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nextTalk contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised.
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Are you ready for the nextTalk?
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Today we continue in our four-part series on sexual abuse. We started with a topic for everyone because we didn’t want you to think, well, i haven’t been abused, this is not important for me, and so we’d love for you to listen to that first show. Our second show We moved more into a survivor story with one of our nextTalk team members, kim, but it was really important to us on this third show to bring in a counselor. We wanted some expert advice on things that we’re going to be looking for, things that we need to know, and get her perspective on this whole topic. So please welcome Jamie Marchand.
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Hi everyone, thank you for having me on. A little bit about myself is. I am a wife and a mama and a licensed professional counselor.
0:01:14 – Speaker 1
You have three kids. I have three, you’re in it.
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I’m in it I’m in it.
0:01:18 – Speaker 3
So yeah, It’s juggling a lot.
But you know what I’m loving it, and it’s one of those things with what I do for a profession. It really has given me a heightened awareness of just how important this topic is in planting those seeds when they’re little, because it is one of those things that it needs to start when they’re little. And if it hasn’t, that’s okay too, because that’s why we’re here today to talk about that kind of stuff. But it’s something that I’m personally very passionate about, and my husband as well, and so I am married to my husband, michael, of six years, and, like you said, we have three little girls, and prior to becoming a licensed professional counselor, i was in the schools as a teacher, and then I went back to graduate school and got my license to practice in private practice.
0:02:04 – Speaker 4
Well, and it’s been cool how we got to know each other. So Jamie came to a Lunch and Learn nextTalk event And that’s kind of like community events that we do for donors, for networking, for partnerships, that sort of thing, and Jamie was there. I didn’t know her before that And, man, i just connected with her in the audience, even when I was speaking. I could tell.
I could tell she was nodding and like that kind of thing. And then she asked a couple of questions at the end And I was like, oh my goodness yes, that was on point as to what she was, Because it was really talking about being kid focused and on their feelings and what they are going through.
And I thought, man, we, I got to talk to this lady, So we talked afterwards totally connected, like finishing each other’s sentences. Then we set up some meetings. I got to visit her in her office And I loved how she described nextTalk to us, because it’s so cool hearing how people describe nextTalk. Yeah, And I want you to share that because when you, when we sat down that day, you were like this is what nextTalk is And I was like that is such a great way of putting it.
0:03:07 – Speaker 3
Yeah, well, and it came to me in the spring of 2018. I was at a church retreat and someone near and dear to me had just come out about their story of abuse. And God just really put this analogy on my heart, because oftentimes we just see the abuse, we think of the worst thing possible and that’s the 10. And we’re like, how did that even happen? And God just really put on my heart that it is all about creating those relationships with your kids and being that safe person, because when you’re in tune with your kids and you have that relationship with your kids, they’re going to come to you in the little things so that the big things never happen. And it’s not to say that they never could not happen, but it’s just to say that when we’re in more in tune, we can recognize like, okay, my child’s in the process of getting groomed And they may not understand what grooming is, but we can see it.
So a one and a two would be something little like, hey, mom so and so asked me to come over and they asked me to steal a beer. Well, that’s a one. But when you’re in relationship with your kids and they say, mom, i was over there, and this is really weird, because we talked about this stuff. We’ve talked about what I do when I feel uncomfortable in a situation. So they’re going to tell you the one and already then that person’s on your radar. Okay, well, i’m so sorry that happened to you. Let’s talk more about that. And because of that, i don’t think it’s a smart idea that you continue going over there and let’s just pray over their home, and so by doing that, you’ve already stopped at a one that, what cost possibly could be a grooming situation exactly and going to attend and I think it’s you know.
0:04:49 – Speaker 4
We tell parents, teacher kids not to keep secrets. It’s the same concept. So at one, two and three, if there’s an adult or a kid Saying you know, send me this nude, don’t tell your parents, right, or i’m gonna cuss in front of you. Don’t tell right, those things That we can catch early, before we get to the 10.
0:05:05 – Speaker 3
Absolutely. And it’s manipulation because the the groomers. What they are doing is they’re building a case, and so they get you locked in, that they have this case on you like You’ve done all these things. If you tell them, then i’m gonna say, well, you drank a beer, you watched porn with me, you wanted to do these things, and so then you start moving into a partner mentality versus a victim mentality. And so when you think about the majority of people who outcry, they’re not out crying when they’re going through it. Lots of times i work with people who are no longer going through the abuse. They’re out crying in their adulthood, they’re out crying in their teens. Um, and it’s because they no longer can cope with it anymore And it’s manifesting and coming out in other ways.
