The Voices Of & For Parenting Surivors

‘Merica, We Have a Problem–A Mental Health Care Manager/Survivor’s Rant.

Between watching the Spotlight Movie last night, spending the last two hours delving into trauma-informed care publications for an article I’m working on, and witnessing the damaging failures of the mental health system at work this week…I’m overwhelmed.
I’m frustrated that obvious connections between a person’s experiences and physical and mental health are not being made. I’m tired of hearing about people’s treatment plans instead of their struggles, and what led up to them.
I feel helpless watching people fall through cracks because they don’t fit criteria for help they desperately need–be it help with obtaining medical/mental health treatment, housing or other vital needs.
failing mh system
I’m tired of hearing that there is no hope for someone because his/her issues are “behavioral”, and not “real”, only encouraging individuals to continue on with reckless behaviors, sometimes involving attempts at taking their own lives, because they don’t know how else to be heard or seen.
I witnessed a psychiatrist ask a patient with an extensive history of sexual traumas if (s)he “disassociates”. She had no idea what he meant. She had never before heard the term, despite being in and out of treatment since a very young age.
Isn’t being able to identify that kind of behavior the key to changing negative and non-effective coping strategies? Doesn’t that just make sense? How has this person been “in the system” for nearly 15 yrs and it take having an almost fatal psychotic break before she is diagnosed with PTSD?? Why did she leave his office with more medication, and not a recommendation for her therapist to help educate her on what exactly PTSD is and how she can move forward in recovering?
What is it going to take?
I’m not burn-out, I’m pissed off.
The only good thing about feeling this way is it motivates me. It reminds me of the importance of creating the Trigger Points community and the conversations we have had and continue to have; the importance of sharing knowledge and stories; the power in empowering one another.
This frustrated energy is the fuel I need to continue working in a broken system, in hopes of making even miniscule changes. It’s motivation to step out of my comfort zone and present the Trigger Points anthology to the people that will benefit from hearing the stories, and understand the value of bringing the topic of parenting as a survivor to the surface.
These are seeds. Seeds we are planting to break cycles and help create a wave of cultural change. It’s an uphill battle with cultural and systemic barriers in every direction, but it’s worth it. Actually, it’s vital.
People deserve better. We deserve better.
The next generation will be better.
The Voices Of & For Parenting Surivors

*Submission Opportunity to Guest Post for the Trigger Points Blog*

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We are running an open call for submissions to guest post on the Trigger Points blog throughout the month of February, with the theme Survivors Empowering Survivors.

Our intention with this series is to engage the survivor community with stories written by survivors. We’re looking to inspire readers by introducing them to the difference you are making in your day to day, or on a larger scale. Especially, as it pertains to parenting as a survivor.

We want to hear about:

  • A book you’ve written or are working on.
  • A workshop, class, center, non-for-profit or conference you created or helped create.
  • Your experience speaking or teaching on the topic.

Other stories we are interested in:

  • A discussion you’ve had with your child(ren) about your abuse.
  • You’ve found a way to channel your recovery in a healthy, challenging way i.e. running, creative arts.
  • A therapeutic model you have used that has positively (or negatively) affected your recovery i.e. EFT, EMDR, CBT, DBT
  • A trigger you have experienced that you are struggling with; one you may or may not have learned to manage yet.
  • Your reaction to reading the Trigger Points Anthology and the impact it left on you.
  • An essay you have written based on one of the journal prompts from the Trigger Points Anthology.

If you have an idea based on something other than what is listed here, we encourage you to reach out to us.

We prefer original essays tailored to the survivor community, which includes loved ones of survivors and those that are working with survivors on their recovery journey. However, we will consider previously published work. Please let us know if what you are submitting has been previously published.

We will be accepting essays until February 7th. Send your essay in the body of an email to, with guest post submission as the subject. Don’t forget to add a short bio (3 to 5 lines) with a headshot if you would like. And send along an image to go with your essay if you have one.

We want this to be an opportunity to relate, engage, learn and teach within the survivor community.

We can’t wait to hear from you guys!

♥ Dawn & Joyelle





Meet the Trigger Points Contributors

Trigger Points Contributor: Nikki Patrick

Welcome to our new interview series where we get to introduce you to the Trigger Points contributors.

Our first interview is with Nikki Patrick, author of Taking Back What is Mine.


1. What was the most surprising thing about becoming a parent?
The most surprising thing for me has been how much having children of my own has helped to heal old wounds from my childhood. Giving my children the things all children should have and watching them grow into secure and independent little beings has been so empowering to me, and allowed me to really come to terms with all that I didn’t have.

2. Tell us about one of your proudest parenting moments.
My proudest parenting moment came several weeks ago in the grocery store parking lot. The sun was shining, the air was warm, and we were having one of those days where you just really feel like you are doing a great job at this parenting thing. My daughter looked up at me and without missing a step said, “I love you mommy, you are my best friend.” I felt such pride and joy. Pride that I am raising such a healthy happy kiddo and joy that I even have the ability to do so.

3. Was it difficult for you to participate in this project? What strength did you pull from to get past the fear and contribute?
No, I had no difficulty participating. I have found that being open and honest about my experiences has been very healing and helpful on my journey. I pull strength from other survivors who reach out to me and tell me they’ve been there; they can relate.

4. Do you believe participating in the project has changed you in any way? If so, how?
I believe it has changed me in that it renewed my desire to connect with and be a resource for other parent survivors. Parenting as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is such a unique experience. This project has affirmed that there is a huge community of us. We can be such a great source of support and help.

5. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?
My children have taught me what love really looks like. There are no expectations, no conditions. There is forgiveness. There is security. Each day they teach me to love, to feel joy in every moment, and what childhood should and can look like.

6. When you are not writing or parenting, what do you love to do?
I enjoy spending time with my husband, watching mindless t.v. shows, and occasionally going for a run. I am also a volunteer Babywearing educator and enjoy helping other caregivers bond with their babies.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, breastfeeding her was the furthest thing from my realm of possibility.  I couldn’t imagine nourishing my child from my breasts, which I considered dirty because that is what I had been taught. Also, the idea of someone having on demand access to this private part of my body sent me back to being 8 years old and not able to say no. The idea horrified me and I decided that formula was the way for me.

Taking Back What is Mine

Nicole Patrick

Trigger Points: Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting


Nikki is a 31 year old living in the suburbs of Chicago. She is married to her amazing husband, Josh, and they have 2 beautiful children, Grace (2.5) and Brendan (9 months). She is a stay at home mom with dreams of becoming a motivational speaker. The first 18 years of her life were littered with abuse, abandonment, neglect, and pain. She has used her experiences to create the life she always dreamed she would have and write her new story from here on out.


book cover

The Trigger Points Anthology is now available for Kindle and paperback. Click the link to get your copy today!!

Trigger Points Anthology paperback

Trigger Points Anthology for Kindle

Become a member of the supportive Trigger Points community on Facebook and Twitter to connect with other parenting survivors.