Sunday, November 12, 2017

Brittany Simon: Alternative Lifestyles and Mental Health

I cannot express to you the excitement some of my parts experienced when Brittany Simon agreed to talk with us regarding her mental health and lifestyle. If you're unfamiliar with her corner of youtube she runs a channel on Alternative Lifestyles and assisting people through their journey's in the BDSM community, as well as, a "Gay as Fuck" (that particular Tshirt of hers is our favorite) advocate who openly discusses her life on her channel...

Recently, her channel's 33,000+ followers discovered more personal information regarding her mental health and how that impacts her life. She released a video discussing her diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder-BPD and has been sharing all of the new ventures going on in her life.

Some of those are major changes for anyone, but with a mental illness change can be even more challenging. From relationship's ending and a major move things, in short, have been a bit hectic for her lately.

That wig tho! When I first saw this img I could not believe
 Jynx or Stevy didn't own a wig like this! 
NOTE: The content of this post may be triggering so please practice self care and be conscious of your own limits if you continue reading. I'd call this post NSFW. ;)

When we connected via Skype we quickly found that in a sense we are opposite in some of our experiences. Living with BPD Brittany explained she feels emotions at a higher percentage than some one else would. For me, myself, I find I don't feel much at all unless coconscious with my parts...This is something I'm working on in therapy, but it does seem that I may be on the spectrum in some capacity. With trauma and DID specifically diagnosing other things becomes even trickier. We had a pleasant and candid chat with one another something I, myself, don't experience much. There aren't many people I find enjoyable in my brain to converse with but Brittany was a pleasant surprise. I find I would define the conversation as fun and informative. 

BPD & Relationships

In her earlier life she dealt with traumas and emotionally abusive behaviors from her mother. Despite those things she continued in the way that worked best for her... Something that we always discuss as beyond important. "Normal is an Illusion. What is Normal for the Spider is Chaos for the Fly." Day after day, time after time, this phrase comes up and is so relevant to endless types of people. 

Brittany: "I knew I was unique. I assumed I was just a normal hormonal teen, but as I grew I found I needed additional help. So I sought out a therapist."

Erika: "We can definitely relate to that. I watched people and other children since I was very young and saw that there were vast differences. I knew something wasn't quite right, but eventually I gave up seeking help--I discuss this because it is an example of what NOT to do-- but thanks to parts of me we found help. Some refused to give up on getting help and they eventually found our therapist we still see today."

Due to the heavy emotional swings Brittany experiences she began to feel guilty about her mood switches. It was difficult for her previous long term partner. He wanted a submissive in check. While she appreciated the friendship that grew and was negotiated to dom/sub (Dominant/Submissive) relationship she had to be honest with the fact they are just different people with different goals and directions in life. He unfortunately took some things personal, and that is definitely one aspect of a relationship to which we relate. My husband and I still struggle with this from time to time. 

He can do the, "what's wrong with you" thing and that as most of you know, isn't ever helpful. All people struggle though and so we work on it, but the dynamic of our relationship is quite different from that of Brittany's and her former partner.

"I'm not broken, I'm just crazy." -Brittany

BDSM & Healing/Working Through Trauma

Within the BDSM community, Brittany would identify as a submissive/bottom. While similar in nature those roles within the community do have differences both in type, responsibility, and level of intimacy. 

Brittany: "I'm always battling my own brain. I definitely don't cry with my tops. It's a different relationship."

Erika: "Absolutely. I can't define as a top. Only one part of me would call herself a dominant, more specifically a service Dom. I've seen in one of your videos you put it as you don't want that responsibility over another human. That is something that I very much agree with. I know me fairly well and no thank you. haha!"

Brittany: "Yes! When I was researching BDSM I read novels from Anne Rice and Hamilton. When I was 21yrs old my best friends mother took me into her home, she explained the BDSM community and specifically, gay leather to me. There's value in the past and we need to respect history."

Erika: "Oh yes, very much. History of anything is profoundly important. It is amazing you had that in life person to turn to and one of the reason's we adore your effort and work. You're now that person for 1,000's of people via your channel."

