Tag Archives: vulnerability

Jesus Offers Safety in the World of Emotions and Vulnerability

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

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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  

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on [Jesus] because he cares for you.

 

**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

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.

The She-Devil Made Me Do It! Blaming Victims Makes No Sense

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2015  Nancy Virden

photo-24800378-frustrated-womanTwenty years ago, my responsibility at a church was to sing with a worship team at the beginning of each service. Because we were on stage, our belongings had to be somewhere else. One Sunday, my purse was stolen from the office where I usually kept it.

One Sunday, it was gone.  As some suspects were confronted, my purse was found.  A church member returned it saying, “You shouldn’t have left it where [the thief] could find it. Of course he stole it!”

On another occasion, a friend was taking her groceries into her home. A young neighbor boy with a bad reputation keyed her car while she was inside. When my friend confronted the boy’s parents, the dad said, “You shouldn’t have left your keys where the boy could find them.”

About ten years ago, coming around a corner on a city street, I saw in front of me a driver doing a forward-then-back-then-forward U-turn in the middle of the road. He broadsided my van, oblivious to other traffic. He was cited for an illegal turn, yet when I told the story to my family no one asked what it was like from my side of the road. Instead I heard,  “What were you doing that he hit you?” 

A woman was drugged in a bar, raped outside the bar, and in the morning had vague memories of trauma. It took her a long time to tell a friend what she remembered of the incident. When she finally dared, she was accosted with, “What were you doing there? What were you wearing?” 

A wife was repeatedly assaulted by her husband of nearly twenty years. Several bruised ribs, a broken bone, and a bottomed-out self-esteem later, she tried to report he had raped her on numerous occasions. “You are making your husband look bad and need to be quiet,” she was told. 

Do these stories turn your stomach? Whatever the wrongdoing,  it is always the fault and responsibility of the wrongdoer. Period. 

Most of us would agree that only evil men do evil deeds. Yet somehow we turn that around to suggest that an evil man’s victim somehow created a no-win situation for him, and the poor guy had no choice. This mentality suggests men are puppets incapable of following a moral compass.

Crime occurs when someone takes advantage of a vulnerable person. Period.

Why should I or anyone have to photo-24800380-a-shocked-womanexplain this? Shame on us for not protecting our vulnerable citizens. Shame on us for shaming victims. Shame on us for teaching evil people they are not responsible for their actions.

What a woman is doing, who she is with, where she is, what she is wearing, what she is thinking or feeling, her intelligence, her mental health, her self-esteem, her social position, her faith, or any other detail of her life are not factors making her responsible for crimes and abuse committed against her.

That is because evil people do evil deeds. Compassionate love does not accuse victims.

*****

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*picture from qualitystockphotos.com