Healing Words: Surviving My “Evil Stepmother”

Read about Ana's experiences growing in an abusive household on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comHello, happy Friday!

As I promised earlier this week, I have a very special guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Ana De-Jesus. Ana’s blog is Faded Spring, where she melds her fashion blogging and modeling with feminism, trauma narratives, and other socially conscious issues. It’s wonderful! Hop on over and take a look when you’re done here.

Ana’s story is difficult to read. We don’t like to hear about children experiencing abuse and neglect. In some ways, it becomes even more difficult to learn it’s at the hands of a stepmother or stepfather, because this is a person who was welcomed into the family and instead chose to tear it apart. Even though it’s a hard read, I ask you to read through to the end. Too often we hear the fairy-tales about the beautiful princess and the evil stepmother. We brush that early plight aside as a necessary part of the princess’ story, and we watch her move forward into a romantic happily-ever-after. The true story is far more nuanced. Ana survived her own version of the “evil stepmother,” and she certainly fits the mold of a beautiful ingenue, but she is also now living with aftermath that involves mental illness, continued strife, and deep strength and courage.

Read my half of the guest post exchange here.

Learn about Ana's experiences growing up with an abusive stepmother on bettysbattleground.comAna De-Jesus is a Multi Award Winning Blogger with a BA in English Literature, English Language and Education and Social Sciences. Her Blog Faded Spring celebrated its two year anniversary in August and after working in marketing and promotions, she now blogs full time, alongside running two successful social media groups for bloggers. Ana’s blog has been nominated for a total of 7 awards and was ranked by Feedspot as 33rd in the Top 50 Best Blogs and Websites in the UK. She is also a Freelance Journalist and has an extensive writing portfolio covering media outlets like magazines, websites, newspapers and more. Ana’s blog has enabled her to collaborate with huge brands like Public Desire, Pretty Little Thing and River Island and she is passionate about having frank and open discussions centered on mental health, abuse, bullying, sex and dating. When she isn’t blogging, Ana can be found reading historical fiction, watching Rick and Morty and hanging out with friends.

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How I’ve Been Dealing With PTSD When My Supports Failed

Find out what happens to someone with PTSD when all supports fail-on bettysbattleground.com

Feelings of worthlessness. Social anxiety. Telephonophobia. A sense of foreshortened life. Cherophobia. Agoraphobia. Nightmares that feel like a portal to hell. Physical numbing. Emotional numbing. Suicidal ideation. Suicidal intent. Low self-esteem. Poor sense of danger. Hypervigilance. Rage. Body aches. Depression. Fatigue. Susceptibility to chemical dependency and addiction. Inability to trust others. Inability to show affection. Inability to receive affection. Extreme isolation. Hallucinations. Fear for loved ones. Tendency to push loved ones away. Expectations of loss. Expectations of harm. Self-harm. Derealization. Depersonalization. Personality dissociation. Flashbacks. Panic attacks. Generalized anxiety. Aggression. Inability to work. Obsession with loss. Fear.

These are just some of the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While not everyone lives with all of these symptoms, many of us live with a lot of them. If you don’t have PTSD, imagine living with just one or two, all the time. Those of us living in the aftermath of trauma have to battle debilitating symptoms on a constant basis. It can’t easily be done alone. We rely on our supports to function. So what happens when all of our supports–or even just a great majority of our supports–fail to come through? That is what has happened to me this past month, so I’m at a great vantage point to talk about it.

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Why The “Detox Negative People Fad” Hurts The Mentally Ill

Why you should think twice before detoxing those "toxic" friends-on bettysbattleground.com

You’ve heard it before. Maybe you have even said it, or some variation. “Detox the negative people out of your life.” The basic tenet is that we all deserve happiness, we all deserve to be around people who make us feel good, nobody deserves to be abused, and we have a right to control who we do and don’t allow into our inner circle. Sounds healthy, right?

The problem here is that while abusive people are always toxic, “toxic” or “negative” people are not always abusive. Sometimes people get poisoned, and that makes them “toxic” for a while. But with treatment, care, and support those people can get better and become whole, healthy, happy people again-something they deserve too. Or, everyone can just detox them and they can stay toxic and embittered forever.

When you google “detox negative people,” page after page of results pop up. How to detox negative people out of your life and feel good about it states that a toxic person is “a person who complains and dumps their problems on you but doesn’t do anything to change their situation.” Removing negative people from your life says, “A positive attitude is contagious, but a negative attitude spreads like wildfire. No one wants to be around someone that is constantly negative and complaining. These people are toxic, and it is reasonable to remove them from your life.” How To Tell When It’s Time To End A Friendship writes, “you put in most of the effort.  You invite, call, and initiate almost everything to keep the friendship going.” In all three of these examples, and many more, people who feel poorly more often than they feel well, or who don’t employ “normative” social tools-no matter the reason-typically meet the standard of “toxic” and are therefore worthy of being detoxed. I have a major problem with this.

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