This new coaching chapter in my life is giving me great joy and fulfillment. It isn’t something I ever really imagined myself doing a few years ago and now that I am, I am very much enjoying the interaction with people on a one to one basis. I know how much courage is required to push yourself towards achieving a goal or changing something in your life and deciding to have coaching or therapy, is exactly that, courageous!
This blogging platform has been immensely enriching for me both personally through my other blog and also professionally through the creation of this new one.I see a lot of myself in some of my coachees and fellow bloggers/followers and it is wonderfully humbling to be able to make a small difference, through own experience. In the ones that I don’t see myself in, I learn alot about the difficulties that different personality types may have and this is proving to be a great way to widen my knowledge even further on certain subjects. The thing that I am particularly enjoying at the moment, is that I can also use my skills to help close friends. I enjoy helping people from all walks of life but it makes me even happier to know that I can help the special people in my life as well. Isn’t this something you can all relate to? Helping out a dear friend? For those of you who agree, the fulfillment you gain from this is priceless.
I’d like to talk a little bit about my last job, before I moved to Germany from Bournemouth, England. This is something I mention in the ‘About me’ link of this blog but I just want to talk about it in a little more detail.When I used to work as a Healthcare assistant in an End of Life care home, that is when I realised that I really enjoyed helping people. When I went home after a long day, I knew I was making a difference in a small way and that made my work so important to me. It didn’t matter that I was earning such a low wage, as the smiles of gratitude on the residents’ faces meant so much to me. I worked 12 hour days, barely got a chance to sit down and had to help 10-12 residents with only one other assistant to help me.We were always rushed off our feet and sometimes it was incredibly hard to shower and dress the residents, when 2 or 3 other bells were going off at the same time. Each bell represented a resident who was calling for the toilet, needed help with getting out of bed or who was wanting their breakfast.This was physically & mentally exhausting. It was incredibly tough work, especially because you are someone who cares so deeply and you want to make sure you are helping every resident in an equal and respectful manner.There was never enough time and that is something that bothered me deeply. I enjoyed taking my time with each resident, as that is what I would want myself, if I was in their position.
When you help somebody in such an intimate way and learn their routines, day in day out, it is inevitable you will get attached in some small way. It taught me a lot about patience, inner strength, resilience and practicing self-care. It also taught me a lot about trying to brighten someone’s day a little, making them as comfortable as possible and telling them stories about my own life. These residents needed something else to think about, rather than their own aches and pains. It is difficult to know you are near the end of your life and the only thing you have to look forward to is chatting to the person who cares for you, helps you get dressed & washes you. I got so much from helping these people, as I know that one day I will be the same. I might be alone, with no family left and any attention or communication I get, will give me strength. It is incredibly important to help people sustain their dignity, as every person who grows old was someone’s mother, sister or daughter.When residents you grow closer to over the months, eventually pass away, you feel devastated but also relieved that they aren’t suffering anymore. The bond you develop is unique, especially when you are also the carer who might have to clean and wash the resident after they have actually passed.
Due to my own struggle with Complex PTSD, I had many vivid dreams after I left this job and moved to Germany with my husband. I worried about the remaining residents, wondered how they were doing and learnt of the many changes in their lives. Some of them were now no longer able to walk at all, others passed away and I wished at times that I could have visited again. Living in Germany unfortunately made this too difficult.
Unfortunately, I also had experience working alongside many other carers who were narcissistic bullies! I couldn’t believe how these people could work in such a job! Their empathy was incredibly fake, as they enjoyed making myself and other friends/colleagues feel small & unimportant.They derived great pleasure from criticising carers in front of the residents, so they could appear better and more in control. They lied to the manager, fabricating stories about myself and other carers because they must have felt threatened by our caring & genuine demeanour. They acted in a racist manner towards one of my Romanian friends/carers and I must admit, it took a lot of strength to ignore them and keep working there. Having Complex PTSD which is a direct result of growing up with Narcissistic parents, meant that working alongside other narcissistic bullies, triggered many uncomfortable feelings. However, knowing who I truly am and ignoring the nastiness of these people, kept me going. Helping the residents was more important than listening to small minded and shallow people.
In my new work, I am very happy to have the freedom to help others in a safe and nurturing way, without the outside distraction of narcissistic bullies. Hurrah!
As a narcissistic abuse survivor, I can tell when someone has low confidence & needs support in developing self-belief. I know this feeling very well myself, through personal experience. I also know how important it is to encourage ‘realistic goal attainment’, rather than trying to achieve something that might be too big a goal.I feel happy to encourage self-compassion and to help people achieve things in small steps, suited to their capabilities. Especially if the clients suffer from debilitating mental illness, it is all about making their lives more manageable by encouraging self-acceptance and by creating plans that suit their daily routines. Having had depression myself, I know how it feels to struggle with every passing hour.You are definetely not alone and nobody should have to feel like they aren’t achieving anything!
I am really interested in finding out what you gain satisfaction from in your life? Is it your work? or your role as a parent? Do you enjoy being a husband/wife? or maybe you are a mum/dad to a furry friend? If you don’t work but volunteer instead, then I’d love to hear about it..
Whatever it is in your life that gives you joy and a sense of fulfillment, then feel free to share your experiences..
If you are someone who suffers from a mental or physical illness, maybe just getting through the day is an achievement in itself! Please let me know if this is something that you are proud of and if not, then I encourage you to try..
Much Love Athina ♥
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