0:05:54 – Speaker 4
Well, and it’s mainly because they’ve realized they were manipulated into thinking they were a part of it Exactly. And as they grow up and kim shared this in her story on the last show You had this light bulb moment where you’re like, oh my gosh, i’m a victim here, yes. And then you realize right, this is not healthy, exactly, exactly.
0:06:12 – Speaker 3
And i think that’s so important because When all the secrets are happening and all the grooming is happening, it’s happening in the dark, right, and so not literal dark, but meaning like it’s done and hidden secret, it’s evil, it’s hidden. You know all those things, and when we can finally talk about it, we’re bringing into the light, and when you think about who god is, god is light And healing happens when we bring it into the light, and so i think that is just such a huge piece to all of this. But because when we don’t recognize we’re a victim and we feel like the partner, we attach shame and guilt and people aren’t coming out about it.
0:06:49 – Speaker 1
Yeah, so you say that you see a lot of adults and teenagers come into your practice when they decide to Expose what has happened to them or they realize that they’re not a partner in this right. What are some of the things that start manifesting before that that you see them sharing? Yeah.
0:07:05 – Speaker 3
Oftentimes it’s people coming in for depression and anxiety, so they won’t come in and say, hey, i’ve been carrying this story, i want to share it with you. They’ll come in with the symptoms and then, as we dig deeper, we get to the root of the problem, and they don’t even often realize that that’s playing a part into it. And so, you know, we start talking about upbringing, we start talking about confusing things that have happened in their life, we start talking about shame and guilt, and so, by going to those places, oftentimes We’ll get led to the root cause, which is childhood abuse.
0:07:42 – Speaker 4
Do you see a lot in young kids. You know, like the self-harming, the cutting the drugs, that absolutely the things that they’re trying to do to numb themselves Absolutely from the pain of that, because they don’t know how to communicate what has happened.
0:07:55 – Speaker 3
Yes, and so oftentimes, like parents will see the behavior And they will want to discipline the behavior or what’s up with you, like can’t you just get it together? We need to go to church more.
You know, so it gets so behavior focused. And what does that behavior look like? and that was your question? and It can be isolation, it can be porn, it can be cutting, it can be video gaming, eating disorders, perfectionism, um, trauma looks very chaotic and so when you have chaos going on within, when you feel it within, you will often Duplicate it on the outside, so you’ll see this very Chaotic person, or you might even see anger, and when you see angry kids, it’s actually sadness, but it’s coming out through. That’s so good, jamie.
0:08:41 – Speaker 4
You know, angry kids is sadness. Yes, I need to take note of that because I know, as a mom, when my kids get angry, my, my tendency is to be like get your stuff together. This is not how we behave. But I need to stop, yeah, because I need to get in there and figure out what is causing the anger right. What is causing this emotional outburst?
0:09:03 – Speaker 3
absolutely. And you know, another big component is even health-wise. You might see kids who are getting headaches more, they’re getting stomach aches. They, you know, can’t sleep at night. So it’s, it’s all the signs that Kim Nichols Shared in a previous show and you didn’t hear that show.
0:09:23 – Speaker 4
Yeah, and so, yeah, all the things that she said. It presented anxiety and depression and not being able to sleep at night and nightmares and all of that.
0:09:32 – Speaker 1
Yes, exactly what you’re describing patterns to absolutely Yeah, certain events or going to certain places. Right, the triggers, the triggers.
0:09:40 – Speaker 3
Absolutely. And you know, god has given us that gut and listen to it, because We are the way we’re designed, just the way our sensations are. We can smell something, we can hear just a click and that takes us back. So things that have happened in the grooming process or things that have happened When the manipulation is happening, those our body holds memory to those things so it could be like the color of a wall, absolutely looking at when I happen, or it’s could be something like that the body keeps score, it keeps memory of what has happened, and so you may not still be experiencing it, but your body is like hey, that’s a familiar feeling, that’s a familiar smell.
And then you go back And so, when you look at the coping, all of those things are ways to escape. It’s a way to feel a sense of control and even to self-regulate and so Oftentimes we just have these huge emotions and we don’t know how to just level out, and so we’re cutting and it’s like Or you know, the release of the pain.
