Author: Erin McCole Cupp

Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. In December 2020, look for her next book: All Things New: Breaking the Cycle & Raising a Joyful Family (Our Sunday Visitor), a book about parenting spirituality for survivors of family abuse and dysfunction. Find out more at erinmccolecupp.com .

Trauma Survivor Resource Round-up

Trauma Waves, Healing Shores

Inclusion does not equal endorsement of concept, source, writer, etc.

Update: My Domestic Church has taken over the weekly 7 Quick Takes. I’ll try linking up there.

Is your tide coming in or going out? Maybe it’s time to find your cycle-breaking Beatitude or take Self-Control 101. Image: Unsplash.com
  1. Is someone telling you you’re crazy? Are you starting to believe that might be true? Read Gaslighting: Relationship Politics Explained.
  2. Can you be addicted not to a substance but addicted to a behavior?
  3. Virtual treatment for eating disorders shows potential here.
  4. Curious about this: Theology of the Fat Body.
  5. A survivor of sa by a Catholic priest comes home to the Catholic Church.
  6. “But, Erin, I don’t have trauma!” How to tell if you’ve been emotionally abused by your parents.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (please, leave a review–it takes courage, but it helps the people who need the message find it), and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s AV: my experience with the overturn of Roe v. Wade

@erinmccolecupp

2 parts mayo, 1 part ea sugar & vinegar; add to shredded cabbage & carrots, top w dried cranberries #chefskiss #fyp #foryoupage #trending #roevwade #potluck #dobbs

♬ original sound – fiona’s gf

Thanks for reading, listening & watching, fellow image-bearers. Now give My Domestic Church a look-see.

Trauma Survivor Resource Round-up

Trauma Time, Healing Hours

Inclusion does not equal endorsement of concept, source, writer, etc.

Update: My Domestic Church has taken over the weekly 7 Quick Takes. I’ll try linking up there.

Where are you in your blooming process? Maybe it’s time to find your cycle-breaking Beatitude or take Self-Control 101. Image: Unsplash.com
  1. There was a recent conference in California that focused on mental health promotion by church leadership.
  2. “Low contact is for when things are going badly, but you hope that with boundaries,  perhaps a relationship is achievable. No contact is actually a loving response. It is for when you accept that the other person is unwilling or unable to change, and therefore,  there is no hope for a healthy relationship because it will never happen.  No contact IS biblical, but the Christian response is to come to this conclusion in prayer. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is an excellent help.” What does the Bible say about going no contact?
  3. Mental health moderates our desires, including the immoderate desire of gluttony.
  4. How can you help a friend with an eating disorder?
  5. Healing trauma from the mother wound.
  6. When is it good to take a child to a therapist?
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (please, leave a review–it takes courage, but it helps the people who need the message find it), and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s AV: Imagine Dragons’ “No Time for Toxic People.” It’s a beautiful day. Keep it that way.

Thanks for reading, listening & watching, fellow image-bearers. Now give My Domestic Church a look-see.

Trauma Survivor Resource Round-up (Now Catholic-flavored)

Trauma Time, Healing Hours

Inclusion does not equal endorsement of concept, source, writer, etc.

Update: My Domestic Church has taken over the weekly 7 Quick Takes. I’ll try linking up there.

Need more than a sign? Maybe it’s time to find your cycle-breaking Beatitude or take Self-Control 101. Image © Erin McCole Cupp 2022
  1. Scroller, beware: I’m not sure if Christopher West originated this quote or not, but I’ve heard him say on his podcast with his lovely wife Wendy that “The devil doesn’t have his own clay.” I try to use social media, especially Insta, to spread good news. Alas, IG also has a problem with pro-eating disorder accounts.
  2. Catholic Mom’s Louisa Ann Irene Ikena has an inspiring piece for those of us who think that trauma has made our lives shorter and less worth living: 100: My Betty White Decision.
  3. They say every day should be Mother’s Day, right? Well, good, because that means it’s never too late to post Christi Braschler’s Mother’s Day for a Work in Progress. Full disclosure: she mentions my book All Things New.
  4. If you read my last post on niche-ing down, you’ll understand why I’m posting more stuff about eating disorders. The UK is on the path to discovering evidence that calorie count menus may cause more harm than their intended good.
  5. That said, there’s so much overlap between eating disorders and trauma survival that this article feels at home here, too: The Unacknowledged Trauma Epidemic and the long-term public health repercussions of sexual abuse.
  6. Irish Teacher has a piece on The reason behind a child’s behavior won’t make you angry, it will break your heart.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (please, leave a review–it takes courage, but it helps the people who need the message find it), and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s AV: shall we talk about Bruno?

Thanks for reading, listening & watching, fellow image-bearers. Now give My Domestic Church a look-see.

