Chapter 6: Accepting the Reality of Trauma and Researched-Based Treatments

In chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, we explored the harmful causes and effects of church trauma. Now we will discuss how to heal and find meaningful beauty and rebirth post trauma. Accepting the Reality of Trauma With so much pain to deal with in regards to church trauma, it often feels very overwhelming and discouraging as victims try to begin piecing their lives together again.  It can seem nearly impossible to make sense of it all.  Yet, if there is one essential truth that must be grasped in overcoming trauma, it is that in order to heal, one Read More

Chapter 5: Four More Consequences of Church Trauma

Chapter 4 discussed four common effects of Church Trauma: cognitive dissonance, church exodus, dissociation, and abuser loyalty. This chapter addresses four more consequences of Church Trauma: loss of identity, mental disorder, family dysfunction, and shame. Loss of Identity  Trauma messes with concept of self.  After one is traumatized by the Church, victims often have no idea who they are anymore.  The Mormon Church is not just a religion; it’s a lifestyle.  Hence traumatization can cause a complete upheaval to a person’s construction of reality, including the self, other people, life, and the future.  Few can appreciate the sheer terror religious Read More

Chapter 4: Four Consequences of Church Trauma

Consequences of Church Trauma Now that we have discussed many of the causal factors of church trauma (see chapters two and three) within the Mormon Church, it is important to also look at the consequences of traumatic situations found there.  Although the focus will be on consequences of trauma in the Mormon faith, it is important to note that these consequences can be found within most sufferers of church trauma, regardless of the religion. Indeed, because of church trauma, we see many serious side effects, including the following: cognitive dissonance, church exodus, dissociation, abuser loyalty, loss of identity, mental disorders, Read More

Waves of Grief

A few months ago, I shared a story of a tragic suicide.  Sadly, as preoccupied and short-sighted humans, we often momentarily mourn over the loss of a passing associate but then maybe forget about those who are left behind and the long-lasting effect the death–and the causes of it–has on them.  Below is a follow-up on the dear mother of the deceased: Christine Burton. She offers some important insights of one who has been left to suffer mostly alone:  “It has now been six months since my son Michael’s tragic and untimely death. What has transpired during this time frame, has Read More

Mormons (and Post-Mormons) Have a Bullying Problem

Hold tight.  This is raw and this is real. I am going to call it like I see it: Mormons have a bullying problem.  Maybe it is just a war among us and not outside of us but having been on both sides of Mormonism, I am appalled and deeply saddened by what I see. Here’s how it goes: If you are a member, you are bullied by other members if you don’t fit the mold. If you don’t act right, dress right, believe right, look right, think right, worship right, talk right, parent right, gender right, associate right, say Read More

WHY AM I SO TRIGGERED LATELY?

For the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on the importance of recognizing triggers within ourselves and others. As many have been following the ProtectLDSChildren.org movement, there have been many productive, eye-opening discussions as well as many destructive, angry triggering discussions. As a spiritual life coach-guide and healer, I am always trying to leave an open heart space as well as responding diplomatically to people (including self love, with my own journey).  I admit, I have been emotionally triggered with some of the comments and discussions lately. On a couple occasions, I would openly discuss my frustrations with my Read More

Is the LDS Church Increasing Its Appeal for Sexual Predators?

I have to say it: I really wonder about the direction the Mormon Church is moving.  It just feels the Church is regressing.   Two red flags have been raised recently: One is the disheartening excommunication of Sam Young in his effort to change policy about one-on-one interviews and the sexually explicit questioning of our youth.   That alone is enough but I see another connection to Sam Young’s movement to protect LDS Children, which brings me to concern number two: the Church’s withdrawal in the Scouting program (which had interesting timing—two weeks after the BSA announced they would no longer discriminate against women, the Read More

Growing Up Is Hard Work

Let us not deny it: Growing up is hard work. I’m learning that.  For years I thought growing up just came with age but I’m learning that it’s something I get to choose to do—or not do.  And today was a test in growth. It hit rather subtly. I thought I was doing so well and I have been.  I have been really paying attention to my self-talk and not being reactive but today I felt I lost all grounding. For a moment, the stresses seemed to be too much.  I “broke,” something I haven’t done for some time.  (A tendency Read More

The Dying of Beliefs Post Trauma

In her book On Death and Dying, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross taught that there are certain steps one goes through in the dying process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In the first stage of denial, people refuse to accept their new reality.  They say, “The lab must have gotten my tests mixed up with someone else’s.” Or “This happens to other people, not me.”  But their denial doesn’t work very long.  So they move into the next stage: anger.  They are angry at the doctors, angry at their family, angry at God.  When the anger doesn’t help, they begin to Read More