Parenting With Mental Illness: Brandi (PTSD)

Learn how author Brandi Kennedy manages life and motherhood with PTSD in this tell-all interview on bettysbattleground.comParenting with Mental Illness, a feature interview series on bettysbattleground.comToday’s interview features Author Brandi Kennedy, a writer, blogger, and fellow trauma-mama. Her courage and tenacity shine through everything she writes, and I’m sure equally through everything she does, even when she doesn’t recognize it herself. I am honored to share her story here on Betty’s Battleground.

Before I get to the interview, I want to invite you to leave links to your posts and articles about depression and/or suicide in my current link-up. Off-Fridays converts to a blogger-built resource library once it closes, and this topic is really important, so I hope you will help make it as comprehensive as possible. Cover the topic from all angles!  Click here to get to the instructions page, and then click through to the drop page, or if you’re familiar with Off-Fridays, go to the drop page right from here.

Now, I invite you to learn more about what life is like for parents living with PTSD in this interview with author Brandi Kennedy.

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Healing Words: Undoing The Legacy Of Abuse

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.com

Jack’s Story: Undoing The Legacy Of Abuse

Hello! Welcome to the day after you drank too much. How do you feel?

Seriously though, I hope you had a happy 4th of July. Whether you’re an American or not, yesterday was July 4th and I hope it was a nice day for you.  If you are an American, and not a person who has made a commitment to sobriety, there is a good chance you are curled up nursing a hangover as you read this.

And that’s okay. To each his own! I have been there many, many times. So has our author, a recovering alcoholic. Jack is (almost) my first male guest writer. I say almost because Joe from Nature Rated wrote a lovely post for us earlier this year about outdoor activities to do with the kids. I mention this fact anyway, however, because Jack is the first male writer to contribute a personal narrative.

The truth is, I believe that given everything that is going on in my country right now, the only way to be patriotic is through dissent. So I didn’t celebrate American freedom in the usual way yesterday, but I do think freedom is worth celebrating, wherever and however it is found. Jack’s story is absolutely harrowing, but at age 23, this young man is stronger than many middle aged people I have known. The viciousness Jack has experienced is sometimes hard to believe. We don’t like to think of humans as capable of such needless cruelty. But I have experienced this magnitude of abuse myself. People are capable of enormous cruelty.

Yet people are also capable of great bravery and strength. Jack had the strength to ask and accept help, to own his mistakes and culpability in his problems, and to move forward on his mission to help others struggling to overcome similar issues. Jack’s story is one of freedom; freedom from pain, from self-harm, from negative people, and from the cycle of abuse. This week, I’m celebrating Jack’s story.

Read Jack's story on bettysbattleground.com Jack Travis is currently working on becoming a motivational speaker and an author; his goal is to help transform the lives of others using what he knows from personal experiences. Although he’s in a good place now, he struggled most of his life with mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. His road to salvation has been very dark, bumpy, and has consisted of  many necessary detours, but he is now on a journey to happiness and success, and he invites you join him. You may start by following him on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook &YouTube

Find out how one man is choosing to walk away from a lifetime of abuse on bettysbattleground.com

 

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PTSD Awareness Month 2017: “Down The Rabbit Holes”

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

June is PTSD Awareness Month

I have been sharing a lot of stories about PTSD this month on my blog. I shared a couple posts about my abusive relationship; one on forgiveness, and the other on what it was like to date a sociopath. This month’s Parenting with Mental Illness interviewee is a mother living with PTSD from years of complex abuse. And the current “Book of the Weeks” is a memoir written by Rebecca Lombardo, who lives with PTSD and BPAD. If you haven’t read that post yet, it includes an exclusive author interview, so check it out!

Today, I will be sharing a very special piece for PTSD Awareness Month. This is the two part story of one person’s struggle to escape, cope. and come to terms with childhood emotional abuse. In this piece, they clearly state that their diagnosis is depression; they’ve never been diagnosed with PTSD. I think it’s important to highlight the fact that all of our statistics and various numerations and labels can never fully encompass all of the people who live in the aftermath of trauma, or who deal with PTSD symptoms.

Emotional abuse doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. It can come in the form of emotional neglect, verbal abuse, gaslighting, manipulation, cloaked insults, outright insults, financial or other control, and aggressive unfounded accusations. Basically, there are a lot of ways to emotionally abuse someone without ever laying a hand on them. Because emotional abuse is often intangible, it can be hard to recognize. Many times, people relegate it as “less important” than outright physical abuse. As we will see in this account, however, emotional abuse often escalates into physical abuse. Even if it doesn’t, the damage is still enormous. Sometimes moreso than physical abuse because survivors are less likely to get the attention and support they deserve

Genelle’s essay also grapples with the phenomenon of abused abusers, and the ways that certain types of people can manipulate their own victimization into an excuse. This is how the piece fits into the “Tales From the Other Side” narrative; it’s the true story about how one father’s mental illness affects his child. It is easy to say trauma survivors deserve uniform compassion; it would be simpler to only talk about sympathetic victims. But we need to honestly address the complexity of trauma, and the various ways it factors into our world. Genelle’s essay does just that, and that is why I have chosen to present it as part of a PTSD Awareness special. This is a two part series, so hang on for the ride; it’s well worth it.

 

Genelle Chaconas is genderfluid, queer, feminist, over 30, underemployed, an abuse survivor, and proud of it. They earned their BA in Creative Writing from California State University Sacramento (2009), and their MFA in Writing and Poetics, graduate of Naropa University (2015). Their first chapbook is Fallout, Saints and Dirty Pictures (little m Press, 2011), and they are currently at work on a new chapbook. Their work has been accepted in over 50 publications. They are currently at work on their first full length work. They are a volunteer submission reader at Tule review, and they hosted Red Night Poetry. They plan to run their own literary publication in the future.

Read about Genelle's experience with paternal abuse on bettysbattleground.com

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