When sick someone close ...
The best friend of Ilya undergoing chemotherapy, but Elijah did not meet him call: fear and a vague sense of guilt for the fact that he is healthy, does not give the dial. Anna believes that it is her fault that her younger sister suffers from anorexia. "My departure from home to study in Moscow could trigger the disease," - she says bitterly. Tatiana is ashamed of his daily bouts of irritation and hostility to a paralyzed mother, who needs constant attention.
When we are faced with the serious illness of a loved one, we are seized by despair. We are losing badly and feel helpless. And often begin to reproach himself. It seems that we are ready to perform the feat of compassion, but up against the limits of their capabilities. Trying to drown out the nagging feeling someone like Elijah, he prefers to move away and unconsciously chooses defection strategy ( "can not" call "has no time" in the office hours come to the hospital). Others are "thrown into the breach," giving their all their physical and mental strength, and often sacrifice their own family life, depriving themselves of the right to happiness.
The mechanism of guilt
"To take a proper place next to the patient, it takes time - it rarely is immediate, - explains Igor therapist Shats.- first reaction - shock and numbness. For many years, working with families, I see that the most difficult thing for them - is to realize that loved one is terminally ill. And you can not expect a change for the better. " "Almost immediately, there is an irrational sense of guilt:" I could not prevent it, "" do not insist on a visit to the doctor, "" was not paying attention, "- adds a clinical psychologist and Gestalt therapist Vyacheslav Yanston. - Close feel guilty: and past conflicts, and that are healthy, they can not always be there, that they are still something draws in life ... "In addition, it is difficult to understand, as we now behave. As if nothing had happened, so as not to aggravate the feelings of a loved one? But then there is a risk that we deem selfish. Or should change the nature of their relationship with him, because he is ill? We ask ourselves questions, think about that, what were our relationship to disease. But more importantly, that the alien disease reminds us of our own fears. And above all - the unconscious fear of death.
"Another source of guilt becomes a widespread notion that we must be perfect son or daughter, husband or wife - he says a client-centered therapist, psychologist Marina Khazanov. - should ideally take care of, ideal to take care of his relative. Particularly acute is felt by those whom many blamed as a child, to whom all the time showed that they do not fit the norm. It is a paradox: the more responsible person, the better he cares for sick, the more he feels his imperfection. "
We want to support a sick friend or relative, and thus protect themselves from suffering. An inevitable confusion of conflicting emotions: we are torn between love and despair, the desire to protect and irritation in relation to a loved one, who was himself hurt us sometimes, fueling their suffering is our guilt. We run the risk of getting lost in this maze, losing sight of their targets, their faith, their beliefs.
"When we are constantly grind in mind the same thoughts, they fill our minds and generate chaos, which makes it difficult to think sensibly - adds Marina Khazanov. - We lose touch with themselves, with their own emotions. " This is manifested on the physical level, literally: may cause insomnia, chest pain, skin problems ... The blame for this imaginary wine and exaggerated responsibility we take upon ourselves.
The reasons for this confusion of feelings abound: patient care does not leave neither time nor space for himself, he needs attention, emotional response, the heat, it drains our resources. And sometimes it destroys the family. "All of its members may be able to codependency when long illness of their relative becomes the only meaning of the family system" - warns Vyacheslav Yanston.
To define the boundaries of
To get rid of feelings of guilt, especially it is necessary to recognize and put into words. But this alone is still not enough. "You have to understand that we can not be responsible for the misfortune of another, - says doctor of the highest category, an oncologist European Medical Center Yulia Mandelblat. - When we find that our guilt and our involuntary power over another person - the two sides of the same coin, we take the first step on the way to their spiritual well-being, release energy to help the sick. " To stop blaming yourself, it is necessary first of all to give up his feelings of omnipotence and accurately delineate the boundaries of their responsibilities. Easy to say ... Do this step is very difficult, but it is better not to delay it.
