Parenting with Mental Illness: Patricia “PTSD Wifey” (Secondary PTSD)

Find out about parenting with secondary PTSD on bettysbattleground.com

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the Pacific Northwest we are fully embroiled in Autumn. The air feels crisp, my daughters are noticing leaves changing colors, and the other day when I walked beneath a beautiful oak, I smelled that cool, mulchy scent that means Fall. Ahhhh…

Mid-October also means it’s time for this month’s Parenting with Mental Illness feature interview. On a side note, I’d love to hear from a dad one of these days. If you’re a father with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or another mental illness, please fill out the preliminary survey¬†(that’s the PTSD link; if you need the general mental illness one, it’s on my guest post info page)!

Today’s feature is a mama who you may have seen around the PTSD blog community before. Patricia “PTSD Wifey” and I did a guest post exchange earlier this year. She wrote about secondary PTSD for Betty’s Battleground, and I wrote about PTSD nightmares for PTSD Wifey. Her blog also appeared on the recent Feedspot list of top 75 PTSD blogs, meaning three blogs that I’ve written on made the list ūüėČ She’s a vocal member of the PTSD community, and I am excited to present her interview today, in which she discusses her experiences with secondary PTSD, a lesser-known phenomenon that merits a ton more discussion.

Without further ado, let’s meet Patricia!

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The Big Question: Why Did You Stay?

The Big Question: Why Did You Stay? A question which should never be asked of DV survivors, and question which is all too often asked of DV survivors. Answered. www.bettysbattleground.com
The Big Question.

The question everybody wants to ask survivors of long-term domestic violence. The question nobody should ever ask a survivor of domestic violence: Why did you stay?

Why
Did
You
Stay?

Look, I get it. If you’ve never experienced relationship violence, it doesn’t seem to make¬†sense that a person would stay in an abusive relationship. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, however, more than 75% of women between the ages of 18 and 49 are abused by the same partner more than once. That means that the majority of women who have been assaulted by their lover, return to their lover. So it can’t just be that we are all pathetic, liars, or masochistic. ¬†There has to be something more.

Which has actually been recognized among the psychological community for years. Yet despite the abundance of information now available to the public about this subject, the question still gets asked. All the time. And it shouldn’t be. It is a really hurtful question to ask a survivor of domestic violence. Even when your intentions are based out of genuine concern and curiosity, and even when you are a beloved confidant, “why did you stay?” sounds to us like “it’s your fault that you were abused.” We already have to battle the shame that comes with feeling like our abuse was our fault. We don’t need anybody reinforcing it, however unintentionally.

So I am going to now answer The Big Question: Why Did You Stay?
I am not a psychological expert. I don’t claim to have professional expertise about the complex emotional and psychological factors with which¬†all DV victims contend. If what you’re seeking is an expert opinion, I recommend visiting one of the sites I linked in the paragraph above, or reading one of the resources I link in the Amazon banner at the end of this post.

What I can offer is first-hand, honest testimony and an answer the question as it applies to my life.  Why did I stay? Which seems to be what a lot of people want to hear judging by how often this question is asked of me.

If you have ever felt compelled to ask me or another survivor the question “Why did you stay,” please, continue reading. And then, when you’re finished, don’t ever ask a survivor this question again.

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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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