Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse (c)2018 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries
Have you ever felt emotionally naked? Perhaps a secret is exposed, or you fear you shared too much of your inner struggle. Maybe a friendship or relationship ends and you regret trusting so deeply.
These situations and others make us emotionally vulnerable.
I have met people who in the spirit of self-protection have all but eliminated social connections from their lives. It is easy to shake my head and wonder how someone could make such a decision. However, in all honesty, there are times emotional vulnerability felt too scary, and I have backed off too.
Maybe we all have.
There is one particular type of vulnerability we will do well to attend. That is, the painful, terrifying, likely years-in-the-making, admissions of victimization by abuse.
Abused children and adults generally have great difficulty asking for help. Perhaps they believe the lies of the abuser – you deserve this, you made me do it, or if you tell I will make your family suffer, and other emotional beat-downs and threats.
Some victims have tried to tell before, and received poor responses from family, friends, church, or even professionals. They fear trying again. Unfortunately, many who come forward find it challenging to make people believe their story. This is especially true when the abuser is narcissistic and will lie, cry , or blame the victim in an attempt to keep up appearances.
The kindest way to help these vulnerable folks is to believe them. To anyone to whom an abuse victim shares their experience – do not judge. Even if you think you grasp the situation, do not judge. Listen, and do what you must to keep this person safe.
To anyone currently in an abusive situation – tell your story until someone believes you. Your best options for that are probably shelters and abuse centers.
We can each provide “clothes” for the emotionally naked. Acceptance is the garment that will help a person recover and not retreat again into the shadows.
Today’s Helpful Word
Matthew 25: 37
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you … naked and clothe you?…’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers (and sisters), you did it to me.’”
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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 struggling emotionally today or 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. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.