[Announcement] This is what “niche down” looks like

The idea that so many people give up social media for Lent can lead to surprising adventures in ministry.

A letter from Erin to the small but mighty Heard Mentality Community:

Lent 2022 was a time of discovery. I started out with big plans and thought that they were plans directly from the heart of God because there were all sorts of “just in time” signs. The biggest was that I got an email about how people give up social media for Lent the Monday before Ash Wednesday—all right after I had decided to encourage people to give up isolation for Lent—all right after I’d been learning more and more about how to use Google Classroom. So I started Heard Mentality and tried to launch a community on Google Classroom.

I do think it was a direction from God, but it didn’t lead where I assumed it would.

As Lent progressed, I felt more “in the weeds” as we’d say when I was waiting tables: too many orders going through my head, too many plates piled on too many trays for me to reasonably carry, and here I was, trying to promote mental health while playing fast & loose with my own.

Again, it was all a direction from God but not the kind I’d expected.

I found myself without the time I needed to create the content to promote the community to grow the platform to serve the people. I thought that I had a job: create a broad, soft place for people to land once I reached them. Alas, I was getting nowhere fast, and the message I was trying to craft was itself falling by the wayside.

So this brand new Heard Mentality community got neglected.

I went seeking counsel from others in ministry. What should I do? How could I manage my time in creating this place for people to land and still keep my own serenity so that I’d be a useful messenger? The answer repeatedly was that I was just doing way too much. I had a metaphorical counter full of raw pies, their crusts wilting in the frenzied heat of all my activity.

And why would I keep making new pies instead of finishing one, just one, I’d already started?

Because when something is finished, it’s available for criticism.

I was hiding from my critics by not giving anyone anything about which to complain. Now, looking back on this with some self-compassion, I get it. As a developmental trauma survivor, I’ve had to deal with a serious affirmation deficit. Trying to avoid more criticisms against my best efforts? Completely understandable. That said, there aren’t many ways we can actually die from disappointment. As long as I’m surrounding myself with enough people who use the truth for the purpose of showering me with love (building each other up through both positive and difficult feedback) instead of for the purpose of making themselves feel a false-better by making me feel less-than, then I have the emotional support to face whatever disappointment may come my way, whether through content creation failures or just the relational failures that are part of being a fallen human.

It was during Passiontide 2022 that I received some very important messages that gave me the direction I believe I need to move forward and get back to creating things that aren’t just there for criticism but are also there to share God’s healing love with those looking for it:

Niche down

This is something heard often in the content creation world. Don’t make your message too broad. It’s easier to reach and cultivate a small audience who is looking for a specific message than it is to reach everyone with everything in a world as informationally noisy as ours. The smaller the message, the sharper the arrow to hit your target. Etcetera. I thought “I’m on a mission to heal trauma with truth” was a small enough message. Um, given how big the trauma in my own life has been, why would I think that’s a small message!?! I spun my wheels a lot, because I was going in too many directions. Yeah, I picked up a generous bucket of skills along the way (took an SEO class for a possible job for which I didn’t even get an interview, learned Google Classroom for a community that I didn’t have time to build, am picking up Adobe Premier for videos I haven’t been able to produce by my original self-imposed deadline…), but what was it all for if it was spent not getting the results I wanted on the schedule I wanted?

It wasn’t all for nothing.

In my creative pursuits as well as just relationships in general, I’ve been living through the story that says, if I made a mistake, it was a waste of time. However, one day during my social media benchmarking time, I came across a TikTok that I’ve since lost, in which the viewer is encouraged to imagine God whispering to her, “It wasn’t all for nothing.” It wasn’t? I didn’t get that job, but now I know SEO tactics to use to reach more people in my ministry. I learned Google Classroom, but I also learned its limitations so that I can make better informed decisions as to what platforms I want to use in the future for community-building. I still have a lot to learn in Premier, but those are not the last videos I plan to create.

Failure-based disappointment and freeze-based regret are equally painful. One is not less painful than the other.

That said, only the first one of those teaches new skills, especially the skill of resilience.

So I’m closing Heard Mentality to niche down and focus on Filled With Good: Theology of the Body for Food Addicts.

I’m afraid. Once I have that course out of beta mode, it could flop. All that time & energy & creativity wasted (my trauma will say). Whatever happens, it won’t be all for nothing. This, Heard Mentality, was not all for nothing. I thank you for your sense of adventure in answering this invitation at the start of Lent 2022. If you don’t already, please say in touch either on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse, or even good old email.

Blessings & praise,

Erin C.

Do affirmations sound like 💩? Try this instead.

Can you relate?

All those affirmations we’re supposed to use to heal the emotional abuse that’s been poured into our hearts?

Yeah, they sound like 💩.

