Every journey begins with a single step, and the step of finding a healthy and healing support group is the most essential one….yet often taken for granted.
It frustrates me immensely that for months, I have been searching and searching for a Bangkok-based support group for single moms. Sadly to this date I have not found a group that suits my needs.
I have made a conscious decision a while back that finding a support group of people who understand the long journey back after separation/divorce can decrease my sense of isolation and sometimes, stigmatization of being a single parent.
As you can imagine, light bulbs went flashing on! And I thought to myself, there is a need to create a safe emotional support, where single parents can freely share their emotions without feeling anxious they will be judged.
From my experience, dealing with a broad range of life challenges, losses, changes, traumas and pain, can be eased through sharing it. Opening one’s heart to those who is going through (or have gone through) similar path.
As hard as it is to accept we were taught by society that some feelings are “acceptable” and some, not. Some labeled as negative, while some positive. The reality is that in order to move through our grief and pain we need to be “rescued” from our feelings. When I say rescued, I envision a place comprised of individuals who share a common circumstance. The kind that will provide a sense of hope and direction.
For those on the outside, it may be all too easy to tell a grieving friend going through separation, “You’ll make it through” or “We love you, you’re stronger than this” and so on. Often telling someone what they should and should not feel is not helpful.
Feelings are neither right nor wrong, feelings are temporary and it can only be released when they are heard with love, empathy, respect and without judgement.
Most often, we just need the chance to share our journey, how painful as that may be – to be heard and witnessed. As simple as it sound, we just need a safe place to release the pain.
As I continue to toy with the idea, setting up a support group for single parents seem like a daunting task. But as a single mother myself, creating emotional safety in form of a support group is a matter that deserves attention.