Wedding Woes

You have to put your oxygen mask on first before the helping person next to you.

Dear Prudence,

I am a teenage girl who fairly recently has begun to come to terms that I’m not the heterosexual young lady my conservative Christian parents always wanted. It’s been very painful. I am homeschooled, and we live in a rural area, so it is difficult for me to find any resources except online. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I’m on medication now, but I still have some very bad days. The online communities I’ve found are full of young people in the same boat, but they’re sinking. I want to offer support to the suicidal people all around me, but I’m on shaky ground as it is. I don’t want to drag them down by trying to support them and becoming toxic because I still have so much healing to do. Do you have any suggestions on where I can get the help I need to help them?

—Supporting My Supporters

Re: You have to put your oxygen mask on first before the helping person next to you.

  • It is so understanding to want to help others. 

    But just like you really shouldn't get into a relationship until you yourself are comfortable with who you are, you should not be the therapist for others while you continue to develop the tools in your own toolbox. 
  • You are not in a position to help them. You do not have the knowledge skills experience or emotional capacity. Take care of yourself. Work on making a plan to get out. 
  • Take care of yourself and remove yourself from groups where you’re own care is being jeopardized by the needs of others. Then if/ when you feel you can rejoin you can provide support to others. But for now it’s important to protect your own wellness. 
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