Letting Go And Starting Over

Letting go of all your things is crushing and freeing rolled into one--on bettysbattleground.com

Letting go is hard. When my mom was a young teenager, her family left Cuba in disgrace. In 1966, the Revolution was over, Fidel Castro was in power, and many of the changes that would prove him a ruthless dictator were already taking place. My grandparents were both teachers–intellectuals were reviled in communist Cuba because they were considered among the most outspoken against the new regime. Before she left, my mom saw signs posted around the campus where her father taught, declaring him a traitor. The government seized their house, and they were only able to bring two suitcases among the five of them. I’ve never seen a picture of my mom as baby for this reason. On the airplane, she had to surrender her Cuban passport for refugee admissions to the United States. To this day, she has never again set foot in Cuba.

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Tales From The Other Side: How Social Systems Ignore And Exacerbate PTSD

Learn about social systems and PTSD on bettysbattleground.com

Tales from the Other Side: A guest post series on www.bettysbattleground.comToday’s guest post on social systems and PTSD comes from a freelance writer covering some of the ways in which our society worsens the experience of trauma survivors, even while trying to help them. This is an issue near and dear to my heart, which I feel embroiled in personally myself (and have for a while). I have been covering related issues about addiction, and I grateful to guest writer Avery T. Philips for taking on–at least in part–the enormous issue of society’s failing treatment of those with PTSD.

Once you’re done reading this essay, don’t forget to read my exclusive and super honest interview with author Amy Dresner–you can even enter to win a free copy of her book and all you have to do is like, go to Facebook or send a tweet. Seriously. It’s that easy…so do it.

Avery T. Philips discusses social systems and PTSD on bettysbattleground.comAvery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.”

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How To Help A Loved One Who Has Been Raped

Learn about the aftermath of rape on bettysbattleground.com

The first time I was a victim of rape, I didn’t immediately realize I had been raped. I was sixteen, a virgin, and in love. I had no idea that I was still just a child, or that my boyfriend, a man seven years my senior, had been grooming me since I was fourteen years old. Or that he was also doing it to another girl, only thirteen.  Later in our relationship, he would rape me in much more obvious ways; under knife point or threat of violence. But that very first time, on a quiet day in June, I thought it was love. It didn’t matter that it was hurried and painful, or that he seemed to lose interest in me just moments later. It didn’t matter that we were in a cluttered garage, or that a thirteen year old homeless girl would soon rap the door demanding to see him. I thought it was sex, I thought he loved me, and I thought everything was okay.

Rape changed me. There’s no way to fully describe this change without experiencing it. I hope it’s something you, dear reader, never understand. But if you already do, if you’ve been raped, then you know what I mean. No matter how young or old you are, it ruins a place of sacred innocence within you. It exposes you.

This month, November, I am dedicating my blog to rape awareness.

We will be hearing from people who have been raped, and from their loved ones, about how the experience has affected them. If you’re interested in being included in this series, there are still a couple spots available; please see my guest post info page for more details and then shoot me an e-mail.

This first post describes how surviving rape has affected my mental health, followed by ways you can help someone in your life if you learn he or she has been raped. Please note that I have chosen to use she/her pronouns to reflect my own experience and also the fact that more women than men are raped; however, please understand that I believe male and gender-fluid rape victims absolutely deserve the same level of care, and that these tips apply across gender.

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