Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 15 of 15

Thread: empathetic people,

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    beyond the pale
    Posts
    2,393
    Like others, it took me a while as an adult to know how to set boundaries. I am empathetic by nature but at the same time I'm a practical person, so if someone is suffering due to their own continued bad choices then my empathy drops to nil.

    I have also wondered how those in the helping professions manage to do it year after year. I remember reading an article once about a priest on sabbatical whose only request was that no one ask him for anything. Made me realize how draining their daily life must be.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    1,619
    Iíve been a nurse for 21 years, the last 18 of those in psychiatry.

    I manage by never volunteering, never going to church, etc. When Iím working Iím giving of myself. When Iím off work itís all about me and my family and a few close friends who are not draining. I find my grandkids invigorating and entertaining, but I even limit my time with them once in a while if work has been intense.

    If you only saw me during off work hours you might think Iím selfish, but if you saw during work youíd think I was a saint.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    804
    I consider myself very empathetic which is why I do what I do. People often wonder how I do it (often the ones who I am helping in the moment) and say they could never do it themselves. The best way I can explain it is that although a situation is tragic, it isn't MY tragedy. I am there to do a job and indulging my feelings would diminish my ability to be there for others. When somebody is in shock and feels like they are going crazy the last thing they need to see is me appearing emotionally out of control as well. I won't say there aren't nights that I don't pour a glass of wine the minute the shift is over. I had one last year that after driving a mile I needed to pull over and pray for the family I just left and I have NEVER felt compelled to do that. I am debriefed within 24 hours and honestly, after a few days they completely leave my mind with few exceptions. It is the scenes where something beautiful counterbalanced the situation that stick with me. I have left some where I feel that I was touched by grace and left with more that I came with. Those are the calls that make me weep and keep me coming back. We have a huge amount of turn over because it can be overwhelming if you can't separate yourself.

  4. #14
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Central Jersey
    Posts
    7,658
    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    Iíve been a nurse for 21 years, the last 18 of those in psychiatry.

    I manage by never volunteering, never going to church, etc. When Iím working Iím giving of myself. When Iím off work itís all about me and my family and a few close friends who are not draining. I find my grandkids invigorating and entertaining, but I even limit my time with them once in a while if work has been intense.

    If you only saw me during off work hours you might think Iím selfish, but if you saw during work youíd think I was a saint.
    Great way to put it, and I so appreciate the work that you and simplemind and others like you do. I've done a lot of interviews with oncologists, and I've concluded that working so closely to the marrow of life and death is a true calling. It must have its own rewards for you. I'm a "flight" person on the fight or flight spectrum, so I can only look at you guys in awe for what you give yourself to.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    1,619
    My husband was a pastor for the first 20 years of our marriage. Iíve been a nurse since about year 17 of our marriage - so only a few years of overlap.

    I donít think I could be a pastors wife and a nurse simultaneously without losing my mind.

    Even though Iím mostly agnostic now, I think of my work as I did my church stuff. Mission focused. Thatís probably how I survive.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •