There was an extreme shift for you. Witnessing people trying to process their own trauma created a change in you that you never expected. You hear their stories, you feel for these victims and survivors, and you want to help them. But now, the beliefs you once held about the world have been damaged, torn apart. Your entire life has shifted, from what table you sit at in a restaurant to who is allowed around your family. And when you are put in situations you want to avoid, you are on edge and easily startled. It's not that you don't trust people, it's that you CAN'T trust them. Because the stories you have heard, the scenes you have witnessed, they changed you to your core.
Vicarious trauma can happen to anyone, but it is most common in first responders, military, and other helping professionals. We get into these careers because we want to help people, we want to make the world a better place. The cost is being exposed to the darkness of humanity. Sometimes, this can lead to vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout, all of which make it harder for you to help others with kindness and understanding.
I am here to help the helpers. To serve those who serve. I understand how the career you have chosen is not a choice, it is a calling. And I want you to enjoy the work that you do! To find meaning in your service of others. To feel fulfilled again.
Counseling can provide a person with a calm and supportive environment where the darker realms of our human experience can be explored without judgement or fear. Counseling can also provide opportunities to find our own strengths so that we can feel more confident in ourselves, strengthen relationships with others, and find meaning. In therapy, we develop an awareness and relationship with ourselves that can launch us into a new way of experiencing life.
This kind of relationship with your inner self is something you can carry with you and continue to enhance throughout your lifetime. It is through life-enhancing experiences that we become more intentional about our choices in ways we had not thought possible before.
Deep in your wounds are seeds, waiting to grow into beautiful flowers.