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HOW DO I COPE WITH THIS MESS?

This is the question that haunted our family from the very outset. If you have recently been thrust into this world of mayhem and disarray then we are sure you have already asked yourself this question over one hundred times.

What you need to do first and foremost is to take stock of where you are at currently. Assess the damage levels if you like. Look at the situation from an outsider’s perspective if it is at all possible.

Remember your child or children will be suffering and be completely dazed too at the fact that this has actually "come out"!

The word cope is interesting when you look at its literal meaning…

To struggle or deal, esp. on fairly even terms or with some degree of success (usually fol. by with): I will try to cope with this mess.

To struggle or deal with! Interesting isn’t it? That’s exactly what you will need to do "struggle through" the situation. Look for someone or if possible a few close allies to bounce your anger and frustration onto. Believe us, this is so vitally important. We were very fortunate as a family to have a couple of terrific friends that stuck by us through everything. Unfortunately in times such as these you will find out who your real friends and family are. Strange isn’t it? When things in life are at their toughest is when you would hope the people in your life would stand up with you. Unfortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth.

So... What is the answer?

Well, the short answer is time. I know this may sound like something you’ve already heard, or maybe even sick of hearing, but the truth of the matter is, this IS the true healer. You, as a family, (and we can’t stress this enough) must stick together and take one day at a time. Jesus himself said it best when talking to His own disciples…

Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its’ own things. Sufficient for the day is it’s own trouble."

This may sound easier said then done. Believe us we know! But when we made a conscious decision to do this, to take one day at a time, we found ourselves focussing only on coping with that day’s events and troubles.

As time passes on and the events unfold you will have many hurdles to jump. If like our family, you are involved in court proceedings, police, schools, social services and God only knows what else, you will be inundated with enough to keep you going one day at a time. All these events take time to process. The court system and it doesn’t matter what part of the world you live in, is typically very slow. So try not to get too frustrated with the whole procedure. Again take one day at a time.

Children are amazing young creatures. They cope with things generally better than we do as parents; but they will undoubtedly be suffering and will say and do things that will most certainly hurt you as parents. Try not to take too much to heart. What we have discovered is that children naturally get upset when you are upset. What they are looking for now, more than ever is stability. Don’t be afraid to cry with them though. This we found was so helpful to everyone concerned. But at the same time also don’t be afraid to laugh with them either. Even though you have all been through an incredible ordeal, it is certainly ok to live again!

One thing you really need to focus on is that there is hope for you and your family. Although it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, there is still hope. We often thought that the light at the end of the tunnel was the headlight of an oncoming train! But when we began to focus on the positives, the future, then dealing with the day to day stuff, we found that the light was actually light!

Be encouraged. You and your family can get through this. Your children can survive and better than that, they can prosper and shine!

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