i think rescuers are highly emotionally sensitive people..we have to be otherwise how could we possibly dedicate our lives to helping so many helpless creatures. but that sensitivity that forces us to step up to help whenever and where ever we can is a two edged sword. it is impossible to be selectively sensitive so we are in fact sensitive on pretty much every level..including about ourselves.
this may be why we are sometimes written off as crazies.
i think for all of us it is hard to be judged, criticized, found lacking in some way..but i think for highly sensitive people it is even more difficult to deal with when it is our very passion, our whole life's work, our persons in their entirely that sometimes is under the microscope, opened up for discussion and dissection. poked, prodded, pinched, pushed...sometimes even punched. its like we somehow by virtue of who we are and what we do that leads to some weird kind of entitlement in our occasional unfair and hurtful personal abuse.
it has taken me years to learn how to build up the walls, draw the lines, set the boundries and repel the personal assaults that used to threaten to overwhelm me. years of self doubt, heartache and hurt.
and just because i finally know how to deal with it all...does not mean i still do not fear it. i fear it because despite the walls and boundries... highly sensitive people are easily hurt.
i have many fears...some of them i can control like my paralysing fear of heights. i keep my feet firmly on level ground where i am not afraid. i am afraid of being bitten by both dogs and cats but i have been bitten and bear the scars of so many bites now that i know getting bitten is only going to hurt for a few days (or weeks) but eventually it will stop hurting so its not that big of a fear anymore. i guess i am getting desensitized to some degree (but i still do try to avoid it as much as i can.)
i have a huge fear of failure..not so much failing you or me...but failing the animals in my care. interestingly enough...that fear of failure gives me the strength to stand firm against most of my other fears (except my fear of heights..if some animal falls down a cliff, i am NOT going to climb down to save them..i will find someone i can pay to go get them because it will NOT be me!)
and i also have a huge fear of not being good enough...not good enough as a person, not good enough as a nurse, not good enough as a parent, a grandparent, not good enough as a rescuer....but what can you do with those kind of fears except accept that they are part of being human and not a well oiled machine.
i think there are many fear factors in living and recognizing them in ourselves makes us even more sensitive to recognizing them in others. this does present us with the opportunity to be sensitive to others needs if we choose to open our hearts and minds and see.
however...we can't let our (or others) fears cripple us, we can't let them bind us in chains, we can't let them suck the very ability to move or work or love or trust from us. we have to learn how to force ourselves into being brave in their face and carry on the best that we can...(except with heights, with that fear i never want to even try to be brave and will find some other, less terrifying way.)