catholic

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 18-19Sep2020

Here’s me, doing my bit to participate weekly in Kelly’s Seven Quick Takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum, better late than never.

So here’s…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes. Best described as quick. Seven of them.

Saying goodbye to the summer flowers, via Unsplash
  1. Jennifer Fitz has a piece on “Parish Mental Health Support 101” over at the register. As usual with her writing, Fitz breaks a large beast down into perfectly attainable chunks.
  2. Dr. Bob Schuts and Jake Khym, a pair of well-spoken Catholic mental health professionals, have a new-ish podcast, Restore the Glory. I’m loving their take on the interface between Theology of the Body and trauma healing. You might, too.
  3. How do you respond to anxiety: overfunctioning or underfunctioning? I’m the former, but I’m working on it.
  4. Working the steps during a pandemic can be tough. This article has some basic tips, if you need them.
  5. Quarter Joe of Catholic in Recovery had an article post back in June about the dangers of self-isolation, especially in reference to family trauma: It Is Not Good for the Man to Be Alone
  6. This Sunday’s gospel journaling page for trauma survivors just went out. If you missed it, please sign up here to get yours free through the end of November, 20202.
  7. I also invite you to join in some discussion over on my Broken Grown-up Nation Facebook page.

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

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.

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 28Aug2020

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.

Image via Unsplash
  1. I love when I get to hear a friend on a podcast! Melanie Owens of Joyful Ever After was just on Lindy Wynne’s podcast Mamas In Spirit, talking about how her wounds as a child of an alcoholic shaped, challenged, and then grew her understanding of faithful Catholic marriage & motherhood. It’s beautiful. Go listen.
  2. Fr. Mike Schmitz has a great one making the rounds: “If You’re Not Feeling Loved.” I love the message about Leah in there.
  3. Okay, so I share this one with a twinge of pain for what isn’t, but sometime’s it’s nice to read an article about people who came from families who lived resilience with each other rather than demanding it of their children but not themselves. All that was to share “Lessons From Children and Grandparents” by Gretchen Crowe over at OSV.
  4. As someone recovering from both trauma and compulsive overeating, this article is fascinating: “Adolescents with ‘elevated’ hunger hormone are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.” Especially interesting is the hormone studied tends to be considered hunger-related, but this study indicates that the body considers hunger a type of distress. The implications for that in the treatment of food addiction are astounding.
  5. 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.
  6. I also invite you to join in some discussion over on my Broken Grown-up Nation Facebook page.
  7. And whenever I’m having a hard time getting to #7, why don’t I just go to Dr. Ramani for backup? Dr. Ramani on the Emotion of Healing Adult Survivors of child abuse. There’s something just so healing about seeing someone justifiably angry at the things that have been done to us. “My goal is to uninterrupt those stories for them… We’ve just given them a dragon to slay.”

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

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 21Aug2020

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.

Image via Unsplash
  1. Why I Distrust Parents of Estranged Children is a great look into the unlikelihood that a child goes no contact with his/her parents “for no reason.”
  2. Codependents and addicts alike, this one is for you! The Ask Christopher West podcast is a weekly take on listener questions answered by Theology of the Body couple Wendy & Christopher West. On their latest episode, Freedom from the Law, Q2 tackles the definition of godly selflessness (hint, codependents: it’s not doing everything for everyone and never needing anything), and Q3 tackles how living in Christ makes us free from the law (hint, addicts: this is a TOB take on what recovery actually is).
  3. Project Create Offers Art Therapy to help DC kids survive and thrive through adverse childhood experiences.
  4. On that same note (ha!), Music Beyond Measure provides trauma survivors the opportunity to “Sing Your Story.” Survivors are paired with volunteer musicians to write and perform a piece processing their survival experience. I’m not crying. You’re crying.
  5. Not sure how useful this might be to you, but Reddit Helping Survivors Process Abuse is a story about how survivors find & support each other on the internet. If you’re looking for your support system, maybe Reddit would be a good fit to get started?
  6. 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.
  7. Last, any chance we can talk about this one:Ask Scary Mommy: I Don’t Speak to My Narcissist Mom — What Do I Tell My Kids?” I had to face this problem myself, and my solution was similar to Scary Mommy’s solution… but as Catholics, can we talk about how maybe “going no contact” doesn’t have to equate “the narcissist will never change”? Just because I don’t want to give a person another opportunity to sin against me doesn’t mean I think that person can’t repent. I’m just confident that God doesn’t need me to be around to save that person’s soul.

Anyway, I would love to talk about the very strong conflict between “they’ll never change, and that’s why no contact is required” and the Christian believe that all souls can be saved, even the seeming worst. Somebody? Am I the only both/and out there on this?

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

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 14Aug2020

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.

