Keep Betty’s Battleground Alive!

Become a patron of Betty's Battleground and keep the PTSD-related content going!

Hi all. If you follow my blog, you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been around as much as usual. And I’m sorry about that! Really, I am. I love producing honest, relatable content that helps other mamas with PTSD feel human, and which keeps me connected to the world at large. But with everything going on in my life, I’ve had to privilege paid work over blogging. I’ll link a few of my recent stories that I’m most proud of at the bottom of this post, so you can see that I haven’t been doing nothing. But as the year comes to a close, I want to offer you a way to keep Betty’s Battleground going. By asking you to support the blog through Patreon. Let’s keep ‘er alive…

It doesn’t have to be a lot! But if you can become a sponsor by pledging a monthly donation, I can pledge to write more regularly on the blog. It will probably take a while (or quite a few large sponsors) to get back up to three posts a week…but how does one post a week sound for a start? If I can get $400/month in donations, that will make one post a week feasible while I try to get my kids back. Can you help meet that goal? I know it’s super lofty…but even if we only reach part of it, it will help me get some monthly posts going. And don’t worry: these will be substantive, research-backed posts chock full of the same heart and honesty you’re used to.

If you’re not up to speed, I am working to get my daughters back from child services. Florida has the longest-running child abuse hotline in the country, which means they’ve been taking kiddos from their parents longer than any other state. Florida has the sixth highest maltreatment referral rate in the country–meaning if you’re a poor parent in Florida, you’re more likely than not to become child welfare involved. Their child removal rate is also higher than the national average–in part because they use a janky combination of predicative analytics research results combined with human judgement to determine abuse cases. Broward County in particular–which is where I live–was recently discovered to have a 90% over-referral rate, with at least 40% of court-referred cases (typically meaning children were removed from their homes) to have been treated over-zealously. The same study also found that over-zealous child welfare involvement was more harmful than no involvement at all. That’s the system I’m stuck in. That’s what I’m up against.

My husband is still recovering from his psychotic break. He is not working, he shouldn’t have to be working, but we honestly cannot afford for him not to work. We were both recently ordered to pay $200/month in child support. Something his parents didn’t even need from us…until his father had his own serious medical emergency for which he’s been hospitalized for a week now and counting. I also have to pay monthly rent, utilities, transportation, and the cost of furnishing our home–we’re starting from scratch, which is why I published a wishlist a while back asking for help with household items (right now there are also a bunch of toys for my kids so my elderly family members don’t have to try to remember what little kids like this Christmas). Many of you helped us with that, and now our apartment is actually a decently comfortable place to be! But we still need to furnish our kids’ room and finish the rest of the place, so if you’d like to, and can, help that way, we are absolutely happy to accept. But this post is really about Patreon–because it’s not *just* a gift. I can actually give you something back.

If you folks are able to help blogging bring in some income, I can justify dedicating time to crafting relevant, consistent posts about PTSD, addiction, social justice, drug policy, and parenting with a mental illness. It’s not that I don’t think writing for this blog is worthwhile without money…I did it for a year just for fun and I love you for supporting it with your readership! I just have so many crushing expenses right now that I really can’t write consistently unless it becomes part of my paid work.

So check out the Patreon levels, share it with your mental health/addiction/parenting enthusiast friends, and let’s see if we can get this armory of words back up and running! The URL is


2 thoughts on “Keep Betty’s Battleground Alive!

  1. Here is the quote about Broward County – a representative – who replied to one of your articles bemoaning your situation:

    09.25.2018 @2:45 AM

    I work closely with CPS in Broward county and be assured that they do not use algorithms to take peoples kids. They have actual human agents doing child welfare asessments in the field. These are dedicated individuals that care about the job they do and the children they help rescue from abusive situations. If Mrs. Brico had her children put into anothers custody it was for the safety of those children and with good cause.

