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 1: Understanding and Managing Church Trauma—Finding Help and Healing for Mormons

Following is my master’s thesis on church trauma. I will post it in sections. This article will include all of my thesis’s chapter one but because chapter two is so long and comprehensive, it will be published in smaller parts (the whole thesis is 112 pages). For easier reading and clarity, I will label each section a new chapter. Because it is a thesis, it is quite formal in nature, which I hope will be appreciated. I will plan on posting a new section weekly. May you enjoy and find value in this series. Chapter One Introduction Church trauma is Read More

My 2020 Birthday Mantra

For my birthday, it’s become a tradition to write three statements of “I am…” as a way of noting growth and progress over the year.  I’ve been doing this instead of New Year’s resolutions.  The first year I did this (two years ago), my mantra was “I am worthy; I am good enough; I am unshamed” and by so doing, I noted more growth within a year’s time than ever before in my life.  I was able to step out of a harmful environment which challenged me to seriously look at myself and by so doing, I really started to Read More

Mormonism Is Good; Mormonism Is Bad

I was talking to a friend from South Sudan a few days ago about the Church. She was baptized in 2014 but stopped attending in 2017. She said something interesting to me: “I see why you left the Church and I see the problems you present. They are real and valid. You have outgrown it and you are wise to have moved on. You have healed since you’ve left. But Danna, the Church is also good. It helps people like me in a way most religions don’t. If I need help, they come; they want to come. They want to Read More

My 2019 Mantra

Last year instead of writing New Year resolutions (which I have never been a fan of), I made three statements of “I am” on my birthday: I am worthy; I am enough; I am unashamed. They became my mantra for the year.  I didn’t fully comprehend what I was doing last year by identifying these three truths. Yet consequently, as I internalized them, I experienced more growth and change within a year’s time than I have probably ever had.  The impact they have had on me has been overwhelmingly powerful.  Imagine my surpirse when I came across the words above by Joel Read More

Church Trauma Is BAD–But It’s Not ALL BAD!

I was sitting in Relief Society (a women’s meeting in the Mormon Church) almost a year ago listening to a discussion on fellowship.  It was all very encouraging and good.  And yet, I could not fully buy into what I was hearing as they spoke of their overwhelming success.  I wanted to—and I did to a point because I am aware of good that is happening in the Church.  But in the same breath, I knew it was a little off to think that all is well in Zion and that everyone was as happy and thriving as well as seemed 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

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

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