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Caregiving and Helping

Old 02-21-2007, 01:06 PM
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Acting not reacting
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Caregiving and Helping

You are reading from Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw.

Caregiving and Helping:
Strange as it seems, taking care of and helping another person intensifies her shame. Caregiving is a common family system role. The caregiver actually doesnt help the other person. Helpers are always helping themselves.

A person who feels flawed and defective feels powerless and helpless. Such a care of others. When she is caregiving others, she feels good about herself. So, the goal of the caregiver, is caregiving, not the good of the person being cared for. The caregiving is an activity that distracts from ones feelings of inadequacy. Distraction is a way to mood-alter.

Caregiving and helping as defense strategies against toxic shame lead to enabling or rescuing. A caregiving spouse of an alcoholic actually enables the alcoholics disease, thereby increasing his toxic shame. Parents often enable or rescue their children, doing for them, what they could do for themselves. The children wind up feeling inadequate and defective. Rescuing and enabling is robbery. It robs the other person of a sense of achievment and power, thereby increasing toxic shame.
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