Thank you for reading the Child Abuse and Mental Health Survivors newsletter. Each week I share new blog posts and other resources that aim to help survivors of childhood abuse and those who are struggling with mental health issues feel less alone as we discuss the issues surrounding our issues. If you’ve tried to follow the resources I share on social media and find that the algorithm has decided for you to not show you the things we post, this is the best way to get caught up each week.
For more information about me and why this newsletter exists visit the website - Child Abuse Survivor.
So it’s that time of year again. Mother's Day. It’s a day that reminds me of all of the amazing women in my life who’ve made such an impact on me, and it’s also a day that reminds me that my Mother and my wife’s Mother are no longer with us. It also serves as a reminder than we chose to not have children and that there are many other childless couples who didn’t choose to that way.
Once again, real life is much more complicated than the “Get your Mom the perfect gift” commercials would have us believe. That’s OK. I think anyone who grew up with childhood abuse already knows those depictions of family bliss aren’t really for us anyway. Let someone else have their Norman Rockwell moments at the holidays. We know better.
What I have found interesting this year is that some places have offered to opt you out of their Mother’s Day marketing. They seem to be recognizing that the messages about Mother’s Day sent to someone who just lost their Mother could be too much, and want to help with that.
That’s great. Now do Christmas, Thanksgiving, Father’s Day, and every other holiday where society tells us about the family we should have that so many of us have never known.
Even if the commercial sellers don’t get on the train that fully, there’s no reason the rest of us can’t. So, if you’re acknowledging Mother’s Day, good for you. If you’re mostly ignoring it, you’re not alone in that. Enjoy your typical May weekend with no significance at all, just like I will, and let us know about your plans in the comments.
New From the Blogs
Are We Past Stigmatizing Mental Health Issues?
Nothing tells me that we still have a long way to go when it comes to stigma like learning about a clearly distressed young man getting killed on a subway while other passengers sat and watched. Because his situation was uncomfortable. His manic behavior made them uncomfortable and all of the compassion for other people who struggle with mental health issues went right out the window in this case. This wasn't a well-put-together person speaking calmly, this was very different. The same core issue - mental health - but different results. One group is acceptable. The other not so much.
What's the point of all of those accomplishments if you never have any fun?
Sharing - How To Help De-Escalate Bad Situations When You're In Public
The article linked below offers some good advice for how to both keep yourself safe and also de-escalate the situation. Which is what should happen if at all possible. Escalating the situation rarely ends well. Someone died in this case. Let's do what we can to prevent escalation so that no one has to get hurt.
Shared From Elsewhere
We’ve talked recently about friendship and connection. Here are some more items on the subject.
Nothing Beats Great Friendships
"True friends are those people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.”
Small acts of kindness matter more than you think
We have identified youth mental health as a concern, how about some ideas on how to help?
Psych Ward: What It’s Like to Stay in a Mental Hospital - an interesting look at the experiences of people who’ve spent time in a hospital. It’s not something many have experienced and it’s definitely not what you see in TV shows and movies.
7 Simple Ways to Be Kinder to Yourself, According to Experts
This is an important reminder because so often we feel shame about how we respond to our trauma when we shouldn’t. - Trauma responses are CONDITIONED, not “chosen.”
From the Archives
Quick Thought Number 8 – An Example of Stigma and When We Can’t Be Open
For many people, who may be applying to college, or for a job, or who work in fields that would carry a lot of stigma around the issue, it’s not always safe to speak openly about their mental health struggles.
This is why those of us who can, need to, and it’s why when someone does speak openly about it, we must be willing to share those voices.
Every day you have is a chance to move forward toward having the life you deserve, and there are only so many of them available. How many is too many? When is the “right” time? Why isn’t it today? It should be today. I’m not saying you need to be healed and living a great life tomorrow, but we all know that healing takes time and struggle, regardless of when you start down that path. Why not get on it and keep on it?
One of the best things I ever learned in therapy was that it was OK to stop living up to that standard. That I can live my life, and be what I want to be, not what others want me to be.
Thanks for reading. If you find this newsletter informative and helpful to you, spread the word. That’s the best way you can say thank you for the effort I put in each week.
Have a good weekend.