hope

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 16Apr2021

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.

Happy Easter Friday. Image via Unsplash.
  1. What happens when narcissism meets authenticity? Dr. Ramani shares.
  2. So much of family abuse and dysfunction is the result of people choosing themselves over relationship. Charlene Bader is at Catholic Mom talking Mary’s Third Sorrow, the loss of the Child Jesus in the temple, in light of our basic human desire to be chosen.
  3. I have read exactly none of these, but it’s heartening to read that others are open to the idea that reading fiction about abuse can be validating, & validating is healing. Here are 8 Books Featuring People Coming to Terms With an Abusive Childhood.
  4. A Denver Nonprofit is Using Fishing to Connect Men with Mental Health Resources.
  5. Trauma Bonding Is the Emotional Cycle That Keeps People in Abusive Relationships. How Does It Start?
  6. Carrie Soukup stumbles upon a mindset of triumph and prayer as she “plays” football with “Your Inner Voice: Critic or Coach?”
  7. Ending with a cheerful reminder that All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for preorder.

Coping with trauma? Maybe you have something to learn from River Tam, Mal’s crew, and Cinema Therapy.

No power in the ‘verse can stop us.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 9Apr2021

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.

Happy Easter Friday. Image via Unsplash.
  1. I mean, surprise? There’s a link between narcissistic mothers and PTSD. By way of explanation, from the article, “As a child, your emotions may be deemed as inherently unacceptable if they pose any kind of a threat to your mother. Let’s say you love your paternal grandmother but know that your mother is jealous of her. Instead of being free to express your love, you might find yourself saying nasty things about your grandmother to please your mum.”
  2. As we pray the Divine Mercy Novena, here’s a good one from Kelly Tallent over at Catholic Mom, “Addiction, Prayer, and Mercy.”
  3. “[O]ften my unmet needs are actually a blessing inviting me into a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Had all my heart’s needs been met by the people in my life, what would there be to instigate my seeking the Lord’s healing?” De Yarrison is over at Catholic Mom with, “Made New, Memory by Memory.”
  4. Love Dr. Ramani. Here she is again, this time talking Narcissistic Siblings.
  5. Warning: a little crude at one point, but this article on Reversing Rough Childhood Effects With Compassion speaks to the power of having mercy on ourselves so that we can have real, heart-to-heart relationship with others.
  6. The title speaks for itself: When Care Becomes Codependence over at Christianity Today.
  7. Finally, ending on a positive note here! I’ve been using the GLAD technique once a day, and it’s been very helpful in finding honor for myself as a child of God, which in turn makes me more available for relationship with others–which is why God made us in the first place!
  8. [Bonus] All Things New: Breaking the Cycle and Raising a Joyful Family is available for preorder.

Thanks again, folks, for praying. My post-op healing seems to be on track! Meanwhile, this week’s AV will be a throwback to my fiction days: the Sabbath Rest Book Talk Playlist, featuring Carolyn Astfalk, Rebecca Willen, Corinna Turner, Theresa Linden, and many, many more!

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 26Mar2021

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. Those kids who get bullied at school are usually the kids who get bullied at home. The Meadows has an article on how The Complex Trauma Survivor Faces a Lifetime of Bullying.
  2. I realize I’ve been all over the place with Charlene Bader’s series on Mary’s Seven Sorrows, but her Part 5 speaks very much to the hearts of children raised by parents who did not have unconditional love modeled well for them: Sorrow, Loss, and the Desire to be Included.
  3. Need some pointers on Undoing the Damage Caused by a Narcissistic Parent?
  4. This might not be an obvious one for trauma survivors, but Charisse Tierney is over at Catholic Mom with How Nature Helps Our Children Connect with God. A big part of trauma healing comes in being present in this moment and not rushing out of the now. This article gives some lovely suggestions on how to do just that.
  5. Learning to Say ‘I Forgive You’” is Lorelei Savaryn’s story about needing to learn the art of asking for and receiving forgiveness even after not having it modeled to us as children.
  6. Here’s an inspiring story from Asia about a new effort to promote men’s mental health in community.
  7. Family dysfunction is just a sign of a lack of integrity on the part of the adults in the family. As we head into Palm Sunday and Pilate’s crude question, “What is truth?” OSVNews has a great lesson on honesty and integrity for children and parents.

As I get ready to post this, I am delighted to share that I am typing from an upright position while medicated with nothing stronger than Tylenol! Thanks be to God, my Monday 22Mar2021 hernia repair surgery seems to have gone well. I’m so grateful for the prayers prayed on my behalf. I still have a little more than five weeks to go before I can start back to “normal” life (especially normal exercise, which I miss like coocoopants).

