Carrying Emotional Weight

I’ve been doing a lot of self-evalations lately because I’m trying to figure out how I got to the point of disdain that I’ve been at for the last two weeks, and I think I found one of the big sources of heaviness that I’ve been overlooking. 

Right now I’m working on a project that requires me to go into the office daily, and I’ve seen some positive changes as a result. I’ve formed some good habits, including going to bed a decent hour and waking up rested each morning and thinking about what I’m going to eat throughout the day. Those are huge wins for me, especially the sleep thing beccause I’ve never been good at resting enough until now. 

The downside is that the content of the work is really hard to look at. I can’t go into detail, but it’s depressing…really depressing. I hate being privy to it, but I hate that people go through these things. Some of it is awful, and I’m definitely not cut out for this kind of work. (The work itself is great, but the content is weighing on me heavily.) 

Almost every Thursday since I started I go home and cry. That’s not like me. I’m usually pretty upbeat even when life presents challenges. I’ve also noticed a hightened sense of loneliness. I mean, I feel it from time to time, but it’s been really rough over the last few months. I’ve also noticed that I feel angry at times, and I’m not spending nearly as much time with God as I was before I took this position. 

I was looking over a report yesterday when my emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. Life isn’t fair, but I wasn’t sad about my life. I was devastated by the experiences that the subject of the report had to endure. It hit me hard, and at that moment, I realized that these reports are a huge part of the burden I’ve been feeling lately. I’m not angry that I have to do the work; I enjoy tedious tasks more than the average person. I’m just angry that we live in a world that is so full of hurt, and it breaks my heart into pieces to think that so many people walking around my community feel so hurt and hopeless. 

I’m going to finish out the contract that I signed, but I need some strength as I do it. I know that I can pray for these faceless people, and I know that’s all I can do. I just wish I coud take their hurt away. I wish they could feel peace. 

If you know me, you probably know that I’m emotional. Knowing that people feel pain makes me feel pain, and even though it sucks, it explains a lot. I’m relieved to have recognized this, and now I need to figure out how to dela with it. Days like yesterday make it easier to handle, so I’ll probably start by making an even bigger effort to do things that are good for me. 

I am so thankful for this job and for the opportunity to do something in this field, and I think I’ll leave stronger than I was when I got here. I just need to be very aware, and I really need to be wrapped up in God’s love just like each of the people I’ve just mentioned. 

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Christina@LoveYourselfHealthy
    May 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    It sounds like that kind of work really wears on you after a while. It is good that you’ve recognized how it’s affecting you, and now you can do something about it. I’m also a very empathetic person; sometimes I wish I could just turn it off because it can be so mentally exhausting. Is there anyone you could talk to about how they deal that type of work day in and day out?

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  • Reply
    Deb Willbefree
    May 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Hey, Kenz. I don’t know what to write here. I just keep having these big sighs…of understanding, I guess. Or as much as I can understand since I don’t know the details.

    Now, I’m trying to write three things at once. Ack.

    Okay. Thing one. There are some stories that are horrible, but God can enable you to hear, work with, give to Him, and walk on without lasting impact to your day-to-day life.

    Thing two. There are some stories that are horrible, but hit a personal sore spot, that makes it unlikely that you’ll be able to give it to God and walk on. Sometimes, they take extra Grace to handle. Sometimes, those particular stories have to be avoided. You are not the one to do them.

    I, of course, don’t which category the stories you face fall into. you may not know right now, either.

    Let me turn this comment into a post and give you an example. :} As you may recall, I am a sexual abuse counselor. I have sat with women and heard the most horrific stories. An hour at a time, week after week, for years. god has gifted me with the ability to hear those stories, sit with the women in their pain and grief, give it to god, and walk on into my life at the end of the day. Think of any sexual abuse story perpetrated against children that you have heard…and I’ve heard it in person from the adult who was that child. Really.

    But. While I can work with the adults who were abused as children, I can’t work with children. I can’t. I can’t hear their real life, right now, stories and leave it at the office. I can’t walk away. Even typing this, tears are in my eyes. I just can’t do it. No amount of prayer and giving it to God solves it for me.

    There are reasons for that, which I’d be glad to share if space permitted. One is that I am helpless to really help them in their situation. The helplessness factor may…or may not…be a part of this for you.

    Email me if you like, and we’ll talk about this further. I may be able to hlep a bit.

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  • Reply
    Steelers6
    May 21, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Interesting that you were feeling affected by the sadness, darkness of your work, but didn’t necessarily realize how much until recently. I’m glad you had a revelation regarding how it has tried to carry over into other areas.
    Are you allowed to listen to your worship music at work? I kind of think maybe you do with earbuds..not sure.
    Wishing you joy, my friend.
    Chrissy

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  • Reply
    Nicole
    May 22, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Dear Lord, every single person, every single case that Kenlie comes across…I pray that you will give her the strength to handle… I pray that you will be near to the broken hearted..I thank you because you are!! I thank you that nothing goes unnoticed by you and even though we can not fathom how good can come from this hard hard time, these harrowing situations …we can trust that you will make all things right. Please God, make all things right. Protect kenlie and give her all she needs to handle this job. Obviously you have made her a strong woman equipped for this important job, thank you that you never give us more than we can handle, and that we don’t do it alone…. Please bless her rest tonight…. Angels around her in Jesus name amen.

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  • Reply
    Mike
    May 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Kenlie, you are such a strong person. I have so much respect for you. I always have since I first started reading your blog. But after reading this, I have even more respect for you. I am not sure of the nature of your job (and I don’t expect you to divulge any details of course) but from what I gather, it sounds like you deal with having to help those in great need. You wish to take on their pain and see them helped as much as possible. God bless you. I am smiling, just learning of what a caring person you are.

    But I feel you on this. I’m angry that we live in a world filled with evil and mean people; people that no longer care about other people in trouble or who are hurting. My overall disdain of people in general is often countered thinking of those, like yourself, that are kind and really do care for those around them. I often find myself in conflict. I’m not sure if it’s even right for me to feel angry at times. It’s confusing. The news is filled with mostly hateful people that you hear about and I can’t help but wonder if it will ever end. But every so often, you hear about someone doing good, someone who isn’t a pedophile, or a murderer or a rapist. And it’s these people that keep me from totally giving up on humanity; reminds me that there are still good, decent people in the world. Thank you for being one of these people Kenlie. I will keep you in my prayers for your strength and hard work in what you do.

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