I am loved.

💩

I am worthy.

💩

I am beautiful.

💩

Why is the negative so much easier to believe than the positive? I don’t know about you, but somewhere along the way, I picked up the message that, “If it’s about me, it’s only true if it’s bad.”

Who taught me that? Who taught you that?

Who can unteach us? If we had the power to unteach ourselves, it would’ve happened by now.

I know Who can unteach us.

Genesis 1:27 tells us we are made in God’s image. So if God is good things, then we are at least an image of good things. Right?

Actually, right. So, not 💩.

We’re using this method of affirmation in Filled With Good (still in beta version as of this posting–get my newsletter so you can sign up once it’s ready for full launch).

How does it work? You fill in the blank and remind yourself of a time you lived out one of the qualities on the list.

Meanwhile. Try it yourself whenever. Join me on Clubhouse to practice live.

So how’d that work? Easier to believe? Better than 💩?

This Week’s [pretty Catholic] Trauma Survivor Resource Roundup

Making sense of your trauma process (Catholic style)

Inclusion does not equal endorsement of concept, source, writer, etc.

Update: My Domestic Church has taken over the weekly 7 Quick Takes. I’ll try linking up there.

Is the sun finally peeking through? Maybe it’s time to find your cycle-breaking Beatitude or take Self-Control 101. Image © Erin McCole Cupp 2022
  1. Wanna break the cycle of using food for anything other than enjoyable fuel? here are 5 tips for talking to kids about weight and eating.
  2. On a similar note (warning: I’m in the process of niche-ing down to help you all get Filled With Good), here’s a study on the impact of maternal influences on childhood obesity.
  3. Have you shared your story or kept it hidden? Why do survivors stay silent.
  4. I know as Catholics we generally want to be extremely cautious of spiritual practices that involve other gods, however obliquely or well-intentioned it may be. By sharing this article, I’m not promoting yoga, but I’m curious about it–if it’s providing clinically demonstrable healing, is there no way of baptizing it? Another one for the research nerds out there: a recent study on yoga as a therapeutic tool for emotional dysregulation in veterans.
  5. Are you identifying with symptoms of narcissistic abuse but looking back on your life, thinking, “But none of my attachment figures were these big, grandiose show-offs!” Here are 3 ways to spot covert narcissists before they strike.
  6. The myth of survivor solidarity: Why it’s so hard for us to all just get along.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (please, leave a review–it takes courage, but it helps the people who need the message find it), and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s AV: It’s harsh out there, especially for survivors of family abuse and dysfunction. Here are some affirmations for you–with love from me.

Thanks for reading, listening & watching, fellow image-bearers. Now give My Domestic Church a look-see.

This Week’s [pretty Catholic] Trauma Survivor Resource Roundup

What do trauma survivors need? This week’s resources, Catholic style

Inclusion does not equal endorsement of concept, source, writer, etc.

Update: My Domestic Church has taken over the weekly 7 Quick Takes. I’ll try linking up there.

Having trouble finding whoooo you want to be? Maybe it’s time to find your cycle-breaking Beatitude or take Self-Control 101. Image © Erin McCole Cupp 2022
  1. I know, it’s the Easter Season, but Single Mom Smiling has a great post on what Jesus saw (and sees) in us in the pre-trauma of Palm Sunday.
  2. You know I’m all about the link between trauma and food addiction. Turns out some people think that the military may be creating a perfect storm for eating disorders.
  3. “If you have an eating disorder, you can get better.”
  4. Did COVID-19 make the world a better place for people with eating disorders?
  5. It’s not what you’re eating. It’s what’s eating your mind: Repetitive negative thinking linked to specific disordered eating behaviors in adolescent girls.
  6. The crossroads of parenting after trauma and contributing to healthy, non-emotional eating in our kids: Tips for Talking to Kids About Weight and Eating.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (please, leave a review–it takes courage, but it helps the people who need the message find it), and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s AV: Am I going to keep sharing stuff from Cinema Therapy? Ob…viously.

Thanks for reading, listening & watching, fellow image-bearers. Now give My Domestic Church a look-see.

This Week’s [pretty Catholic] Trauma Survivor Resource Roundup

What do trauma survivors need? This week’s resources, Catholic style

Inclusion does not equal endorsement of concept, source, writer, etc.

Update: My Domestic Church has taken over the weekly 7 Quick Takes. I’ll try linking up there.

