Catholic Church Helps Woman Find Healing from Trauma

After being sexually abused by her step-grandfather as a young woman, Sandy says that she suffered from the trauma for many years. On one occasion, she even attempted suicide.

“Fortunately, I married a wonderful man who was very understanding, but I spent forty years in psychotherapy with psychiatrists, to no avail, other than getting lots of medication from depression,” she explained.

After decades of searching for peace, she found healing in a place she never expect to find it. A place she hadn’t looked before.

“I finally made the decision to come back to the Church after I had left, and when I got here in Waco, I went to see a very nice priest whom I really like. And I told him, just kind of matter-of-factly, what had happened to me. And the reaction he had was he got very angry about what had happened to me,” said Sandy. “And that was the most healing thing that I have ever had and that has really brought me completely back into the Church.”

His righteous indignation—as Patrick Madrid called it—was a healing balm to Sandy. She needed someone to properly acknowledge the trauma she’d experienced; to feel and share in her anger and pain.

“That was so healing for me that someone finally recognized that what happened to me was so wrong and expressed emotion about it.”

She suggested to priests, therapists, family, and friends out there that it’s okay to be upset when something terrible happens to someone. It might even help them to find the mental and spiritual healing that they need.

Patrick added, “It also points out the healing power of the Sacrament of Confession. That even though you were not confessing your sins, it came up in the context of Confession and God was able to give you healing through the ministry of this priest. That’s a beautiful thing.”


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Lindsey Kettner serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a wife, mother, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she studied journalism and advertising. She writes daily at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.