There is something inside me that hones in on people's vulnerability and wants to fix it. From family members, life-long friends, to work colleagues - even strangers I meet in passing. It's a skill I treasure in some ways; almost like x-ray vision which allows you to see into somebody's emotions. But in other ways it's a burden and inevitably leads me to feeling overwhelmed with emotional responsibility and wanting to hide away.
I call this my magnet. It's very much part of me and instinctively pulls people in. And, like a magnet, I don't want to let them go. As a result I am blessed with a large, diverse group of amazing people in my life. But in as much as I'm drawn to them, they're drawn to me and I get so much joy out of being an important part of their lives and investing time, emotion and energy into maintaining those relationships.
About a year and a half ago, my husband suffered a brain haemorrhage. Against all the odds he survived, but the journey from critical illness to recovery has been all-consuming.
Initially I used my magnet to full capacity and pulled in everyone I knew for support. But then something changed. My poles switched and I wanted to repel everybody and hide. I've been hiding for about eight months now and desperately trying to understand why.
After much un-tangling of head threads, I've come to realise my magnet is unmanageable. Holding on to others lives whilst coping with the weight of my own is unsustainable. But repelling them during such times is also not the answer. Functioning in polar opposite ways is difficult and confusing for everybody and that in itself is not maintainable.
I don't want to lose my magnet; it's my power and my protector. But I do want to balance its poles so that no matter what life throws at me I can use it to help me and never have to hide again.
A Moodscope member.