I found this while browsing through Pinterest….aagh, that for me is a huge distraction from what I should be doing! ;) But seriously, this is a good idea; especially for those who are committed to the recovery process. It takes a dedicated soul to be work through the process; but you are able to do it, even if it feels as if you can’t.
Have you done something like this before, or would you be willing to give it a try?
Leave a comment below and share with us your experience!
Cutting: A Parent’s Perspective
I live in Florida. In the summer we have fierce rain storms. There’s nothing I can do to avoid them, or lessen their turbulence. Some come upon us suddenly, without warning. Others give us advance notice. Some are frightening and feel like a hurricane. The sky grows dark and foreboding, palm trees bend under the force of strong winds leaving behind fallen debris. In our personal lives we experience storms, too.
Our son has a Yorkshire Terrier. Her name is Pebbles. She’s adorable. There’s just one thing; she’s petrified of storms. They cause a state of panic. Usually, she pees on a rug, then hides in a corner until things calm down. Poor thing. She can’t understand it will pass; in time everything will be okay. Her loving family is there to keep her safe, too. She doesn’t need to expend so much emotional energy freaking out.
Hey, wait a minute. In a fierce storm I faced as a parent, I acted just like Pebbles.
I discovered my daughter was cutting. She was twelve. I was petrified. Clueless. Also called self-injury, self-harm, and self-mutilation I wanted to hide in a corner until it went away – like my son’s dog. I didn’t want to believe she had a problem. It did go away for a few years, but returned with a vengeance when she became depressed and suicidal.
We did everything we could to help her, but hospitalizations, psych wards, and suicide attempts followed, along with alcohol and drug addiction. It was a downpour that felt like a hurricane at times, except I had no guarantee everything would ever be okay. My daughter would struggle with this addictive behavior for the next ten years.
Emotionally bent over from the strain, there were days I thought I’d break apart. Overwhelmed with fear, I’d pace the floor at night unable to sleep. A nervous wreck, I was consumed with the need to keep her safe, so I tried to hide all the sharp objects in our home. That was futile. It felt like I was the one who was cut when I noticed fresh wounds on her arms. The pain was debilitating.
Full of guilt and shame I wondered how this could happen? What did I do wrong? I didn’t want anyone to know. What would they think of me? Of my daughter? I had to protect both of us. I didn’t know anyone else whose child was cutting. How could they understand? So I withdrew, became depressed and cried—a lot. Thank goodness I never lost control of my bladder, like Pebbles, but I did lose control of my emotions. ***(THIS IS WHERE I INSERTED A PAGE BREAK)
I discovered three things that helped me weather this storm –and many others. Life is full of them. We can’t escape them. I had to learn to cope, so I wouldn’t be an emotional basket case. After all, I still had a husband and two other children who needed me.
- I educated myself about self-injury with the help of books, websites, and counselors.
- I talked with other parents in the same situation and with an adult who’d been a cutter but overcame the problem.
- I accepted the fact that I was powerless to fix my daughter. So, I gave her back to God, and asked Him to take care of her. Only He can.
Reading the Bible one day I found this passage. It calmed my soul. I wrote it on two index cards. I put one on the kitchen sink and one on my bathroom mirror. I needed the reminder. I still turn to it in every storm. It’s my prayer for you. Put your child in God’s hands. He sees, He knows, He cares, and He will help you—and them. You CAN survive. You are NOT alone. If I got through it, you can, too.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers (at flood stage; life threatening), they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I Am the Lord, your God . . . Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you . . . Don’t be afraid, for I AM WITH YOU (Isaiah 43:1-5.”) NIV
If you’re a hurting parent, when you do these three things it will lessen your fear, and in time, lead you to peace. Yes, peace with a problem you’re powerless to solve.
Dena has been on a purpose-filled adventure with Christ for 41 years. She was Cru staff for 15 years (part of that time in Russia), a Pastor’s wife (15 years), and a social worker prior to that. Dena and her husband began Hope for Hurting Parents after ministering in this area for three years. This ministry was birthed out of her own pain with one of her daughters. Her pain has become her passion. She and her husband come alongside parents whose children are involved in destructive choices and behaviors to offer encouragement, resources and hope on their difficult journey from pain to peace. She has three wonderful children (31, 27 and 25) and two precious granddaughters.
She currently leads support groups for parents; conducts seminars and conferences for churches and non-profits; enjoys writing for her blog (hopeforhurtingparents.wordpress.com), website (hopeforhurtingparents.com) and daily emails of encouragement for parents.
Kati Morton is a mental health professional who has many awesome videos where she answers questions on mental health issues. Check it out!