- Autumn Quiles, LCSW
Struggle, Strength and Power
I am an expert in people who seem broken. I have spent 20 years working with children who have been traumatized... children whose circumstances have mounted against them. Much like the people of the Bahamas, after the destruction of Hurricane Dorian.
The hardest part of working for traumatized people is relying on my own faith that, with time, they will rise again. It is hard to have patience when we see The Struggle.
Most people feel helpless when they watch others struggle. We observers can bombard a victim with physical stuff that we think they need. I remember when the Florida Keys were drowning in clothing donations after Irma, but had no cleaning supplies to eradicate mold. And now people are seeking out ways to give to the Bahamian people. I have seen many people, with golden hearts, packing up boxes of supplies in the past few days to rush over the ocean and help. These gifts often say more about The Giver, than The Receivers.
In my experience, the person Struggling knows exactly what kind of help they need, at any precise moment. Allowing them to have the power and control to get their own needs met, by asking for very specific help, is far more valuable to them than inundating them with what we think they need. For this reason, I feel it is critical to respect the wishes of the Bahamian people that we give support in the ways they have outlined on their relief site.
The Bahamian people are strong. The Prime Minister has called for the country to band together, to take care of each other. Major relief organizations, to which we can give money or resources, are providing physical aid.
It is critical to remember that The Struggle brings Strength and Power to all people. Struggling is a natural precursor for Growth. Infants who struggle to walk, children who struggle to achieve, adults who struggle to Be Better... and even those who struggle to recover from devastation.
So, we can pack up our relief boxes or, better yet, donate our money to aid organizations. But, in the end, holding fast to the promise of Strength and Power is the best balm for our own feelings of hopelessness while we watch the Bahamian people Struggle.