Emotional Caretakers

The Logical Heart Knows Best

I love how this soft-focus makes this photo look like a painting 🙂

Dang, I got a slow start today, I awakened with my a** dragging. I was not refreshed by my sleep, perhaps it was the silly dreams I had, heh. Viggo Mortensen was in it, and someone chopped down and stole some bell peppers and jalapenos I grew, lmao. I was upset and screaming that I hoped they were really hungry and needed them, omg. And in my dream, I thought how ridiculous I was being because I could just go out and buy bell peppers and jalapenos. Then I woke up because I didn’t want to keep being upset and screaming in my dream.

The air quality held out today and I got a walk-in. There were grasshoppers! One even hopped on my hand, it was so sweet. I was careful where I stepped so I wouldn’t squish them. I love watching them hop/fly away.

Here’s the video I did tonight.

It used to be I’d become worn out, drained, and negatively affected by people who continuously turned to me as an emotional validator, a person who listened, empathized, and comforted. It came to be expected of me and this was okay as long as it was balanced and infrequent, as it is with mature people with solid self-identity and awareness. These people have healthy boundaries.

The problems arose when it became the default. This only happened with some people I interacted with who were on the narcissistic end of the personality spectrum. They were emotionally immature, and this caused them to be self-absorbed and oblivious to their effects on others.

They looked at me as an emotional caretaker. They would complain about the same things repeatedly and tell the same stories of victimization and negativity. Some people complained incessantly. There was always something that happened that they were angry and upset about. I got to hear all about it.

Eventually, it weighed me down and drained me. I’d dread interacting with them. I’d try to avoid upsetting them even more because then it would be worse for me. You know the walking on eggshells type of relationship where you are codependent and try to keep the peace by avoiding any confrontation or anything that might trigger them.

Eventually, I ended those relationships because they were imbalanced and unhealthy for me. But then later, again in another relationship that initially began healthily, took a turn into me being looked to as a caretaker again, where it was emotionally draining for me and imbalanced. But this time I spoke up and respectfully established boundaries before it was too late. It worked!

How did I do it? I explained I loved them, but I was reaching my limit on how much I could listen to the same complaints repeatedly. I said I needed to take care of myself, my health, and my peace, too. I suggested they may need some counseling for support to take the burden off of me. If they attempted to unload on me excessively, I would gently reiterate my boundaries. The person went to counseling, saw a doctor too, got on medication, and learned new coping skills so they could be more self-sufficient and independent. Whew, what a relief for me.

It’s healthy to lean on one another for emotional and spiritual support, but it has to be balanced, a give and take with healthy boundaries and maturity. A healthy relationship is interdependent, not codependent.






I learned that in order for relationships to work; I had to take care of myself first so I could have the energy to be there for others within boundaries. Now, when I feel drained or resentful, I take inventory to make sure I’m not falling back into old, unhealthy patterns. I am quicker to address the areas that need boundary enforcement. I speak up and stand up for myself. It’s taken me a long time to get here, but I am so thankful to keep learning and growing. It gets better and better. Yay!

Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

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