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Britney Spears: The Woman in Me

For those that have experienced childhood trauma this book is for you. Trauma brain put simply means that many aspects of your brain are frozen in time. They can’t heal properly and therefore you don’t process new experiences correctly, even new great experiences. It’s almost as if your brain is trapped in the trauma. You may come across as immature, disjointed from reality, or disillusioned, that is how you coped in the moment. Unfortunately that will not help you grow or deal with the future.

Before I quit work to raise my kids I worked as a legal Guardian (or conservator) and none of the clients I ever saw could function in society or hold down a job. Our non-profit managed around 450 cases and the six years I worked there I saw TWO people get their rights back. I sat in court heard their testimonies and watched them plead their cases. Along with helping manage their assets, and I worked alongside the social workers that advocated for them. Trust me there was no one like Britney Spears. I have followed her case closely as a fan, but mainly because as a legal guardian myself it made no sense to me that she would be forced into the same situation. Did she need therapy, medical care, and stability? Absolutely! Did she need to be forced to relinquish all her freedom (ability to drive, to determine where to live, to lose all control over her money, and essentially make no decisions for herself), that’s a hard no.

We all watched as they carried her out on a gurney and put her on a 5150 psychiatric hold. We knew she needed help. We also thought she had parents that cared about her well-being or so we thought. Every one of us knows that the media only shows us what they want us to see. {if you still believe the media is truthful, well that’s another post for another time}.

At the time I thought a temporary guardianship made sense, that her parents would get her house in order, that they wouldn’t appoint a permanent conservator and that she would begin to build her life back together. It’s extremely rare for someone to get their rights back after being put under a conservatorship. Conservatorship is for the most extreme cases and in the most extreme situations. Of the thousands of cases that I help manage over the six years that I worked as a conservator, only two individuals got their rights back. Both of these individuals had suffered TBI (traumatic brain injuries) and slowly gained their cognitive abilities back and had support around them.

When my non-profit was appointed, there was usually NO family to care for the person. If our non-profit was appointed it was because there was financial exploitation being committed by the family member. Many cases we were appointed on were adult children living in state schools who couldn’t physically care for themselves, people who had been in and out of jail because of their mental health or for those who had lost the ability to make decisions for themselves due to mental capacity and had no one else to take care of them.

Britney fits none of these scenarios. People under conservatorship don’t perform hundreds of nights a year and bring in millions of dollars. They are either at home with round the clock care or in a facility with someone watching them. We all knew men in Hollywood who drank too much, made bad choices and partied too hard and they weren’t put under legal guardianship. Why was Britney?

The amount of trauma this young girl experienced by the age of nineteen was dumbfounding. From multiple family losses, instability in the home, victim of alcoholism, family history of mental health, abuse, and an abortion, all before the age of 17. The grief she shared around her abortion was so raw and honest. As someone who is pro-life my heart was just broken for her, and I’m also grateful that she shared what it really feels like to have an abortion. She had real grief and real trauma, and no one seemed to care. She had years and years of trauma, and she just kept working.

All this book made me realize is that good mental health care, has everything to do with the worldview that shapes it. Not only did she have mental health care, but she endured it alone.

Bad mental health care can destroy your life. If you’ve heard my story (if you’ve read my testimony) you know I’ve suffered this as well. Only upon finding good mental health care, good family, doing the work, and pouring into my faith did I find true healing. This is why I started Hope and Laughter.

There are real people experiencing real trauma who aren’t getting the care they need. They need real counselors who see and address things through a Biblical worldview. Counselors who recognize there are concrete ways to equip you as well as spend time encouraging you in your walk with the Lord. It takes countless hours of therapy, (things like EMDR which a great for trauma), medicine, time with family, walking through the grief, and time in God’s Word. It takes all these things, not just one. The removal of faith and support won’t fix anything, but will just mask it. We need Jesus my friends. We can’t rip God and faith out of our culture and expect everyone will turn out.

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