Taking the drama out of vulnerability

Have you ever sat down and thought, why do I keep forming the same relationships time and time again?

Why is it that I'm constantly repeating the same old cycle and failing to recognise it until I've fallen off and scraped my knees yet again?

What is it about me that attracts the same type of people into my life; why do I not recognise this until it feels too late to get out unscathed?

Does the term rescuer mean anything to you? Do you pride yourself as being a thoughtful, considerate and helpful person?

How does it feel when you have found someone who you see as vulnerable and in need of help?

Do you get the feeling of satisfaction when you have done someone a good turn? You have taken care of all of their needs at the expense of your own... what a selfless person you are.

If these statements sound familiar, it may be useful to consider what it would be like for you to be helped and supported.

How would it feel to let go and trust that another had your back? How would it feel to be supported by someone who is as capable, loving, loyal and consistent as you?

These may be the thoughts that you say to yourself after the aftermath of yet another fall off the cycle.

You tell yourself I'm a good person. You really can't understand why this has happened yet again. The questions you ask yourself in that moment of realisation; in that momentary place when you are vulnerable. You are no longer the rescuer.

This place soon burns out, you put back on your cape and look for the next vulnerable person to rescue... and the cycle begins again.

You skipped over that sense of vulnerability, but that quiet, lonely voice holds a strength and power that the rescuer will never know.

Vulnerability lets people in; they see that you are fallible, they see that you can hurt too. It invites people to begin to be autonomous within the relationship. They see that you can't bare the load alone. Relationships become stronger as the resentment and frustration is no longer there. You walk side by side; the papoose now has no use.

But there is a fear... deep down inside. Vulnerability is drowned out. It's just not safe to be vulnerable. Fear takes over and you begin to ask yourself, if others see you for who you truly are, will you be lovable? If you can't offer something will you still be accepted?

So... how did you get here?

How did you get to this place, where the cape holds such much power?

When did you first put this on?

How fearful are you of taking it off?

Seeking professional support from a counsellor will help you begin to look at some of these questions and help you identify your own relational patterns of behaviour. You may wish to explore some of the anxieties about making a change. To consider what it is you are holding on to and to reflect on what is stopping you from moving forward into a healthier relationships and finally take the drama out of vulnerability.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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St. Neots PE19 & Bedford MK40
Written by Donna West, MBACP (Accred)ACTO (Snr) Psychotherapist/Clinical supervisor
St. Neots PE19 & Bedford MK40

I have worked with an array of clients whom have accessed counselling for varying reasons that they feel are inhibiting them from living an authentic life. My role within the therapeutic relationship is to work alongside an individual to facilitate self-exploration and consider alternative routes that may lay before them.

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