(Reblog) How Feeling Helpless Helps My Trauma Recovery

Can helplessness offer lessons for healing? Find out in this blog post by Elizabeth Brico

How feeling helpless helps my trauma recovery? Yes–you read the title correctly. The subject of this article is helplessness as a form of healing. If that sounds completely counter-intuitive to you, you’re not alone. I’m sure that if I had come across an article making this same claim in the past, I would have labeled it as completely ludicrous. But hear me out. If you totally disagree, you can write out your counter-argument in the comments.

Also, as you read this, I need you to understand that I’m not arguing you should intentionally bring yourself to a place of helplessness, nor that dangerous helplessness (the kind that can cause posttraumatic stress disorder–PTSD–or re-traumatization) is somehow cathartic. Instead, I want to tell you about a  situation in which I was clearly helpless, and how accepting that helped me feel a little bit safer in this chaotic world.

Read the rest of Elizabeth Brico’s article on HealthyPlace here

Healing Words: Reclamation–This Is My Body. I Live Here.

Zoe Azrael talks sexual assault, shame, and healing on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comIn an effort to relieve the misplaced shame many sexual assault survivors carry, Betty’s Battleground is dedicating the month of November 2017 to sexual assault and rape awareness. I began the series with a post about the psychological impact of being raped and how you can help a loved one who has been raped. For the second post of the series, I bring a guest post by one of my grad school cohorts, Zoe Azrael. Part of the Healing Words series, it discusses her experiences with sexual assault as a youth, the shame she experienced as a result, and how she has intentionally reclaimed ownership of her mind and body since.

Once you’re done reading Zoe’s story–and please do read Zoe’s story, it will be your loss if you don’t–I hope you’ll come back and check out my latest on Vice. This one is also about the way women’s bodies are hijacked and controlled, but this time it takes place in prison and it’s government officials who are doing a legally sanctioned version of bodily hijacking. Read “Another Way Prisons Treat Pregnant Women Like Shit” on Tonic/VICE.

Read how Zoe Azrael overcame shame and reclaimed her body after sexual assault on bettysbattleground.comZoe Azrael holds an MA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville and an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University. Mountains make her feel alive.

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Relationships: A PTSD Post-Valentine’s Day Special

Note: This post contains sponsored links. For more information, please see the Sponsored Links and Posts Disclaimer on my Mission+Legal Page.

Hey readers, here is a special post-Valentine’s Day treat. You get to learn all about relationships, and just how extra screwy they get when dealing with PTSD!

I don’t really participate in Valentine’s Day. I consider Valentine’s Day to be an invented holiday, one which both upholds and is upheld by capitalism; one which aims to make the single and the poor feel inadequate, and encourages the wealthy and coupled to spend.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had fun helping my daughters craft glittery, sticker-crowded paper hearts for each other, but that is about as Valentinesy as I get.  My husband spent the evening of the 14th cooking meals for other couples (and probably making bank in tips), and I messed around on social media and Netflix after putting the girls to bed.

Nonetheless, there’s been a lot of social media talk about Valentine’s Day.  And a lot of pink, heart-shaped decorations everywhere.  It is not really possible to both live within society and completely ignore Valentine’s Day.  So, while I did not particularly celebrate, or want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the atmosphere this week has me thinking about relationships.

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