Posts Tagged ‘denial’

Today’s blog was written by fellow mom blogger, Stacy Flury: Anchor of Promise. She has some excellent enabling1insights for parents of teens who are in crisis. I think you’ll find it helpful.

I have met a lot of parents with teens in crisis throughout the years and among them I found four common responses.

When a situation arises and your teen is in crisis, which one of these negative parenting styles are you implementing into your life?

The Denial Parent – Although you love your teen, you think that what they are doing is just a rebellious stage in their life in which they will finally outgrow it and get their life together with time. When you do see the outright dangers and concerns, you hope that it will quickly die down and be fixed on its own by the next day. If someone confronts the situation head on, you retreat and let them know that you are working on it but it is never addressed in the long run. When you cannot deny it any longer, you find many excuses as to why you couldn’t help in the first place. (more…)


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As a parent of a child who suffers from addictions, any self-destructive behavior (like an eating disorder or cutting), a mental illness or a sexual identity issue, we tend to deny there’s a problem. We’re like an ostrich with it’s head in the sand. Denial is an obstacle we need to overcome to make progress in our difficult situations.

It’s so easy to get stuck. It’s too scary and too painful to admit that our child has a problem. There can’t really be a problem! Not my child! We don’t want to believe it.  As time goes by it gets harder and harder to make excuses, to keep believing nothing is wrong, to ignore all the signs.

Why does this happen? I think there are many reasons. One reason is that we love our children so much that we don’t want to believe they aren’t the person they used to be when they were little. But they have changed. They are not the same. We must accept this and stop fooling ourselves.

Another reason is that if we admit there’s a problem then we have to do something about it. Admitting this means we have to make some hard changes. We’ll have to stop enabling; or we may need to see a counselor, or begin attending a support group like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. We may need to take some strong steps like having them hospitalized or arrange for an intervention. We may even need to find a rehab program for them. We’ll also need to make the time to learn all we can about the issues they struggle with. These all demand a lot from us – time, emotions and finances.

We have a decision to make. Will we continue to live in denial or begin facing reality? Will we keep our heads in the sand or pick up our heads and be strong?  It’s scary, but if we arm ourselves with good information and support from others we’ll be okay.

Denial is a natural part of our journey, but we can’t stay there. We need to face our fears and move toward acceptance. This is where we want to go – to the land of acceptance. That’s where we can begin to find peace. I can always use more peace. How about you? Are you ready to move beyond denial?

A book that has been helpful to my husband and I is from Al-Anon, Courage to Change. The readings offer a lot of wisdom and insights. You can order Al-Anon literature from their website: al-anon.alateen.org.

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painAre you a parent who has been fearful your son or daughter might be thinking of killing themselves? Do you know what the warning signs are? Did you feel a great sense of denial and at the same time tremendous fear to ask them if they felt suicidal? Were you completely ignorant what to do? Don’t feel bad. I did, too. So has every mom or dad who has been in this situation. You’re not alone.

I have some great news for you. There is a very simple, easy- to-learn strategy you can use that could save their life – or anyone’s. This information is from an expert  who developed this strategy called QPR, Dr. Paul Quinnett. When you see clues and warning signs to suicide you should follow the three steps of QPR – Question, Persuade, Refer.

BUT – the first thing you need to know are the most common warning signs of suicide. So let’s begin there. In my next post I will share the details of QPR. (more…)

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Music has always been an important part of my life. I was a music major my first two years of college and have enjoyed the flute for most of my life. Music is also an important part of the lives of a couple of my family members.  My dad and one of my daughters, Renee. My dad was a band director for over 35 years. (He passed away this year at 92!) My daughter is a song writer and singer. She seems to have inherited her grandpa’s music gene.

I have found music to be a powerful force. When I’m sad or worried it soothes me. When I need to, it helps me cry. When I have been depressed it uplifts me. Other types make me smile and laugh. I have even found music could heal my heart when it has been broken. Through music I also worship my Creator. What a gift. I can’t imagine my life without the beauty and comfort it has brought me.

Today I thought I would share with you a song my daughter, Renee, wrote. It’s called, The Nothing.

