Today’s guest post speaks for itself, so I will keep the introduction short. This Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate a different kind of relationship. Let’s celebrate those who have the power to leave romantic relationship that are harmful, and the friendships that keep us afloat. Last week, on my birthday, I had my share of friends keep me afloat; people without whom I would not be here today. Today, you can read a letter from a young woman who herself experienced abuse, written to her dear friend who recently ended an abusive relationship. This letter is written to one specific person–who is very lucky to have such a caring friend–but it also says many things that can apply to any survivor of abuse. If you or anyone you know has experienced abuse, please read this and share it.
Kella Hanna-Wayne is the creator and writer for, Yopp!: a social justice blog that connects education, critiques, calls to action, and personal stories into one resource to lift up marginalized people and educate non-marginalized people on how to help them. For fun, Kella organizes and DJ’s at an Argentine tango dancing event in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon, bakes gluten-free masterpieces, sings loudly along with pop music, and makes cat noises. You can find her on facebook, twitter, or Instagram.
In 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.
Zoe 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.
Today you have the opportunity to read one of the most interesting accounts of dissociation that I have ever encountered. I am extremely proud and grateful to have the opportunity to premier this piece on Betty’s Battleground, even though–and probably even because–much of the information is new to me, and different from my own experience.
I don’t talk about spirituality often, mostly because my spiritual ideas are these super weird combinations of physics theories and creative imaginings that have little to no basis in organized religion, but this post is about one person’s experiences with integrating spirituality as a form of mental health recovery. That might seem ironic, considering I recently posted that I don’t follow the 12-steps because I don’t consider my addiction the result of a god-shaped hole, but as I have mentioned numerous times, I enjoy posting perspectives that are different from mine. Also, as you’ll read, this is a bit more nuanced and intelligent than what is typically offered by the 12-steps..in my opinion..
Molly Meehan is a witch and writer living and healing in Western Massachusetts. After a six year traipse through higher education as a student and employee, Molly has finally come to terms with their long-sublimated desire to devote themself to spirituality. They are a practicing tarot reader and a skeptic intuitive healer who blogs about magic, mental health, and collective liberation on their site Bitchy & Witchy. They also maintain a YouTube channel dedicated to supporting others who live with depersonalization disorder. They can be found on Instagram sharing photos of tarot readings and their familiar, Frankincense the cat.