Inadaquecy, Changes and Life

My entire life I have felt like I am not good enough. It is probably rooted in the fact that nothing I did was ever good enough for my mother because she was a control freak. Her need to control things came from living a life of chaos and her life of chaos was rooted in my grandmother’s traumas. So there it is, trauma passed down and then passed down some more. Trauma that nobody talks about because it will make the family look bad. So there is that too: Image.

When I got old enough to understand my dad had left my mom knowing she was pregnant with me and left anyway to never return I began to believe that I was not worth staying for. There it was, the ugly truth I began to believe, I was not important to anyone.

I spent my entire childhood being bullied by other kids for not having the right kind of clothes, the right personality, the right sense of humor or whatever it was that they all considered being the “right way” to be. I was an only child so I didn’t even have siblings to have my back. I would lie on this painter’s scaffold that I had created into a “tree house” looking up at the stars and wondering why God would love me if nobody else did. My lifelong struggle with jealousy and envy began on that scaffold to the soundtrack of Bon Jovi, Belinda Carlisle and the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing.

When I became an adult, I friended some of those girls who made my life miserable because I still had this need for them to like me. I never expressed to them what they had done to me and how it had impacted my life. I didn’t have the guts to say “you hurt me” because I somehow still believe that I am not good enough and the problem is with me, not with how they acted towards me.

When I became Catholic I was seriously naive to the issues in the Church. I knew about the sex abuse scandal but from where I stood, it seemed to be something that was very important to everyone around me to end and to make reparation for. The priests that were in my parish were amazing priests who all sought to be holy and who helped me build a relationship with God and they loved me and my family. I thought all priests were like this and the opinion that priests were horrible was a lie “liberals” told to make the Church look bad. I believed that the Catholic Church was a safe place to be and that every Catholic’s goal was to live in relationship with Jesus Christ. I thought “the world” was worried about image and the Church was only worried about serving God in the people He created. But mostly, I believed that by virtue of my baptism and the story of my conversion, I was finally good enough.

I started blogging to tell my story. The story of changing my life when I encountered Jesus in the Catholic Church. The story of a lost girl coming home to Truth and Redemption. I got caught up in all the culture wars and dreamt of becoming a published author and a popular speaker. I saw person after person convert, tell their story and then do just that. People who converted after me would get their story published and then get hired for speaking jobs. I just assumed that I would too.

My story was not like theirs. For one thing, I am Hispanic. If you look at the shelves and shelves of conversion stories, you will see that there are not very many written by someone who is not white. Secondly, I was not from the suburbs. My story is one of someone coming from poverty, being raised by a single mother, I was sexually abused as a child, married a man I only knew for two weeks, had a late miscarriage, and had three kids in three years while my ex-husband started his drug addiction which led to a lot of domestic violence situations. That isn’t even including the teen pregnancy and the life of dating gang members after my divorce. It is not a boring story of someone who just felt “meh” about life and then found Jesus. When I began going to classes to get my Sacraments, I had NO PLANS on actually becoming Catholic. Like, at all. None. Yet, in nine months I was in love with Jesus and my life was flipped upside down.

Every single Catholic publisher that I have sent my book proposal to has rejected it.

I am going to tell you a little of my truth here. When Oprah was at some award show and talked about “your truth” and everyone went ballistic, I knew what she was talking about. Because no matter who you are, you know things that other people have no clue about. You know things as one way while they are portrayed to the world another way. Whatever that is. You work for a company that says their mission is X and you know that in meetings they think that X is the stupidest shit ever but that their customers/followers/or whoever they are “selling” think that X is the greatest thing ever so they act like they also believe that. Well, YOUR truth is that you know the bullshit that goes on behind the scenes.

Here is some of my truth when it comes to being Catholic.

