Monday, July 20, 2009

What If Mom Freaks Out?

"Ann, what have you been thinking and feeling since our time yesterday?" Jenny Shaw was sitting on one bunk; Ann and Heather were on the bunk facing her. "A few bad flashbacks have popped into my mind without warning. And some of the old feelings came along with them—you know, feeling dirty, scared, and ashamed. But at other times I thought about our talk yesterday and was really glad that somebody knows what I went through. I tried to push away the bad thoughts and feelings and concentrate on the good ones.” "Don't push away the hurtful stuff too hard, Ann," Jenny said in a loving tone. "One of the worst things you can do at this time is try to deny or forget what happened to you or to keep your emotions bottled up inside. Among the best things you can do is to face squarely what has happened, to recognize and express your feelings, and to accept the help of others. I think it would be good for you to see a Christian counselor if your parents will consent to it."

Ann felt an electric shock of fear. "My par­ents? You're not going to tell my parents about this are you?" Jenny reached out a hand to touch Ann gen­tly on the arm. "It may be hard for you, but you need to tell your parents about the abuse. They are important to your healing." "But what if Mom freaks out? Grandpa was her father." "She will probably need comfort, support, and encouragement too," Jenny explained. "But she loves you, and I'm sure she wants to help you get through your pain, even if it's also painful for her." Ann felt butterflies in her stomach. "How do I break this news to my parents?" "We can talk about that before we go home on Saturday, Ann," Jenny assured her. "But I'll go with you when you tell them—if you want me to." "I can be there, too, Annie," Heather put in, "if you need somebody to lean on." Ann's butterflies didn't all go away, but they quieted down some. "You two would really go with me?" "I'll be glad to be there for you," Jenny said. "I don't want you to be alone during such a tough time," Heather added. "If you want me there, I'm there." Ann felt a little teary again at the expression of Jenny's and Heather's closeness. "This isn't easy for me," she said. "I'll take all the help I can get." Heather gave her a big hug.

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