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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

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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In my last post I told you about the idea of a “God Box”.  This is not my original idea. I heard about it in an Al-Anon meeting and it was very impactful for 048me. This is a great strategy to help us as hurting parents deal with our emotions of fear, worry and anxiety. It helps me trust God and let go a little more.

When you realize you’re worried, anxious or upset about something related to your child (more…)

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Have you ever felt like your fears and anxieties about your child were getting the best of you? Did you wonder how in the world you were going to cope with the myriad of things you worried about? Maybe your child abuses drugs or alcohol, is a self-injurer, has an eating disorder, a same-sex attraction, a mental illness, struggles with suicidal thoughts, or is incarcerated. You’re a nervous wreck. Consuming every waking hour your sleep is also affected. What to do?

During a time when I was struggling with many fears for my daughter, I heard about making a God Box. It’s not my own original idea. I heard about it in an Al-Anon meeting and it was very powerful for 048me. This strategy helped me deal with my emotions of fear, worry and anxiety. It helped me trust God and let go a little more.

Here’s how it works: (more…)

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I remember when I felt very discouraged and depressed about my daughter. At nineteen-years-old she was addicted to alcohol and drugs, had a 038brain disorder (mental illness) and a serious problem with cutting. The strain of her destructive choices and behaviors was getting to me. I felt like I was stuck in a drought, languishing in a heat wave with no end in sight.

Is the heat chipping away at your confidence and trust, causing you to give in to worry and fear for your son or daughter? Do you wonder if they’ll ever be okay?  Will you ever have a normal life or a loving relationship with them? Have you lost count how many times they’ve been arrested, gone to rehab or relapsed? Have you forgotten how many times they’ve been hospitalized or in the psych ward?

There have been so many arguments. So much chaos. So much despair. Their lives appear to be drying up and fading away.

It may feel like yours is, too. (more…)

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This is a re-post of a blog I wrote on August 27, 2011.

Current events around the world strike fear in the hearts of many people. Another journalist was beheaded. No way!  How could this happen? Attractive Mature Woman What next?  The reactions are similar to what parents in pain over the behaviors, struggles, and choices of their children experience.

My child’s on drugs? They have a problem with alcohol?  They’re cutting themselves? They have an eating disorder?  They have a mental illness?  They’re suicidal? They’re attracted to the same sex?  They have a problem with pornography? They’re in jail? No way! Shock, denial, and fear are huge.

This Bible verse comes to mind:

I called on Your name, O Lord, out of the lowest pit.
You have heard my voice, “Do not hide your ear from my prayer for relief, from my cry for help.”
You drew near when I called on You;
You said, “Do not fear!'”
(Lamentations 3: 55-57)

Do you ever feel like you’re in a deep, dark pit? I sure have – exactly like this verse describes; crying out for God to hear my prayer and bring relief; to do something and please, hurry! That’s when I needed to hear these words.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m really honest, I would tell you that when I draw near to God I don’t always feel His nearness. Oh yes, I have felt Him close – powerfully close — many times, but not every time.

Those are the times I had to rely on my faith and what I believed to be true. This passage helped. It told me when I cry out to Him and do my best to seek Him in my pain,  He will  respond.

He draws near.

He not only hears, but he takes action.

He comes.

He is moved by my pain.

It touches Him.

He is not apathetic.

Don’t you ever believe that. It’s a lie.

What does He say?  “DO NOT FEAR!”  Exactly what we need.  He addresses our greatest need, deep at the core of our being. Often unspoken, He knows it’s there, constantly lurking just beneath the surface of our emotions.

You know what it’s like. That sense of foreboding, of what might be ahead, out there somewhere in the future. If you weren’t already in the lowest pit, this fear can throw you into one.

When your world is shaken and you cry out to God for help, I hope you’ll remember these things:

He hears you, and He will come near to speak words of comfort to your soul – exactly what you need when you need it.
Dear mom or dad, hear your Heavenly Father, Mighty God, King of the Universe, for whom nothing is too hard, whisper to your heart, “Do not fear!”  May His reassurance lift you out of the pit and set your feet on solid ground, even if your world is thrown into upheaval, because you know you are Not Alone.

What three words do hurting parents need to hear from God?

