Anytime one human being asks another human being for help, that person is not doing one thing its doing two. It's asking to be helped of course, but its also making a statement of either its physical or mental state.
Implicit in that statement is that help should be help, not harm. When it comes to the so-called professions - asking for help seems to be a green light for so many in these professions to begin the systematic exploitation of the person.
First to prey on the vulnerable are abusive medical professions, whose abuse could kill you. When it comes to the caring professions, you find abuse in child care, old people's homes, prisons, homes for the Disabled and residential schools.
Abuse also exits in the voluntary sector, hospital visitors, and prisons visitors, helpers in schools and homes and sadly in support groups.
The therapy industry comes into view - when an adult in crisis perhaps for the first time in his or her life finds they needs help. It may have taken months or years for that person to reach the conclusion they need help. And most enter into therapy for the first time with great expectations.
That painful decision - and it is a painful decision for most people, that they have a problem usually of an emotional nature that cannot be solved - by them alone, places upon the therapist a great deal of responsibility.
The therapist may have heard the story whatever it may be a million times, but to the person telling it, recalling some of there most painful events in there life - telling it to a total stranger - its as painful of the event itself. It is an act vulnerability. And it should be accepted with the utmost respect.
Being Vulnerable is not a nice feeling. Its usually bourne out of many sleepless nights, while the daytime is spent ruminating on past events, while struggling to deal with everyday life.
It's not the stuff of films, drama or entertainment of any sort. Its not told to a therapist or to anyone else come to that for them to feel good about themselves - or for them to gain pleasure out of your pain. In other words sadism.
A vulnerable person tells his or her story out of a basic need to try and understand better the situation they find themselves in. It's a real cry for help. And it should be respected totally. If those who hear that cry cannot assist, they should either say so or try to find someone who can. What they should not do - ever is help, if they cannot help. That will only lead to harm. Intentional or not. Harm it is.
The vulnerable adult is not an abstract concept, just in the same way that mental illness can bring a person down - so can anyone go from coping with life to being very vulnerable. It can happen very slowly or very quickly. There is only one rule. A vulnerable adult must not be exploited by anyone, not even those claiming to be vulnerable themselves. In fact, they should know the pain of that kind of abuse better than anyone should. And in turn offer more Respect and care for that person.