Reversion

When last we checked, our hero (that’s me) was concerned that he’d never be able to do enough to save the world, and could not possibly show as much care and empathy towards everyone’s problems. In this week’s episode, Xin faces something far more daunting and bleak than anything he’s faced before:

What if he just stops caring?

This is something that genuinely worries me. I’ve noticed over the past couple of days a slight change in my attitude. I killed a mosquito and didn’t apologise to it. Little things like that have gotten me thinking- I’m no longer showing as much care about people’s problems. And I know it’s because I feel that I’ll have enough to deal with later in life. They played a video in one of my lectures about the typical life of a social worker- spend all day dealing with other people’s problems, trying as hard as you can, and sometimes it just doesn’t help. People get hurt, people hate you for it. And then you have to go home, get over it, and go back to work tomorrow. My lecturer for Communication Skills is a counsellor, and I genuinely believe she’s lost the ability to sympathise. She can show appropriate amounts of empathy at all times- she’ll always understand how you’re feeling, she just won’t feel it with you. That troubles me. If I continue on this path and have to deal with that many problems, will I just treat them all with the same distant "non-possessive love"? Will I be so cold, yet always willing to help? So… hollow?

The sheer magnitude of problems in the life of a single client is enough to overwhelm me. If I continue to walk the path I have chosen, my clients will be endless, and I’ll deal with as many as I can possibly fit into a day. I don’t know if I can take that…

These changes I have noticed are the start of something. I’m worried about my future. But I’ll finish the degree, at the very least. If, by the end of it, I haven’t learned how to avoid carrying everyone else’s problems as well as my own, without turning into an emotionless, unsympathetic asshole, I’ll be able to do something to change the lives of a few people. If I do spiral to my overwhelming doom, I guess I can say I had a dream…

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2 thoughts on “Reversion

  1. Bethwyn says:

    Baby, you need to be able to separate yourself from the problems of your clients, otherwise it may become too much for you to handle. That said, the notion of not caring at all is a scary one, but I really don’t think you’re capable of it. You will ALWAYS, on some level, care. It’s in the very fibre of your being.
     
    And I love you for that.
     

  2. Stephen says:

    Have you considered John, not only as Bethwyn suggest that your protecting yourself from a mental break down derived from trying to sort out too many problems ("I can help someone, not everyone." kind of thing) but also that you have been caring so much that it is starting to become natural (or in your case even more so) to you. Perhaps you notice the cases where you think you don’t care simply because they are the exception rather than the rule but i think what you have done is just made caring for others an unconscious thing. Although i think apologising to a mosquito is taking things a tiny bit too far, but that just my opinion.
     
    Stephen

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