There are two sides of Catholicism. For lack of better terms, I am going to say the “right” and the “left”. In order to be a part of the “right”, you have to be Republican, which means some kind of respect for Trump and all that comes with that, be totally against abortion and gay marriage with no nuance or room for common ground with anyone on the other side of these issues. In order to be on the “left”, you have to think that the Church is the patriarchy and just wants to control women and you have to want to burn effigies of Trump plus you have to think that women should be priests because power is everything and women don’t have it.  I don’t know why, but Trump being elected as president has made these two sides of Catholics even more enemies than ever it also made everyone insane. And if you do not choose a side, you are pushed aside. At the beginning, you would just get shit flung at you by both sides but now it is different. Now, you don’t get paid to write and you get no traffic unless you have declared a side and declared it loudly and you are a voice that riles up your side. And it is with every issue. Guns, school shootings, abortion, gay marriage, Pride parades, immigration, the end of life care for children on the other side of the ocean and on and on. Every single issue is now put in that lens of “right” or “left” and you are either an enemy of one of those sides or you are boring and might as well not even be a Catholic writer.

I have no respect at all for Trump or his policies. I do not make a secret about that at all and I have paid for that opinion. I am just as concerned for the unborn as I am for immigrant children. I am in awe and in love with the male priesthood, but I also know that the men who wear collars are human beings and have flaws, sometimes serious ones which need to be talked about and condemned. I don’t think that means women should be priests. I am against abortion but think women who make that choice do so for reasons that we can fix in our culture and we can do so side by side with people who support abortion. I understand that Sacramental Marriage is just that: a Sacrament, but I don’t think every American has to believe that and live by that belief. I have gay friends and not only would I bake them a cake, I would share that cake with the rest of our friends at their wedding. I have paid for every single one of these opinions.

Basically, I don’t fit in either box of left or right leaning Catholic. And anytime that I begin to go down the rabbit hole of culture wars, I lose my ever loving mind. It is like a tornado that I get caught up in. I am naturally a fighter so I take up a sword and just fight and fight until I am so lost and so far from anything that resembles who I am and I usually end up sacrificing a lot of my friendships and part of myself. This is mostly because I am not healed and I want to fit in and feel worthy of someone’s praise because of my lifelong wounds. I cannot do it. It’s a simple as that, I can not enlist in any single culture war for the sake of my own sanity. That means neither “side” can use me or my story to try and rile up their own side and prove how evil the other side is.

I know being objectified when I see it because I have been objectified most of my life, so when I sense that happening I usually put the brakes on it and that is when I get dropped like a hot potato because I am no longer useful. Which leaves me feeling alone, abandoned and like I am not good enough. In my life, that is square one.

I am finding myself there again for a lot of reasons. People who support my writing privately fail to do so publicly, I am not getting published or paid for any of my writing, I can’t get anything at all going (not even a charity in the memory of Anthony to help other families who lose someone to suicide in practical ways) and I am so heartbroken at the fact that my Church cares about image as much as the Kardashians, which has been proven to me time and time again in the last few years.

Before Anthony’s suicide, I knew what I wanted to do with my life and I knew what the purpose of it was. I wanted to go around and tell everyone what God had done in my life. I had 100% faith that God was going to take care of me and my family’s needs.

Right now, on June 27th, 2018, I do not even know if God is real. And if He is real then I am so damn mad that He has allowed this shitshow that is my life to happen, starting with my father abandoning me, a man raping me when I was five, losing two children in horrific ways and ending with the only man to take care of me dying in front of my eyes. I see other people complain about having to maintain their pools or “downsize” by buying a new house and I really want to just blow things up because if ONLY that was my problem in life instead of this crapfest that is my life which involves watering my son’s grave pretending that I still have something of him to care for.

I am not going to Mass anymore and I really don’t know if I ever will go again. I understand that believing in God does not relieve suffering in this life, I know this rationally and I understand the theology of it all but it still makes no sense on the ground. I don’t understand why someone eating something from a tree means that it is ok that my son hangs himself in my garage. What kind of God thinks that is a good plan? Or the plan that all of this heartbreak I am in is somehow going to bring some good in the world? Fuck that, I want my son back. He didn’t deserve to die alone in the garage thinking that his life didn’t matter. And the saddest and most depressing part is that he was kind of right. All kinds of people who wailed and sobbed at his funeral are now happily moving on with their lives. It is easy for them to ignore or forget that he even existed. Because people suck. And it makes me mad. It’s a horrible cycle and I do not have a clue on how to break it.

