Stereotypical roles for navigating conflict are grounded in gender binaries: Victim/Rescuer versus Perpetrator/Bystander. If conflicts are unfolding at high intensity, with irrevocable consequences, we can find ourselves bouncing between these unsatisfying options. People accused of being perpetrators defend themselves by claiming to be innocent victims. Rescuers burn out, and become disengaged bystanders. Queering conflicts, we discern when we need a level of certainty, in order to empower irrevocable separations with our fiercest resistance, and when fractal dimensions of emergent and divergent alternatives can unfold. We can actively notice the harmful impacts of having only these either-or categories to choose from. Can we open space within, outside and between irrevocable either-or choices?
To resource ourselves for conflict, so we can stand in our certainty, feel our integrity, and find empowered capacity to resist what exists, we need some either-or moments. There are outer edges, where uncertainty ends. There are moments when infinite irregularity gets smoothed out into discernible singularity. We can and must choose: either this or that, right or wrong, now or never. Most of love and life, though, unfolds in fractal dimensions between either-or choices. An almost-infinite complexity opens up in degrees of freedom, following trajectories of ongoing discernment.Worksheet: Elements of Intimacy