levels of praise), than to recognize that abuse culture harms people in long-lasting ways. If we recognized that many parenting practices widely considered to be non-abusive, or even helpful, in this culture are actually traumatic, we'd have to rethink a lot. Better to avoid confronting that by privatizing trauma and recasting it as individual pathology, ignoring the patterns in front of us.

Mental health is (I suspect) not the default state of human existence in the first place -- our brains are complicated and have too many failure modes for that. But in a society that depends on denial -- of the lasting effects of slavery (denial of the effects on white people, mostly), of the violence done by income inequality, and of the corrosiveness of toxic masculinity -- self-awareness is rebellion, and thus it's not surprising that to find therapies that foster it rather than providing a few tools to be economically productive while hurting inside, we often have to look outside the mainstream.

Restringing the Deer Boy

Feb. 14th, 2017 08:32 am[personal profile] redsixwing
redsixwing: Photo of faux-gilded marzipan peaches. (golden peaches of immortality)
I restrung the Deer Boy to improve his movement, as every time I tried to pose him, he whacked himself in the face. Star's book lists that as an indicator that the elastic is too tight.

This was my first restringing, and I learned a ton in the process, so here it is documented with photos. :D For posterity! (Uh, I mean.. in case I have to undo my changes!)

Deer Boy nudity and doll parts strewn around under the cut! )

I also got the finalist names down to three. All three are tree names, as I wasn't able to find anything along the meanings of "stag" or "surefooted" or "swift" that I liked. The finalists are Rowan, Bodhi, and Linden. On the plus side, those are all gender-neutral.. so if he decides in fact to be a Deer Girl, I probably don't have to find a new one.
armaina: (taithal no u)
Don't Give Unsolicited Advice

I don't see what's complicated about this statement. Have a discussion, ask first, or don't engage if you can't tell. Sometimes learning when to not engage, is an important skill.

Yes, it could be argued that 'well telling people what to do isn't advice' and I would agree! 'so you should make your statement about how you shouldn't tell people what to do' Which is valid BUT the amount of people do that and are of the impression in their mind that they're giving advice through telling people what to do. And instead of discussing how invasive that is, all they'll do is argue about how it's Advice and it's acceptable No Matter What. In fact some people's expectation to give people 'advice' often overtakes the needs and boundaries of others just so that they can feel good about themselves.

If you don't do that, good great. I give advice to people too! Sometimes I've done it off the handle by accident! People do that by accident, that's fine, I'd be a hypocrite if I said it wasn't acceptable. The important part is that when someone says they don't want it or don't want to carry the conversation further, YOU STOP. That's literally all you have to do, apologize, and see if maybe what they need is just to vent or whatever. Very simple. Like, if you couldn't tell before, and someone tells you in some form that your advice was not desired, even if you didn't realize what you were doing, at least level with them, apologize, don't grind your feet into the ground and defend why they are Supposed to hear it.

A certain ex friend loved to 'advise' me things that I stated repeatedly I was not capable of doing with my means available and I was reprimanded for 'turning down good advice' by other people because he had them all convinced my issues were what they were because I wasn't taking his advice specifically. Like it was something I wasn't allowed to fight or say no to because it was wrapped in the trappings of 'advice'. I've known people that were in similar situations, having people hound on them for not doing X thing and reprimanded for 'not taking their advice' while ignoring the person's unique circumstances.

Just today I was seeing a thread of people defending telling people how to write their fan-characters as 'advice', that they can't let people just have fun because their 'advice' is more important than someone else enjoying themselves I guess. This goes along with unsolicited critique, which it's the same thing, it's advice just uses the word critique. People use the word 'advice' as an excuse to tell people whatever they want tot tell them and make it the other person's fault or shame if they don't want to have that discussion. It's very common and just making the argument 'but that's not what advice is' doesn't make the issue and social stigma go away.

While it could also be argued that it'd be better that I use a phrase like: "It's best to have caution when offering advice to others, and to frame it as a question or discussion so that you can allow them to feel invited to the conversation and provide feedback for better understanding. If someone tells you that what you're doing is undesirable, apologize and let the topic drop and don't demand that you must be heard. No matter how good you feel your advice there could be many reasons you can't see that would be bad for that person to take that advice. Exceptions to be made for situations with obvious and explicitly dangerous events, such as insisting someone going to the hospital for ingesting something lethal. Similarly, try to avoid unsolicited critique or at the very least, try to make it a discussion and drop it if they do not wish for a discussion about it to be had. All forms of art do not need to be perfect and artists are allowed to draw as they need and do not require formal training to have fun with it."

but that's more than 140 characters. Like holy cow what good is twitter as a random thought stream if I can't just drop random non sequiturs.

Sticking to just posting art and game stuff there, I guess.
moonvoice: (calm - cumulus)
So while the Eastern States has been sweltering,
Perth has been having its coldest and wettest February day/s on record.
We've been having an extremely aberrant summer.

Which is lovely, except for my chronic illnesses, which don't find it so lovely.

But today was a rarity. Going to Hillarys on a Saturday afternoon to watch the sunset and grab some gelato, and it wasn't absolutely packed to the gills. What a lovely day though:

 photo 2017 - 0211 - hillarys 09_zpseoglhpf5.jpg

A fair few more under the cut lol )
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content note: Personal electronics we feel embarrassed about being able to afford, and opinions about video games that we're slightly embarrassed to play! May contain cuteness, queerness, and feminism.

Read more... )


Feb. 7th, 2017 11:11 am[personal profile] redsixwing
redsixwing: A cartoon of a happy green parrot against a blue sky. (kokapetl)
for the start of spring:

Two tiny sprouts in the acorn cups.

Unlike the fruit tree sprouts, they have no leaves yet - just a long stem and a tiny sharp-looking tip.

I'm so excited. Oaks are notoriously difficult, so I wasn't sure I was going to get any sprouts at all. Now to keep the babies alive, and keep an eye out for more sprouting!