Compassion Fatigue

Compassion Fatigue like a foggy forest

Have you ever cared for someone deeply but felt that care erodes away at everything you might have given them. Deep-seated love gives way to a feeling of enviable annoyance and bitter resentment. Maybe the same things have been said with calm love but suddenly come out in frustrated yelling.

Perhaps you have expectations that continually go unmet. Maybe the effort it would take to express your needs was consumed doing homework with your oldest. The homework seems always to end in tears that seep from bloodshot eyes. The kind that sting and tell deeper stories.

Recently I was introduced to the phrase compassion fatigue. It is one you come into contact with during the many training hours you go through to become a foster parent. You shrug it off at first thinking to yourself “That would never happen to me I love these kids and resolve to always love these children.” Then you wake up one morning roll over and find out you have been in bed with it for months now.

I love finding the meaning in the words we speak and write. So here are a few definitions for you.

Maybe You Have Heard Of Me

compassion |kəmˈpaSHən|

noun
sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others: the victims should be treated with compassion.

fatigue |fəˈtēɡ|

noun
1 extreme tiredness, typically resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness: he was nearly dead with fatigue.

compassion fatigue

noun
indifference to charitable appeals on behalf of those who are suffering, experienced as a result of the frequency or number of such appeals.

Not To Misrepresent Myself

The struggle is when some of those appeals are your own. How do you approach such an obvious problem with an obscure easily dissmissed answer? We humans need help always. There is not a day that goes by that does not have us longing for some kind of help; especially if we are trying.

Presenting answers to such a problem would misrepresent my intentions. My intentions always have to be encouraging to myself and others and to point the way to Jesus Christ, the author of all of the reality and the All Seeing, All Knowing lover of humans, whose answer to every situation is found in himself.

So if you are reading and find yourself saying “this is me.” Please know that “it is me too” and our human vessels are gloriously leaky. The fact that you are fatigued means that you have stretched your muscles and your ears are open and attentive. Now look to heaven for your help comes next.