Thursday I had the privilege of attending a workshop facilitated by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. Laura is the author of the book, Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others.
At first I settled down to enjoy an informative and engaging speaker, but I didn’t think what she had to say was relevant to me.
After only five minutes, I realized how wrong I was.
We discussed some of the responses to trauma exposure.
Diminished Creativity-Yes, that’s me. I just don’t have the drive to blog that I once did.
A Sense On Can Never Do Enough– That’s me too. There’s always more to be done, both at work and in animal welfare.
Grandiosity– Well, I don’t like admitting that, but it’s true. I’ve found that I do have an inflated sense of importance, kinda like hiding behind a badge.
Cynicism– I try to hide it, but I think we all know how cynical I am.
Deliberate Avoidance– Guess who hasn’t been visiting your blogs lately?
After that workshop, I felt much lighter. I think I’ve been shut down for a while.
So now that i know that I do suffer from Secondary Trauma Exposure, what am I doing to do about it?
First of all, I’m going to read Laura’s book, Trauma Stewardship. I was given a copy at the workshop.
I’m going to eat well and exercise daily as a part of taking care of myself.
I’m also going to focus on what Laura calls your Plan B, or what I will do when I just can’t do this anymore? Truth is I’ve been working with people in trauma for years. And while it’s noble work, maybe it’s time to stop focusing on everybody else and focus on me and what I want and need.
But that isn’t as easy as it sounds when I’ve built my image of who I am as a helper, or even a rescuer, of others.
So I’ll keep you posted on what happens. And I’ll ask you to force me to check in, just to keep me on track.