I got punched at work today. By a 4'9" 19 year old. Root causes: trauma and scarcity

Really I just took half the blow. Other half landed on the intended recipient. This list is for both young women in the altercation, who have more in common than they know.
  1. Chronic trauma: You survived because you're a soldier. You've been at war your whole life. Anyone not willing to fight all day every day wouldn't have made it this long. A soldier's only job is to fight. You did your job. That also means you are always ready - always on the verge of fighting.
    But you are now coming in charge of your own life. You're a general. You choose the stakes. You choose the battlefield. You choose the strategy. You can broker peace. It is a choice. It wasn't as a soldier. You are still learning that as a general you have more to lose and that while the fight is a soldier's only option, it is the general's last resort.
  2. Present trauma: You are always at the at the breaking point. We can only handle so much. You are handling more than that. Your emotional capacity is beyond its limit. The stressors are real: potential homelessness, lack of food, trouble with the cops, people trying to take take take from you.
    You don't feel like you have grace to give. Not to someone who doesn't got your back like I do. Not to someone you barely know. But you need to dig deeper. Drill further til you find out your strength is boundless, your capacity is limitless. There's no other option. We always have to have more to give. Self harm is the only other option you've found.
  3. Scarcity: You are just beginning to establish your queendom. Up until now your queendom was just you. You are not used to having anything to rule over. You have lived with little for forever. All that you have had is your pride and your sense of worth. You are all you had.
    And fuck if you're going to let anyone even try to diminish that, diminish you. You said something because she touched your bag. I know you guard your possessions so closely. That's that chronic trauma/present threat of having nothing. But she just wanted to ask if it was yours to see if she could sit in the one chair left. Switch. She came out her face at you. I know you guard your pride so closely. That's all you've had til two weeks ago. But she is scared like you've been.
  4. There's not even any conflict. No real cause. No gain for anyone to make. No one benefits. Just words spilling out of holes left by trauma and left empty by scarcity denying you any way to fill them.
    Who is your fight with? Really it's with these fucks who profit from the systems which have caused you trauma and left you in all types of famine. As a soldier though, you just fight the person in front of you. It's kept you alive so far.
  5. So that happened and we can't make it unhappen. The bureaucratic ramifications will take a business day or two to catch up. My hope is that you don't stop the work we started together. I'm only here to support you in building your future.
    But you punched her. Switch. And you made those threats. I can't promise either of you anything right now. All I have to give is words of belief that not matter what, you will make it. That's all I have.
  6. Clarification for li.st: I'm not with ACS. I'm with a voluntary program that has conditions for client participation. My working relationship with individual young people is meant to be temporary and limited in scope. A bandaid.