Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
When emotions are stifled as a child, you never learn how to use or regulate them.
Adult friends have said over the years, “You are open to a point, and then no one can cross that line;” or “You seem unapproachable. Above all the rest of us.”
What friends did not know is the guilt I carried and the continuous reel of tongue lashings I gave myself every day for feeling, let alone sharing any of those feelings whether happy or not-so happy. Vulnerability was downright threatening because of what I would do to myself.
I wasn’t honest about that. God knows I needed help, lots of it, but it seemed too much to ask.
I didn’t want to burden anyone with it and didn’t know what to say anyway. Yet that led to crashes that did burden people in big ways. Rarely reaching out or reaching out in ways that would not actually lead to help, kept me stuck.
Oh believe me, I kept begging – for someone, anyone – to meet my needs. Desperately screaming all my life- does anyone care? I hurt, I’m sad, I’m lost! Angrily demanding, why aren’t you rescuing me?
No one heard because I didn’t scream out loud.
Vulnerability for Wellness
When we come out of unloving or abusive families, it is common to feel different from everyone else, like we are on the outside of a huge secret. We may not know how or where to find emotional safety – or even believe it exists.
In Christ, we are amazingly safe to be vulnerable with people. He led me to wise counselors and then helped me to lower my shield. Learning openness and honesty has not only been freeing, but it helps other people to come out from the shadows.
Vulnerability is hard. We fear jumping off that proverbial cliff of trust – what if no one is there to respond in meaningful or healthy ways? We are afraid that rejection or apathy or even betrayal will leave us in a crumpled heap at the bottom.
It could happen – from the human standpoint.
In Christ though, we have safety. He is our enduring Catcher. Vulnerability with others is important for mental health and well-being. Landing in the tender clutch of Jesus makes jumping worth the risk.
Today’s Helpful Word
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours.