Recovering from Abuse: Was Everything My Fault?

CN: extensive discussion of the dynamics, healing process, and emotional experience of abuse. General discussion of PTSD and trauma responses. This post may encourage trauma processing. Read it at your own pace! I have a large number of friends who have been through at least one kind of abuse and I’ve noticed that if someone has gone through the process of recognizing that something that happened to them was abusive at least once, it becomes …Read More

It Can’t Be That Bad: How the Medical System Let Me Fall Through the Cracks

CN: Explicit descriptions and in depth discussion of chronic pain, abuse, medical neglect, gaslighting, and oppression through poverty. Discussion of sexual assault, trauma, mental and illness. Mention of genitals. There is a disconnect between the experience of a patient and the experience of a medical professional, one that worsens if the patient’s illness is chronic or not easily explained. As more and more stories of medical neglect as a result of marginalization are brought to …Read More

I Don’t Have Interstitial Cystitis

CN: extensive discussion of bladder problems, urination, pelvic floor work and internal exams, dietary restrictions, food, descriptions of pain; mention of sex, various health problems, and PTSD. I have always needed to pee more often than anyone I know. When I was a kid, in addition to being a frequent bed-wetter, I also wet my pants whenever I laughed too hard and unlike most kids, I never grew out of the habit. My embarrassing attempts …Read More

When Charity Masks Injustice: Thoughts from an Ex-Missionary

CN: in depth discussion of christian culture and religious institutions, othering and neglect of marginalized groups, stigmatization of mental illness, abuse of power. One of the things I love about the Voices section of this blog is that it creates an opportunity to share guest writers’ life experiences that are so incredibly different from my own. I can research a topic, break it down, explain it to you, but I can’t tell you what it’s …Read More

Signed, the Daughter You May Someday Know

CN: graphic description of self-harm; discussion of suicide, teen homelessness, homophobia, religious opposition to homosexuality, familial rejection, and mental illness. Every openly LGBTQ+ person has a coming-out story. I grew up in an incredibly liberal town where bisexuality or any kind of sexual fluidity was common enough that I encountered very little resistance when I came out, which is why I haven’t written much about my own experience regarding sexual orientation on this blog. The …Read More

Why Chronic Illness Makes it So Hard to Leave Home

CN: Detailed descriptions of the experience of pain and other health issues, discussion of chronic pain, disability, chronic illness. My chronically ill friends and I joke about the medicine cabinet worth of supplies we take with us on any trip that’s longer than an hour because we never know what we’re going to need. Going to an appointment: Water, meds, lip balm, hip-brace, sweatshirt. For work: All of that plus lotion, white flower oil (think …Read More

Dear Me Ten Years Ago: Advice for My 20-year-old Self

CN: brief mention of difficult life circumstances including abuse & trauma, general discussion of mental illness. About a month ago, I was dinking around twitter when I saw the hashtag #DearMeTenYearsAgo. Woah. Where was I 10 years ago? When I first saw this hashtag, I was about to turn 30, which is a big deal on its own, but 10 years before, the lead up to my 20th birthday had also been a big turning …Read More

How Lizzo Helped Me Grow into “My Skin“

CN: mention of cancer, racism, domestic violence, and trauma. I first found out about the singer and performer Lizzo on an early episode of Phoebe Robinson’s podcast, “Sooo Many White Guys.” The podcast is an amazing combo of comedy and digging into the important topics and it features exclusively entertainers and activists from multiple marginalized groups, particularly people of color. As such, I had never heard of most of her guests and it was an …Read More

Understanding the Coping Mechanisms of Victims of Abuse

CN: extensive discussion of the experience of abusive relationships, physical abuse. There are many articles about identifying characteristics of abusive relationships, what being abused feels like, and the aftermath of being abused. But making the decision to leave an abusive relationship is exceedingly difficult, and actually doing it is harder still since doing so safely often takes time and strategic planning. While you are still trapped in the world of abuse, you have to find …Read More

Why I Stopped Taking Anti-Depressants

CN: gaslighting, abuse, money, in-depth discussion of the symptoms and treatment of borderline personality disorder, medication, and mental illness; mention of suicide. As I discussed recently, the use of medication to treat mental illness is the target of a lot of undeserved societal stigma; however, it’s a tool that comes with many challenges in managing side effects, finding the right balance of brain chemistry for you, and for some people, it simply doesn’t work. In …Read More