Protectors and Caretakers
“Selfishness isn't taking care of yourself or putting yourself first; selfishness is when someone expects others to take care of them.” –Brian Powers
You have always been the strong one, putting the needs of others ahead of your own. When the people in your life are sad, you are sad, and when they are happy, you are happy. You have seen another side of the world and think it’s pretty f’d up. So, you feel like you need to save people, and right the wrongs you see in the world. This practice of putting others ahead of you has left you feeling disconnected, from yourself, your life, and ironically, others.
When you try to put your own needs ahead of others, you feel selfish and guilty (and others might even tell you that you are selfish). The problem is, despite how much effort you’ve put into protecting and helping others, you don’t feel like you have anyone to help or protect you. This may leave you feeling used or walked on, or like you aren’t worth the effort. Asking for what you need seems pointless because you aren’t going to get it anyway. You are left wondering who you are independent from the people in your life and just feel like you don’t fit in.
And to top it all off, when you think about reaching out for help (e.g., going to therapy), you think, if I start to deal with my issues, I won’t be able to handle it or, if I talk about my feelings or the things that happened to me, I’ll fall apart. What a tough spot to be in.
I’m here to work with you to reconnect with yourself, your life, and others. We can help you figure out how to ask for what you need, take care of and protect yourself, because, as much as we wish someone would return the favor and take care of you, you are the only one who can actually take care of you. We will work on setting boundaries with people who expect or pull for you to take care of them. And, we can work on letting go of that guilt and selfishness you feel when you do try to put yourself first. Finally, we can help you figure out your identity independent from others; the “you” who was lost at some point along the way.