With all of this said, I am taking down all my Catholic social media. I need time to gather myself, to figure out what I believe without the influence of starry-eyed Catholics who get paid to say that God is so good and seeing new moms with no clue of what heartbreak can be waiting ahead in life even if their 6-month-old chooses a book about Jesus off the shelf. If God is real then He and I have some shit to work out and I can’t do it while also trying to prove that I am good enough for people who are fake AF. It’s that simple.

I don’t know what I will be writing publicly if I write at all. I have no idea what I am going to be doing. But I do know that I need a break. I need a break from all the PR and obsession with image and the culture wars. So I am walking away. Who knows what the future holds for me, but I can tell you that I need to stop trying to get the approval of people and pretending that X is the best thing ever just because that is protocol. Being Catholic hasn’t been the best thing ever. That is the honest truth. Catholics are just as fucked up as everyone else. That might not be anything that is said out loud and in public, but it is true and for all of you new Catholic bloggers, may the odds be ever in your favor. But I am out. If I stay Catholic and I keep writing, I will not be writing in the Catholic bubble.

The end.

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53 thoughts on “Inadaquecy, Changes and Life

  1. I have no words of comfort or wisdom. I can only say, I love you and will miss seeing you on social media.

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  2. I have nothing wise, wonderful, to say other than I feel you. I don’t know the depths, clearly do not know the depths. I do know that you make a difference. You’re real. In this moment this might sound trite, but it is the one thing I can offer – my prayerful support, for you, for Anthony, for your grand children, for your family and friends. My inbox is always open, and I’ll continue to promote and support The Red Door Foundation.

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  3. Thank you so much for writing this, Leticia. I can feel your pain. Your candid honesty is a breath of fresh air. Thank you thank you thank you. You have a gift for putting your pain into words, which, while not giving you relief right now, will definitely help others.
    -Skye

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  4. I am praying for you! I have only a small percentage of shared life experience with you, but I am also in the same “awkward” category in the church. I am choosing to stay because I believe I can only reach people from within. I feel some of your pain and hurt. I will pray for you, message me anytime!

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  5. Dear Leticia,
    I am so saddened by your post and how you are still feeling. You are a beautiful person and you have quite a gift of speaking to others. Hugs to you and your family!

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  6. It’s not about any of that for me. If there is something greater than this then God is real and then Catholicism is the truth. I know this and it is deep and plenty of people who call themselves Catholic try to contain it and use it for their own benefit. But if Catholicism isn’t true then none of the other spiritualities are either and this life is all we have and we are robots with brains. Those are my own two choices.

    Catholicism has the final answer to all my “whys”, but it all is founded on believing God exists and that is my final question to be honest. Every spirituality is full of shit if it can’t explain what is Truth objectively and why we should care about it. And I am not looking for more bullshit.

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  7. I’m also not looking for a debate or argument. I don’t need to be convinced of anything. This wasn’t a plea to be convinced of something. There are plenty of places on the internet to debate belief and religions and spirituality. This isn’t one of them.

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  8. I, too, will miss your writings! You have such a unique crazy background I can’t believe that publishers aren’t picking you up. Have you ever thought about self-publishing since the big publishers are saying no? My friend did!

    Finally, I will pray for you and that Christ will give you peace. I have faith that you will come back to the Church in time. God Bless.

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  9. I’m in much the same place as you are. Admittedly without the depth of loss you’ve experienced, but related to the “left” and “right” and the despair of it all regarding going to mass and God. Just focusing on family and the good things that we have.

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  10. I will miss you. I do not know the pain within your soul. It’s been a traumatic time for you and your family. You deserve a rest. I hope for healing and strength for you. Your writings have been deep, courageous and honest. Many are uncomfortable with that combination. Superficial I know. My heart is with you and will await your return when you are ready.

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  11. Leticia, I am someone who has been reading your writing with interest since I converted to Catholicism about three-and-a-half years ago. On paper, we are nothing alike. But I can relate to everything you say.

    Yup, you really have objectively been dealt a crapload of pain in your life. You are definitely not imagining that and you are not to blame for it. You have every right to be angry at the causes for that pain. But God cares more about you in all your particularities and pain than he cares about what any human thinks. I’m also convinced that the current inability in the US to accept differences of political opinion civilly is more damaging by far than whatever specific opinions we hold. And the polarization within the Church itself is dismaying. You’re not imagining that either.

