March 29, 2019

I’ve always been a Catholic. A classic “cradle” Catholic. My parents were even the archetype of cultural Catholicism, with my Mom being our rock, our family’s “Peter,” while my Dad was nominal at best. Everything else about my early years of faith was more or less textbook. I attended faith formation as a child up until I was confirmed when I was 17. I had some strong “reversions,” which I can’t call conversions since I did not even dared to… Read more

March 23, 2019

  Yesterday I wrote about speaking up as a survivor of domestic violence in a Catholic family. Well, this is an important note I wanted to add, but that post was already too long. So. Consider this a really important post script. “You Should Be Another St. Monica.” Growing up, I remember my mom being told over and over that she should just be another St. Monica. If she would just love my father better, pray more, embrace her suffering,… Read more

March 23, 2019

I’ve been thinking recently about trauma. And about writing. And about writing publicly about trauma and abuse and healing. Most of my friends at this point in my life have trauma of some sort (or have been trained, as social workers or psychologists, in trauma theory). Most of them have suffered abuse: parental abuse, spousal abuse, abuse from a boyfriend or girlfriend, rape, stalking, sexual assault, spousal rape, emotional abuse, religious abuse, gaslighting, psychological abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence. The… Read more

March 10, 2019

  Content Warning: language, stereotypical hateful opinion of Thoreau   I saw an ad today that said “Get yourself a tampon stash that sparks joy,” which I thought was a fitting example of the Marie Kondo fever that’s been gripping the nation.  First came the adulation of her as the hero America needs, then the backlash cries of BURN HER AT THE STAKE SHE’S NOT GETTING OUR BOOKS (based on a misquoted meme), and then at last, the capitalistic opportunism… Read more

March 6, 2019

Grief. Source: Wikipedia Commons   Once, in trauma therapy last year, my counselor mentioned to me that I seemed to be grieving.   I don’t remember what I was discussing, but I remember feeling shocked and bemused at what she said. I didn’t think the emotions I was having were grief. I thought they were anger and irritation. But here’s the thing: anger and irritation are my go to emotions, you could say. When other emotions feel too threatening, the… Read more

February 28, 2019

  Trigger Warning: suicide . . . .   The neighbor upstairs killed herself last week. Or maybe it was the week before. When you’re depressed and your PTSD flares up at Christmas, the days blur together pretty clear. Or maybe she blurred ’em for me. She knows—it’s easier to cope that way sometimes. When her husband called to tell us, Adelina cried. I hadn’t seen her cry before. Well, maybe once, when a mother from the school died. Cancer…. Read more

February 15, 2019

This review by a guest contributor goes into details that are spoilers for the trilogy of movies “Unbreakable”, “Split”, and “Glass”, so consider this your SPOILER ALERT!     The Story Thus Far, True Believers… The quiet yet brilliant 2000 film Unbreakable was released in a cinematic time long before the grandeur of Avengers movies and the depth of Black Panther. Beautifully acted, it offered moviegoers a truly wonderful superhero film experience all wrapped about a very real family drama…. Read more

January 20, 2019

  On New Year’s Eve I spent some time reflecting, and I wrote my thoughts to a beloved friend who has become like a spiritual guide to me:   I’m wrestling with something. I went to Mass yesterday. I wanted to go, and my friend explicitly told me I didn’t have to go, which made it that I was able to go. I walked into St. Patrick’s parish in Edinburgh and smelled incense and saw the manger and felt at… Read more

January 14, 2019

    My mom and I were just discussing the bizarre crises of identity this whole Church Militant shit show has stirred up within us.   The thing you need to understand is, I was raised by a man who worshiped Michael Voris and CM. My father praised my writing even as he constantly tore me down. He tried to turn me into the disfigured, judgmental, hate-flinging kind of woman that Christine Niles is. As someone said recently, one of… Read more

January 13, 2019

  My freshman year at Franciscan University of Steubenville, I was required to read books that contained graphic sexual content, including graphic homosexual content.   I had never been exposed to such content in literature before. My father had decided that his children needed to be homeschooled so that we would be protected from content such as this, content that might destroy our innocence. I was raised with fear of the corrupting power of books with any kind of sexual… Read more

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