Compassion Fatigue

"Almost everyone I know is tired."

My husband just said that about 10 minutes ago. I've only just gotten home from a day of doing everything that's expected of me. We sat on the couch for a little time together and to discuss the day. He held my hand while we talked and we both tried to avoid throwing the toy our dog kept thrusting at us for a hopeful game of fetch.

My husband works at a church. His is one in the area housing Red Cross volunteers while they are here to do their work. As a congregation and as invididuals, we care for the caretakers. We wash their clothes, we cook their meals and listen to them after their day or give them a quiet place to rest.

In my ordinary life, I try to meet every demand, usually sacrificing just enough to get the job done. Sometimes the job is bigger than my individual sacrifice. Most of the time I don't figure this out until I am absolutely exhausted and a little discouraged by the fact that I (or my effort) wasn't enough to "fix it." I feel that now. My husband and I were relatively unaffected personally by either hurricane, but we have friends and family that were hit hard and we live in a city that is trying to cope. I've also been playing "Ms. Fix-It" for my extended family for some time now. It pulls me away from home more often than not.

I need that comfort of home and husband (and a fair night's sleep) to get a decent recharge.




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