    But I just wanted to say that you have helped me, I am pulling for you, and I have wanted to tell you this for a long time. I can’t make it better, but just wanted you to know that whatever the state of your book deals, you are doing people good. Keep being Leticia. Much love, sister!

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  12. St John of the Cross’ “Dark Night of the Soul” may be a lodestar in the darkness you’re experiencing.

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  13. Man, I will miss your writing. Even if you are not sure God exists, even if you are on the wrong side or neither side of the culture wars… or maybe because of both of those things… I will miss your writing! But if you need space, you need space… but if you change your mind maybe that’s okay too?

    For what it’s worth I don’t regularly subscribe to blogs but I sat down specifically today to look yours up (haven’t in months). I was surprised to see you posted this “goodbye” just two hours earlier. Probably not weird for you but in the scheme of my life it was weird.

    I’ve been very impressed by simcha fisher’s investigative reporting. She seems to feel this calling almost to call out anything bad in the church or church organizations and it POWERFUL. Your work reminds me of hers sometimes.

    And you’re right, Facebook and social media are horrible.

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  14. My son Matthew died by suicide 3 months before your Anthony. Your blogs and writings have been very important to my grief journey as a Catholic woman. I wish I could be as real and raw as you and admire this in you. You never know who you are going to touch in this life. I have no where else to turn but to our Lord who loves our sons more than we can imagine. God bless you in your journey.

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  15. I would never go back to being a Protestant. For me if God is real then Catholicism is where I am going to be. It’s that simple. Because I know for a fact that Protestants are even more concerned with image than Catholics and the theology there doesn’t make any sense considering History of Christianity. I hope that makes sense and isn’t rude, I have no filter at the moment.

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  16. Thank you for writing. Your words mean a lot to me. I feel the same toward God, pretty often. I *definitely* feel toward the little bit of the Church (non-Catholic) that I know, and also know that I can’t “not-know” everything I’ve found in God over the years. For better or worse, the movie and book The Sunset Limited says a lot of what I think and feel–one character sees society as a dead end and life as a dead end, and the other character is trying to bring God’s love to him, but utterly fails to reach the other guy’s heart, and he blames God, and yells at God, and then quiets himself and mourns. I’m so mad at what people have done–really mad, and hurt–and if I didn’t know better, I would be mad at God.

    What inspired me about your post is that you’re telling the truth. That’s probably the only place to be, when we’re boxing with God.

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  17. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I will really miss your posts. On paper, my background is completely different and I have not suffered a fraction of what you have. But I struggle with the same feeling of not fitting in in the Church, either politically or socially. Thank you for writing and speaking so honestly, especially about Anthony. My colleague’s teenage daughter died by suicide last year, and I cannot imagine the heartbreak, but I admire the way both you and she have spoken openly about it. You HAVE made a difference. I would buy any book you wrote. Full price in hardback. My prayers are with you as you figure things out.

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  18. Your authenticity, your honesty, your doubts, your “thinking out loud”: THIS is what we all need to hear more of! The Christian life is NOT easy and I have NO IDEA why so many insist upon painting Norman Rockwell-esque pictures of it. Yes, we need joy but dammit sometimes we all need to know that someone else is struggling with the same things too. Being vulnerable gives us an opportunity to love others. I applaud your openness and will truly miss it, yet I understand completely your need to step away. God be with you, and I pray you find Him during your sabbatical! Peace be upon you!

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  19. I guess I should say I went back to the Bible more so than Protestantism per se. No filter is quite alright, and quite understandable. I can’t imagine what you have gone though with the loss of your son. I’ve never had kids, let alone lost one to death, let alone lost one to suicide. I only know, or, I guess I should say I only believe, that walking away from God is the last thing I would want to do during difficult times. God is all I have in good times and bad times. “Though he slay me yet will I trust him,” Job said. He’s an anchor for my soul during the storms of life. To cast him away would be like a drowning man casting away the only life preserver he has only to become adrift, and finally drown, in my thinking. I only desire and hope the best for you, and I pray along those lines always for you. As for book publishing, publish yourself. That’s what I did. You need to have your story out there. The publishers and critics be damned! I sense even more books coming from you in the future. That’s my hope anyway.

