My Clutter Told Me That I Was Depressed

Self-Care Housekeeping Column

Content Note: Mental Health, Stigma, Cleanliness   I remember the day that I knew I needed to get help.  There were clothes, receipts, and unfiled papers covering the floor, take out containers decorating the coffee table, and me.  I was curled up on my couch in the dark. My phone had rang several times.  I […]

Two Year Anniversary of My Hysterectomy

lesbian hysterectomy

It’s been two years since I had a hysterectomy and I still occasionally find a tampon or pad stuffed away in an old purse or the pocket of a rarely worn coat. I have donated most of my unused items, but the occasional surfacing of one that I overlooked always makes me pause. I spent […]

The Xmas When I Grew Up Too Fast

Content Note: childhood, family dynamics, shame When I was either a little girl about 5 or 6 years old, I wanted a baby doll that wet its diaper for Christmas. This was somewhere between 1975-77. I was quite thrilled when Santa brought me that doll. It wasn’t quite as fancy as some of the other […]

Will Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ Mental Health Center merge with a non-LGBTQ health organization?

Persad Allies Merger

I was informed today that Persad Center faces a dire choice due to finances – either merge with the much larger Allies for Health + Wellbeing (formerly known as the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force) or face potential closure altogether. Without any timeframe for this, I have to make immediate decisions about my mental health treatment […]

Persad Staff Vote to Unionize Their LGBTQ Mental Health Agency in Pittsburgh

The workers at Persad Center, the LGBTQ mental health and community center founded in 1972, voted affirmatively to unionize with the United Steelworkers (USW) on Thursday, December 5, 2019. The Persad Staff Union now joins the ranks of other white collar workers including the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh employees. That’s an interesting aside given that […]

Trauma and Tough Love Do Not Mix

Trauma Tough Love

Content Note: trauma, friends with good intentions, tough love   I did not have a particularly pleasant or peaceful holiday. Turkey Day itself passed relatively benignly until I got home. That’s when an overwhelming sadness swept over me as I realized I had spent the entire day with extended family, but not a single person […]

Processing Trauma with EMDR: Week Five

EMDR Trauma Processing

Content Note: trauma, EMDR, child abuse, sexual assault For more info on EMDR, talk with your therapist or visit this page. We decided to incorporate Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) into my therapy. Time has been the major constraint, so I’m documenting on my blog as a record for myself. You can read other posts […]

Ten Thanksgivings Without My Family

Thanksgiving placesetting

Content Note : trauma, neglect, family rejection, mental illness I don’t clearly remember the details of the last holiday meal I spent with my parents, but I know it was ten Thanksgivings ago. We were at Laura’s mother’s house and they were late. I was struggling mightily with mental health symptoms and not admitting yet […]

Coroner Reports Death of Black Trans Woman Elisha Stanley was Accidental

Elisha Stanley Cause of Death

Earlier this year, we reported on the September 16 death of 46-year-old Pittsburgh native, Elisha Stanley, who had traveled to her hometown to visit family. Elisha was a Black trans woman and her death was sudden and unexpected so understandably people were very concerned both for the loss of her as an individual and the […]

Processing Trauma with EMDR: Week Three

EMDR Trauma Processing

Content Note: trauma, EMDR, child abuse, sexual assault For more info on EMDR, talk with your therapist or visit this page. We decided to incorporate Eye Movcement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) into my therapy. Time has been the major constraint, so I’m documenting on my blog as a record for myself. I have now participated in four […]