Is someone you love having a hard time dealing with a death, abuse, depression or other emotional problems? Do they hide their pain instead of dealing with it? You can’t help them by letting them know that they are not alone. Do your best to assure them that they are loved.
Only by showing them your love and concern will prompt them to open up to you when they are ready. This will not happen overnight it takes time to build a trusting relationship. This is a relationship that is not demanding, judgmental or prying. They keep emotional walls up not wanting to hear advice or have to answer questions from you or anyone else. Moving through life is hard enough when you feel supported. It is natural to put up walls so that the people around you will not see the pain that you are feeling day in and day out. When you don’t feel supported by family and friends it is even harder to accept help. So show your concerns by sharing your love and emotional support when you are with them.
People hide the way they feel and the turmoil that they are in because they are feeling isolated and alone. Taking the first step to helping anyone is to show them understanding and patience. Relating to someone in that much emotional distress is far easier than you would think. Sharing your time is the best way to show you care. Everyone want to matter, they want to be saved when they are lost. They want someone to find them and show them the way back. Until that happens they don’t show their true feelings to anyone. They hide behind false emotions not dealing with the pain. Only trust can break down these walls.
How do we start to deal with these emotions when they consume our thoughts? People get lost in emotions not knowing who they are or how to change. If you truly want to help the first step is letting this person know that you will be there to help them get through the journey a head of them. Accepting first and for most that your there to help and emotionally support them by your actions not just by your words. Words all though powerful will only matter when you build a trust with the person that is in so much pain.
Abuse, death, betrayal and self hate are paralyzing. “I am nothing and I don’t deserve love.” This is what I told myself at one time in my life. It was only when a person took the time to show me how important I was by showing me love, not expecting anything in return. She showed me that I mattered. I started a journey to heal and found myself worth on the way with her help. My history for years was to hide my feelings from everyone around me. I held on to my emotional pain not let anyone behind the walls I had created for myself. She had the answers to why I was like this. I had to accept who I was and what had happened to make me this way. As I unravel the past, pain was the one constant thing in my life. She supported me and explained that what happened mattered and so did I. The love and help of my friend made it possible for me to heal. Her patients and love is what I needed in my life.
I let myself admit that I matter and the tornado of emotions had control over me. Taking control of my thoughts made it easier to let go of the past. For years I feared something was wrong with me for my role in things that affected my life. The guilt and shame was unbearable. If you don’t feel safe it is natural to protect yourself. Hiding my feelings because of fear became second nature and was robbing me of the life I wanted. It is okay to have these emotions. The key is learning why they had a hold on me and to have a plan of actions to deal with them as they come up. You cannot change the past you can plan for the future and you have to live in the present. When you are lost in these emotions it is hard to except that most people will like you, just give them a chance to get to know you. Everyone looks for acceptance from others and it is harder when you feel like damaged goods. Seeing yourself in the eyes of the people who love you changes the way you see yourself. Change takes time and determination. Identifying what has control over your thoughts is a good place to start.
What has control?
Abuse past or present is devastating for the person on the receiving end. The person that is abusing you has control, leaving you with confusion and quilt. Knowing that it is wrong does not give you control, it leaves you confused. Being afraid to tell anyone is devastating and affects every aspect of your life. The control that the abuser has over you is so strong that you learn to submit and endure what is happening. Some children that are sexual abused do not understand why they have pleasure during the abuse and are left with not understanding why or how to deal with it. The abuse takes over their thoughts leaving a flood of emotions that take over their lives. It is devastating whether they show it or not. As they get older the thoughts are in control even if the abuse has stopped.
Fear can paralyze you if you give it power. Living in fear is debilitating and hiding it leaves you with health issues mental and physical. Abuse victims live in fear that it will happen again. They may develop identity issues associating the way the look or acted at the time of the abuse. Fear can control the way you live and look even if you have never been abused. Fear takes over your ability to communicate and move freely through life, making you overly protective to everything and everyone around you. Fear is a hard thing to give up.
Depression is a medical condition that is treatable when you admit that you really do have feelings of despair and not wanting to go on with your life. The people around you do not always see your depression. Some of us learn to hide our emotions from loved ones, co-workers, relative and even ourselves. Clinical depression is treatable just like diabetes when you admit it and seek help.
Grief is the lost of something or someone you love. This is one of the hardest emotions to deal with. You want to be strong, and accepting of the circumstance but in reality you can feel betrayed, angry, happy, sad and confused. Coupled with the what ifs’ will trigger you to raise your guard up so no one will see how much this effects you. If you let go of your grief are you dishonoring the person that is gone? Loss of a marriage, a job or someone you love is grief. This is just as hard to overcome as depression and guilt. Sometimes they go hand in hand.
Emotions can be your friend or your enemy depending on whether you let them control your actions, which includes those people who use them to control others through hate, anger or in the name of love. These manipulations of emotions leave some people with a sense of control. These people are not in control they are abusive. Emotions play a big part in all of us. Fear, sadness and morning can control you if you don’t go through the steps to overcome them. Abuse, loneliness, fear, insecurities and depression will leave you with the feeling of being out of our control. The goal is to deal with thoughts as they come up so that they don’t take over your emotions leaving you lost.
Letting your walls down and accept things for the way they are is not easy, so if you truly want to help someone struggling with emotional pain understand that this is a loving act and it takes patients. Only by showing up on purpose can you help. Knowing what you are dealing with and if you are able to take on the task is a hard decision to make. If you are not, after you have a trusting relationship direct them to someone who is and stand by them as they get the help they need. They have been let down and betrayed so many times that they will not let just anyone behind the walls they have put up to protect themselves. Knowing you are not alone is hard to accept when you are in despair. There are tools and people you can trust to help in the aid chipping down the walls. Look for resources and guidance through your church and metal health department if necessary.
Love does not hurt it nourishes and supports. To developing a relationship with yourself that is loving, healthy and strong is hard work when you are emotional lost. Building this relationship with trust and love will leave the person feeling safe and comfortable giving them courage to move on. The most important thing is that they matter to you. They will not want to hide, afraid of let people know who they are inside. Helping someone out of their despair is a gift of love. As a child I was at the mercy of the adults around me, as an adult I am in control of my life and the relationships I build. The most important relationship is with me. I found the courage to go on and break down the walls that keep me from who I really am.
There will be emotional bumps along the way and I know I can handle them. Taking one day at a time and having faith in myself and what I have learned through my struggle to find me.
I am overcome with joy because of God’s unfailing love, for He has seen my troubles, and He cares about the anguish of my soul. PSALM 31: 7(NLT)