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  20. Oh I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. I have no easy answers. My dark night was a good year and that was without coping with loss. I will pray for you to find your peace again

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  21. I felt exactly like that about 4 deaths and 2 tragedies ago. I just saw on FB memories where I said almost those exact words. And for a year after Anthony’s suicide I held on to that. Catholicism is the most biblical thing a person can be so that’s why I say, if I am going to be a Christian, it will be a Catholic.

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  22. Not enough space to articulate my thoughts. Wish I could give you a hug. Today marks 22yrs that my baby brother committed suicide a day short of his 19th b-day.

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  23. I did the whole “home to Rome thing” twenty years ago. I was raised Catholic. Became Protestant. Became Catholic again. And finally grew weary of trying to defend what’s left of the supposedly Catholic Church. The Catholic Church of the Bible and of history no longer exists, and hasn’t existed for a very long time. The Church of Rome is what exists today. The Bible is all we have, in my opinion anyway. My advice to you, regarding religion, is to buy a nice edition of the King James Version (like one from Cambridge University Press) and read it every day. It will do wonders for your soul. I promise you.

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  24. I’ve been a Protestant and would never go back. The King James Bible isn’t the Bible in its original form and for 325 years there was no Bible. If the Catholic Church in history no longer exists then Jesus is a liar and that solves my problem pretty easy because He said the gates of Hell would not prevail against that Church. So if it doesn’t exist then He failed. It’s that simple for me and those words are in the Bible.

    I’m not going to debate theology though. Even through I’m sure that every time I do debate theology it is God’s sick sense of humor to remember why I am Catholic.

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  25. Here’s is the part that stuck out for me: “Yet in 9 months I was in love with Jesus…” That sounds pretty “real”. You can walk away, be angry, rage against the horrors of your life (and they WERE horrible) and shake your fist at the unfairness of it all . Of course you can. You can also choose another way and lay down your idea and the world’s idea of what your life is supposed to be at Christ’s feet and follow where He leads. It’s up to you. We all come to this kind of crossroad sooner or later. Different sufferings, different sorrows, same crossroad and choice – whether to follow Him or turn back. To have faith or to walk away. You have faith or you wouldn’t be questioning it. You cannot choose what happens to you when you are young or change things once they happen but you sure as hell can choose what you do with it. Whether to lay down on the ground and give up or to rise up and fight instead. Everything I’ve read from you over the years tells me you’re a fighter. As for the writing, speaking, or whether Catholics get paid for saying God is good – that’s all the piddling stuff and not really the goal of the Catholic life, right? You were made for God, all that other stuff is simply the trivial details. God, your family, your friends – these are important. Whether you write a book? Not necessarily on God’s priority list – sometimes He has better plans than that. Give Him the clay of who you are, not the hard rock of who you or others want you to be.

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  26. I am so sorry for all your pain and wish I could help you with it. Life sometimes just stinks out loud, and it generally doesn’t make sense until we get to the other side of whatever yuckiness we are going through. I spent most of the 18 years that my husband was sick and getting sicker yelling at God and not understanding WHY. It’s only now, 4.5 years after his death, that I’m beginning to get it. And no, I am not comparing my pain with yours. I’m just speaking from my own experience.

    I will miss you on social media, too, but I expect you’ll be back. You have so much to say and such a desire to say it that I think you’ll have to be back to say it or just burst. Anyway, I sure hope you’ll be back, because I love your perspective and the fact that you are completely up front with what’s happened in your life. I wouldn’t have known you if not for the internet and social media, and I’m grateful for them in that respect.

    If we never “meet” again, please know this: you are amazing. You have been through so much, and you don’t hide it. I admire you *SO* much for that. And for lots of other things. You are unique and irreplaceable. You are you. Those of us who know you will miss out by your absence.

