I fully agree with Don and Lee's wonderfully supportive and balanced responses to your blog, and the additional, thoughtful Friend comments to your post.
To me, you offered the best in not only care, but role modeling for your client - in a sense, a healthy parental authority figure she probably never experienced:
* Your personal empathy (who "you" are in the world, which affects your chosen line of work, as well as its quality) * Placing her in the hands of those with the skills beyond your own * Compassionate objectivity and commitment * Self-care * Personal reflection and professional follow-up for clarity as to why she may be your "pick" - while not ruling out a divine connection or inner directive.
Sometimes, bending within our capacity, yet perhaps outside of the norm (think, willow vs. oak), going "above and beyond," leaves an indelible tether that, in your client's hindsight, might transform into her lifeline for healing change.
You sound like a lovely person, and I am always happy to find other tender-hearted, mature, objective souls in our world. All your animal groups tell me you were born this way, and that is what I see as one of your gifts. Your sense of responsibility might undergird your unease of having "picked" her - measuring your mature compassion against the sometimes foot-out-the-door compassion of a system. for being such a healing balm. Welcome to SparkPeople! You belong here.
I had a similar experience recently in which I had gone way beyond the extra mile for one of my clients in working with an outpatient psychologist who was actually an intern, just entering the field. I had apologized, suggesting my views might be a bit "Polly-Anna-ish" regarding my hopes and expectations that my client might change and make progress.
The psychology intern replied: I hope after I have as many years in the mental health system I can maintain the same level of idealism that YOU do!
Nice compliment...made my day! :-)
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Tell Me What Is It You Plan To Do With Your One Wild & Precious Life? ---Mary Oliver
Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer
"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha
Thank you all for the support and encouragement. Honestly, I do not feel that there is a chance of me losing that empathy as I have been that way my entire life, only difference is a degree and I am getting paid for it. lol. Thank you all again.
We cannot be Health Care Professionals and not experience this at some point. For me it was working hard for 48 hrs to save an 18yo college student from dying from toxic shock syndrome. I became attached to the family and her. I didn't win the battle but what I learned was if I ever lose the empathy I need to find a new career...like the IRS or something. Glad you shared this and it lets me know you are just the kind of person your profession needs. We have enough cold automatons out there.
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Obviously, I'm not an expert, but I believe your humanity and compassion took over. I know the rules about maintaining distance, but life's not that simple. From me, you get a thumbs up. I read somewhere about suicide, that it is the ultimate wrong-doing as it deprives the entire world of you. No guilt, rules are meant to be bent, you are a gem.
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