Yes, absolutely, and like the eating disorders and the perfectionism, all of those, those are very much about control, and so when something happens that’s so out of control, then we overcompensate for areas that we can feel control in.
0:10:53 – Speaker 1
So when we’re seeing these things in our kids. First of all, it’s not always abuse because a lot of parents when they hear these things.
0:11:00 – Speaker 2
Yes, they jump right there, right Like my kids being abused.
0:11:03 – Speaker 1
Oh my goodness, like she just said, my you know, my kid has anger, so clearly They’ve been abused we want to make it clear that, like we don’t want to jump on our kids, sure, and assume, but we need to recognize some things going on right. So what? what would be a good thing to do if you’re starting to see some irregular behaviors in your kid? Yes, maybe some of this acting out or cutting or whatnot. What would be a first step for a parent?
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Well, first of all, if they come like, if you’re noticing these things right, and so that’s the key too, is just paying attention.
0:11:32 – Speaker 2
So you’re like once you notice the patterns.
0:11:34 – Speaker 3
What do we do with this? And so it’s coming to them, because those are a lot of. Those are actually cryouts.
Like they can’t, they don’t have the language, because when you are in a trauma situation, it affects your frontal lobe, which is your control system and that regulates your emotion. It helps you problem-solve, it helps you make decisions, it helps you with logic, and so when you’re going through trauma, it affects your frontal lobe So you come across very confusing. You may not be able to problem-solve the way somebody who hasn’t been through trauma, and so decisions are really hard. And so you see the behavior and you’re like trying to tell you something, right. So something to answer. Your question is hey, i’ve been noticing these things, or help me understand. So help me understand is like I see you, i know you, i’m pursuing your heart, right, something. Yeah, when we say why, it’s more of like a question. So if we can say, hey, help me understand more about this or tell me more about this, i think that it really shows that you’re pursuing them, and that’s really important because you want to figure out where their head is.
0:12:39 – Speaker 4
Yes what are they struggling with? Yes, you want them to open up because you’re figuring out what this underlying issue is. Like Kim said, it may not be abuse. It could be anything. Yes, it could be parents walking through a divorce. It’s a kid at school That’s bullying. That, whatever it is right. We’ve got to find the underlying problem, absolutely.
0:12:55 – Speaker 1
I love the word you use. You’re pursuing me, and it takes me back to what Kim said, that through walking through abuse, she was looking for someone to rescue her. She was looking for someone to come in and pursue her, and save her and as parents. We can be that person.
0:13:09 – Speaker 3
We can be the heroes, yeah, and a model right, and it models Christ too, because he’s always pursuing us and he’s after us. And I think too, that just shows that, as parents, you’re for your kid, because in those teenage years They feel like we’re against them sometimes. So when they feel pursued, it’s like you’re for me, and then defenses go down. I love that if you’re just now tuning in.
0:13:33 – Speaker 1
This is nextTalk radio at 2 pm On am 6 30. The word nextTalk radio is sponsored in part by the PAX financial group and listeners Just like you. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through donations To support our organization. Go to nextTalk org and click on give.
0:13:58 – Speaker 2
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0:14:24 – Speaker 4
Cleveland Advisory Services offers through Pax Financial Group. Back to one of our questions. We see that this is happening with our kids and so we’re saying help me understand. This is the advice that you gave us. When do we need to get a counselor involved? When do we need to be like, okay, I need to get medical people involved? This is way over my head. Help us with that For parents out there who are struggling.
0:14:49 – Speaker 3
Well, first of all, i think it’s so great that you’re even bringing that up, because I think that we all of a sudden were fearful. We’re like, oh my word, i want to bubble wrap my kids. Something happened. You’re never going to be alone with another adult, so, like, the thought of even taking them to counseling can be very scary. And so you know, as a parent, trust your gut when you’re like this is out of my wheelhouse or they need something more than I can give them. So it’s a very humbling place, but it’s also a very protective place, and so something Let me ask you this just on that note.
0:15:21 – Speaker 4
So, as a mom of a kid, if I felt like my child needed counseling because maybe there was abuse or something, but I’m uncomfortable leaving my kid with an adult, could I come to you and be like I want to attend the first couple of sessions and then, once the relationship is established, i’m okay to leave so they can talk more? Does that I mean you work with parents like that?
