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October 2017

    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #3 – Mary Ashley

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response 3 Mary Ashley -- FemCatholic.com

    Read the original question here.

    Dear Anonymous,

    First off, I want to say that I’m really sorry that that happened to you. There are few things more hurtful than being lied to and cheated on. I applaud you for moving on and even becoming best friends with the “other woman”.

    I’ve had several experiences where I felt hurt, betrayed, or let down by men, including my father, and healing from the resulting hurt and bitterness each time has taken a tremendous amount of time and effort. It is especially disheartening when we are deceived by someone who has all of the external signs of faith (and, we would assume, faithfulness and virtue), which leads us to a double distrust, both of men and of the signals we would normally cling to in order to evaluate someone’s character.

    It is especially disheartening when we are deceived by someone who has all of the external signs of faith … which leads us to a double distrust, both of men and of the signals we would normally cling to in order to evaluate someone’s character.

    I spent a long time in a similar state to the one you describe…in college, almost all of my friends were gay men, women, or my friends’ boyfriends, and most of my interactions with the opposite sex were hopelessly awkward. I had crushes from afar, but aside from a relationship that lasted for the first three months of my freshman year (one which certainly did not help my fears or ability to trust), I didn’t go on another real date until 7 years later, and usually ran away as fast as I could if someone showed any real interest. Since then, I’ve had more betrayals, even deeper hurts, and more healing to go through, and I don’t have the perfect answer, but at least I can confidently say that I’m finally at a place of being open and relatively at peace.

    So, my first piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. One day you might wake up and feel great, totally healed, and ready to take on the world, but then the next day something relatively small sends you backsliding into fear, bitterness, or anxiety. Healing is a process, and it’s likely that there are several layers to this wound that you might not uncover until later on. It’s normal to feel wary and unsafe in your shoes, and if there is any part of you that feels like you “should have already healed by now,” I hope that you can let that go.

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    What to Say when There are No Words?

    What to say when there are no words: Helping a friend through miscarriage -- FemCatholic.com

    October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I never know what to say or feel when people mention this. I have had two miscarriages, and I still grieve them both, but I don’t know how to talk about them in public – or even if I want to. Those who have lost babies before they are born live in a strange middle ground: are we parents or are we not? Are we allowed to stand for the Mother’s Day blessing at church? Is it worth explaining to near strangers that I have three children on earth and two in heaven, or should I just answer “three” because I know that that’s what they’re really asking? Am I allowed to talk about the babies who were never born?

    One aspect of pregnancy loss that surprised me is how intensely personal it is. Before losing my babies, I thought I would be the kind of woman who would speak of something like that openly without fear and without shame – as if women who do not speak of it keep silent because of fear or shame. But I quickly learned that, for me, fear and shame have nothing to do with my silence. If I seldom speak of my losses publicly, it’s because the grief is more personal than I ever expected it be, partly because, unlike the loss of a grandparent, for example, most people don’t have a context for it. Most people simply do not know what it feels like to lose a child. How do you explain that you are a mother when no one else can see that?

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    Modern Catholic Women

    Women on the Battlefield of Mercy: You, Me, and Wonder Woman

    Catholic women reflect on mercy and Wonder Woman -- FemCatholic.com

    As I read the news about the shooting in Las Vegas I was completely stunned and overwhelmed. My heart ached for the families that had lost loved ones, for individuals who could have had no idea their earthly lives would end that night. I felt outrage that justice could not be enacted and that we may never know what motivation was behind such an act of violence.

    Two weeks later I scrolled through my newsfeed shocked and heartbroken by countless #metoo posts. I came face to face with the acute reminder that acts of violence, and the deep pain and suffering that follow, are daily affecting people I know and love.

    In the midst of the now seemingly constant barrage of news about acts of violence it is all too easy to be completely overcome with emotion. We can hardly know what to think or even feel: outrage, anger, sadness, fear, pity, confusion, heartbreak. Even more overwhelming is the piercing desire to do or say something to make the madness stop, to keep one more innocent life from being lost, another family from being broken. What can be done in the face of such hatred and destruction? How do you and I, as women throughout the world, respond and make the change we so desperately long to make in the world? These questions are weighing on many of our hearts, so it’s no surprise how many people resonated with a character on screen asking these same things. Read more

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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #2 – Anonymous

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response 2 Anonymous -- FemCatholic.com

    Read the original question here.

    Dear Trusting Men,

    I’m sorry about your friend.

    About a year ago I broke up with my ex who was my closest friend. He wasn’t christian and it wasn’t the same. It would be fair to say we were pretty awful to each other, and when we did break up I was devastated to find that the image I had painted for myself of this idyllic relationship that I was in, was just a picture.

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    Modern Catholic Women

    The real power in a sexy Halloween costume

    The real power behind a sexy halloween costume -- FemCatholic.com

    It’s that time of year again.

    sexy halloween costume catholic women

    Ladies be lining up like:

    sexy halloween costume catholic women

    Sexy Wonder Woman, Sexy Santa, even Sexy Taco Sauce packets — the options are endless.

    Unless of course, you’re too hipster for that.

    sexy halloween costumes catholic women

    But even if you generally dress pretty modestly, you can’t deny, there’s something really… powerful about getting dolled up so… sexy.

    sexy halloween costume catholic women

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    Modern Catholic Women

    #MeToo: A Catholic story of trust, hurt, and healing

    #MeToo: A Catholic story -- FemCatholic.com

    Names have been changed.

    Sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein have caused many people to come forward with their own assault stories, all tagging their social media posts with the hashtag “#metoo”.

    These stories of assault are coming from everyone, everywhere.

    Actresses and actors, olympic gymnasts, friends and family on my feeds. All of these posts have reminded me of my own story, when I learned that the unfortunate reality is that just because someone is Catholic, doesn’t make them infallible.

    Me too, and I let it affect my relationship with God.

    ♦♦♦

    A few years ago, I had just moved into a new town, a new parish. I was starting to get to know people, and everyone was very kind. I had just been broken up with and was not looking for a casual situation where I was going to get hurt. I was looking for something serious, and respectful. I was looking for someone Catholic.

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    Open to Life, Open to Death: Love and Miscarriage

    Open to Life, Open to Death: Love and Miscarriage -- FemCatholic.com

    My husband and I were avoiding pregnancy after our wedding while we worked on an interstate move and settling into new jobs. But we were open to life, and looking forward to tangibly welcoming life by way of a squishy little bundle of baby chub in short order.

    We were prepared for it to take time – I was diagnosed with PCOS in high school, and years of charting my cycles for health awareness revealed a litany of reproductive health concerns that hadn’t responded to treatment thus far. Cycle after cycle led to a week of extreme cramping and a glass or three of red wine while picking fights over Downton Abbey or the gender wage gap instead of gleefully researching how to raise a kid in an urban studio apartment. After a year, we weren’t alarmed by this, just resigned that my ovaries hadn’t magically healed themselves (surprise) and we would have to pursue fertility-specific medical intervention after all.

    Six months later, a few days before leaving to visit family, I peed on – a lot – of sticks, not wanting to let myself believe that I really was seeing a second line.

    It happened.

    We were pregnant.

    That life had arrived.

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