In blogpost # 35 we talked about the normal process of growing into adult age and among other I wrote: “You will if, you were brought up in a normal home, probably still share a lot of their values (your parents) and you will still love them”. What if you grew up in a family with lot of quarrelling, slamming of doors, being told repeated times that you were not good enough or even much worse circumstances?
Will God applaud your struggle to get free from bad childhood memories? I want to say it this way: If you have been abused in any way, or if your family wasn’t able to meet your needs as a child. God knows about that and he of course want you to heal from your wounds. If he sees that your try to become a grown up through your teenage years fails, he will feel sorry for you and he will want you to have the opportunity to have normal entrance into the adult world.
How can that come about? It will not be easy! Since I have been a therapist for harmed youth I know a lot about how damaged some might be. Some might be easy to help because they have only got a light depression or anxiety at a level that is easy to treat as long as the young one cooperate with the therapist. When helped out of their darkness they of course a free to study their religion.
Some, however, are damaged at a deeper level. I cannot teach you about all the Mental Disorders that can come out of a “sick family”. There are plenty of Internet pages about mental disorders that you can look up if you are interested, but please remember that all Mental Disorders do not come from growing up in distorted families. There are traumas that are so big that even the most healthy person will get emotional problems that is not related to his/her upbringing. As a matter of fact one in three persons either have had, have or will have some sort of mental disturbances in their lives.
Here I want to say something about some of the damages that might rise from growing up in unstable families; dinner never served at promised times, appointments in the family easily broken, no rules or so strict rules that it leave the young full of hateful feelings, no help with school work and so on ….
Since there were few possibilities for the child to predict what will happen now or then, the child, later the teenager, might have problems to hold fast to thoughts and keep a steady course in life. To ask such a person to study this or that might only make the youth feel uncomfortable because his/her concentration jumps from one topic to another along with feeling that also jumps easily from one state to another.
I have met so many of you and I want to tell that you have my deepest compassion! Youngsters that have grown up in normal homes have not a clue about what you are going through! They don’t understand that you cannot just skip out of it and turn to God in all your instability. They don’t know what a hard job that lies in front of you to get the normal life that they through a normal upbringing got for free.
What can you do? You can pray when that is possible for you. You can study small amounts at a time, let’s say for 10 minutes and you should allow yourself to feel good for being able to do so even if you already have become as old as 25 or thereabout. May be your struggle to have a normal life is just as difficult as it is for an academic to become a professor … Think about that!! You will have no diploma on earth for doing all the hard work, but perhaps God has made an invisible diploma for you that he will give you when you enter heaven.
I wrote this to tell that I have not forgotten that not all young people have the best opportunities to work it out with God.
My recommendation is that if you have it this way, please go and see a therapist. Many countries don’t allow psychologists to combine therapy and working on your relationship to God in the threapy. That means that if you wish to find out more about God, you have to visit the therapist to get order in your life and a priest to get inputs about God. (If you live in America there are some catholic psychologists here and there. See http://www.catholictherapists.com).
It might take some time, but there are hope to both have a stable life and a connection with God even if you live in counties that don’t accept the mix of therapy and religion!