Ave Explores Series | Healing

Wounds Can Be a Teacher with Leticia Ochoa Adams

Wounds Can Be a Teacher with Leticia Ochoa Adams podcast episode for Ave Explores: Healing

October 19, 2022 | 47 min.

Leticia Ochoa Adams, author of Our Lady of Hot Messes, discusses her experience with childhood trauma and her grief following her son's death by suicide. She offers practical ways to engage with struggle, learn from wounds, and help others as they travel the same road.

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Q: Share a bit about your background and ministry.

A: I come from a long line of trauma and poverty; from a family that was displaced due to colonization and then victimized by racism. I grew up with a single mother not ever knowing my father and was sexually abused as a child. I got pregnant with my first child when I was sixteen and had him when I was seventeen. I met my first husband and married him after only knowing him for two weeks. We got pregnant right away and lost that baby at twenty weeks. I walked around for three days after the doctor detected no heartbeat before having a Dilation and Curettage. I had three more children back to back while suffering from undiagnosed anxiety, depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In 2017 my oldest son died by suicide in my home. Throughout all of these things, I believed in God but was sure that He had somehow forgotten me because my life was so much harder than a lot of other people's. But there is also so much grace. I write and speak on the things that happened to me and the grace of God in my life but from a realistic point of view, not a sugar-coated “everything happens for a reason” way. Life is hard; it really just sucks a lot of the time. God shows up in the most awesome ways and it still sucks, but there is always hope.

Q: Tell us about your personal journey of healing.

A: I spent a lot of time and money in therapy looking at all the ways that I have been hurt. I worked my way through my sexual abuse and through my relationship with my mom and my children. I processed my grief over losing my son to suicide and I know that I will always be mourning his life, but I also know that I mourn him because he mattered. And so do I.

Q: How have the sacraments played a role in your healing?

A: Confession is a healing Sacrament and I think it is the one that I frequent the most. I am jealous that other women have not lost their children. I envy people who have things I do not, like electricity, and I go lay that all down in the confessional honestly. Every time I do, I trust God more and I love myself more. Both of those things heal me.

Q: What piece of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who is struggling to find healing from the “wounds of life”?

A: Tell God about it. He can handle your pain. He can handle your ugliest thoughts. Not only can he handle them, but he wants nothing more than to talk to you about them and tell you that your feelings are valid— even if you shouldn't wish for people to get chiggers.

Leticia Ochoa Adams is a Catholic writer, speaker, and a contributor to several books. Since her son Anthony’s death by suicide in 2017 she has focused her work being a witness to suffering and God’s healing.

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A Catholic Response to Talking About Suicide with Deacon Ed Shoener podcast episode for Ave SpotlightThe Transformation of Healing with Bob Schuchts podcast for Ave Explores: Healing You Deserve to Be Healed with Heather Khym podcast episode for Ave Explores: HealingThe Power of Healing with Fr. John Burns and Sr. Miriam James Heidland podcast episode for Ave Explores
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