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  27. Disillusioned by what we thought our ministry would look like. This is oh so common. I became like many I have known to leave a good job, thinking that this is what God wanted from me and He would surely lead me in this new direction. But nothing planned out and then my father died. Now unemployed and needing to grieve and yet, if I didn’t make a move I might just lose it all. At just this time I fell into a very real and deep and dark depression. I wasn’t sure if I would or could pull out of this. I had so many issues, both past and present to deal with. But then, when a true effort to find meaningful work began, all of a sudden I had three real opportunities to find work. It all ended in spectacular fashion as I was offered two jobs, but not before seriously disappointing my wife with a interview rejection from one of the three. That door was closed. Then the two offers where I accepted one and rejected another, closing the second door myself and walking through the third door. This all happened in one day within a two hour time span! Since then I have been plunged into spiritual warfare that at first was so terrifying that I was bewildered as to what to do. My coworkers seemed to be affected or influenced by the demonic and I didn’t know what to do other than to cling to God and pray, and that’s what I have been doing ever since. In all this I feel alienated from most people and even some family members. But also in all of this I have found the gentleness and mercy of God in ways I can’t even explain. I would be happy to share personally and privately some of these experiences, which have made known to me in no uncertain terms how much I need God, and I believe this is what all that I have been through was intended to teach me. If we believe in God and we experience good times as well as bad times; if we are going through it then it isn’t God’s will. The same God that willed to allow His son to be brutally tortured and alone to die in a cross for me. If He wills that I experience deep depression then I will offer it to Him for His merit and purpose and glory.

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  28. There is a very key typo at the end of my post. I’m sure you will see it. God bless

    It IS God’s will that is to be done

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  29. Leticia, you don’t know me and I only discovered your beautiful honest writing a year ago, but I want you to know I wish I could give you a hug and a hefty book deal, because you deserve it. And, i agree about the Catholic ‘bubble’ thing…. so fake. Just remember that you think more as a Catholic than they do and hold your head high. I join others in saying I’ll miss your presence on social media as well.

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  30. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your insight. Thank you for sharing your pain so honestly.

    For what it is worth, you will be in my prayers tonight and in the coming days. And, please know – what you are feeling, the pain, the anger, the emotions are *okay* to feel. Use your emotions to fuel you forward in the best manner possible.

    Gentle hugs, dear lady. You are not alone in grief, and your words will touch people you may never even hear about.

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  31. I will be sad to see you go. You’ve gone through a lot and experienced a loss that is a mother’s living nightmare. You may not ever get published, but you’ve helped me. You’ve helped me with perspective, the capability to empathize, and helped me form the words and not say stupid things to support my friend who has lost her son to suicide. You’ve helped me support my friend whose son overdosed. Our stories are different, but I can relate. I will pray that you get some peace –

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  32. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    You are as close, I think, as one can be to Christ crucified.

    I love you.

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  33. …prior to seeing your tweet that led me to this post I saw a tweet with a really nice picture of JPII holding the Eucharist in his hands at the altar. There was a quote, but I can’t remember it. I tried to find it again in my feed but can’t. But when I saw it I remembered your Anthony, the connection, and I said a prayer. God bless you. Angels be with you. Peace, dear sister.

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  34. wondering: Have you taken your frustrations and doubts about God to confession? It can be like balm. Many a day I’ve had to fight my way to that Sacrament of Reconciliation. It can renew.

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  35. I am beyond heartbroken that you have decided to stop writing, but I support you completely. I wish I could do something to help you. I would like to make a suggestion but not do so publicly. If you are moved to do so, please email me privately. I have had terrible doubts, anger, heartbreak, disappointment and abandonment. Never, never to the extent or intensity of yours! There is absolutely nothing on earth that could compare to losing a child to suicide.
    Please consider self-publishing! You have made such an impact on my life! You are a brave and courageous person and you make so very many valid points. I pray God through our Blessed Mother gives you all that you need. You have given so much to us.

