Parenting With Mental Illness: Tia Hollowood (PTSD)

Parenting with PTSD on bettysbattleground.com

It’s that time of the month again.. Meaning, time for the Parenting with Mental Illness feature interview. As we move forward through sexual assault awareness month on Betty’s Battleground, I’d like to introduce you to Tia Hollowood, who is my co-author/predecessor at Trauma! A PTSD Blog on HealthyPlace. She’s written some really important and interesting articles on life after childhood sexual assault on HealthyPlace like “I Wanted My Abuser To Suffer,” “Why Can Childhood Sexual Assault Lead To Promiscuity?” and “Living With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder During Pregnancy,” among many others. Tia Hollowood is also both a birth mother and a foster mother. In this interview she provides insight to both experiences, which is something new we have not explored here before.

Today, I have the honor of publishing an interview with her about parenting with PTSD. I hope you enjoy her open honesty and quiet, powerfully direct way of communicating. I certainly do! One thing is different this time: I’ll be publishing all of her answers here. I’m just too terrible at keeping up with the newsletter, obviously. I still owe you the bonus answers from the past three months so you’ll get those, but from here on out these surveys will be published complete. You should still subscribe though, because I have some pretty amazing surprises coming up and you don’t want to miss them!

I also want to briefly draw attention to a past featured mama and guest writer here: Brandi Kennedy. Brandi’s beautiful family is struggling right now, and as a result she’s holding a fundraiser to try to make ends meet. I’ve been in that place before and it’s not a great feeling. If you know what it feels like to be unable to provide everything your family needs on your own, despite trying your best, I hope you’ll consider making even a modest donation to her fundraiser.

Anyway, to Tia Hollowood…

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How To Get Through The Holidays Without Relapsing

Holidays are stressful, but relapse is avoidable. Learn how on bettysbattleground.com

October is coming to a close, which means the holidays are getting started. Soon, we will all be in the thick of it. For those of us in recovery from addiction and/or mental illness, the holidays can be notoriously difficult. It’s not just the fact that alcohol appears at many holiday gatherings. Holidays are also typically associated with family gathering and bonding, which can be a touchy subject for those of us with addiction or mental illness histories.

Mental illness is so heavily stigmatized in our society that if you have anything but the most well-educated, open-minded, and compassionate family members, you have probably experienced some share of stigmatizing from the people who are supposed to protect you. Even if your family is lovely, your own erratic behavior during an active addiction or symptomatic flare-up may cause you to feel shame and embarrassment, whether or not your family did anything to contribute to those feelings.

Relapse doesn’t just mean taking drugs or drinking alcohol. It can also mean relapsing into a dangerous depressive episode, mania, or other symptoms of your condition that were in remission. It would be impossible to specifically address every single potential holiday trigger for every single mental illness. Instead, I’ve put together a list of ways to avoid having a major breakdown during the holiday season. It doesn’t matter what holiday it is–this can even be applied during your birthday–any time when you have extra social, familial, financial, and emotional stressors burdening you is dangerous. Hopefully applying some of these tips can help.

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Is There Anybody Out There? Comment If You Can Hear Me

Leave a comment and tell me about you if you read bettysbattleground.com!

If you’re reading this, will you leave me a comment?

Every once in a while I get a message from a reader telling me that my blog resonates with her, that she appreciates my honesty, and that she appreciates that I’m giving voice to experiences and opinions that are often silenced. It feels really great. For someone who spends a lot of time alone–or rather, a lot of time in the company of people too young to articulate complex thoughts–it feels good to know that even though I often feel lonely and unheard, people actually do read what I write on occasion.

Sometimes those conversations continue and that person ends up writing a guest post, or we chat on Twitter* every once in a while, but often it ends with my “thank you.” I don’t get a chance to know these people who read my work.

Other times, I don’t get blog comments or these kinds of messages for days. Even the angry 12-step rebuttals tell me someone is reading, but when nothing comes in at all, the silence of my life begins to crowd around me and stuff up my head like a bad cold. So, I’ve decided to do a sort of “sound check!” Find out if anyone’s actually reading this, and by doing that, learn a thing or two about you (if you do, in fact, exist). I’m publishing a mini-survey to get you know you. Will you leave me a comment and tell me your answers–as many as you feel comfortable providing? Let me get to know you, too!

*about Twitter: Today, October 13th, I am staying off Twitter as part of a protest related to the Weinstein sexual harassment scandal (my computer was autosigned in when I opened it this morning but I didn’t check anything, I swear…and Crowdfire might autopost for me…it might a stupid version of participation, but I’m going to do my best because…fuck Trump) Rose McGowan made some statements about her experiences with the Hollywood creeper and had her account temporarily closed in response. Twitter released a statement assuring everyone that it was simply because she tweeted a personal phone number. Maybe that’s true, or maybe they were looking for an excuse to silence a woman speaking vehemently against a powerful Hollywood mogul. Who knows? What we do know is that Trump has been sending out tweets that may set off a nuclear war, and his account remains untouched–apparently, according to Twitter, because of his “newsworthiness.” Um. Wow. There won’t be any news when we’re all dead. Anyway, that is why I am participating. Any excuse to silence a woman speaking out about sexual violence, but when the idiot president violates the rules by insulting others and making threats of violence, it’s “too newsworthy” to stop. So you won’t see me on Twitter today, October 13 2017.¬†

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