How To Help A Loved One Who Has Been Raped

Learn about the aftermath of rape on bettysbattleground.com

The first time I was a victim of rape, I didn’t immediately realize I had been raped. I was sixteen, a virgin, and in love. I had no idea that I was still just a child, or that my boyfriend, a man seven years my senior, had been grooming me since I was fourteen years old. Or that he was also doing it to another girl, only thirteen.  Later in our relationship, he would rape me in much more obvious ways; under knife point or threat of violence. But that very first time, on a quiet day in June, I thought it was love. It didn’t matter that it was hurried and painful, or that he seemed to lose interest in me just moments later. It didn’t matter that we were in a cluttered garage, or that a thirteen year old homeless girl would soon rap the door demanding to see him. I thought it was sex, I thought he loved me, and I thought everything was okay.

Rape changed me. There’s no way to fully describe this change without experiencing it. I hope it’s something you, dear reader, never understand. But if you already do, if you’ve been raped, then you know what I mean. No matter how young or old you are, it ruins a place of sacred innocence within you. It exposes you.

This month, November, I am dedicating my blog to rape awareness.

We will be hearing from people who have been raped, and from their loved ones, about how the experience has affected them. If you’re interested in being included in this series, there are still a couple spots available; please see my guest post info page for more details and then shoot me an e-mail.

This first post describes how surviving rape has affected my mental health, followed by ways you can help someone in your life if you learn he or she has been raped. Please note that I have chosen to use she/her pronouns to reflect my own experience and also the fact that more women than men are raped; however, please understand that I believe male and gender-fluid rape victims absolutely deserve the same level of care, and that these tips apply across gender.

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Coping With PTSD Through Self-Harm

Learn how cutting myself helped combat dissociation and flashbacks-on bettysbattleground.com

Last week I published a research based article about 10 scientifically-backed reasons why humans self-harm. Today, I’m going to get a lot more personal. PTSD is an extremely difficult disorder to live with. Coping is a daily struggle. In the past year I have stabilized in a treatment program and made pretty big strides in my personal development. A few years ago, while living in Boulder, CO, I was introduced to mindfulness therapy. These therapies and supports have helped me come up with better coping mechanisms. Things like writing, exercise, reading, watching movies, yoga, mindful cooking or playing, and self care. But for a while, self-harm was one of my go-to coping tools.

Self-harm is a widely misunderstood phenomenon. Our social consciousness seems to center the discussion of self-harm around gothic teenage girls slashing their wrists for “attention.” I think that attention is hardly the goal of self-harm; most cutters or other type of self-harmers I’ve known have been very deliberate about hiding the evidence, but even if people are harming themselves for attention, I do not understand why that means we should not give it to them. Frankly, if one of my daughters started cutting herself in front of me for attention, I’d give it to her.

Anyway, a lot more people self-harm than black garbed teenagers, and self-harm has many more forms than cutting. The most prevalent forms of self-harm I have engaged in are cutting my body, and taking drugs. Drug addiction is a big massive subject in my life that’s gonna take way more than one post to discuss. This post is going to cover cutting as a form of coping with PTSD symptoms. I don’t believe in trigger warnings, because I have no idea what triggers you personally, but I’m telling you right now: THE SUBJECT OF THIS POST IS CUTTING. Take care of your own triggers and read wisely, please.

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Clean Your Way To Being Less Stressed! by Sincerely, Jacqueline

Clean your way to being Less Stressed – 7 Day House Cleaning + Makeover Challenge by Sincerely Jacqueline

bettysbattleground.com co-hosts the 7-day cleaning challenge by sincerelyjacqueline.com

Whaaaaat is it an alternate dimension? It’s a post on Sunday…Betty’s Battleground never posts on Sunday! Well, except that one time.

While in many ways I sincerely wish we were in an alternate dimension, we are not (or maybe we are). But anyway, yes, it’s Sunday, and yes there’s a post on Betty’s Battleground.

I got the impression, a couple weeks ago, that you guys didn’t find my Spring Cleaning for the Mentally Ill post helpful?? Like you guys aren’t going to emulate it in your own lives immediately for some reason?

And, sadly, my house, is kind of a really big mess again. Except I don’t think I can even follow my previous method again. I guess maybe it wasn’t that helpful. Sigh. It was so meant to be helpful.

Well anyway, in that post I made a lil fun of all those Spring Cleaning bloggers with their ridiculous challenges to get your house cleaned super fast. But then this really nice lady named Jacqueline contacted me on Twitter and wanted to exchange challenges. And at first I was like “no way!” because I totally don’t post content that has been previously published here, but then I read it. And it not only totally made sense for my blog…like I could totally relate to her sentiments, but it also seems legitimately feasible. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to get an industrial carpet cleaner in here, but every other part of this actually seems doable. Laundry day is actually going to be easier for me, because I live in an apartment building and don’t have my own washer and dryer. Though, what she said kind of grossed me out. I probably won’t clean the building’s machines…but I at least considered it for a moment. Also, there are some products that she recommends at the end that I will not be going out and buying because I am broker than a joke. Check back on the 17th for a post about how having a mental illness affects your economic status, despite education, intelligence, and experience. (Yes, I did also create a blog calendar! Look who’s getting organized!) If you can afford to use what she recommends, go for it. She sounds like she knows her stuff. If you can’t, be like me and adjust the still super useful tips to fit whatever you have available.

So anyway I’m going to give it a try, and I invite you to do it with me! Check up on my Instagram this coming week to see how its going! I’ll be sure to include any adjustments I make re: products for the insanely broke (YES THAT PUN WAS INTENDED).

Spring Clean the anxiety out of your life with Betty’s Battleground and Sincerely Jacqueline! Oh yeah, and if you want to read the awesome blog this came from so that you can get more helpful home-care advice that you are just not gonna get from me, visit SincerelyJacqueline.com 

P.S. I made a special one-time exception here; I’m still not going to publish your previously published article; please don’t ask.

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