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: “Trauma Informed Care”

Tales from the Other Side: A guest post series on www.bettysbattleground.com

Happy Monday. New week, new prospects. Well I live with PTSD so past trauma is always sticking to me, but I am hoping to at least shed some of last week’s crap. I’m starting to feel better from the interview…and I don’t want to say too much because it’s still up in the air, but…my project may be salvaged yet! Not with that same person, don’t worry, I’m not TRYING to screw myself…my relationship is doing much better too…If you guys missed it, because I don’t usually post on Sundays, I started The S/O Challenge, and I’d love to invite any of you who are in long-term, non-abusive partnerships to join me! Basically, when I was feeling kind of distant and annoyed with my husband, I came up with a list of ten reasons why I love him. And it helped! There’s a snazzy badge, and an opportunity to share links in the comments, so check it out!

TODAY I am super excited to share with you the second installment of my guest post series “Tales From the Other Side.” Blogger Sheila O’Donnell writes from the unique perspective of someone who has had the dual experience of being a trauma patient and a trauma professional. She could totally relate to what I wrote last week about what I learned in the psych ward from her own hospitalization (which, I should add, was voluntary) but she wanted to tell us about a different sort of place, a place which she and I agree should be the model for mental health treatment. She worked at a facility where they provided hands-off, trauma-informed care. That is drastically different than the psych wards where I have vacationed; places where they gave little care as to whether or not it was re-triggering to put a woman in the midst of a hostage flashback into restraints. I am honored and excited to share this guest post with you, which describes the good side of the mental health system.

Oh! And one last thing I would like to share before introducing you to Sheila! As I was visiting around the blogscape, I came across a post from a new mental health blogger. It was posted last week, it’s called “Things I Learned In A Mental Health Ward,” and it even uses the same graphic as my post. She takes a different approach to the post model, but I totally agree with everything she wrote as well. When you’re done here, check out My MH Recovery.

And now, Sheila:

Tales From the Other Side #2 Bio pic "Sheila" www.bettysbattleground.comSheila is a mental health blogger and advocate currently based in Vermont. After five years working direct service mental health and three and a half years studying for her Bachelor’s in Social Work, she was admitted to a psychiatric unit for seven days. She has since been diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar Affective Disorder, and is learning to cope with and manage the symptoms of these conditions. With the future she thought she had now off the table, she’s returned to her old love of writing and is using her story to raise awareness and fight the stigma around mental health diagnoses. When not blogging about the irony that is her life, she is busy being a single mother to an enthusiastic little girl, dabbling in the world of photography, writing poetry, or geeking out to some sci-fi, fantasy, or tabletop games. You can read more about her journey on her blog, Parallel Dichotomy and you can connect with her via Facebook and Twitter.

Trauma Informed Care by Sheila O'Donnell hosted on www.bettysbattleground.com

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