(trigger warning: sexual abuse and mental illness)
Marilyn Gardner wrote a prayer of repentance at A Life Overseas. As a TCK who went to boarding school at a young age, Marilyn has a special tenderness and insight into what this kind of abuse did to those kids.
The Southern Baptist convention has been rocked by accusations of rampant abuse. Protestants cannot and dare not point fingers at the Catholic church or priests. This article is long and devastating. And the Southern Baptist convention has responded, finally.
Just in the past six months, I know three TCKs who lost the battle with mental illness. I’m not saying mental illness and abuse necessarily go together, but that there is a lot of brokenness and grief that isn’t often addressed well in the world of expatriates. TCKs face this in unique ways, sometimes by nature of living in the home of their abuser at boarding school, sometimes leaving a country before resolution has been found, sometimes having no safe place or safe person to tell. There are so many goodbyes, so many losses, so many fears and insecurities. There is so much vulnerability and hunger for belonging.
Books and Resources about abuse and Third Culture Kids
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver. A novel, yet it rings deeply true on many levels. The person who loaned this to me almost two decades ago said, “If you go to Africa, don’t you dare live like this.” I like to think we haven’t. There is so much to wrestle with here.
The Story Women Need to Tell, about sexual harassment. We need to lead our kids in conversations about harassment and abuse, so they will know their stories are safe to tell and that they are not alone.
Noggy Boggy writes candidly about his experience with mental illness and life as a TCK.
(Thanks to Sarah Bessey for the last three links)
I know I’ve covered a ton of material and provided an overwhelming amount of links. Everything from sexual abuse in the church to among Third Culture Kids to mental illness.
Maybe it is too much to be actually useful.
Maybe one link to serve one person. In that case, I’m content.
Be blessed, be healed.
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