The brainwashing tactics used by the Church of Scientology were also present in my Catholic upbringing.

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I’ve spent the last two years writing online about recovering from religious trauma and the aftermath of my leaving the Catholic Church at 17. Looking back, my decision to write publicly about my healing journey was the best thing I ever did for myself. I’m not sure what I was looking for, or what I thought would happen by sharing my very vulnerable and personal pain on the internet, but writing about my feelings came naturally to me. Writing and praying always came easy to me. But I was no longer someone who prayed. So, I wrote instead.

I was…

The 5 pieces of advice I’ve used to help me survive and thrive in my childhood home as a 30-year-old.

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Photo: Pablo Merchán Montes/Unsplash

I was seventeen when I moved away from home to start college. Anxious and excited to be the first in my family to study on a scholarship, I counted the days until I could move out. While these positive things were happening in my academic life, things at home were chaotic. My relationship with my parents was toxic and strained because of our different religious views. Religion — or rather, my departure from the church — is why my parents and I didn’t have a great relationship for most of my late teens, early twenties, and on.

To finally be…

My advice to those who are struggling with the aftermath of breaking free from a toxic person.

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Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Many people, specifically people-pleasers like me, have found themselves at the exhaustive end of a one-sided relationship or friendship, wondering how they got there. Usually, during a period of self-reflection or therapy, we come to the realization that a certain person—like a romantic partner, a friend, or a family member—is stopping us from personal growth and happiness. This relationship might make us happy, but we know deep down that we deserve so much more.

This article breaks down the complicated aftermath that often happens once you’ve done the hardest thing and walked away.

A one-sided relationship is exactly as it…

What grief looks like for one person may look completely different for another.

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Author’s photo

That’s my little boy in the photo above. He’s no longer on this Earth, but thankfully, I have enough photos of him to last me a lifetime and then some. Sometimes, browsing pictures and videos of him makes me feel at peace. Other times, I break down in tears when I see photos so HD that I feel like I can reach out and pet the hairs on his furry little face. It’s a dreadful feeling when I think about the fact that I’ll never kiss him on top of his head again.

Neville Longbottom was as magnificent as his…

A poem.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I dreamt of you
last night in bed
when sleep fell upon my weary head
and finally,
I began to rest
I saw your tender face
I kissed and kissed your little nose
I hugged you fast as sweet dreams go

you see, my love
it was about time
for my thoughts are more yours than mine
your bark, your howl
that dramatic growl
you live in my mind

you see, my love as the clock strikes twelve the loneliness saunters in come in, I say, there’s plenty of space for the dog bed has gone too I may have…

It’s only been 3 weeks of mourning my best friend; I’m not sure if I’m ready to love another dog yet.

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Photo by Simone Dalmeri on Unsplash

About 3 weeks ago, I lost my best friend.

Coping with Neville’s death is more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

As pet owners, when we make the decision to bring an animal into our lives, we accept that they will not live forever. But when our furry friends are young, healthy, and energetic, we don’t think about their death. We don’t think about how much longer we have with them. We live in the moment, we cherish their company, and we love them as much as humanly possible.

It’s when they get older, slower, and tired that…

After years of scary vet visits, I sat down and wrote this letter to my rescue pup, Neville; he passed just 3 months later.

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When will we stop asking artists to work for exposure, especially accomplished Black actors like Haddish?

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Tiffany Haddish is an accomplished actress, producer, stand-up comic, and author. She keeps an impressive portfolio of television and film appearances on The Carmichael Show, Keanu, Night School, Like A Boss, and most famously 2017’s award-winning Girls Trip, in which she starred beside Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Regina Hall. In 2019, ABC revived the show Kid’s Say the Darndest Things, which Haddish hosted and produced. She even got her own comedy special on Showtime, Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood.

Haddish keeps it very real, and she’s funny as hell doing it. It’s no wonder…

She came forward to show that “even a critically acclaimed artist with money” could be caught in an abusive relationship.

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Today, musician FKA Twigs, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against actor Shia LaBeouf, her former boyfriend. Barnett and LaBeouf dated for one year after meeting in 2018 on the set of LaBeouf’s movie Honeyboy.

Barnett is suing for sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress.

Per the New York Times, Barnett explains that from the very beginning of their romantic relationship, “he came on very strong.”

This is a phase that is common in toxic relationships with narcissistic partners and is sometimes referred to as the honeymoon phase.

The honeymoon phase can last anywhere…

And how sharing my personal life online played an important role in healing my religious trauma.

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Photo by Dario Valenzuela on Unsplash

I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve written a personal essay as Jessica Lovejoy. For me, it doesn’t really feel like I’ve been away because I’m still logging in every day as an editor for Fearless She Wrote. But a few of you have noticed that I’ve stopped writing and you’ve asked why I’m no longer around.

Well, I am still writing. Trust me, the writer in me will never go away. And I’m elated that in my highs and my lows, my immediate response is always to write. …

Jessica Lovejoy

Writer & editor telling stories about healing, relationships, and self-love. Co-editor of Fearless She Wrote. Let’s chat:

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