Crisis Response, #8

This entry was posted on October 17, 2012 under Clergy Program, Crisis Response. Written by:

Discuss an example of a crisis situation to which you have responded (this may be a crisis you have personally experienced or an experience in which you tried to help someone else in crisis). Reflect upon your response to the crisis in your example, and explain what you found effective, as well as how you could have improved your response to this situation. (minimum 200 words)

I’ve had my fair share of crisis situations.  From divorce, infidelity, disowning by a parent, losing my home and being homeless, my father having a heart attack and a stroke, and nasty custody battles, I’ve seen issues from all sides.

My particular example I’ll address is  when my father and I lost our home in 2008.  Our landlord had died the year prior without leaving a Will or having any children.  The estate notified us by eviction notice that we had 30 days to get out. Keep in mind that my father and I lived on a small farm complete with animals and farm equipment.  The unimaginable task of trying to situate all of that by ourselves in 30 days was very daunting.

My first process in dealing with the situation was just crying.  One of my personal biggest fears in life is not being able to take care of my father.  It may even be my biggest fear.  And it felt like that had actually become a reality.

But after a few days of crying and fear, I turned on what I call my “Robot Mode” which is simply a mode of process.  My mind places the emotion behind the dramatic situation and focuses instead on the practical logistics of what needs to happen to fix things.

For starters, I needed to find a place to put all of our things and start packing things up in the mean time.  My last surviving grandparent owned a storage trailer business, so that’s where I started.  I got it delivered and we started loading up everything.  Animals had to be taken to the livestock auction, farm equipment needed to be stored on a friends property until we had a place to put it, and I needed to find a place for us to at least sleep, eat, and shower, which ended up being my Aunt’s house.

All in all we got everything squared away in 28 days with a little help from some good friends.  But that was not the end of the process.

Now that my father and I had nowhere to go, I needed to find us a place to live.  The next two months were focused on finding a new home through estimating my financial situation for a reasonable expected payment window, narrowing our choice of homes by process of elimination and needs, and going through the motions of buying my first house.

To summarize, , allowing myself to grieve but not allowing it to take over the common sense and logical reality and requirements of the situation is important when handling a crisis.  You have to be emotional and you have to be sensible in order to deal with these situations.  And you have to allow for other people to help you instead of insisting on doing it all yourself.

I feel I handled that situation in the best way I possibly could, and am very proud for all I had to endure and how positive the situation ended up being on my life as a 28 year old.

(Word Count: 512)



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