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..
The author has asked to remain anonymous, but I hope you will enjoy reading about their experiences of mental health recovery and spirituality. Continue reading →
I don’t usually do this, but today I published my first “real” post on HealthyPlace, besides my introduction of course. I wanted to share it with you, because it’s about something that ruled my life for many years–the unfairness of the universe. Or rather, of trauma. So check it out! You’ll be re-directed to HealthyPlace, so don’t forget to come back and read more posts on Betty’s Battleground when you’re done here. Ta!
“Everyone experiences trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) differently, but one fact is universally true: trauma is unfair. Living with PTSD is also unfair. Nobody deserves to be traumatized. So how do we decide to heal from something that should never have become our burden in the first place?”