Skipping the a/v this week. Hopefully it’ll be back next. Love you all.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 19Mar2021

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. Happy Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary. I found this moving Litany of All Saints for Abuse Survivors by Mary Pezzulo at Steel Magnificat. “Saint Joseph, protector of the Holy Family, pray for us.”
  2. St. Joseph was a man of simple integrity. In his honor, here’s A Simple Way to Pray with Your Spouse by Deanna Bartalini over at Catholic Mom.
  3. I love when friends send me articles that might be a good fit for my weekly takes. Barb, Franciscan Mom, sent me this one: Is stress contagious? Studies say yes.
  4. Want to vaccinate yourself against contagious stress? You can! Nicholas T. Smith has a (warning: 5% sweary) article at The Mighty, “7 Steps to Help Untangle Yourself from Enmeshment.”
  5. Carolyn Astfalk also sent me Our Therapeutic Culture Downplays the Evil Nature of Addiction. While dismissive in parts of certain aspects of 12 Step Recovery…
  6. Catholic In Recovery does a wholistic job of addressing both neurobiological and spiritual realities as, well, one in the same.
  7. Ending this solemnity’s takes with Christina Mayeux over at Catholic Mom with “Go to Joseph, the Model for Husbands and Families.”

Before I sign off with this week’s recommended video, I am asking for your prayers. Those of you who know me personally or follow me on IG already know that I had a 5.5 hour surgery to remove endometriosis on January 19. Funny thing, endometriosis: while it was busy twisting my intestines into painful & threatening knots, apparently it also paid its rent by scar-gluing together not one but three abdominal hernias (two umbilical, one ventral–insert barfy face here ’cause I’m squeamish)–gluing them together just enough that I thought their mild symptoms (can’t stand for long periods of time, can’t do planks without my lower back popping out of place) were part of endo/growing old/growing old with endo/having been obese for 2 decades.

On Monday 22Mar2021, I’m scheduled for surgery to repair said hernias (herniae?) I’ve been told to plan to do nothing by lie in bed and maybe do some very light walking for five solid days. Please pray. Also, drop me links to pics of your favorite flowers in the comments. I’ll gather them around my virtual bedside and smile.

At last, here’s this week’s audiovisual: I LOVE Cinema Therapy. Here they are with Wonder Woman teaching us about… teachability!

Spoilers: in All Things New, my book due to drop this June, I share how the first beatitude is all about our ability to change our minds.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Lasso of Truth.

Eventually, an invisible jet.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 12Mar2021

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.

Nice weather means hanging outside in short sleeves, having important conversations with loved ones and keeping the cat on a leash. Image via Unsplash.
  1. Full disclosure: I’ve not seen the Meghan & Harry interview, but as an adult daughter who is choosing varying levels of estrangement from various unsafe or less-than-safe family members, I have been reading and listening with interest to conversations on and with them. Here’s an article where A Trauma Expert Puts the Meghan and Harry Interview in Context.
  2. On that note, if you have to interact with people who are less than nurturing, have you heard of the Gray Rock Method? Have you used it? Why or why not? What’s been your experience?
  3. Anybody I can corner gets an earful on why conversation in real-time with safe people is soooo vital to one’s healing, and now we have the (dawning) science to back it up. You owe it to yourself to read more about vagal tone and its impact on nervous system health. (and then find me on Clubhouse so we can have conversation in real-time)
  4. Developmental trauma survivors are bound to have deficits of feeling chosen, worthy. Is that you? Read Charlene Bader over at Catholic Mom with Sorrow, Absence, and the Desire to be Chosen.
  5. Do you have as much trouble as I do buying the idea that “child abusers abuse because they were abused”? Looking for more conversation on how child abuse is the result of personal sin? Leslie Vernick answers a reader’s question, “How do the wicked become wicked?” Spoilers: we’re all wicked. It’s what we choose to do with that fact that brings us to goodness… or not.
  6. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mark the one year milestone? anniversary? whatever? of COVID-life without posting something about Helping Children Cope with Stressful Global Events. Thanks, Christie Anne Luibrand and Catholic Mom!
  7. Are you lazy, or are you exhausted?

And for this week’s audiovisual: Cinema Therapy talks one of my favorite movies of recent years: KNIVES OUT! BTW, one of my dreams is to have a weekend-long retreat where trauma survivors in recover get together and watch and share over movies. I’d put Knives Out and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on there. What would you add to the menu?