Image via Unsplash
  1. The Cycle of Abuse: Don’t Get Caught Up In The Honeymoon Phase by Rose Saad is the first post on the subject of the trauma bonding cycle that includes scripture quotes to support leaving an abusive environment. Thank you, Rose!
  2. Healing My Trauma episode on…
  3. … the Mamas In Spirit podcast: host Lindy Wynne talks with guest Kelly Behrens about how the long-term effects of childhood trauma can be released and redeemed through telling our stories in supportive community.
  4. Catholics for Family Peace is a resource for identifying and responding to evidence of domestic violence in your Catholic parish.
  5. Thank you, Rose Folsom -Virtue Connection, for getting in touch with me about Catholics for Family Peace.
  6. Maintaining Recovery Even When You Don’t Feel Like You Need To Anymore” by Jonathan over at Catholic in Recovery speaks to all those ways, after a success or two, we convince ourselves we don’t need help anymore and can just rely on ourselves. I’m not even all that far along in my recovery, and I still slip into this kind of thinking!
  7. 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.

I kinda want to ask about tenderness here. I have to admit, that’s a word that makes me recoil, though I can’t quite put my finger on why. Is it because I’ve more often used the adjective “tender” to describe steak? Is it because I’ve experienced — and offered others — so little of it thus far in life? Anybody reading have some light to shed on the concept of “tenderness”?

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

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 7Aug2020

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.

Image via Unsplash
  1. I came across “Abuse or neglect in childhood is linked to fear of self-compassion in young adulthood, study finds,” and found it revealing. It points to a likely explanation as to why once someone tells you her trauma story, it’s usually just the first trauma story that person has to share. The less self-compassion we have, the less we are likely to keep ourselves safe? It rings true in this brain.
  2. Topher Payne fixed Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree so that it’s The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries. I’ve always loved Giving Tree as both a simple acknowledgement of the pain that comes from having poor boundaries and as a cautionary tale. Payne’s version makes some pretty warm points.
  3. Another story about people being compassionate and changing the lives of abuse survivors? Yes, please! “Nonprofit helps with healing by transforming rooms of child abuse victims.”
  4. Responding with Tenderness to a Violent World” has a message that family trauma didn’t grow up hearing, but it’s a message we now can choose to seek out and adopt into our own recovery.
  5. Reflecting on ‘Thy Will Be Done’ in Recovery” over at Catholic in Recovery doesn’t just speak to the soul recovering from substance abuse but also to anyone recovering from trauma.
  6. 5 Critical Things to Know About Family Scapegoating Abuse is an introduction to a topic being looked at critically by Rebecca Mandeville.
  7. 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.

I kinda want to ask about tenderness here. I have to admit, that’s a word that makes me recoil, though I can’t quite put my finger on why. Is it because I’ve more often used the adjective “tender” to describe steak? Is it because I’ve experienced — and offered others — so little of it thus far in life? Anybody reading have some light to shed on the concept of “tenderness”?

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

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 31Jul2020

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.

Image via Unsplash
  1. Life Giving Wounds: I recently got to have a chat with a woman who participated in one of their online groups for adult children of divorce, and I learned so much. I’m including this link here, because a lot of us Broken Grown-ups are children of divorce, have found ourselves divorcing and wondering how best to serve children who are wounded by that divorce, and so on. Broken Grown-ups who don’t heal often don’t learn how to live the merciful love that is required to enter marriage without deceit, much less that is required to maintain the sanctification the sacrament demands of those who live it. So. Check out Life Giving Wounds.
  2. Show grandparents, the elderly that you care, pope tells young people, by Carol Glatz over at OSV News. See, this one gets tricky when it comes to survivors of family abuse. I gotta be honest here: some of those “abandoned elderly” have kids who don’t want to see them for good and healthy reasons. If your kids make time to visit you and all you do is talk about yourself, that is when you’re not complaining about them… you’re probably lonely for a reason. Yes, Jesus does ask us to visit the sick and imprisoned, but he doesn’t require us to visit those who would only fall into more sin by having their victims be the ones to visit them. Do you think that praying for the repentance of and performing acts of penance on behalf of such elderly people fulfills that divine request to visit?
  3. Zac Efron visited Lourdes? So he did. Why am I putting this on a list of articles for trauma survivors. One: I’m an Our Lady of Lourdes fangirl. Two: there are A LOT of stories that float around about how Our Lady of Lourdes shed God’s healing upon survivors of childhood trauma, concentration camp trauma, PTSD. Three: Hey, if Hollywood here can be touched by Our Lady’s message, then even child abusers can have their hearts turned towards repentance. It’s about hope. All about hope.
  4. The Atlantic has an article on how one school in Oklahoma is meeting traumatized kids’ learning needs. It’s called the ATLAS program. It sounds really nice. I just always get a little wiggy around schools and teachers taking over the parenting rather than taking Mother Theresa’s approach and supporting the parents directly so they can rebuild their families themselves. Help a child in one building, that kid still has to go home to people who aren’t being helped. To be fair, the article says this program is connecting with parents on some level, but is it enough? Time will tell.
  5. I love stories of trauma survivors turning their darkness into light. Here’s another one, this time of a young survivor telling her story so that other children can find Sunflower House (KC MO & KA), a victim advocacy center that softens the landing for victims making their police reports and providing evidence.
  6. 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.
  7. I also invite you to join in some discussion over on my Broken Grown-up Nation Facebook page.

The story about KC’s Sunflower House got me thinking… if you are a trauma survivor, what would have made it easier for you to tell your story? Make your report? Press charges?

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

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 24Jul2020

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.

Image via Unsplash
  1. An oldie but goodie: Catholics Are Not Immune to Domestic Violence.
  2. 8 Things to Know About Dating an Abuse Survivor: families come from first dates, one way or another. If you’re a broken grown-up looking to start a family from your single status, this one might be good to read.
  3. How Healthy Is Your Domestic Church, by Dr. Greg Popcak over at OSV News. If you could use a tune-up on making Jesus present in the love between your family members, this quiz might be just the ticket.
  4. Another good one from Dr. Ramani: Did You Receive Inconsistent Treatment from Your Narcissistic Parents? This one breaks down how, when you hear the terms “scapegoat,” “golden child” and even “invisible child” and “handmaid,” why maybe you can’t identify a single one you were at all times in your family. Love Dr. Ramani!
  5. Trying to shake that people-pleasing reflex so many of us picked up in order to survive our families of origin? 10 Steps to Overcoming the Fawn Response has some great pointers.
  6. Hard science time! If Eyes Are the Windows To the Soul, Our Pupils May Reveal PTSD. I mean, it makes sense.
  7. 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.

Did any of the above help make sense of any aspect of your experience? That pupil thing really got me thinking. How about you?

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

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 17Jul2020

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.

Image via Unsplash
  1. Donna’s Law , just passed in Florida, has removed the statute of limitations entirely for sexual battery of a minor. I’ve long been disgusted when states remove the SOL for cases of institutional abuse (read: abuse by Catholic priests) but keep it in place for abuse by, say, family members. That said, just because you can press charges now, Florida friends, doesn’t mean you are morally obligated to do so. Your abuser is morally obligated to turn him/herself in. It’s not your job to police. You are free to do so, but it’s not your job. Anyone who says, “Well, isn’t it your fault if your abuser abuses someone else, when you didn’t speak up?” It’s not your fault if anyone besides yourself sins. Even your abuser.
  2. Seal of Confessional Vital for Some Survivors of Sexual Abuse.” This one’s from Australia. Food for thought for those who think the Seal of Confession is a harbor for abusers. Maybe it’s an empowerment tool for survivors, a truth-lighting tool for victims taught to think the abuse is their sin.
  3. Have you listed to Dr. Ramani yet? If you’re from a narcissistic family dynamic, do. Here’s her take on The Narcissist and the Golden Child.
  4. Hold up. Maybe you don’t know what the narcissistic family dynamic looks like. Dr. Ramani breaks it down here.
  5. Trauma survivors get a lot of “oh, it wasn’t that bad,” “look on the bright side,” “but it’s your family, they must love you,” and so on. There’s a word for that minimization: it’s called toxic positivity, and fellow Catholic Mom contributor Lisa Hess blogged about it this week–especially in light of how you’re “supposed” to be living your lockdown.
  6. 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.
  7. I also invite you to join in some discussion over on my Broken Grown-up Nation Facebook page.

What are some things you wish the Catholic world would address for the sake of childhood trauma survivors? I’m curious.

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

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 10Jul2020

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 list of…

This Week’s Resources for Catholic Trauma Survivors

Takes best described as quick, and seven of them.

White Petal by Diane Povey, StockSnap
  1. “Lambeth Child Abuse Survivor Gave Away Compensation “To Give Back the Smiles Taken From Me.” Catholic is our name, and redemptive suffering is our game, but it’s a game we can share with others by other names. Of course, I say that without knowing whether or not the subject of the article is Catholic or not, but whatever faith she practices, she is giving her abuse settlement AWAY to help others.
  2. From Catholic in Recovery, “Encountering Mary’s Motherly Love in Eucharistic Adoration.” Written by a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and recovering addict, this one’s an article on how Mary’s motherly love reaches us no matter how badly we’ve been bruised, whether by others’ or our own choices.
  3. 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.
  4. I also invite you to join in some discussion over on my Broken Grown-up Nation Facebook page.
  5. This week was the Feast of St. Maria Goretti. Here’s a long but good post on “What They Died For,” talking about all the false narratives spun in the popular imagination about why Maria and any number of other virgin martyrs died–and why they actually offered their lives (hint: it’s not for the god of marriage).
  6. Oldie but goodie: St. Maria Goretti and Why We Need Strong Girl Stories.
  7. Finally, OSV was kind enough to run my article on how St. Maria Goretti handled the hardship of missing the sacraments, much like we have been asked to do over these past pandemic months.

How are you holding up these days in your healing journey? It’s been tough here. Let me know how I may pray for you? Meanwhile, make sure you give Kelly & the SQT crew a look see.