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Showing posts from June, 2017

In Support of Emotional Abuse Survivors

Dear survivor:

Before anything else, I want to tell you your trauma is valid. Even if you don't have bruises or scars and you feel like you don't have "proof." Even if you were only with them for a short time. Even if you feel like it was your fault and you had your chance to leave. You are not crazy or complaining for being honest about your trauma.

You are not the only one who feels this way. You are not alone in your confusion, frustration, and pain.

It may take you a long time to recognize that you were abused. It may take years. That doesn't mean you're making it up. It may take several therapists to properly deal with your residual feelings. That doesn't mean you're being too dramatic.

Someday, you might find yourself doing things that your abuser used to do, and you start to panic and think "I'm turning into him/her." You're not. You're not like them. You're a survivor and you can change those behaviors and be better.

How My Hypersensitive Hearing Fuels My Anxiety

We live in a very loud world. Unbearably so, to someone born with hypersensitive heaing/misophonia like me. It's a form of sound sensitivity much like hyperacusis. I cannot stand sounds above a certain decibel level, and I live often in chronic fear of being overwhelmed by sounds.

I also have depression and anxiety. I'm not sure if my sensory disorder caused my anxiety, or if it's just adding fuel to a fire that's been burning for a long time. Either way, I am at my most panicked when I am being overwhelmed by sound.

When I was little, it was so much worse. My sound aversions were unbearable; I lived in terror of the fire alarms at school, I refused to flush public toilets because of how loud they were, Fourth of July was absolutely a nightmare. During much of the month of July, I would walk around in public with bulky headphones like you would at the gun range. I'm sure I looked ridiculous. Anxiety weighed on me and I didn't know how to get help.

These disorde…

Loving Yourself When You Love Someone with Mental Illness

There are many articles online about how to love someone with a mental illness. I do not want to say that those are unimportant; they are very, very important. But something I have not seen in any article is the message that they need to care for themselves as well.

It's hard to love someone in the middle of the storm. It's hard to give so much of yourself up for someone who may not appreciate you at the time. It's hard to know when to stop giving, and it's even harder to "Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life." (Prov 4:23)

So, today I am here to talk to the children, the best friends, the partners of those with mental illness. From someone who both experiences depression and anxiety and has family/friends with various mental illness, I'm here to say: take care of yourself, too.

You are not supposed to fix them.

You can't. As I posted recently, "you don't 'cure' mental illness; you treat it through an everyday, …