What kind of family environment did you grow up in?
I grew up in a happy, stable home environment. The town I was raised in was small and quaint. While attending the Mennonite Brethren Church with my family, my brother and I also participated in VBS, Christian Summer Camp, Youth Group, etc.
What kind of relationship did you have with God?
I accepted Jesus into my heart at age seven. I believe I knew what it meant but didn’t understand the dynamics of it. Around age eleven or so, I had many questions about God such as, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
This really affected my relationship with my “church friends” as I was “rebelling” against Mennonite culture by asking so many questions. Although others mentored and cared for me, I was already fairly lost and angry with God. My relationship with God continued this way into my young adult years.
I believed in God and wanted to believe He was good, but I never felt He loved me. The enemy also reminded me of how much I was a failure and not good enough. I know of course today that I don’t need to earn God’s love because of His mercy and grace towards me. Continue reading
by Julia Greif
Watching your child/teen being diagnosed and living with a mental illness is hard. This is something no parent wants to experience. In fact, after being diagnosed many parents feel lost as to what is next.
There are many things to do and not to do when you’re dealing with any mental illness. As someone who was diagnosed in my early twenties, I want to encourage parents by bringing attention to the things they CAN do.
My family (like many families) didn’t know what to do or what to say. Because of this, it broke and hurt me in ways that made living with a mental illness worse. So here are some words of wisdom that I want to share with you today as you guide your teen through their mental illness. Continue reading
There is a show called, “Strange Addictions” that covers a huge gamut of self-prescribed addictive behaviors from licking the fur off of a cat and eating it, stinging yourself with bees or even sniffing/snorting moth balls. Although there were many other strange and peculiar self-harming addictions, some common factors stood out.
Many found their addiction as a way of coping with other issues in their life. Secondly, some of these types of addictions also suffered from other mental health disorders. When listening to their stories, they often mention a pivotal point in their life that triggered this issue. Continue reading
A perspective that is not normally focused on is how siblings handle someone in crisis within the family home and its effects on them. I chose to do an informal Q & A with my oldest daughter (BJ) who had to deal with a sibling in crisis so that parents could get a view into their world and understand how it impacts their lives as well. Continue reading
When parents with teens in crisis get overwhelmed with no hope, they start a process within them to protect their heart. It is called, “Detachment”. For many parents, this is not something willingly expressed but instead suppressed. If you think about it, how many moms and dads with teens in crisis are willing to openly share their true feelings as a parent?
While many do not want to talk about it, they often want to run away from it. For some, the fear of news that their teen overdosed on drugs, cut themselves so much that they ended up in the hospital or ran off with a total stranger can be very distressing.
In the meantime, those parents who are weary and tired are also vulnerable to that detachment. In their mind, they find that it is easier to distant themselves from their struggling teen as a way to cope with the everyday problems that continue without any let-up. Continue reading