7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 11Sep2020

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Another sunflower image via Unsplash
  1. While I’m a huge fan of doing the hard things of self-care, it’s also no substitute for actual mental health work, whether that’s the right therapist, the right book, the right support group, the right medication, the right diagnosis. Making your bed won’t get you un-depressed. It Tommy Tighe, LMFT, of Saint Dymphna’s Playbook agrees.
  2. The Face of Mercy is on a mission to support the Church’s efforts to promote mental health. They have some fantastic prayers for when you need them.
  3. Forgive me if I’ve already shared this one, but Fr. Mike Schmitz’s video on “Is Curiosity a Vice?” was one of the most helpful things I’ve watched. Like, ever. The worst abuse I experienced as a child did not make sense. I could understand rage. I could understand impatience. I couldn’t understand just doing something to an innocent child just because you have the power to do so. Now I can. It was curiosity. In other words, Spoilers: Curiosity is a vice. Good news, there is a virtue to counter it, and it’s way more satisfying that curiosity ever will be. Watch Fr. Mike to find out.
  4. We childhood trauma survivors will eventually experience the deaths of those who abused us. Hearing those people presumptuously canonized by the well-meaning can be a retraumatization. Here’s Msgr. Pope over at OSV Newsweekly talking indirectly about the problems that causes. Msgr. Pope writes more from a theological standpoint, but theological truth always validates mental health truth. I’d love to hear if you see a connection between the two as well.
  5. Jim Wahlberg’s new book, The Big Hustle, portrays his journey from angry, addicted street kid to sober Catholic. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks worthwhile, especially since he has lived much of the same experience all childhood trauma survivors have who then go on to find solace and purpose in the Catholic faith.
  6. And here’s an article about Jim’s life with family trauma, an addicted parent, his own addiction, prison, and then transformation. There’s always hope.
  7. One last thing on Jim’s work. I haven’t seen it yet, but we’re going to watch it tonight: What About the Kids is a short film that tells the story of an eight year-old girl whose parents are addicted to opiates.

This Sunday’s gospel journaling page for trauma survivors will come out in a few hours, so please sign up here to get yours free through the end of November, 20202. I also invite you to join in some discussion over on my Broken Grown-up Nation Facebook page.

Finally, a bit of shameless self-promo: If you like historical click bait and getting caught in the rain, go ahead and check out my article on Mental Floss, “The 1851 Christiana Resistance: The Forgotten First Shots of the Civil War.” And here’s the placard I pass on the way to the Amish farm where we buy our peaches every summer.

Also, let me know how I may pray for you? Meanwhile, make sure you give Kelly & the SQT crew a look see.


  1. Yes. This: “theological truth always validates mental health truth.” And this does not AT ALL mean the same as “if you prayed harder/trusted in God more, you wouldn’t (fill in the blank with mental health symptom).”

    1. RIGHT!?!? The more I work on mental health, the more I see that “It is not good for the man to be alone” stretches beyond just marriage and well into the healing power of healthy relationships–including those between client/therapist, doctor/patient, etc. It’s all part of God’s plan, people.

    1. They are a fascinating bunch… I’m sure also a funky bunch, and that was a total accident that I typed out that first “bunch” before realizing it was a throwback, and to improve my humility I’m just going to keep it there…

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