In the past several months I have had to purge through life’s memories, pack tons of treasure troves, and prepare for a life change – moving from a large home to a small apartment. Never had I realized the years of accumulation we had collected. For my husband, it was sixty years worth passed down from the generations before him. For me, collectibles and books were my passion through time.
This season of change was not only overwhelming but exhausting in every way possible. As parents of a struggling young adult now, challenges are still very fresh and new. Many of us see our kids grow up with crises and believe they will outgrow those moments of brokenness as they age. That is not always the case.
I think of the parents whose children are still involved or addicted to drugs and alcohol. Then there are the parents who have older teens and young adults chained by their eating disorders or sexual identity and porn issues. What about the parents who find themselves back at square one with their child who has a mental illness or struggle with suicidal tendencies? Continue reading
When we think of “parents with a teen in crisis” we immediately come to the conclusion that mom and dad are involved. However, there are also thousands of single moms and dads who struggle as parents too. One such parent is my friend Lynn. I asked her to share with me some of the difficulties she has endured as a single parent with a teen in crisis. We pray that you will find encouragement through Lynn’s story and that you are not alone in your single parenting journey.
Were you a stay at home mom or working mom when you noticed your daughter’s issues? I am a working mom who works from home and also cared for my mother who had health issues. Both of my daughters now are ages 21 and 23.
Each parent with a child in crisis has a story. Can you give me a little background of how you became aware that your children were dealing with a serious issue? While my oldest has had anger and insecurity issues due to a divorce, it is my youngest that has been most concerning. In her senior year of high school her grades began to drop, she spoke of hating school and had friendships end. I later came to find out that she was sexually assaulted by a football player who trapped her in his car. She told no one. To cope, she began experimenting with drugs. She chose to attend a city college (which was a good move) but in her second year, I began to see her breakdown emotionally little by little. At the end of the year, she broke up with her boyfriend of 2 years, told me she was bi-sexual and began living a wild lifestyle. She went skydiving, had her septum pierced, began losing weight rapidly, out at very late hours of the night, and clearly came home wasted. My daughters and I are very close, are able to have transparent conversation and purpose time together. So, not only was I trying to deal with her behavior, she shut me out of her life; I was a roommate of insignificance. When school started again in the fall, she was having difficulty focusing, and tried working two jobs. In January, she confessed she felt there was something mentally wrong with her as she began pulling out her hair and cutting herself. She agreed to go into counseling which lead to a psychiatric diagnosis of bi-polar. She is on medication and continues seeing her counselor which is helping her work through some core issues. Continue reading
As I was decorating for the fall, I was reminded of the countless times in the past I was consumed by the many crises of my teen. Those crises preoccupied my life to the point that finding joy in a new season or celebrating a holiday became non-existent.
Having a teen or young adult in crisis dominates your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You find yourself not living your life anymore but that of your child. Everything is about them. Literally!
I had no time to clean my house. I had no availability to see friends. I craved to be alone and couldn’t. I spent all my time going to a counselor and doctor appts., searching the web or reading for answers to serious issues. I was too tired to think about cooking or to eat a regular meal. My wash was piled up and dishes constantly left in the sink.
When I went to work, my mind was consumed even more because I wasn’t home to see what was going on. When I went to church, I wanted to hide from others so that I wasn’t twenty-questioned about our family. As time went on, it got to a period to which I wanted to run away or worse yet, end my life. Obviously I didn’t since I am writing this post. Continue reading
Every other day, I have been tracking the news story of Elizabeth Thomas, the young teen who was kidnapped by her teacher Tad Cummins from Tennessee.
Parents across the country are shocked that this could have happened. The term “grooming” is a word often used when an adult figure manipulates, deceives, and earns the trust of the victim through various forms of coercion.
Sadly, more and more authority figures are “grooming” young teens at their most vulnerable times. It can happen in schools, churches, and sports teams. Many have questioned or made statements about Elizabeth Thomas such as, “She chose to be with him,” or “She can run away.” However, they do not understand the psychological control this teacher has over her that started a long time ago under the guise of a teacher mentoring a student in school.
Teens don’t just jump into a relationship with someone older. There are many factors when combined set the perfect stage for the grooming of the victim.
So what types of teens are targeted for grooming? Continue reading
Years ago I watched the movie called, “The Impossible”. It was based on the true story of a family engulfed in the waters of a large tsunami in Thailand. Confronted with unimaginable obstacles, the parents were desperate to find their children and each other. They would not give up no matter the cost. The physical, mental, and emotional waves of agony from their circumstances would cause any parent to be fearful, distressed and in crisis.
Today, there are waves of crisis pulling many parents under through their hurting teen. In the eyes of the parent, their problems look too big and impossible to change for the better. These types of crises vary from family to family: suicidal attempts, mental illness, drug overdose, self-harming, risky behaviors, running away, etc… Continue reading