Are You A Wounded-Healer?
Do you know if you are a Wounded-Healer?
Are you a therapist? A Counselor? A Social Worker? A Nurse? Someone who works in the helping profession? You might even be a volunteer.
Chances are, you went into that profession because you wanted to help others. You are compassionate, caring, loving, giving, generally self-less..
There are probably many reasons why you chose your profession.
I get hundreds of emails from women who are in the "helping" professions who, for one reason or another, have had their sexual abuse issues triggered by working with clients dealing with their sexual abuse.
It happens. It happens more than you know. That is why I decided to add this section to my website.
Many of you write to me, feeling all alone, feeling like you are the only one dealing with this issue.
Sometimes, women tell me that they were totally unaware of their past abuse until they were working with someone who was sexually abused and then suddenly they became flooded with nightmares and memories of their past abuse. "Like a flood-gate had opened up" leaving you almost frozen with fear.
Has this happened to you?
Carl Jung, the psychiatrist stated this phenomenon that may take place between the patient and the analyst "The psychiatrist, through the nature of his profession, is consciously aware of his own personal wounds. However, these wounds may be activated in certain situations especially if his patient's wounds are similar to his own."
This is true on the conscious and the unconscious level.
If you are aware that you have been sexually abused but you have never dealt with your issues related to your abuse, there is a good chance that if you are counseling or giving therapy to someone who is working through THEIR sexual abuse issues, you can pretty much count on your issues surfacing.
Your issues will not go away on their own. You can not sweep them under the carpet! Like I have mentioned many times, they will come out one way or another..usually sideways!
You will most likely be a Wounded-Healer. What does that mean?
Being a Wounded-Healer is someone who is helping others and bleeding at the same time. Not taking care of your own issues while trying to help others. Not filling your cup after pouring it out for someone else!
I remember back when I first started counseling. I knew that I had been sexually abused..but I hadn't really put a name to it or really dealt with it. After working with clients for about a year, I began to feel overwhelmed and tired and sad.
I began to have nightmares and the memories of my abuse started to become more and more vivid. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful mentor who asked me what was going on and we were able to identify the origin of my almost burn-out. I quickly began my road to recovery. The painting and spirituality work and so on came afterwards.
I think the vision of a glass of water being poured out to help others and left empty helped me to visualize what I was NOT doing to help myself. We all need to fill that glass back up to keep ourselves healthy and nourished.
A Wounded-Healer is of help to no one until the wounds are tended to!
How do you tend to your wounds?
Well, self care is important. I have covered that in previous pages but I will make mention of ways that I think are important. Get into therapy yourself if you are struggling with your abuse issues and they are getting in the way with your every day life...or if you are suicidal. If you are a therapist, then you should know that there is no shame in getting therapy!
Figure out what you need to feel safe. Safety is a huge issue! What do you or the child inside of you need to feel safe? For me, when I was initially having memories, I needed a couple of locks on my door, two cats, a stuffed animal and for my friends to know where I was all the time. Everyone is different and has different needs. What are yours?
Use your journal!! write down everything you are feeling, thinking and remembering. Get it out of your head and on to paper. Do this especially if you are waking up at night. Write it down and you can deal with it later.
Take bubble baths, eat foods you like, get you hair or nails done, call a friend, go to a support group, email someone, do something kind for yourself.
Use your own advice! What would you tell your client?
We always seem to put ourselves in last place on our priority list. When you are a Wounded-Healer, you need to be in first place. If you keep yourself your number one priority, you will find that your wounds will begin to mend and you will become a more effective healer for others.
As I mentioned at the beginning is that I have received hundreds of emails from professional women. That is true., but, to date, not one person has submitted their story to this website! It saddens me because I truly believe that if you would begin opening up and sharing your stories, so many other women would benefit from them!! All of you who tell me that you feel so all alone would see that you are not alone if you had other stories to read! It could start with YOU!
I guarantee, if you submit your story, others will follow. It doesn't even have to be a long story, it can just be a small piece of something that you went through or are going through and what you are doing about it.
Your words have more power than you know!!
Please go to the My Story page and submit your sexual abuse recovery story for other survivors to read so that another day doesn't have to go by that a women feels like she is the only one suffering..
YOU can make that difference. We are all sisters in recovery and I love and care about you all, as each of you have found out when you have emailed me!
I am just asking you to give back to your other sisters in recovery who need you now.
One word from you is worth more than a thousand from me!
Peace and Blessings to you, my sisters!
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