0:15:40 – Speaker 3
And that’s how I prefer it, because I believe God calls us to unity, and so I want everyone to be on the same page. but that is a process, because, first of all, when you’re seeking out counseling, you want to make sure they are trauma informed. If we’re talking about abuse, so you want to make sure they’re trauma informed. They have a background in this and they’re specialized because this may be for the counselor.
0:16:02 – Speaker 4
They need to be in trauma Right.
0:16:03 – Speaker 3
Yes, Because if this is your child’s first experience of counseling, it’s really important that it is positive, because if it’s not, then that sets the tone for counseling and they may not want to go back and they may see it as more harmful than good. And so when I say you want somebody informed and specialized, it’s because this is a big deal. And so call around, ask the hard, questions A lot of counselors. they will give you a free 15 minute consultation or even more.
And so call around, ask the hard questions And, as a parent, if you and your spouse or just yourself want to go in on a one on one before you even bring your child in, that is totally fine. And so when I work with kids, i let them know we don’t keep secrets in here. And so, yes, it’s confidentiality, so I respect your privacy. And if you’re like it really annoys me when my mom does this, i’m not going to go tell your mom. Hey, look what Susie said.
But I make it very clear to the children this is not a place where secrets are kept And I encourage you to share what we’re talking about in here. And sometimes kids are like well, i don’t know how to do that. And then that’s what we work on. We work on how do we educate mom my feelings, or maybe they don’t even know their feelings. So one analogy we’re talking about feelings. One analogy is if you jump into an icy cold pool, it’s super uncomfortable. But if there’s a hot tub next door, you’re going to jump into the hot tub. Well, the cold pool is uncomfortable. So lots of kids, like I was saying, they’re escaping into the porn, the video games, all that kind of stuff.
The hot tub because they don’t want to sit in the uncomfortable. So in counseling it’s teaching them how to sit in the uncomfortable, Because for true healing to happen you have to expose it all, You have to talk about it, You have to bring it into the light And that’s when God can work on healing. But you also need a counselor who understands that the emotions, the process, they may not even be in tune with the motion.
0:18:03 – Speaker 1
Okay, so to stay in that cold pool, because we all know in the little, since you stay in there and you’re shredding and you’re doing the work, it gets comfortable.
0:18:11 – Speaker 3
It gets comfortable Stay in the cold pool, and cold pools are life.
0:18:15 – Speaker 4
Yes, I was just going to say parents, we jump into the cold pool with our kids.
0:18:20 – Speaker 2
They should not be alone.
0:18:22 – Speaker 4
That’s what next. Talk is all about Jumping into the cold pool, setting in the uncomfortable with our kids. Talking about the uncomfortable with our kids, i’m preaching. Yes, i’m preaching, jamie. That was so good. You get my amen. We have to get into the cold pool And, like Kim said, once we get in there, it warms up and it’s more comfortable. And then we find our rhythm and we bring things into the light And that bonds you and your child.
0:18:45 – Speaker 3
When you go through that uncomfortable together and you get through it together, you are bonded in a way that, unfortunately, i mean it’s just something horrific and how God can use it for good and how that could forever change your relationship and what you’re going to do with that story once you get healing.
0:19:04 – Speaker 1
Well, I’m expanding on that same analogy. How many of us growing up were pushed into a pool? and it’s scary and it’s cold and you’re alone and you don’t want it and sometimes it hurts. Yeah, we don’t want to push our kids into the pool.
0:19:19 – Speaker 4
It’s a team effort.
0:19:20 – Speaker 1
It is. We want to get in there together, yes, together.
0:19:23 – Speaker 3
And I love that you’re saying that, because lots of times when I consult with a parent I will say tell your child, just try one session, because just try one You’re not committing to anything. Hey, we’re going to do this together. Let’s try one session, let’s see how it goes. And so that is achievable, because right now, when a child is thinking in a trauma brain, everything is so overwhelming. So the thought of thinking of going to a stranger yes for multiple sessions.
That’s really scary. Or even behind a closed door. That could even just be the trigger is the door closing.
So it could just even be a process of OK, we’re going to have our session with the door halfway open And confidentially confidentiality-wise you let the parent. If they’re a minor, you let the parent in on the plan because they are a minor And some children maybe want that And some maybe do want the door closed. It just depends. But it’s just being mindful of just even the door closing could be a trigger. So even counseling itself could bring up some of those scary feelings again.
0:20:27 – Speaker 4
Well, and tell us, as parents you said help me understand. What else can I do and not do? Give me some real tangible like these are good things. Stay away from these kind of things.
