Ways Family Members And Friends Can Offer Support:
- Simple acts of kindness – a phone call, help with homework or a project, or a friendly visit.
- Listen to us – We may talk about school, friends, and our daily problems before we talk about our deeper concerns, hopes and dreams.
- Build confidence – Believe we can do anything we set our minds to.
- Be trustworthy – Our sharing may be sensitive at times and we need to know you are trustworthy.
- Recognize and know the risks we may face. – If you see we need professional help, do not be afraid to get it.
- Truth and boundaries – Remind us that we need a moral compass to keep us on track.
- Surprises – Even big kids like small surprises.
- Fun – Do a craft, take a trip to the amusement park or a sports event, have us over with our sibling(s) or group of friends for a pizza and video evening, or go shopping with us.
- Love us unconditionally – Even if you don’t understand all of what we are going through, know your loving words and actions mean more than words can say, “Thank you.”
HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE HEALING?
Healing is a very personal process. As we seek restoration of our mind, will and emotions (our soul), this will involve our readiness, time, a qualified therapist who understands, and a supportive network. It often takes us into adulthood to come to terms with our past. Our brains do not stop developing until our mid-twenties. So, we can not fully understand how our environment growing up can impact us long-term. In the meantime, no matter what age you are, move forward one step at a time, making the best possible choices.
AREAS TO CONSIDER ON OUR JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS
- Face reality – We have a lot to deal with and it may be easier for a time to deny the impact. But sooner than later, reality of what we have lived through catches up with us. Our mental health, long-term outlook, life choices and relationships may suffer the longer we delay therapeutic intervention(s).
- Find a good therapist – Make sure to have a qualified therapist that allows you to express your personal feelings, supports your faith background, and is focused on your success.
- Address painful feelings – Expressing the pain verbally and emotionally helps to lessen the pain.
- Hold onto truth – There are a lot of false beliefs about ourselves and others we may be holding onto. We need to exchange these lies with the truth so that our life choices provide us with the best outcomes.
- Have an emergency plan – It is important to have a few reliable and healthy people in our lives who are there for us as well as a safe place to go for a break – we never know when we may need it.
- Develop your personal identity – We need to separate our personal identity from the individuals, situations, and influences we grew up around. This can be very difficult to do. We will need to have some emotional, physical, and financial supports.
- Offer forgiveness – When our expectations are not met, we can become angry and bitter. It is important for us to let go of grudges and to forgive so we are not loaded down with unresolved anger toward those who have hurt our feelings.
- Be teachable – There is a lot to learn about building healthy relationships and boundaries.
- Make responsible choices – We have to be careful not to use sex, drugs or alcohol just because we feel depressed, angry, and or lonely. Abstinence is the best choice.
- If you are experiencing unwanted same – sex attraction – understand that it is more common for youth and adult children from our environment to struggle with their sexuality. Please check out the Ministries Resources� section of this website for more helpful organizations and links.
- Choose friends and mentors wisely – It is a vulnerable time. Trustworthy and supportive people surrounding us will assist us on our journey toward healing.
- Find accountability – Associating with people who have a moral compass and who will call us to account about our daily walk provides us with stability. This may also be found in a supportive small group setting.
- Set priorities – These may be personal, relational, academic, career and or community goals.
- Rejuvenate spiritually – Always take quiet time daily to reenergize our spiritual batteries. I encourage you to include scripture and prayer as part of your daily regimen.
- Read excellent healing resources about the following: forgiveness, sexuality, healthy relationships, marriage and family, and how to make virtuous life choices.
- When you are ready, you may make an effort to understand your parent(s) and partner(s) and their struggles. This is better worked on when you have achieved a measure of healing and have a strong sense of your own personal identity.
RECOMMENDED HEALING RESOURCES:
Larson, Earnie, With Carol Larsen Hegarty, From Anger to Forgiveness: A Practical Guide to Breaking the Negative Power of Anger and Achieving Reconciliation, The Hazelton Foundation: Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1992.
Dr. Allender, Dan B., The Wounded Heart: Hope For Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Navpress: Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1992. (There is also a Companion Workbook for Personal or Group Use).
Howard, Jeanette, Out of Egypt: One Woman’s Journey Out of Lesbianism, Monarch Books: Mill Hill, London & Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001.
Paulk, Anne, Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle With Same-Sex Attraction, Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, Oregon, 2003.
Cohen, Richard, M.A., Coming Out Straight, Oakhill Press: Winchester, Virginia, 2000.
Dr. Satinover, Jeffrey, M.D., Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1996.
Dr. Carnes, Patrick, Ph.D., Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, Hazelden: Center City, Minnesota, 2001.
Dr. Hemfelt, Robert, Dr. Frank Minirth, and Dr. Paul Meier, Love is a Choice: Recovery for Codependent Relationships, Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, Tennessee, 1989.(There is also a Companion Workbook Available).
Pieper, Josef, The Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1966.
Pieper, Josef, Faith Hope Love, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, California, 1986.