There’s something very special about the songs she writes. They speak of her journey and her story. Some of the words are quite profound, the melodies and harmonies uplifting. (more…)

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Along with millions of Americans, I was reflecting on 9/11 this past week.  I was remembering where I was and what it was like to experience that day.  The main emotions I felt were shock and denial, grief and loss and fear , just like parents in pain do, whose children are making destructive choices.

1) Shock and denial:  My husband and I kept saying to each other that we couldn’t believe this was real, that it was actually happening!  Not here in America!  It wasn’t a hoax, or a TV show, or a movie.   It felt so unbelievable as we sat glued to our TV watching the events of that morning unfold.  We couldn’t believe our eyes!  We could hardly comprehend what was taking place.  Terrorists here?  No way!  So horrific.  Overwhelming.  Incomprehensible.  Inconceivable.  Unimagineable.  We were completely numb.  I don’t think I cooked dinner that night.  We sat around the table with our children and tried to process what we’d seen and heard.  We comforted and consoled one another.  We read the Bible and turned to God for strength.

2) Grief and Loss:  So much death.  So much suffering.  So sudden and unexpected.  So many lives lost . . .  in the Twin Towers, in the Pentagon, on the planes and those who came to their rescue.  I didn’t know anyone personally who died that day, but I felt like I did.  I shed tears and felt deep emotional pain.  Grief and a sense of loss were heavy on our whole nation.  We shared in it collectively.  Our pain united us.  People made signs and put them in the front windows of their homes.  My 5th grade daughter made one.  It was so touching to see many pop up all over the neighborhood.  People trying to find ways to express their support, to draw strength from each other.  Many purchased American flags to fly from their cars as they drove around town.  The empathy we felt for those who were suffering moved something deep in our hearts.

3) Fear:  Was anyone really safe?  What city or plane might be the next target?  Who should we be suspicious of in our neighborhoods?  We learned we were living with a false sense of security.  We were not invincible to the pain and suffering acts of terrorism could bring.  These events would change everything.  Many things would never be the same again.   How do we return to life as normal?  How do we feel safe now?  How do we not let fear overwhelm us?  How do we recover and move on?

As I said earlier, I realized that these are some of the exact same emotions parents in pain struggle with.  1)  Shock and denial are our response when we first learn our child has a problem with alcohol or drugs, is seriously depressed, is engaging in a self harming behavior (cutting), has an eating disorder, is suicidal, is a homosexual, has a mental illness, was arrested, etc.  We can’t believe it is happening to us, to our child.  No way!   Not possible!  We thought our family was “safe” from those things.  What will happen to them now?  Would we ever be the same again?  What next?  What now?  What do we do?  Incomprehensible.  Unimagineable.  Inconceivable.  We, too, are numb and can barely function.  It feels like life needs to stop so we can have some time to try and grasp what is happening, to regain our equilibrium.

2)  Grief and Loss :  Our hopes and dreams have been shattered.  We’ve possibly lost our relationship with them.  We feel a though they’ve died.  Our hearts are broken.  We feel crushed.  We are overwhelmed with sadness.  Tears flow like rivers.  We go through all the stages of grief as though they had indeed died.  How do we go on?  How do we keep living when we feel like we’re dying and we’ve lost our child forever?

3) Fear:   We are full of fears of all kinds – of the what-ifs, of the uknown future, of what others think, of all the possible consequences to them and to us.  If we have other children, will this happen to them, too?  How do we cope with these fears?  How do we not let them overcome us?  Our lives are changed forever.  We will never be the same.  We just hope and pray our child will survive.  But there are no guarantees.  And our pain is shared collectively by all the other hurting parents out there.  It unites us and pulls us together.  We can draw strength from each other.  And somehow, knowing we are not in this alone brings us comfort.

The many survivors of 9/11 had to reach out for help to overcome these feelings.  So do we.  I hope you will reach out to others for help and support.  Find a  support group in your area and go to it this week!  We are survivors, too, and we need each other.  With God’s help we will be ok.   We will grow stronger from what we’ve been through.

Two great books that helped me in the early years were Hit by a Ton of Bricks by John Vawter and Parents with Broken Hearts by Robert Coleman.

I find much comfort and strength in the Bible for shock and denial, grief and loss, and fear.  In Psalms (a wonderful book of the Bible) it says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped . . . The Lord is the strength of his people . . . be their shepherd and carry them forever.”  (Psalm 28: 7, 9)

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