Today’s guest writer, August Pfizenmayer, appeared on this blog in the past–she wrote a post about her experience of being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder while her partner at the time was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you haven’t read “A Neurochemical Romance,” yet, I urge you to do so. It is beautifully written, candid, and an extremely important contribution to the mental illness discussion.
Today, August returns during Sexual Assault Awareness Month on Betty’s Battleground to discuss a different aspect of being in a relationship with someone who has PTSD from sexual assault. That relationship has now ended (amicably, I’m told), and she is here to talk about some of the difficulties she experienced dating a male survivor of sexual assault, and how to overcome them.
If you follow my blog, you know that I enjoy posting perspectives that differ from mine. Which is not to say August’s differs wholly from mine–I’m actually planning to write another post with a similar general theme myself. But one thing I feel I should note is that I have a slightly different perspective (not just from August, but from many people) about our responsibility to the people we love who have mental illnesses.
While I agree that having a mental illness does not give you a free pass to act like an ass, I don’t think we have an inherent right to walk away from people because they are struggling, or because we find their symptoms difficult. I do think we have a right to walk away if someone is abusive, and serial cheating counts–as do other emotionally and physically abusive behaviors. But I wanted to note that I don’t fully agree with some of the statements she makes in this piece, though I do value her opinion and agree with much of it–and certainly believe she has a right to share it.
August Pfizenmayer is the founder of Survival is a Talent. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media manager. A story about her life with schizophrenia has been published in the next volume of The i’Mpossible Project. It is available for pre-order and will be in stores November 2017. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and her personal blog.