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 5Mar2021

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.

Who else needs some flowers? Image via Unsplash.
  1. Most of my own catalog so far is Catholic fiction, so of course I’m going to tout the benefits to spirit and mind (and body) of finding and reading Catholic fiction. Go forth and read!
  2. Is someone’s self-centered behavior impacting your life, but that person doesn’t fit the mold of outgoing, overbearing, and self-aggrandizing? You might be dealing with a collapsed narcissist.
  3. Perfectionism kills more souls than anything. Messing up does not make you a failure.
  4. Andrea Bear is over at Catholic Mom, talking about how our idea of safety isn’t necessarily God’s–and yet we are called to trust him through it all: How to Feel Safe in 2021.
  5. On that note, here’s a quick guide to understanding hypervigilance.
  6. Now that we’re coming up or just passing the one year of COVID anniversary, depending on where you live, you or someone you love may be living with guilt on having transmitted COVID to someone. Here’s an op-ed on how to navigate that experience.
  7. This last one is interesting. I don’t really agree with all the implications of Why Parents and Kids Get Estranged, and I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on that. In my experience and observations, nobody breaks connection with a parent unless there’s no other way to gain health and peace, especially for and with one’s own children. This author’s take is that estrangement is largely a product of an ever-increasing individualism in American culture. I do believe that has a part in the growing numbers of adult children who choose no-contact with their families of origin, and while I’m not a blind proponent of individualism… it does have its mental health benefits and is not 100% toxic to human relationship.

Signing off with another of the many Saint Joseph’s I’m discovering over on my TikTok account. This one’s pretty lighthearted and relatable.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 26Feb2021

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.

I can feel the end of snowy days approaching, so here’s a snowy owl. Image via Unsplash.
  1. Rosemary Bogdan is over at Catholic Mom talking about Human Fears and Mary’s Fiat, which is healing for those of us with post-traumatic anxiety (or anxiety of any kind).
  2. Out of joy? Hope? Wine? Kimberly Lynch is over at Catholic Mom with “They Have No Wine,” a deep look at one of my favorite Bible events, the wedding at Cana.
  3. While I’m working hard to promote real-time interaction with safe, bodily humans to promote both mental and spiritual health… I get it–that scares the crap out of most of us. Heck, a year ago, I wouldn’t have trusted the power of real-time interaction to get me on track to greater peace in my life. So, in the meantime, here’s another Catholic Mom, Michele Faehnle, with Spiritual Health During Difficult Times. Michele includes a “Healing Prayer at Bedtime” that somehow feels both cozy and powerful simultaneously.
  4. Ahhh. the ugly connection between narcissists and the people-pleasers upon whom they prey and/or whom they raise… If you’re up for a dose of ouchy but healing truth, no matter which side of that continuum is yours, give a read: The One Thing a Narcissist and a People Pleaser Have in Common.
  5. Hope in action? Sure! Here’s a South Philadelphia man coping with trauma by helping others.
  6. Something I had to do a few months ago, and it’s articles like this that helped empower me to go with my gut and do right for my heart and mind: 10 Reasons to Fire Your Therapist.
  7. And here’s a simple breakdown of adverse childhood experiences and the power of compassion to heal their effects: Reversing Rough Childhood Effects with Compassion

Signing off with one of the many Saint Joseph’s I’m discovering over on my TikTok account. Seriously, watching men of today be gentle, humble spiritual fathers, even briefly, is so healing and hopeful.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 19Feb2021

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.

Living sunshine poking through the frost Image via Unsplash.
  1. In “Winning the War,” Monica Portogallo is over at Catholic Mom talking about the dangers of enabling. Love it.
  2. Still working on fun? Betsy Kerekes, also at Catholic Mom, shares “5 MORE Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids.”
  3. We’re way ahead of the Feast of the Annunciation, by Margaret Rose Realy has some wonderful things to share about Mary’s fear and faith in “The Virgin and God’s Shadow.”
  4. Kristin Snowden talks about the value of 12 Step Programs for anyone who experiences powerlessness (which, ahem, is all of us).
  5. Dr. Les Carter has a good one on the good stuff, the green flags: The Top 5 Indicators of a Healthy Personality.
  6. I keep having all these people tell me that my forthcoming book for adult survivors of child abuse doesn’t apply to them. “I’m not your target audience,” I hear them say, and then they talk about all these compulsions they have to self-soothe and avoid. (You know who you are, people, and I’m not outing you here.) I’m wondering if those folks could find some clues to the pain behind their pain in The Mighty article on 5 Kinds of Childhood Emotional Abuse We Don’t Talk About.
  7. It’s been a while since I wrote about the work of Leslie Lynch here, but I was introduced to the concept of restorative justice through her novel Unholy Bonds. It’s an amazing idea that addresses crime through relationship rather than simple incarceration. Here’s someone who has pursued restorative justice in her own life as a survivor of violent crime, and how she’s sharing that experience with others: She forgive her rapist, now she helps other survivors of sexual assault heal.