Do Not Fear!

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In parenting we sometimes encounter storms. Some come upon us suddenly without warning. Others give us advance notice. I live in Florida. It’sstorms2 the middle of summer and we’re getting lots of rain almost every day. There’s nothing I can do to keep it away, or lessen its turbulence. Sometimes it’s a torrential downpour that feels a little like a hurricane. Strong winds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Whew!

It can be rather frightening at times. The sky grows dark and foreboding, palm trees bend under the force of the wind, often leaving behind a lot of debris to pick up later.

Our son has a cute little dog; a Yorkshire Terrier. Pebbles is her name. She’s adorable. There’s just one thing; she’s petrified of storms. She freaks out, runs around panting heavily in a state of panic. Eventually, she  finds a throw rug to pee on, then hides in a corner where she feels safe until things calm down again.

Poor thing. I feel so bad for her. She can’t understand the storm will pass and in time everything will be okay. Besides, her loving family is right there with her to keep her safe. Hey, wait a minute. In the storms my child has created in my life, I’ve acted just like Pebbles. Have you?

The storms I went through with my daughter were petrifying: Drug and alcohol addiction, rehabs, relapses, mental illness, self-injury (cutting), hospitalizations, psych wards, suicide attempts and incidences of rape. It was a downpour that felt like a hurricane at times, only we had to guarantee that everything would be okay one day.

Emotionally bent over from the stress and pressure, some days I thought I would break. My fears would take over and I would freak out. I was a nervous wreck pacing the floor, sometimes on the verge of a panic attack. I hid by withdrawing and sleeping. Thank goodness I never lost control of my bladder, but I did lose control of my emotions. I was a mess, just like Pebbles. Poor me! (more…)

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If you’re a parent who is hurting due to the self-destructive choices your child is making, or if they suffer from a mental illness and the repercussions of get well goalthese things are turning your life upside down, then this blog is for you. Does your child have an eating disorder but refuses to see a counselor about it?  Are they abusing alcohol or drugs while living in your home? Are they refusing to take medication for depression or a mood disorder (i.e. bipolar)?  You may feel like you need to start taking medication yourself (and maybe you do).

Do they keep getting in trouble with the law for DUIs, shoplifting, possession/selling drugs, or other offenses expecting you to bail them out and pay for a lawyer? You may feel like you can’t take it any more or you’ll lose it. You may feel like you can’t bear it one more day. You may feel like you’re going crazy.  Everything you’re feeling is normal. You’re not going crazy.  You’re not a bad parent.  It isn’t your fault. But there’s something you need to hear.

Take a minute to step back and look at what you’ve been doing. Are you helping or enabling? Are you doing things for them they can and should be doing for themselves? I know fear drives you to feel like you have to, especially if they’re under 18. You do have more responsibility then, but you still don’t have to do as much for them as you probably are. I know. I did that, too. Sometimes I still do. Fear drove me to get overly involved, but I’ve come to realize that when I do, it only makes me feel even more crazy and it doesn’t really help. It’s insanity!

Al-Anon defines insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result!” We all do it. Let’s get smart and rethink how we respond. Let’s strengthen ourselves so we can pull back and let our child experience consequences and take some ownership of the situation they’re in.

A book that helped me a lot is Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children by Allison Bottke (it’s good even if your child is a teenager). It can be purchased at half.com for less! Bottke affirms that getting in a support group can help us be more courageous to stop enabling, because it’s very difficult to stop without a lot of encouragement. It’s painful to see your son or daughter suffer. It truly does hurt us much more than it hurts them. It really boils down to how much we trust God with our child.  Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s really hard to do. We have no guarantees of the outcome.

If your situation is a real crazy-maker, what can you stop doing today (or do differently) that might help you begin to regain your sanity tomorrow?  Just because your child isn’t in their right mind, doesn’t mean you have to lose yours. I couldn’t make these changes in my own strength.  I wasn’t strong enough. I had  to rely on God for what I lacked.

This Bible verse is so encouraging: “It is God who arms me with strength.”  (Psalms 18:32)

I don’t know about you, but I sure need God’s strength to do the hard things.  How reassuring to know He will provide what I lack. No more insanity for me. What about you?

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