The Pendulum Swing of Trauma–And How It Pertains to Religion

I have a very dear friend that I’ve known since college who is in an extremely hard situation. After being married to her husband for over two decades, she finally gained the courage to leave him. Over the course of many years, he locked her in closets, drugged her, convinced her she was masturbating in her sleep and tied her wrists to the bed, beat her, choked her until she passed out, dragged her by the hair out of the shower and across rooms, manipulated all of the people around him—including their children—to believe his every word, etc. He even had his church leaders 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

What Are The Roots Of Mormon Trauma?

SHHHHH! I want to share a secret with you. I already wrote this article. I’ve been writing this article on Mormon Trauma for a few weeks now actually. And I have struggled with it. Originally, I wrote this article with the intention that I did not want to alienate anyone because church trauma within the LDS faith is not widely known. I did not want to be deemed an anti-Mormon or apostate because of what I wrote. I did not want to be called a sensationalist. I didn’t want to hear that I was too angry or hateful. I wanted Read More

To the Women I’ve Hurt

An open letter to the women I’ve hurt because of the wrong religious ideas I adopted as a male in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I’m sorry for not realizing how hard it can be for women in the Church. I’m sorry for supporting the system of your repression. I’m sorry for believing everything the Church did to you was right. I’m sorry I didn’t think for myself. I’m sorry for feeling superior over every LDS woman because I hold the Priesthood. I’m sorry I didn’t always hear you. I consider myself a good person. At least, 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

Church Trauma Is More Common than You Might Realize

Last month the Mormon Trauma Mama team hosted an invitation-only summit called When Church Hurts to talk about the problems we are seeing with church trauma and how we can promote awareness, healing, and change.  We are still working on solutions to this problem—and will be for many years to come!  But at the summit, I introduced a man who had a similar dilemma.  Maybe you have heard about him.  His name is Ignaz Semmelweis. Semmelweis was a fascinating man.  He was a European doctor, an obstetrician, in the mid-1800s.  He worked at Vienna’s General Hospital, an important research hospital, Read More

Survivors Speak: Psychological Trauma Can Be a Great Destroyer of Dreams

Hello! I created this video for an event called Survivors Speak: A Story Telling Event, which will be taking place in Salt Lake City shortly.  It is an opportunity that will provide many survivors of abuse to come out of the shadows of hiding and speak up.  Sadly, I am unable to attend, but all the same, I want to show my support to my friends there by addressing the very real issue of psychological trauma. Psychological trauma is a very real issue that needs attention. I will give you a formal definition of psychological trauma but before I do so, I would like Read More

Survivors Are Trail Blazers

I wonder how real I dare be with people. I wonder who will be the next friend to drop off my list. I struggle with knowing how to hold and live my truth while still honoring another’s sacred. These sentiments are not uncommon for church trauma sufferers because there are a variety of unique struggles in dealing with church trauma that are not found in normal post-traumatic circumstances.  One of the more prevalent is the powerful unspoken rule in church systems requiring or expecting members to only speak positively of their leaders and church.  K.D. Bilsky describes it as the Read More

Speaking Up for Those Who Suffer in Silence: Calling Out the Culture that is Destroying a Beautiful Religion

Chapter One:  We Have A Christ Problem – A Lack Thereof I am a Mormon. I was born into this beautiful religion.  And at no time will I debate my religion with anyone who is simply trying to bash it, disprove it, or make fun of it in any way.  My religion saved my life, literally, so I am very protective of it.  Respect that, please, as I respect your beliefs. However, religion is completely different from culture when it comes to religious communities.  Most religions have a culture that was formed from the rules and guidelines you’re asked to Read More

How Can the LDS Church Become a Hospital to the Traumatized?

By Danna Hartline “It’s not that I’m inactive or don’t believe, I just have a hard time going to a ward that treats my family and I like we don’t belong.” “Before my divorce, I felt like I belonged and felt very content with my church experience. But after divorcing, it was very hard to find my place.” “I always felt shamed and flawed. I felt like others were happy with church but I couldn’t be me there.  I tried so hard to be perfect to achieve the same experiences of others.”  These comments are not unusual for people suffering from Read More