Signing off with how I’m doing Lent and celebrating the Year of St. Joseph over on my TikTok account:

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 12Feb2021

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.

Here’s your painful reminder that Lent is upon us. You’re welcome. Image via Unsplash.
  1. I’m over at Catholic Mom talking about God’s expectations of us and dangers of perfectionism.
  2. Cloud & Townsend of Boundaries fame have this great article on their website: When You Rescue an Angry Person, You’ll Only Have to Do It Again.
  3. Lisa Hess is at Catholic Mom with some tips on fostering genuine self-love.
  4. Teri Sinnott talks about Confession as a Gift, also over at Catholic Mom.
  5. If you’re the sort here reading lists of articles for Catholic trauma survivors, dollars to donuts says you have a father wound. Good thing this is the Year of St. Joseph.
  6. The next date for starting a consecration to St. Joseph is February 15, so that might be a good Lenten thing for we father-wounded folks. (That’s on my list of possible Lenten practices. I’ll let you know.)
  7. Narcissists… vampires… of interest to me as both a writer on mental health and an old Buffy fan, Juliet Landau, who played Dru on BTVS, has directed and performed in a film on narcissism called, “A Place Among the Dead.” I’m going to make sure M. S. Ocampo of Catholic Reads knows about this.

And as we head into both Valentine’s Day Weekend and Lent, here’s your reminder that you don’t have to try so hard. You don’t have to bend until you break.

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!

7QT for Catholic Trauma Survivors 5Feb2021

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.

Check out the link in #1 below, and hopefully you’ll soon see how the tabernacle can help Catholics de-enmesh from all those people whose emotions we wrongfully take on. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
  1. ICYMI, I’ve been having a great time on TikTok. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy spread the Good News that getting mentally healthy supports and empowers our efforts to get spiritually holy.
  2. Fr. Edward Looney is in the middle of an online novena to Our Lady of Lourdes (Feast Day: February 11). Every day at 7:45amEastern, he posts an interview with a devotee to this title of Our Lady and shares a Rosary with that person, along with novena prayers for the day. I was honored to be part of Day 2 of this novena and shared my Lourdes bath story there. Please join in these prayers for healing of all kinds.
  3. Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (emphasis mine–you don’t need to have had alcoholism in your home to need the freeing message this fellowship provides) has some awesome, brief prayers for the traumatized soul seeking healing. Get them here.
  4. The title says it all: How journals kept by priest accused of pedophilia could help abuse survivors break free. Okay, maybe not all: abuse survivors often ask ourselves questions like, “Did my abuser know that the abuse was horribly wrong?” This insight can give a fuller picture of the truth, including the truth that abuse of others is, IMHO, another type of addiction, a sickness borne of emotional intoxication. ACA (in number 3 above) has taught me that it’s not the substance that’s the problem in the family disease of addiction: it’s the selfishness. [For the record, as a recovering food addict, I’m working at recovering from my own selfishness, so I own it.]
  5. Anxiety, depression, poor sleeping, miserable immune system, desperation to isolate, fear of authority… wondering why you act like an abuse survivor even though you can’t remember a single thing in your life that you could qualify as abuse or trauma? You might be the product of intergenerational trauma.
  6. Virual reality is helping veterans overcome their PTSD: I’m wondering how much this relates to the sensory experience of modalities like EMDR. Gut reaction: EMDR seems way gentler and personalized. Has anybody reading this had experience with using either VR, EMDR, or both? Can you speak to this?
  7. Scapegoating in dysfunctional families–a concise, beginner’s look at the whys and hows, so that if this phenomenon has touched your life in any way (including if you’ve been the Golden Child, which I think is even harder to break free from than the Scapegoat role, because GC comes with perceived benefits), you can approach those wounds for healing.

Finally, since I like to sign off with some audiovisual, Christy Wilkens shared her trauma survivor theme song with me over on Twitter after I shared mine. Hers is way holier than mine. 🙂

And now go give Kelly and her 7QTs a look see!