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Fantastic, I am incapable of expressing it better myself than this (or even comparably, for that matter), which is why I read your blog. Your writings often inspire thoughts in me I may need to reconsider or kindles ones in me that I must act on, in a holy way! Working with youth, I see all of these symptoms and could not agree more! Wish there was a way we could get this article to more people! Thanks for your good work!

"a grim angry centrifuge"

What perfect wording. I know it too well.

Now, married and newly Orthodox [and that's an epic story about a more grim and more angry centrifuge than I thought possible], I am doing exactly what you hope for people like me. I'm trying to "overturn history" and "fight for peace" but it is very hard. I've fought alone for years to remove the cancers that make my family sick. I've realized I can't change my parents or my sister who is alarmingly like them, but I know the Lord sent me my husband, my spiritual father, and some very holy nuns to help me deal with new wounds and old scars.

Best of all, in this network of support I want to raise an emotionally healthy family -- yes, under the protection of the Panagia and Christ. And that is a beautiful hope.

This is a very well-written piece. I'm a high-school teacher and have seen this time and again - sometimes it's the kids acting out of character or unusually; but if the kid does that consistently, well, they learnt it from somewhere...

When my wife and I returned home from work tired one day and found the kitchen counters full of dirty dishes, so no place to cook supper, and no place to wash them because the sink was also full of dirty dishes, we looked at one another, and told the kids we were going out for dinner, just the two of us.

No angry remonstrances, no tirades, no recriminations, no punishments -- just consequences.

They survived.

PS, I meant to say into constructive action (not anger) but firmly do believe a la St. John Chrysostom that righteous, constructive anger fuels lots of good actions when reflection and thought accompany it! My Orthodox parish priest is still not yet convinced, but I see it every every day :)

Ditto Ditto Ditto. You are braver than I. I could not become a child and adolescent psychiatrist and endure the helplessness you must have felt often when the parents created the child and did not want to see that or change and the child was still at risk. Even now I can't bear to see an adult patient in therapy who will not stand up to an emotionally abusive husband to spare their child or vice versa. Mostly I see parents who wish to change, usually the healthiest person in the family comes and knows something is wrong. And quickly I learn that they were children who suffered too or they wouldn't have learned to behave this way now out of self-defense or because it worked in their perverse or chaotic early home. And to watch them want to change and then do it, and when they do to see the ripple effect in their families is quite a beautiful manifestation of Grace and the bounty of goodness which spreads and spreads, if only that one adult is willing to look deeper and learn. God bless you for being braver than I. I thank God for His rich goodness and mercy to use my weakness to help on the easier end. I know from my work that He is the only Lover and Healer of mankind and when He heals, however gradually, it is a lovely lovely event to witness, a privilege from God that I often can't believe or describe. Every day I see God transform ignorance and evil into good, a little bit at a time. He uses pain to create goodness. He hears and helps. He enlightens and frees. He channels sinful destructive anger into righteous anger and constructive anger a la St. John Chrysostom. And He does it with 25 year olds or 80 year olds. I have learned it is never too late, if someone will only wonder about what they are doing and why. People wonder how I can "listen all day to the problems." I love my "work" because it isn't mine really is it?

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