    HOWEVER , read the following reply to you after this same article:

    “I follow many mental health blogs. Yours (bettys battleground) is one of my favorites because of the humor you inject into your style of writing. But these most recent developments have me noticing a distinct pattern with you. Last year you were blogging about going through this exactly same scenario. Only the players and the location were different. Instead of your daughters it was your son and instead of in Florida it was in Seattle. In Seattle you wrote there was a psychopathic ex that was plotting to kill you and your family. In Florida your husband is schizophrenic and the government is plotting against you. As somebody that cares about you Im asking you to look in the mirror. You are putting yourself in these situations. And why are you in such a hurry to get back to Seattle where you no longer have an apartment and you claim a madman is after your family? That doesn’t sound safe for those girls. Good luck to you. I’ll keep reading the blog but please try and clean up some of these glaring plot holes in your story.”

    To continue – I read what you want – without the constant filter of self-serving, selfish explanations by you. Don’t you realize that. You start this off by going into how wonderful you were with your girls and another child in the courtroom. Great – but that isn’t the only qualification for motherhood – it is taking responsibility for your children. You took the kids to Florida – so you could look after your psychotic husband? That must have been great for the kids. And then get mad – at others – always others – because they are tired of helping you? Your mean, mean mother-in-law has “never liked” you – you have a traumatic reaction because of you ever-on-going PSTD – but that shows signs of being stable for your children? You become homeless – why in hell didn’t you get a job? – show you can responsibly care for them.

    I did think you moved back to Seattle – you certainly talked about it – but your mental problems, your husband’s mental problems and the unstable environment for your kids – THEY are the real victims here – but you just be happy for this terrific job you MIGHT get – what – waiting tables would have been beneath you to pull some money in for your kids – and like the above person mentions – you never, ever look in the mirror at yourself. But you want to write for “mamas” – the FACT is your kids are gone and all anyone has to do is read beneath YOUR lines – as just happened very recently – it is ALWAYS ignoring the horribleness of what you have done to your kids – it is ALWAYS about poor, poor Elizabeth – and it probably ALWAYS has been.

    I am angry for your kids – all of them – the true victims here – thank god they are with your mother-in-law – get over yourself and the self-pity – which is what really shines through.

    • You SERIOUSLY misspelled “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

      Look, I appreciate that you’re such a fan. You seem to follow my work really closely, but you truly need to improve your reading comprehension and information gathering skills. I’m not joking. You’ve claimed a couple of times that you’re a professional writer. I hope that’s not actually true, because writing is a serious and important job. Spreading knowledge matters, and ensuring that the knowledge you share is factual is, well, a crucial component for any non-fiction writing job. Fiction writing is different, so if that’s what you do, there’s more leeway.

      But, for example, you called my Undark story a “begging for money article.” What? That was an assignment; I was paid to write it. Being paid for working is not begging for money. Then you claim that a random person leaving a comment in which they claim to “work closely with Broward CPS” is factual; more-so than the researched and fact-checked article the comment was left under. You seem to think that this silly, erroneous comment (Broward’s child welfare agency is DCF, not CPS) negates my research and hard work, when it doesn’t. And you seem to think this person is commenting on my specific case, when it’s very clear that this person doesn’t have that access. This is not a representative from Broward commenting on my story; a “professional writer” should know that’s not how that process works. Now–it is true that Broward does not use a real-time predictive algorithm, but I never claimed it did. The state of Florida integrated findings from an absurd statewide research algorithm into their substantiation process, which is scary and has led to an uptick in unnecessary child removals.

      I don’t really know why you’re so obsessed with me that you’re going around reading all of my stories and re-posting comments from other articles into new comment boxes, but again thanks for the readership, I guess. It’s sort of flattering, sort of creepy. You’re the one who is apparently making everything about me. You sure devote a lot of time to reading my work and dissecting it, I just wish you’d do a better job. You keep saying garbage that just makes no sense. I took my children’s father to his family in Florida so he could get better and be there for his daughters. But you seem to think that was child abuse. Helping their father get healthy is evil..hmm…and then your repugnant lack of understanding about PTSD is just that: repugnant.

      The FACT is that I am a great mother. My daughters adore me because I am a great mother. Having become trapped in a corrupt system by people who made judgements about me without ever having met me, much less seen me parent my daughters, doesn’t change the fact that I am a great mom. I am loving, attentive, supportive, nurturing, fun, protective, and patient. I am angry for my kids too; they are being victimized by a system that doesn’t give a damn about them or what they want or need. My daughters want and need their mother, and I am right here with open arms waiting for them, whenever this dumpsterfire of a system wants to let them come home.

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