The Wilted Ivy – An Empath’s Tale of Caretaker Burnout

A long, spindled tendril of vegetation brushed against my hand as I reached to my window sill to collect a column of rose quartz crystal. I was grabbing for one of my grounding stones. In the midst of having a life time of panic attacks I had learned that these episodes produced a huge amount of chaotic energy. My mind would rush to impossible places that would be both glorious and terrible. I would see meadows of flowers and fields of smoldering ash all in the course of eighteen hours and every painful detail was just another anxiety-induced nightmare. It was a tilted spiraling, lawless, and tumultuous fall from the clouds and descending into a pit of snakes. The imagery was always vivid and the world was full of color. It was the ultimate trade for a hit of creative, living energy. I was consumed by the need to have a sense of purpose and legacy.

It took this moment of connection to focus on why I had chosen the Path that I had followed, I realized something beyond this trade. I came to the understanding that even though this creativity was intoxicating, it was also violent, abusive, and toxic to other people. I broke it down even further to reveal that the cause of this attitude stemmed from caretaker’s burnout. It didn’t justify my past behavior, yet it did provide me with a clue to change the world around me and conclusively help me feel better by no longer contributing to the problem. I wanted to do more than that, I wanted to show other people how they could also help themselves and nurture the inner child.

In the past, when I realized that one of my plants was dying, I was faced with a decision. I looked at the dying plant and gave up because life seemed so hopeless. I might as well just spiral down, neglect my plants, and finally end up with a lifeless twig in a moldy pot. This wasn’t just the case with the plant, not by a long shot. I applied this method to every other part of my life. I would begin to stop taking care of myself because I was overburdened and I convinced myself that I was inadequate to serve any purpose.

As I stared at the almost victim of my neglect, the English Ivy that served to be an inspiration to my writing, and clenched my rose quartz, I allowed myself some deep breathing. I tapped into the blush rush of my crystal and envisioned a golden light around myself. I told myself that I deserved better than this and that even though I had mad a I shakily filled a cup of water and gently sprinkled life-giving drops of liquid life to the dried soil. After a few sessions with the crystal and watering the Ivy, I noticed that the plant was coming back to life. Tiny petals of azure folds began to repopulate against the shimmering, banded stem.

Over the course of time, I learned that this grounding exercise with the rose quartz could be used to help me take control of the violent mood swings and bouts of intense depression. While I concentrated on the golden light, I imagined myself as a little child. I remembered always taking care of all of the adults in my world. I was seldom left alone to play and explore my world. I had treasured my time with My Little Ponies and Ninja Turtles that battled over the control over the territory that was the carpeted expanse of my room. When the adults in my life malfunctioned, it impacted me adversely to the point of forgetting to do what I needed to do to relax and learn about my world.

I thought I felt as other people did and often went along with their emotional roller-coasters. I hurt for them and wanted to give them everything just to resolve them of their pain. Conditioned during my childhood, this attitude carried into adulthood. I sought out companion after companion who I thought needed my utmost attention. It occurred to me that at some point, I made a conscious decision to keep this behavior up and keep draining myself and my resources.

The result was terrifying and usually ended up with a violent explosion of emotions that separated me from the people I loved. Even though I wanted to nurture and take care of folks, I also wanted to be selfish and pull away from folks. Being subordinate was my way of punishing myself for past mistakes and became an obsession. Over the course of time, the rose quartz meditation helped me slow down and do what was necessary to make everything as balanced as possible. I would take care of myself first and then help people as I could. I was no longer the helpless child pitted between family members. More uplifted than before, I kept myself focused when I felt myself becoming distant from the world around me. Anger and rage slowly exited from my life and I felt a peace with even my haunting past.

Rose Quartz is a wonderful stone to work with for self-love and acceptance. There’s also lists and lists of different crystals with properties to fit any need. Grounding is just the process on focusing on the alluring crystal tool and also seeing that same charm within ourselves. It took a lot of different changes to my behavior that came with a laundry list of successes and failures that shaped my way. I owned the wonderful things that I did and accepted that I made some pretty terrible mistakes in the past. That self-honesty, another wonderful trait of the Rose Quartz, gave me a feeling of security as I cast off the twisted metal shackles of my ego.


I stopped living as a reflection of other people and embraced the person I wanted to be. It took that moment of grabbing on to something real and natural to come to this realization. It wasn’t an overnight process, yet it afforded me the opportunity to finally use my empathic powers on myself so I could take care of the caretaker. No longer tired and grouchy, I could really allow myself to enjoy life. House plants flourished and so much more. I wanted to pass on this story to those who can relate with me. I think it’s really important to know how your Clergy came to their Path and what motivated them to understand more about themselves in the process.

If you have similar experiences or if you want more help to understand things from a Pagan perspective, please feel free to contact me or another member of Clergy from Deeply Rooted. Thank you for reading and sharing! – Shining Quill

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