Compassion Fatigue, Trauma, Abuse
Have you noticed more posts from Kathi and less posts from me? Yea, I’ve noticed, too. And sometimes I feel guilty about it and tell myself to get on the ball. But lately, I’ve been trying to treat myself in a kinder, more gentler way by cutting myself some slack.
This is what I mean by kinder. I started this post on May 16, when I saw this tweet which resonated with me:
Almost two months later, I am finally finishing it. Yea, so, I start a lot of blog posts, but don’t finish them. I get roused up by a new potential blog post, find a bunch of articles, sources, and quotes, put them in a draft post on WordPress, and they remain there. Unfinished and unpublished. Please don’t ask how many tens of posts are there. It’s not in the tens, it’s in the hundreds. Yikes!
Every once in a while, I can do a post at one sitting and hit publish, but that’s been rare lately. I can’t even begin to think about the in-depth posts I used to do when I was in school. I don’t know how that happened. Now, when I’m not in school, when I have the time to do longer, detailed posts, I simply can’t. What is going on?
I need to take better care of myself.
I noticed last year when my former pastor was fired. My pastor’s wife had told me about compassion fatigue and wanted me to look it up. I did. When I did, I noticed the symptoms and could personally relate with many of them. It makes sense. After the lawsuit, the influx of people needing help because of spiritual abuse after reading the blog, going to school full-time, being wife/mother . . it caught up to me. I need to take better care of myself.
I’ve always said that when I quit crying when hearing stories, then I know my time is up. My time is not up. You better believe I still feel pain and cry when I hear stories. But what I missed in listening to the stories is that sometimes those stories resonated personally for me. It reminded me of my own journey —and my own unfinished business.
But what I did was push my story aside and put my energies towards the person seeking help. I am quick to stop everything to help someone who needs it, but sometimes at the expense of my own health.
So, now, I am trying and doing a much better job of taking care of myself.
What Does Compassion Fatigue Look Like?
So, what are symptoms I recognize in myself? Mostly everything in #1 above. Not all, but most. Not all at the same time, but frequent enough that when I read this, I knew it was talking about me.
I always like to be transparent here. I am going through a lot on the home front. Some big decisions need to be made. I’m looking for a job. I’m learning a ton about trauma-informed care – taking an online class. I’m learning about our personal stories in a deeper way and how important it is to honor them.
Over a week ago, a good friend and I took off to remote areas in Eastern Oregon, near Painted Hills area. On my way there, I drove over two hours and maybe saw a handful of cars going the opposite direction, it was that remote, with little-to-no cell coverage. This was about self care. Our only plan was to drive around and visit small towns and chill. We had a wonderful time unwinding and enjoying the beauty around us.
And Kathi is fantastic. We are usually in touch with each other several times a day. I have kept her in the loop on how I am doing. She is the real deal. She checks in with me and makes sure I am taking care of myself. What a gift she is!
If I cannot take care of myself, I will be unable to care for others they way they deserve. When you have experienced a lot of abuse in your life, abuse tends to be your norm. I am trying to create a new norm of kindness in my life to myself and others. I have a lot to share, and I will.
Thanks for reading and for your support.