When No One Cares Anymore: What It’s Like To Still Be Traumatized 10 Years Later

Find out what it's like to remain traumatized ten years after the event, when no one cares anymore-on bettysbattleground.com

A special post for PTSD Awareness Month

June is PTSD Awareness Month, and yesterday, June 27th, was PTSD Awareness Day. Although I feel annoyed that awareness months only last for one month a year; afterall, those of us with PTSD have to be aware of it nonstop, day-in day-out, I am also grateful that more people are taking the time to learn about the disorder. Combat trauma has headlined the PTSD discussion for years. Physical and sexual assault are finally getting some attention, with natural disasters and emergency workers beginning to get a share of notice as well. We are, however, still in somewhat of a dark age when it comes to emotional factors in PTSD. Earlier this week I posted a two part true story by Genelle Chaconas about how they overcame emotional abuse. Today, I want to discuss post traumatic emotional neglect, and my experiences with it.

We often think of emotional neglect as something which occurs between parents and children, or within marriages, but it can occur within any relationship in which emotional bonding and attention is reasonably expected. For those of us living with PTSD, support is crucial to recovery. When we don’t get the support we need, when we experience post traumatic emotional neglect, we suffer very serious consequences.

Often, emotional neglect is unintended. People are busy. Everyone, mentally ill or not, traumatized or not, experiences stress and disappointment. Although we take pride, as a species, in our empathic abilities, humans are also inherently selfish. It’s part of our survival mechanism. Sometimes emotional neglect is an intended tactic used by abusers, but often it just happens. Friends forget to reach out. Family members get overwhelmed by their disappointed expectations. Stigma takes over. And those of us living with a trauma history fall to the wayside.

This post isn’t about placing blame on anyone. It certainly isn’t about calling out my friends for not “being there” enough for me. I am as much to blame-if not more-for the distance between my friends and I. Even if you see yourself reflected within it, it’s not about being passive aggressive or calling you out. It’s about my feelings, and how emotional neglect and rejection exacerbate trauma symptoms.

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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

 

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Parenting with Mental Illness: Sheila (CPTSD+Bipolar Affective Disorder)

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

It’s Monday, and today Monday means yesterday was Mother’s Day, and now it’s over.

Is anyone else glad about that?

Don’t get me wrong…it wasn’t a bad Mother’s Day…my husband made me fancy-ingredient gourmet waffles and changed (most of) all the diapers; my mom and son came over for Cuban congri and yuca (and pork, for them) that didn’t quite match up to what my Abuelita would have made, but it had the general flavor. So overall it was nice.

Vegan yum on bettysbattleground.com

Some grubber with chubby fingers can’t wait for strawberries

I don’t want to ramble too much on a post that really isn’t about me, but let’s just say that holidays in general give me problems, and holidays in which I am the sole or partial focus give me even greater problems. So externally, it was actually very nice, but interally, I still had a difficult and depressing weekend. I’ll miss the gourmet meals and lack of poop cleaning, but I won’t miss the soul-sucking, vertiginous depression.

Sweet moment with Mama and son on bettysbattleground.com

Happy Mother’s Day <3

Today we continue the celebration of mothers with Sheila from Parallel Dichotomy. You may also remember her as the author of the Trauma Informed Care piece I ran earlier. In that piece she talked about a positive model for trauma treatment. In this one, she gets more personal, discussing what it’s like to parent after trauma.

Sheila has been through a lot of really serious trauma. Trauma can’t be quantified by length of experience-we hear that all the time-but I do think the fact that most of her life has been in an abusive environment plays a factor in the extent of her trauma. She struggles a lot, understandably, but in this interview she also demonstrates a host of coping skills and the ability to talk about her experience in a cogent, intelligent manner. I was able to relate to a lot of her answers (a lot), but something I could not relate to was the level of self-support she has, and most especially, the level of outside support she has.

As a society, we applaud trauma survivors who care for themselves; who pick themselves up and heal and get themselves to the place where they can feel and behave and react appropriately. And that’s a great place to aspire toward…but I think it’s really important to remember that as much personal strength and toil it takes the survivor to get there, and as much as she does deserve accolades when she does and while she tries, it also takes a lot of outside support. There is a huge difference in outcome between trauma survivors who have caring, sustained support, and those of us who don’t.

In this interview we see the struggles of a woman who has experienced much, much more than her fair share of hardship, and who is still learning how to be a mom while caring for herself properly. We also get a glimpse as to how trauma survivors should be supported. Hopefully, reading this will help people understand the importance of support in healing; as well as the need for compassion towards mothers who have experienced trauma.

Meet Sheila on www.bettysbattleground.com

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