Where has the family gone?

My oldest daughter called this morning on her way to work. She works at a major Children’s Hospital as a nurse case manager. She see some of the most critical and heart wrenching cases. In the past she worked at another unit that was an adolescent med-psych unit so she has experience with psych.

suicide

Today she was distressed that a short while ago her bosses son overdosed and died. They don’t know if it was suicide or an accident. Then she learned that a friend’s child committed suicide. This morning she was distressed that she is seeing so many cases of young adults and teens in crisis. Like the rest of us she has no idea why this is happening but is terrible concerned about the culture that is creating mental distress in the young.

It seems that both of these cases were a total surprise and not the result of known mental health issues. Of course she realizes that the problem could have been there unrecognized but in these two cases it seems not.

Recently several blogs that I read have talked about the current TV series 13 Reasons. The blogs have been very negative about the value of this program and its influence. I have not watched it….I watched a brief piece and the premise turned me off so I quit. The blogs seem to feel that this show has a bad influence on young people and the blogs were written by people close to the age.

good family

There are so many problems with the structure of the family today that it is easy for me to see why children are stressed. In some cases the children run the family and the adults take second place. When this happens children don’t feel safe. There is no strong adult influence. Parents must be parents.

In other cases the family is so busy with outside activities that there is no family time. They don’t eat together or take time to talk and share. Children need structure and down time with their family to feel connected.

Like my daughter I am equally concerned about the pattern we are seeing in children and young adults. I pray that some change will come about that re-centers the family group and gives children security and grounding.

Raising children to become anxious and prone to violence and suicide is a plague upon our society.

A big question ?????

bad thingsFor those of us who are Christians the question is often asked “if God is so good why do bad things happen?” Unfortunately, this is the unanswerable question. I wish I could say that I know how to explain this. I don’t

Over the years many theologians have written about this question and some have attempted to answer it…. none to my satisfaction. Many people who question there being a God jump on this problem. If there is a God why doesn’t he/she do something about the many tragedies in the world? It always puts us up against a hard spot. To them, it seems trivial for us to say that we don’t know. It seems that we can’t defend our belief.

Why is one person’s cancer healed and another’s not? Why did a friend’s child die in a car accident? Why does a pastor friend’s grandson have brain cancer? How I wish I could come up with an answer that made sense.

To those in pain the statement that God/Jesus will be with us in our pain and suffering doesn’t help. The fact that Jesus also suffered is little consolation. So if we can’t answer the question what can we do?

fixedI long ago learned that I can’t fix everything but I can be there. I call it a ministry of presence. I can’t take away the pain but I can let them know that they do not have to go through it alone.  Not only does God promise to be with them but the community of faith is called to love, comfort, and sustain them through the pain. The caveat is that we have to be in a community of faith that companions those in need.

 

We need to search until we find that place. We have to keep looking and keep in mind that only if we offer ourselves to be part of that will it work. To just appear in church during the week and go home does not make you part of the community. You must open yourself to become a caring member. This may not be easy and it won’t work until you find your place but don’t give up.

Christian loveRemember, churches are made up of people and people have flaws. No church is perfect. No church has all the answers. Just find one that fills your soul in some way. It won’t be everything that you want it to be but it can still be home. After all, our families are also flawed and imperfect and yet still family. Find a church family with all that implies.

 

see more on this topic on https://wordpress.com/post/heargodinothervoices.blog/1028

Delayed anxiety

eustressI am just back from two days away for the wedding of my grandson and a baby shower for my granddaughter. I have always been aware that when families get together whether for a wedding or a funeral there is always tension. Stress is in the air. In nursing we call this Eustress. (Definition of eustress. : a positive form of stress having a beneficial effect on health, motivation, performance, and emotional well-being. … during positive stress) The thing they fail to mention in the definition is that stress is stress. Happy occasions cause stress. The reason for the event is good but just put whole families together and the fur can fly. So family gatherings are a combination of eustress and distress. I can, and does, go both ways.

We were blessed that there were very few negative moments but there were a few. Not to mention the stress involved in putting on an event of this kind and two of them within two days. The rushing around was frantic and although my role was minimal (thank goodness) I ended up with anxiety today. I suppose the combination of travel, excitement, some disagreements, business, completing tasks and I can’t think of what else finally got to me this morning with resulting IBSD issues. I received the blessing of support from family who have similar issues. I appreciate their love and understanding without any flap.

good dogsI am back home, tired, wrung out but better. Now I can pet my dogs and get the extra love they give and relax.

Those of us who deal with mental health issues can be pushed over the edge by major events. It doesn’t matter if they are good or bad. I was glad to be able to meet the expectations of me without alerting anyone to my stress. Instead I managed to help with the stress of others and crash after it was all over. (My usual defense mechanism.) I am grateful that I usually respond that way. I hope it continues to work for me. Maybe it needs to be named delayed anxiety reaction. 

Sorry I have missed blogs over the last few days but will catch up.

Aggravations

aggravationsToday has been one of those days where nothing you do comes out as you expected. We are trying to deal with Dr’s issue regarding an knee surgery my husband needs. We decided to go see star wars and really were pushed for time. We needed to eat lunch before going and grabbed some fast food and choked it down in the car. Then I thought I left my cell phone/wallet in the fast food place and ran back over there to find it only to discover that it was in my purse the whole time! I felt like a crazy nut. By that time I was out of breath and stressed but we did see the movie and it was wonderful. It was a good way to seek calm.

While out we ran an errand and I had a phone call from one of two brothers whose mother’s will I am executor of. This has been a long drawn out process. The two have been on the outs forever which is why my friend asked me to take care of it. The brother that calls is upset about the will (he has had a copy for two years). Now is thinking about contesting it. WHAT A DAY!

Each day is different. Each day can bring challenges we don’t expect. They can be small but cumulative. All these little issues got bigger as my coping skills when down. I am home now and coming down from the fast heart rate and stress.

julian of NorwichI try to remember when I have a day like this I try to remember the quote from Julian of Norwich who said:; 

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

It helps me to ground myself in my faith. Today I repeated it over several times. It is very calming.

A safe place

winterSince daylight savings time is gone for a while the night comes faster. One minute it is light and the next the curtain comes down. I really don’t like getting up in the dark so I don’t like daylight savings time. As we head into fall I have more trouble waking up in the morning because it is dark. I am a person who needs light to function. When we lived in the northern US I realized that I have mild SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I spent a lot of time on the glassed-in sun porch.

I suspect that this affinity for light is part of my challenge with anxiety. I am not a night person and want to be in my comfort place when the sun is down.  I loved going out at night in my 20’s and 30-somethings but now prefer to be home at night.

Even though I enjoy traveling occasionally I am somewhat of a home body. Home is such a special place. You would think that feeling that way that I would have lived in the same place for years. This is not so.We have moved so much over the years that home can be wherever I put my things and make my own. For me it is easy to make a home wherever I am. It is a feeling instead of a specific place. You could say it is where I hang my hat. Having a safe place is what each of us needs. When we don’t have it we suffer.

safe place

The real safety comes with God. Psalm 4:8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. With God there is a safe place.

I wish for everyone a safe place of comfort and love.