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  36. This is a very powerful post. I’ve gotten a lot from your writings and your words when on Jen’s show. You have a passion that is contagious in many ways. You’ve talked so much about your struggles (I can’t even imagine) in life and Anthony’s death. I cannot begin to imagine the paint that brings. You’ve also shared how you’ve seen grace, and God’s presence in moments, etc. You’re a powerful writer with a strong voice. I’ve debated posting this, because you don’t know me from Adam so what I say likely doesn’t matter. But, I’m compelled to say it – to speak truth. I call BS!! Come on, you KNOW God is real. You KNOW it. In the deepest part of your heart, and mind, you KNOW it. Be angry – hell, God knows you have every right to feel anger and every other emotion …. GOD KNOWS. And you KNOW he didn’t cause any of this pain – pain that I’m sure is so real and HARD. But you KNOW He’s right there beside you. You KNOW it. You are in the biggest battle you will likely ever fight. Truly – the thought of what you are going through brings ME to my knees in despair. But when you are in battle, the LAST thing you do is drop your best weapon and walk away. Let me repeat that . . .. THE LAST THING YOU DO IS DROP YOUR BEST WEAPON AND WALK AWAY. Don’t do that! Don’t walk away. I’m angry at the evil one for getting the advantage here, I’m PISSED!! You are one of the best fighters for God out there – your voice and your words matter to the Kingdom. They matter to other Catholics. And the evil one, that son of a bitch, knows it and is LAUGHING. Dude, DON’T give that to “him”. GOD IS REAL. GOD IS SITTING RIGHT BESIDE YOU WEEPING – right along with you. Of course you can’t feel him right now – you are clouded with the evil one’s words and thoughts. But HE’S THERE.

    For the Catholic publishers and bloggers and everyone else who disagrees with you or doesn’t support you – there are others that do. And your writings and voice you express may not be given to you for your benefit – but for others to hear.

    So I call BS – get your hind end to Mass even in your angriest state. But get your hind end to Mass! You don’t know if God exists? YES YOU DO KNOW – you’ve believed it and you’ve lived it and you are TRUE GIFT FROM GOD TO OTHERS. Pray for Anthony – as we do – Pray for your other kids – as we do. Pray for your granddaughters – as we do. AND PRAY FOR YOURSELF – AS WE DO!

    I’m going to end on this (if you’ve even made it this far 🙂 ). You are amazing, you are loved, you are flawed, you are real. YOU ARE REAL. YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE. YOU’VE SAVED LIVES. YOU. BECAUSE YOU MATTER. AND BECAUSE GOD IS REAL.

    So much love is coming your way. Feel it and use it and know it’s coming from GOD.

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  37. We met at Trying to Say God last summer, and your words were so searing and honest and just what I needed. I agree with the folks who said that this is the Dark Night of the Soul. I’ll be praying with and for you, and please know that many of us have been in a similar place. Hang on to God, even as you chew Him out! And try to receive the Sacraments, even if nothing makes sense.

    No matter what, we are here for you.

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  38. When ever life seems to be kicking the crap out of me I read Job and I read Psalms. They remind me that life kicks the crap out of everyone, often with no explanation at all.

    Matthew Kelly says that only 7% of Catholics really care about their faith and try to live it. That means 93% don’t. So, if you can find 7 out of 100 people in your parish who live it like you do, your doing well. Those are the people on the narrow way. Stick with them and pray for the rest. The Church was a mess from the beginning and will be a mess until the end. What more can we expect from an organization full of sinners just like us?

    Book writing is a great dream. I suffered from that dream at one time and spent years writing books that no one read. The fact is that there are over 1 million books published each year in the USA. Less than 500 make the best seller list. That’s a .000005% chance of making it. So, even if you get published you will probably make less than $10k for a year or more of work. That’s the average of most book authors in the USA. Bloggers aren’t making much either. Writing is not something you do to make a living. It’s something you do because you love it. You already reach more people on your blog than most “published” authors ever reach with their books.

    I will pray for you. Your life has been harder than anyone deserves. This world can be full of ugliness at times. But there is beauty and joy here too, glimpses of what waits for us on the other side.

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  39. I’ve been reading your raw, beautiful writing for some time now. I’m so, so sorry that you lost your son to a horrible mental disease. I’m an abuse survivor, currently going through trauma counseling, a 2010 catholic convert and have a 19 year daughter struggling with mental health issues. There have been so many fetal position cries and desperate prayers in my life these past few years. I too sometimes question the very existence of God as I deal with my own pain and that of my daughter’s. I just wanted to say thank you for your writing. It has helped me feel not so alone.

