These last few years have been a test for anyone who cares, but particularly for people who hold caregiver identities. Parents, therapists, educators, birth workers, health professionals, coaches, helpers and healers have been heralded as heroes in unsustainable and unsupported circumstances. But society has long looked at caregiving with little nuance, often weaponizing it against us and forcing the narrative that if you question, complain, or ask for something different, it’s a reflection of your worth and ability.
This keeps you isolated, exhausted, ashamed, disconnected from your own power (and each other), afraid to make a wrong move. It silences the shadow parts of being a caregiver- overwhelm, depression, grief, burnout, hopelessness, anxiety, loss of identity, rage, trauma, disconnection in relationships- the parts that can be common, but that we are told never to let see the light.
So it’s time to stop thinking of caregiver burnout as an individual deficit, and start to put the responsibility back on the systems that cause it. I work with folks who are feeling the strain of trying to give care while receiving very little themselves. While my primary specialty is working with wishful, expectant, or grieving parents, so many of the same themes can be found in the struggles of other care professions.
I recognize each person’s experience with caregiving as both unique to you and interwoven with others- your children, your parents, your partners, and everyone you serve. I recognize that being a caregiver also exists in spaces of loss and grief, and means facing joy, shame, frustration, pride, and heartbreak, all in a day’s work. I provide therapy that allows room for all of the messy and vulnerable parts of the care identity. Therapy that works to build on strengths that already exist in you, with authenticity, safe-keeping, and humor.
When you can acknowledge the shadow, you can make room for the light- in yourself and in others. To learn more about who I work with, click the link below, or keep scrolling.
*Land acknowledgment: Highwire Therapy, PLLC is located on Chicago’s North side, on the traditional and unceded territories of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, ad Odawa, as well as the Monominee, Miami, and Ho-Chunk Nations.
*Photo credit: Katie Sikora; IG: @katie.sik