Do the feasting days of Easter have you drifting into habits you tried dropping during Lent? Maybe it’s time to find your cycle-breaking Beatitude or take Self-Control 101. Image © Erin McCole Cupp 2022
  1. Msgr. Pope is over at OSV with this important piece for intergenerational trauma survivors: What does the Church teach about intergenerational curses?
  2. “You’re too sensitive!” Maybe, maybe not. And if I am, what does that tell you about my past? Heads up for this scholarly article: Pain catastrophizing, pain sensitivity and fear of pain are associated with early life environmental unpredictability: a path model approach.
  3. You all know I’m going to try to attract you all to Catholic In Recovery at every chance I get.
  4. A little more academic nerddom for you: Child Abuse as an Example of Coexistence of Emotional and Physical Trauma Among Children: An Academic Overview With Altmetric Perspective.
  5. For the parents who care: Like a bomb going off in the family: supporting parents whose children experience sexual abuse
  6. So much trauma could be prevented from being passed on if we just took better care of the parents: Supporting Patients With Serious Mental Illness and Comorbid Substance Use Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (please, leave a review–it takes courage, but it helps the people who need the message find it), and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s AV: have we heard from Dr. Ramani enough lately? I say no, we have not!

Thanks for reading, listening & watching, fellow image-bearers. Now give My Domestic Church a look-see.

This Week’s (Catholic-style) Trauma Survivor Resource Roundup

What do trauma survivors need? This week’s resources, Catholic style

Inclusion does not equal endorsement of concept, source, writer, etc.

Update: My Domestic Church has taken over the weekly 7 Quick Takes. I’ll try linking up there.

Finding yourself surrounded by chaos and debris? Maybe it’s time to find your cycle-breaking Beatitude or take Self-Control 101.
Image © Erin McCole Cupp 2022

  1. First up: Holy Week is near. If you still aren’t in the Lenten spirit or have already bombed at every penance you promised, I have opened up a private community on Facebook for people who want to spend their Lenten practice on creating intentional relationships where we can go for support when we are tempted to reach for those things not of God. Get heard at Heard Mentality.
  2. Carolyn Astfalk has a story to share about chocolate milk and gratitude. She also shares her experience with our Thursday morning Clubhouse Chaplet of Gratitude and Surrender–do join us!
  3. Andrew J. Bauman blogs about men healing from harmful tendencies. He has some thoughts to consider over on I am insecure and I want my wife to pay for it.
  4. Mental health: it’s not just for the couch anymore. It’s also for the workplace.
  5. This one really got me thinking: what is the opposite of the fight, flight, freeze, and fawn responses? It’s flow.
  6. And, well, this one is from me over at Catholic Mom: Are you a victim or a volunteer?
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (please, leave a review–it takes courage, but it helps the people who need the message find it), and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s AV is again all audio and zero visual: Deanna Bartalini did a podcast on GLAD journaling, a tool I’ve been using for a while to help me stay grounded in the good. Give it a listen and maybe give it a try!

Thanks for reading, listening & watching, fellow image-bearers. Now give My Domestic Church a look-see.

This Week’s (Catholic-style) Trauma Survivor Resource Roundup

What do trauma survivors need? This week’s resources, Catholic style

Inclusion does not equal endorsement of concept, source, writer, etc.

Update: My Domestic Church has taken over the weekly 7 Quick Takes. I’ll try linking up there.

No foolin’. It’s time to bloom. Maybe it’s time to find your cycle-breaking Beatitude or take Self-Control 101. Image: Unsplash

  1. First up: if you still aren’t in the Lenten spirit or have already bombed at every penance you promised, I have opened up a private community on Facebook for people who want to spend their Lenten practice on creating intentional relationships where we can go for support when we are tempted to reach for those things not of God. Get heard at Heard Mentality.
  2. Do you find yourself explaining yourself, then explaining some more, then explaining your explanation? Over-explaining is a trauma response related to “fawning.” Read here for more.
  3. I’ve been following MentalHealness (Lee) on TikTok since day 1 or 2. It’s a fascinating look into the mind of someone living with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (warning: language)
  4. “What has made it hard for you to trust God with your whole heart? Can you return to a trusted place to begin healing that fractured trust?” Roxane Salonen has a beautiful peace on trust over at Catholic Mom: Returning to a Trustful Place.
  5. Going no-contact with family of origin is a touchy subject and one prone to lots of judgment from the outside (ask me how I know). Here are 8 things not to say to people who are estranged from their parents.
  6. A childhood sexual assault survivor shares her story of hearing the stories of offenders: Sexual abuse ruined my life. Then I worked with sex offenders.
  7. Ending with your weekly reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for purchase. Already read your copy? Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (please, leave a review–it takes courage, but it helps the people who need the message find it), and don’t forget to link up with this month’s An Open Book from Carolyn Astfalk & Catholic Mom.

This week’s AV is all audio and zero visual: Sus Long’s “God of Every Daughter.” Listen to the lyrics and tell me what you think in the comments.

Thanks for reading, listening & watching, fellow image-bearers. Now give My Domestic Church a look-see.