The societal judgment on a missing person upon return hastens or slows their complete healing and bonding process. Whatever the reason for missing in action- whether by choice or through natural causes- it’s not time to remind them of their absence, but time to offer the necessary emotional support.
Trust me; it’s never easy to integrate such people in society; there is a lot of suspicion and guilt that comes with the return of such individuals. The best way to ensure their comfort is first to accept their return and not to show sympathy but empathize with them.
It the same as dealing with a grieving person; your work is to offer a support system at this time. Encourage them to speak out on their ordeal while away from your sight. Do this carefully without opening healed wounds. How best should you handle the situation?
- Seek professional counseling
The first reaction upon the return of a missing person is joy and jubilation. After all the celebration, the reality now dawns on you; you have to accommodate them despite the disappointments and the agony they took you through.
When in doubt about what you need to do, seek professional counseling services for them and yourself. It’s easy to forgive, but you can’t forget. Let the experts help you with how to deal with the situation rather than aggravating it.
It’s common to lack ideas on what to do and even make mistakes that prompt them to leave for good. There are several non-profit making organizations with excellent programs that deal with such situations. Try one within your locality to give you the counseling services they require.
- Engage in skill development activities
According to an American proverb, “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop,” Let the people continue their lives from where they left. In case things have changed as a result of their absence.
Be flexible enough to accommodate them in your daily routines. The skills must be in line with their passion. Engage them on what they love and enjoy doing. They could have the skills they acquired while in the jungle.
Your work is now to support them in their choice of skills. In case it’s welding, then use advanced technology tools to get the best welding tools to support their hobby. Your aim is to engage their mind and let them feel welcomed back to the home and society at large. Use your contacts to get the orders as a way of enhancing societal integration.
- Adjust your routine to suit their presence
Definitely, their presence may interfere with your normal routine. Shelf some of your activities to let them fully integrate into the family, lest they feel lonely and dejected. Create time for them; moderate it such that other members of the family don’t feel neglected. Let it be a collective responsibility. In case you have teenagers in the home, have a heart to heart talk with them on the need to welcome the “new” member of the family without any form of discrimination.
Let there be minimal talk about their absence unless it comes from them. Some of the experiences while out there are traumatizing that people don’t want to think or even talk about them. Respect their decisions.
- Let him freely mingle with people
As much as you may have your reservations about their conduct, especially with children, give them a chance to prove themselves by allowing them to mingle with people freely.
Extend this gesture to even other social gatherings like religious institutions, family friends, and relatives. It boosts their self-esteem to have that confidence to rebuild their lives once again. While introducing them in social places, never mention the fact that they went missing.
It creates a gap. Remember, these are emotionally delicate people. Take care of the words you utter while with them, and some things are instead said in low tones. You never know why they decided to make such a decision to come back after many months of not years of missing in action.
- Return to normalcy as soon as possible
The sooner you remove the “once-missing person” tag, the better for the emotional healing of the individuals. Treat them as a by the way and let life continue as soon as possible.
Engage them from time to time to ensure they are emotionally and physically healed. It doesn’t mean you avoid the narrating episodes; encourage it; it’s part of the healing process.
If they want to go back to school, well and good, do it as long as you have run an evaluation that it’s for the common good.
Naturally, humankind tends to judge and take sides after a disappeared person comes back. The first step you need to take is to welcome them and make them feel at home as fast as possible.
With this, you achieve the following
- Encourage them to open up for healing
- Makes them feel wanted rather than face rejection
- Gives you an easy time to figure out what they can do with their life
- Help easy and fast integration in the family, friends, and social cycle.
It is better to deal with the agony of integrating returnees instead of the agony of endlessly making efforts to find their whereabouts. Use the above tips to aid in their emotional healing and avoid its reoccurrence.