GETTING SUPPORT IN A CRISIS
Why is getting support so important?
There are many reasons :-
- Two features of a crisis are a sense of threat and a feeling of not coping. You need some support to help you ‘over the rapids.’
- Any support you build now will stand you in good stead throughout the journey. Even when you’re not in a crisis, getting support is an essential part of recovery.
- Abuse tends to occur in secrecy and isolation. It’s important to try to break this pattern. Getting support does this.
- Men often feel that they have got to ‘go it alone,’ even in the most challenging situations. It’s hard to recover from what happened when you were a boy without reaching out for some extra help. This is never more true than in a crisis.
So, what exactly is this support? In many ways support means people. But not just any people. These are people with very particular qualities, who :-
- Listen to your feelings
- Accept and respect you
- Are reliable
- Are trustworthy
- Keep your confidences
- Believe that you have been abused
- Don’t ‘play down’ what happened to you
- Never blame you for what happened
- Never side with the person who abused you.
Basically, you need a Support Team to help you on the life raft. They may be found in your immediate social circle, (partner or family or friends), from professional helpers, (therapists or counsellors or other professionals or voluntary organisations), or from other Survivors. Members of your Support Team don’t have to be highly qualified with lots of letters after their name. Nor do they always do ‘professional’, things. For instance a supportive person might :
- Make you a meal
- Come round for a cup of tea
- Tell you they care about you
- Allow you to ‘let off steam’ by crying or shouting.
It’s worth going through the people you are involved with, whether personally or professionally, and deciding whether you think they have the qualities mentioned above. If they don’t then they may not be the most supportive people to have around if you’re going through a crisis.