0:20:39 – Speaker 3
So I have talked to well, i kind of have a system.
It’s like you are a victim, survivor and thriver, and I have talked to many thrivers, and thrivers are when you have come to full healing And full healing is through Christ, obviously But when we get to a place where we are thriving, that our identity is no longer in the abuse.
So what I’m hearing from thrivers is that if they could go back and talk to their younger self, they would want this to be said I didn’t cause it, it’s not my fault that it happened, and also just they’re such a prisoner to guilt and shame. It’s letting them know, like the way God has designed your body, that it is perfectly normal if the things that you are experiencing felt good because things were awakened in you And that’s a normal thing. And so letting them like just educating them on those kind of things And then also just reassuring them that they’re not alone. I am here with you, i am praying with you, i’m praying for you And just letting them know that you’re there And just being that safe person. So, like we are saying, it looks chaotic, we’re going to see lots of behavior, and so it’s even self-care for yourself as a parent, that you are taking care of yourself and that you have somebody who’s walking through this with you, so that you can be your best self, so that you can be better for your kid So good.
0:22:07 – Speaker 4
That’s gold right there too.
0:22:10 – Speaker 1
So many good tips in this conversation, yes, and I’m just thinking if you can process with another adult Absolutely.
0:22:17 – Speaker 3
Oh, the horrific emotions you’re feeling Because, as parents, your kids are going through guilt and shame, And you’re going through it too.
0:22:22 – Speaker 4
I was going to say, as parents, our default is probably. I should have known this.
0:22:27 – Speaker 3
I mean, but we got to let go of that. We have to.
0:22:29 – Speaker 4
Because we’re not the enemy. The perpetrator is the one who did that And ultimately, Satan. He’s the enemy, He is.
0:22:34 – Speaker 3
And when you think of where God calls us to live, it’s in the now. The past is guilt, it’s shame, it’s regret, the future is often fear. But when you focus on where God has us, it’s in the now. And what does he want? He wants us to focus on what he’s given us in front of us, and so, if we can stay in the now, we feel like we have choice and we feel like we have control. And that’s using our thinking brain versus our emotional brain. And when we’re operating out of our thinking brain, things are more clear. And kids need that, because if we can stick to logic, that helps. But once we get it, i mean, yes, absolutely recognize the emotion, but when we’re reactive and we’re operating out of emotion, that just adds to what’s already going on.
0:23:17 – Speaker 1
Yeah, You know we’re talking about the ultimate healing being through Christ, but I’m guessing that a lot of kids and ultimately adults, question their faith when they go through something like this. Absolutely, yeah.
0:23:30 – Speaker 3
Well, because when you think about a cross, you’re wounded horizontally. It’s really hard to understand vertically how God could allow this, and it’s why And God is grieving this with you And there’s free will, and with free will comes sinful people, And when you are a victim of this, you are being sinned against in one of the most horrific ways And it affects your soul. And so that is a really great question And I think, like we were talking about earlier, it’s bringing into the light because God does not allow your suffering to go on one second longer than it’s needed. Like he is not willing this. He is grieving this with you.
0:24:16 – Speaker 4
And so I love how you say that, that he is grieving this with you. He is grieving the choice of your perpetrator.
0:24:21 – Speaker 2
He didn’t want the perpetrator to make that choice.
0:24:24 – Speaker 4
Kind of thing. I think that’s a really good way to have that conversation.
0:24:29 – Speaker 1
Yeah, is there a thought that you would leave our parents with, who are perhaps having light bulb moments as they listen to our show?
0:24:37 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i think that my thought would be just, obviously, prayer more than anything, but also just seeking out people in your life who can walk through this with you and surrender just the guilt and the shame. But then also, when we are gospel centered, it’s like grace, And when we are focusing on just the grace that God has for us, it’s grace that we have to have for ourselves in this, because when we can be freed up from the guilt and the shame and the wise or our own feelings of anger, we can just be more present to help our children heal.
0:25:16 – Speaker 4
Tell our listeners where they can find you. What’s your website? It’s wwwsa-counselorcom. Sa-counselorcom. Jamie is a licensed professional counselor here in San Antonio And I’m sure you’ll be hearing more of her, Jamie. Thank you so much for being here today.
0:25:31 – Speaker 3
Thank you for having me.
0:25:33 – Speaker 2
It’s been great. Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 6.30, the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast at NextTalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk? Let’s get started.
Transcribed by https://podium.page