FAMILY RESILIENCE: TRUE STORIES YOU WILL RELATE TO
These stories discuss situations others have faced. Think how you would respond to it if it happened to you. What are your reasonable options and then put them into a plan that communicates them.
1) CASE ONE: A family lost everything in a hurricane. They had several choices that they could make. They chose to move to a distant state for better weather and a new beginning. They found a place to live and they got new jobs. They spent a year in the new place but missed the old neighborhood where they had grown up. In a sudden decision they moved back to their damaged home and decided to live in a trailer provided for them while they rebuilt. At the time they did this they were broke but decided that it was worth starting over again with others they knew. They had a tough time but it was the right choice for them.
Do you have a trade or profession that can be moved to a different city, or do you need to consider a temporary job choice? What do you need to do?
2) CASE TWO: A family had almost no time to get into the safe house before the tornado hit. The problem that they had was that not everyone was together when the event happened. Aside from the loss of property they had, two family members that were missing when they came out of the shelter to see what had happened. The two family members had been picked up by the wind while driving in their car. They and the car were thrown two miles away from the house. It took several days to find them. They had been badly banged up and were in no shape to make a phone call. Away from their hometown no one immediately recognized them. A search of hospitals done by the family was how they were found.
You must consider what information you want available about family members when they go missing. Are there things that you could tell aid workers that would make their time with your kids or relatives easier and more effective? Would you benefit from having an easy access plan available?
3) CASE THREE: A family decided that seaside living was definitely for them. They were lucky in that they had two homes but loved the seaside best. When tidal surge destroyed their home, they pulled themselves together and rebuilt more beautifully than before. But happiness only lasted a short while until their home by the sea was destroyed again. The second time it happened they had a major dilemma. In this case they cleaned up the debris and sold the lot of land. They will never live seaside again.
You must consider what your priorities are.
4) CASE FOUR: A family had to deal with a sudden death of a loved one. In this case it had been a sudden heart attack that was not expected. But in truth it could have been a gunshot wound, or falling into a deep hole or a deadly reaction to a medication. The way it happens does not change the reality that someone is gone. This family was torn apart. Some felt guilty due to the lack of the involvement that they had had. Others felt a relief over no longer having any responsibility for the person gone. How do you deal with the sudden gap in your life? This family could not deal well with the situation, and the result was that the older members of the family left the house and the children stayed in the home. The resolution here was a very messy one since there were a lot of bad feelings all around.
You must consider how you will deal with loss. Do you pull everyone together and work as a team?
5) CASE FIVE: A family had a major house fire. There had been a gas leak that they were not aware of. The house was lost. They had to spend money to stay in a local hotel so that their kids could stay in school. The insurance money they got was not enough to rebuild back the way that they wanted, as well as pay the taxes that were due on the property. They did not want to leave the area because of the friends that they had. Leaving their home town would be a major life change. In this case, their friends decided to offer them a no interest loan so that they could fix their house and stay.
You must consider what you can afford to do financially. Do you have savings or investments?
6) CASE SIX: A family was caught off guard on what started out as a routine day. The mother got everyone where they should be and started off to work. She never got to work because there was a car accident that involved her but was not her fault. She was one of the millions of people who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. This event changed her life and that of her family. She could no longer work due to her injuries and the family economics became a major issue. In this particular case, the parents decided to sell their home and down size their life style in a different area.
You must consider what you can and cannot live without. You are not yourself after a trauma and your choices change with you.
7) CASE SEVEN: A family took in relatives after a disaster event. They were previously on good terms but close living in a small space was very stress full. As the months dragged on there were a lot of negative feelings that were spoken to outsiders. The family could not resolve the issues they were having while waiting for the rebuilding of the wrecked home. In this story there was a split of the friendship between the family groups The root cause was that the relative who took in the devastated people felt overly obligated and resented the situation. In this case paying for other lodging might have been a better solution. The point here is to know what you can live with before you have no choice.
You need to consider how much help you can offer others.
8) CASE EIGHT: A family lived in a high risk zone for brush fire and mud slides. Several years of events had caused major damage to life and property in their community. It had become very difficult to have a positive attitude about pulling things back together. In this case the older children in the family did not want to deal with the situation anymore and left their parents' home to live in a safer area. The parents were upset that the family split up and were in separate locations. They could not decide if they should leave their home and move near their children. In this case the parents bought a second home in the safer location, but still lived in the first home for part of the year.
You need to consider what you will do when you and your children have different ideas about what is reasonable.
9) CASE NINE: You have become very ill. You can no longer have things arranged in your life as you did before. There must be changes to accommodate your new needs. This situation can be emotionally painful. In some families, the sick member is put in a child's home in a basement apartment. In other homes, a hospital bed is put up in a family room so everyone will be around them. There are other situations where the children cannot deal with the illness and they put the patient into a health facility for care. Sometimes a nurse is hired to care for the individual around the clock. Again there is no set of rules for what is done.
You must consider what you believe to be a reasonable answer. If you are caught in the above situation you must know the options that you can live with.