If you were a parentified child, it is likely that caregiving is simultaneously fulfilling AND exhausting. Why? As a parentified child one of the ways you got love and acceptance was through caring for your siblings and / or parents. This may express as a compulsion as an adult. Moving naturally into the caring professions like teaching, nursing, aged care, or counselling, or always being the peacekeeper in family conflicts.
Because the behaviour becomes a compulsion, it can be hard to switch off. You might find yourself spending hours on the phone at night soothing your stressed mother or staying back late without pay to care for people at work. Over time, this leads to BURNOUT.
Whenever we are working with a compulsion, we need to look at boundaries.
Some questions to journal:
- Is this relationship balanced? Do I get as much from it as I give?
- If there is an imbalance, how can I redress this?
- Can I love myself if I stop over-caring?
- What might my energy levels look like if I have better boundaries?