(trigger warning: sexual abuse and mental illness)
A few weeks ago a report came out updating and filling in holes regarding the ongoing sexual abuse of kids at a school run by New Tribes.
Marilyn Gardner wrote a prayer of repentance at A Life Overseas. As a TCK who went to boarding school at a young age, Marilyn has a special tenderness and insight into what this kind of abuse did to those kids.
The Southern Baptist convention has been rocked by accusations of rampant abuse. Protestants cannot and dare not point fingers at the Catholic church or priests. This article is long and devastating. And the Southern Baptist convention has responded, finally.
Just in the past six months, I know three TCKs who lost the battle with mental illness. I’m not saying mental illness and abuse necessarily go together, but that there is a lot of brokenness and grief that isn’t often addressed well in the world of expatriates. TCKs face this in unique ways, sometimes by nature of living in the home of their abuser at boarding school, sometimes leaving a country before resolution has been found, sometimes having no safe place or safe person to tell. There are so many goodbyes, so many losses, so many fears and insecurities. There is so much vulnerability and hunger for belonging.
Books and Resources about abuse and Third Culture Kids
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver. A novel, yet it rings deeply true on many levels. The person who loaned this to me almost two decades ago said, “If you go to Africa, don’t you dare live like this.” I like to think we haven’t. There is so much to wrestle with here.
Between Worlds, by Marilyn Gardner, about her experiences growing up in Pakistan and boarding school. Also, Worlds Apart, which digs deeper and goes into vulnerable places. I love her words.
Rachel Cason’s site: Explore Life Story
Amy Young lists 8 resources for expats walking through darkness at A Life Overseas.
Finding Home, Third Culture Kids in the World, especially the essay by Sezin Koehler
Letters Never Sent, by Ruth Van Reken
Misunderstood, by Tanya Crossman
The Story Women Need to Tell, about sexual harassment. We need to lead our kids in conversations about harassment and abuse, so they will know their stories are safe to tell and that they are not alone.
The Trouble with Third Culture Kids, by Nina Sichel Nina also has an article in this incredible book, Writing Out of Limbo, about growing up abroad.
Noggy Boggy writes candidly about his experience with mental illness and life as a TCK.
Time Doesn’t Heal Assault if Victims are Silenced
12 Resources for Churches (and others) to Prevent Sexual Assault
How to Really Talk about Mental Illness
(Thanks to Sarah Bessey for the last three links)
Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere : Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile by Lois Bushong
I know I’ve covered a ton of material and provided an overwhelming amount of links. Everything from sexual abuse in the church to among Third Culture Kids to mental illness.
Maybe it is too much to be actually useful.
Maybe one link to serve one person. In that case, I’m content.
Be blessed, be healed.
*includes affiliate links
My book is valuable for counselors who want to work with TCKs. It is the only book of its kind on the market. “Belonging Everywhere & Nowhere: Insights into Counseling The Globally Mobile” by Lois Bushong is on Amazon. It is a practical book to read alongside these wonderful books on the characteristics of TCKs. Thank you, Rachel, for your great blogs.
Yes! How could I have forgotten your book, Lois? It is even the book I bought for myself and my family! I’m updating the page above to include a link, thank you for reminding me. And for your excellent resources.