Brittany: "Thanks, yes. I felt honored she shared with me. It really helped me see what I was missing."

"I'm a badass. I trust myself better than other people." -Brittany

Brittany would identify herself as a control freak and work-a-holic. She comically explained that she used to think she was spontaneous but needed to plan out her spontaneity. BDSM is a Community of control. Allow me to explain that before you take it in a negative way...

It is a structured community of consent and negotiation. Which is why there is so much overlap from the Trauma Community and BDSM. That negotiated control and consent based culture can be found hugely beneficial when working through various trauma. 

The things that were repeatedly taken from many of us can be negotiated, with other(s) over the age of 18, in a safe and consensual way. We've had many reach out to us since we posted one tweet regarding BDSM a few months ago. Some of these things we did reach out to Brittany for and/or send people right over to her tumbr or channel. I am aware of what I know and we are aware of what we do not know. I am in no way an expert on BDSM, but some of us would identify as part of the community. 

As we've stated before BDSM is not a magical cure and the thing that'll fix and instantaneously heal. Brittany herself will tell you that and again, we found her open honest view of life in general refreshing. Healing and working through various life experiences takes work. This work is something MANY of us find worth it as we want to live our fullest potentials. That will of course be different for each of us, but with therapy and BDSM Brittany is finding her rhythm and how to handle her own mental illness and get the best for herself. Which is definitely something to be admired and to seek out for our own lives. i.e. "Find your own version of Normal."

"Pain is rewarding to my brain." -Brittany

We had discussed the potential impact (only a little pun intended) on ending a long term DS relationship along with an out of state move... She isn't worried about no longer being a sub and is transitioning to bottoming. Now that this post is up Brittany has completed her cross country road trip and you can see her travels across the US on her channel. Her vlog's are there along with her regular content.

DS is not the magical cure all. It can help people but is not to be used in loo of therapy. In combination many have found it beneficial to increasing their quality of life.

She went on to explain that early on in her BDSM journey, when she would participate in a scene she was dissociating (mmhmmm, yes, dissociating) from heavy impact play. Now that she's spent time in therapy and even longer in the BDSM community she knows so much more about her life. Through growing her brand and partnering with others she's continuing to help people on their own journeys with Mental Health and those in the BDSM Community.
Brittany Simon
Brittany on her recent travels. Vlog

"I don't need people to be perfect, I need them to be aware." - Brittany

She expressed a few concerns regarding the professional mental health community and like many or most of us they are indeed note worthy...

It took far too much time and money to obtain help.

She additionally needed a therapist who was familiar with the ins and outs of BDSM. In her former, Seattle that was not beyond a struggle, but now in the vastly more conservative, Southern California she has concerns for what that will be like. 

Brittany does have positive tools in her life now that she utilizing for balancing her BPD...

"I'm having less episodes." -Brittany

With this major move comes many uncertainties and instability. Being used to an 80+ hour work week this move will be ending that and she's planning on only a couple days of work per week now, plus considering school. A vast change, but she's optimistic in her ability to focus on her channel and brand in the months and years to come.

With her primary focus now being on her Patreon and YouTube channel she's excited for the things that will be unfolding in her life. Which if you're wondering about a few of those things is a book! We are quite thrilled and looking forward to this and her future content. She's considering a book of essays on her life as well as a BDSM-101 book of information. Largely those are the questions she receives on her social media. The "How To's" if you will...

We wanted to end with a quick thank you to the always wonderful Brittany Simon and a shout out to the podcast. The Kinkier World podcast, is a group effort and can be found with a simple search. We've been listening on Sound Cloud since the beginning and there is an enormous amount of information to enjoy. She's apart of this with fellow Kinksters, give a listen for more info and to give your ears some amusing pleasure. They really can be quite funny and with this diverse group of four working together there truly is something for everyone regarding BDSM.

Thanks again, Brittany you do indeed rock.

The cutest GIF to ever be a GIF. She's got adorable ears people!

No comments:

Post a Comment