Writing About Sexual Trauma: Safety, Prompts, and Tools (PTSD)

Hi, I’m Leif E. Greenz. In this video, I’ll discuss how to write about sexual assault safely and effectively. This video does NOT contain graphic descriptions of assault and should be safe for most survivors to watch.

Follow me on Instagram: @leifegreenz
Subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/user/leifegreenz

In today’s video, I’ll start by discussing two examples of sexual assault in writing and analyze why some approaches work and some don’t. Who can write about sexual assault and why?

Next, I’ll explain how people with PTSD (or C-PTSD) can write about sexual assault without retraumatizing themselves. The writing tricks you’ll hear about in this video include surrealism, repetition, detachment, and metaphor.

If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with writing about rape, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to write back!

Connect with me on Instagram @leifegreenz

Hire me: https://thewritingleif.com

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Myths of Men

* This essay was originally published on Lunch Ticket, Antioch University Los Angeles’ student-run literary journal. Check out our website for handpicked fiction, poetry, translation, memoir, and more.

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Myths of Men

I am a myth-maker; I make myths of men. My journals and essays and mental spaces are filled with names like Jared, Jeter, and Jefferson, all of them monsters I tried to tame with a pen. My version of myth-making is a form of self-deception. I don’t do this on purpose. It’s a defective coping mechanism—a way to withstand unbearable situations, like drinking to warm yourself on a cold night. You may fool your brain into thinking your body is warm, but it doesn’t stop your body from developing frostbite. These myths may pacify my terror around abusers, but they don’t stop the abuse.

This is where the perennial truth versus fact debate in creative nonfiction gets even more complicated. What happens when I feel like I’m telling the truth, but it turns out to be a lie? What if the facts are correct, I just left some out? What if I feel just as duped as the reader when the truth reveals itself? Continue reading

Cut You Open, Crawl Inside

By Jia Sung for my Narrative.ly piece.

The following is the result of me trying to fit a bunch of thoughts about love, sex, and intimacy into a single piece. It came out as a poem… or a list… or something. It’s a quick and probably painless read that dips into things like saying “I love you” too quickly, unfortunate standards around intimacy, and ineffective healing strategies.

Can I plz sleep inside ur skin, bb?

Continue reading

Creative Nonfiction: Ten of Swords

Hi. This, on the surface, is a story about the uncomfortable process of falling in love. Dig a little deeper and it’s a story about how trauma complicates love. Be warned: this is a rough draft with minimal edits. Also, I glossed over certain traumatic details because I don’t feel like dealing with them right now.

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Continue reading

Creative Nonfiction: Blood Moon

Again, not travel related, but this is one of the two pieces I’ve written over the years that I can still sort of tolerate.

It is graphic. If sex makes you uncomfortable, TURN BACK NOW. There might be people you know in this story. I’ve changed some names to protect anonymity, however, there are a few that remain unchanged.

Continue reading