"I did not realize that not annoyed at his grandmother, and that after a stroke, she became a different person - says 36-year-old Svetlana. - I know it is quite different, cheerful and strong. And it needed it. It took me a long time to accept it and stop the extinction of reproach himself. " Guilt can poison life, that it does not allow us to really be near relatives. But what does it say? About whom, if not for ourselves? And there comes a point when it's time to honestly answer yourself the question: what is more important for me - a close relationship with a person suffering from, or my experiences? In other words, if I really love this man?
"oppressive feeling of guilt can cause a rift between the patient and his friend or relative, - says Marina Hazanova.- But in many cases, the patient does not expect anything extraordinary - just wants to keep the bond that has always existed. In this case we are talking about empathy, a willingness to listen to his expectations. Someone wants to talk about their illness, while others prefer to talk about something else. In this case it is enough to be able to empathize, to listen to their expectations. " It is important not to try to resolve once and for all, that the patient's good and bad, and to be able to set their own boundaries. The best way to help yourself - switch on the decision of the small daily tasks. "Makes a step by step plan of action in the treatment of, consulting with doctors, ask questions, seek the help of the algorithm to the patient - the Council Vyacheslav Yanston. - Calculate the forces, not to indulge in self-sacrifice. When life becomes more orderly and there is a clear order of the day, it becomes easier. " And do not give up on other people. Vadim 47 years. 20 of them, he takes care of paralyzed mother. "Now, after all these years, I realize that my father's life and mine would have developed differently - I do not know, for better or worse, but quite different if we are no longer allowed to take care of his mother and other family members."
Being close to the sick, it is difficult to understand where the end of its borders and starts its own. And most importantly - where our responsibility ends of the border. "Draw them - then say to himself, is his life, and there is my - explains Vyacheslav Yanston. - But this does not mean that close to be rejected, it only helps to understand where is the intersection point of our lives. "
To establish the right relationship with the person to whom we bring the good cared about, it is necessary that it is good to become a blessing for us. This implies that for helping there must be some kind of reward. This is what helps to keep relations with those whom he takes care of. Otherwise aid is transformed into a sacrifice. A sacrificial attitude always generates aggression and intolerance.
Not many people know that a year before his death, Alexander Pushkin went to the village to care for a dying mother Nadezhda Hannibal. After her death, he wrote that it "briefly enjoyed motherly tenderness, which up to that time did not know ..." *. Before his death, the mother asked her son's forgiveness for having loved him enough. "When we decide to accompany a loved one on this difficult path, it is important to understand that we take on long-term obligations - emphasizes Igor Schatz. - This is a big job that lasts for months or even years. In order not to succumb to fatigue, emotional burnout, helping a relative or friend, you need to clearly understand that the value for themselves we have to communicate with the patient. " It happened in the family of Alexei, where diseased fleeting cancer grandmother one day brought together all the relatives around him, forcing them to forget past differences. "We realized that the most important thing for us- to make the last months of her life happy. And for it has always been only one criterion of happiness - that the whole family was together. "
Metropolitan Anthony Bloom "Happiness show love"
"When we are seriously ill, or are going to die, we care about the surrounding, and often ill person experiences the soul that has become a burden to others. That this is necessary to dissuade the ailing. He did not become a burden. He gave people the opportunity to express their happiness of love, his humanity, be it a companion through the last period of his life - for eternity. Ill have to convince them that, while they were healthy and strong, they take care of others, helping them, not necessarily in the disease just in life; now they can from these people get the love that we have sown in their hearts, and give them the opportunity to show his love and his gratitude. When we refuse during the illness from helping others, we are depriving them of great happiness - we dolyubit through. I think that if the one who takes care of the dying, would perceive what is happening with him, just sit there and not make anything myself, just to be very clear, silent, as can be deeper, it is likely that he would have seen how the first blind man to eternity, as it were, hidden from eternity his flesh, his physicality, his humanity. Gradually it becomes more transparent, and the dying begins to see another world. At first, I think, a dark world, and then suddenly eternal light ... Thus, those young people who care for the sick, except that they give the patient an opportunity with gratitude and openness to accept love - this is very important - can sit in the moment with them when the patient can no longer be any way to tell them that he was going to see or feel, but to know that now is a transition, and to be with him all the time, the time of transition. " * Excerpt from the article "Body and matter in the spiritual life." "Proceedings". Practice 2002.