I Have Not Taken The Road Less Traveled...I Just Went on a Detour!
Fall has finally arrived, my favorite season. I am really happy I live in the Mid-west because of the seasonal changes. For me, Fall does not represent an ending as in harvesting crops and gray days. It represents, to me, a chance for God to once again provide exceptional beauty with the leaves turning color and the bright orange of pumpkins and gourds that dot the landscape.
Even the gray days provide a time to figuratively catch my breath in the busyness of life. (I spelled busyness this way on purpose :)) I love to sit and look out the window and ponder. I am also now looking for a very inexpensive electric fireplace for my office...I want the ambience to be comfortable for everyone!
I am happy to report on this blog that I have suffered no more slit fingernails from the blade of my food processor. My husband has had both his hips replaced in the last four months and has recovered amazingly quickly...due to all the prayers offered on his behalf. I can now call him a Bionic Man!
Our grandchildren enjoy coming to our house either with Mom and Dad or without them. It is fun to watch our granddaughter ride her bike with joyful abandon and our grandson run through the yard squealing with delight as he plays in the leaves and grass. He is not yet too keen on riding the Big Wheel..he would rather laugh at me on it!
I also am partial to fall because my birthday occurs....Halloween....I used to think what a cool way to celebrate my birthday with lots of extra candy! I love the crisp, cool weather after the humid heat of the summer in the mid-west. We make at least one visit to the orchard in our area, and I always come away from there with lots of goodies.
My grandchildren's happy childhood provides stark contrast with what many of my clients have endured as children. (For those of you who are new to reading this blog, I am a psychotherapist who treats adults, and I specialize in providing therapy for adults abused as children.) Abuse in ANY form is NEVER ok. It still constantly amazes me the horror that children endure at the hands of adults. It also amazes me that so many of them have survived.
There are two mental health diagnoses that can result from the horrific abuse children endure. While Dissociative Identity Disorder and Borderline Personality disorder are very challenging for therapists to treat, they are even more challenging for the client who experiences them.
Clients with DID experience switching of personalities, often frequently. There are periods of time that are "lost". They can drive a car and find themselves in unfamiliar places and not know how they got there. They can lose valuable objects and not know where they are because one of the alters hid them. They can spend money and not know on what the funds were spent. They often have been threated by their abusers with either their own death or the death of a loved one if they tell or disclose details of the abuse. This threat is as real to them as adults as it was when they were threatened as children. They have extremely low self esteem and often blame themselves and feel "dirty, bad, ugly".
Clients with Borderline Personality Disorder have a very difficult time with relationships and often feel abandoned emotionally by the people in their lives. They enter into adulthood with many attachments issues. They struggle with impulsivity and intense anger. They often live in an "I love you, I hate you, don't leave me" world.
And the most difficult thing for all is the fact that only rarely, is the abuser brought to justice and made to pay for what they did. Most of the time it is the survivor who bears the scars and the abuser has no accountability.
The question so often asked is, "Why?". For many there is no answer that makes sense to them as people who have experienced the abuse. For some with a religious faith, they are able to look at the abuse as either the influence of the fall of man (sin) or that God gave them the strength to endure and survive. For others, for those who prayed earnestly for rescue, there is a great deal of anger with God for not rescuing them immediately. For me as a therapist with a deep faith in Christ, it is difficult to help these people without sounding preachy or minimizing what they are going through. I continue to search for answers that will make sense.
In February of 2012, I will be presenting a two hour workshop at our annual Equip Conference. It is a conference sponsored by local churches to provide training to those who volunteer or are paid staff in a church. My topic is "The Church's Responsibility To Those Who Have Been Abused". For those of you reading this blog who pray, I am requesting prayer as I prepare for this. I gave a one hour workshop several years ago, but feel the need to expand it.
We continue this journey together.