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  40. Maybe they are out there but I have yet to read a Catholic conversion story by a female writer where she honestly discusses her past sexual life – except for your story. There are lots of bios by men who were on drugs, were porn stars or addicted to porn, or were gay, or had multiple sex partners, etc. Somehow that sells. Former female promiscuity in the Catholic bubble seems rare. But I can tell you that because of your courage in talking about it, that gave me courage to talk about my past and that has brought healing for me. I’m not as open as you but I made a start and that is something. I often feel that if anyone in my parish knew the whole truth they would drop me as a friend and my husband would divorce me. Thank goodness you are REAL. We NEED real. But I just wanted to share why I think the book deal isn’t happening right now. I don’t think you should leave it out though.

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  41. Since I found out about Anthony’s death, I have been praying for him every day. I also pray for you, for his girlfriend and his children.

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  42. May the good Lord spare us all from the mindless, self-aggrandizing horse manure that is upper middle class, Republican, white-girl mommy-blogging.

    Be yourself. God knows who you are. I remain Catholic because it’s the Truth, but I little-to-zero truck with what passes for Catholicism on social media.

    I have cursed, implored, thanked God over the long, endless journey that is being the mother to a troubled son. God gets it. He’s good with it. He’s God.

    Just be yourself. Don’t worry about what other people think.

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  43. Hi Leticia,
    Maureen here. First time I’ve read your blog. Over my years on earth, circumstances and my own bodymindspirit make-up has lead me to long stretches of hate-filed unbelief. This was no surprise to God. Now, at age sixty-three, I have decided that for me, doubting to the point of unbelief and loving faith in the Holy Trinity are not mutually exclusive. Not long ago during a particularly rough stretch, I heard the Lord prompting, “Why don’t you talk to me?” and I said, “Why? What has THAT ever done for me before?” This response was also no surprise to God.

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  44. I have no words of advice for you, only heart pain at your pain. I will not try to talk you into faith, because (today, at least) I believe in God, and so I believe the two of you will work it out.
    But oh, I wish I could ease your burden.

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  45. Hi! I don’t think it’s ok to try to convince you of anything now, but I only have 1 thought. It’s normal to seek approval. We human beings are gregarious. It’s just part of our nature. What it’s not ok, is to say things you don’t think just to seek approval. But I totally get why you did it. We are not made to live alone. I’ll pray for you. I’ve been through some tough things too. Some are close to yours, some are not (I didn’t write my full story in my blog… there are too many things that I’m so not ready to say). It’s ok to have a faith crisis. I’ll pray, hoping God will fight for you as He did for me. As He does for me, to be realistic.

    There was this Priest, Father Kentenich (I totally agree with you, Priests are not perfect, but this one is on the road to Sainthood. He literally went to Dachau voluntarily in WW2 because he loved his people. And somehow survived, only to come back more full of God. And to be separated from his family of Schoenstatt again. It was the Church who exiled him from Germany and sent him to the US. And somehow he didn’t hate the Church in return. He did go back to Germany, thanks to a Miracle. It’s quite the story.). He said that we don’t have any assurance that our faith is 100% real. And even if it’s real, no one can be sure that we’ll have our last sacraments, or that we’re not going to hell after a life in the service of the Church. It’s ok to have doubts. But the only thing that survives that, is a pure, practical faith in the Divine Providence. A faith that goes against reason and logic. It’s not something we can achieve for ourselves, it is something we have to pray for. Father Kentenich wrote a lot on the topic, and now that I think about it, he actually wrote about it in the US, while he was in his exile. It’s something you and God have to sort out. I’ll offer my pain for you today.

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  46. Just a note to say how much I love your writing Leticia and am thankful for your honest witness. I haven’t gotten to the point in my life where I can write about my life in that way yet. Thinking of you today. Feast of the Transfiguration 2018.

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  47. Jesus is waiting with outstretched arms. Regardless of all the evil goings on in the world, He patiently holds His love out to you, to all of us, for as long as it takes, until we can ignore EVERYTHING else and accept it. We live in the world, but we surely don’t need to be of the world. I’m truly sorry for your pain. May God hold you in the palms of His hands.

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