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…

Continue reading

Healing Words: An Author’s Search For Trauma Recovery Through Writing

Brandi Kennedy talks about how writing and mindfulness has helped her recover from chronic abuse on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comHey readers, I apologize for missing my Wednesday post this week, but I’d like to call your attention to the article I was busy working on instead.

When I was pregnant and on methadone, I was caught in the Front Range Flood. Well, not caught in it per se, I was just outside of it, but my clinic closed and I couldn’t get to the one that was designated to courtesy dose us. You can read more about it in the article, but it is truly horrifying how unprepared many methadone facilities are for ensuring continuity of care. Unprepared is not even the right word; there are actually plenty of protocols in place, as I learned while researching this piece, but many programs and hospitals choose to turn patients away. It’s unfair, and unconscionable. Imagine going through the worst disaster of your life, and also being in intense opiate withdrawal? You can read it here.

Let’s also remember that while all of this has been going on, massive flooding has been destroying parts of Southeast Asia. More than 1,000 people have died, far higher than the death toll from Harvey.They deserve our care and attention too.

I’m glad that my blog is equipped to have outbound links open in separate windows, because I also don’t want you to miss this guest post from Author Brandi Kennedy. She’s a fiction writer and a poet besides a blogger, and it shows in the beauty of her narration, but the subject is deeply troubling. Despite my own traumatic experiences, I never cease to be shocked by the capacity for pain and cruelty this world holds. I’m glad the assignment I’m writing this weekend focuses on human kindness instead, but for now..let’s read Brandi’s story of recovery through writing and mindfulness.

Author Brandi KennedyRead about Brandi Kennedy's healing through writing on bettysbattleground.com was a survivor before she knew she was a warrior. Through her love of reading, she found temporary escape from the abuse that was an ever-present part of her childhood; through writing, she’s found healing and renewed life. These days, Brandi is a romance novelist and mental health and lifestyle blogger who spends her moments writing her way toward her dreams. Through self-expression, the courage to share honestly, and the desire to weave words into the very magic she once used as escape, Brandi is learning to embrace life as an Undaunted Woman – and hoping to welcome others along on the ride. Read her full bio here.

 

Continue reading

Parenting with Mental Illness: Karin (PTSD)

Parenting with Mental Illness, a feature interview series on bettysbattleground.com

It’s that time of the month again..By which I mean, of course, time for the monthly Parenting with Mental Illness interview. I am so grateful to the three mothers I have interviewed so far for being so generous with their stories. Maria, the first mother I interviewed, described the feeling and effects of Postpartum Depression with unabashed honesty, which is so important, because when we hide the most embarrassing or shameful aspects of our disorders, we perpetuate negative stigmas about what they “should” look like.

Sheila did not hold back in describing her traumatic past, or the obstacles which CPTSD and BPAD have placed between herself and her overarching goals. She also showed us the importance of support after trauma, which is a pet issue of mine, so I really appreciate her for that.

Today, we’ll meet Karin, a single mother who lives with PTSD. Like everyone who has PTSD, Karin has been through more than her fair share of hardship. The part of her story that broke my heart the most was when she talked about being strangled during pregnancy; I too was strangled by my former partner during pregnancy, so I know how much that experience robs you of security, sanity, and hope.

Yet Karin has persevered. She credits much, if not all, of her recovery to a treatment called EMDR. I was not familiar with EMDR before first talking to Karin. The acronym stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.” It is a little confusing, frankly, as someone who has never experienced it or had it explained to me by a professional, but it is supposed to help trauma patients reprocess their trauma using “bilateral stimulation,” which involves eye movement and electromagnetic stimulation. It appears to be connected to REM sleep. Read Karin’s interview to learn more about her experiences with it, as well as her life as a mother with PTSD.Learn more about parenting with PTSD on bettysbattleground.com

 

Continue reading