Ever Since I was a Child, I get Overly Emotional at Parades

Ever since I was a child, I can recall crying at parades. My first memory of this goes back to somewhere between 7 or 8 years old. I recall standing along the curbside a few blocks from my house anticipating how much candy might be thrown my way at an annual town celebration parade.

On one particular day in the month of June, I recall it being early in the morning, maybe around 9am, the sun just to the right of me, I stood waiting for the parade to start. My parents and sister were near me, along with many familiar faces as the town I grew up in was a small, Midwestern town.

The beginning of theparade parade. like most parades, was marked with a police car and a fire truck. I recall the firetruck at the beginning of the parade, starting its siren to announce the start of the parade. A jolt of excitement ran through my body as the siren blew. Then I experienced a cycle of me smiling, eyes welling up with tears, happiness overcoming me, a sense of pride, and then…the cycle would start all over again when service men and woman would march by,  or the Shriners would zip their small cars  around the street, or a marching band would stop in its tracks and play a song for spectators.

I was never scared at parades, and it wasn’t the loud noises bringing tears to my eyes. The tears weren’t that of being frightened or even sad. I recall having the knowledge that the tears that I had in my eyes were that of “happy tears” to the best of my description at that age.

It wasn’t until a few years ago I put the pieces together and realized that there was a reason for the tears at parades. (I still find tears coming to my eyes at parades even now in adulthood.) I have learned that I am an Empath and a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). Yes, that is a real term, a Highly Sensitive Person.

Empaths can “feel” and pick up on the emotions of people around them, and people who are “Highly Sensitive” are more aware of and affected by external stimuli than non-HSPs. They are often empaths and internalize everything more deeply — from social interactions to emotions to physical and visual sensations.

You can learn more about traits of an Empath here: https://themindunleashed.com/2013/10/30-traits-of-empath.html

You can learn more about HSP traits here: https://www.ourheritageofhealth.com/are-you-a-highly-sensitive-person-10-signs-you-might-have-this-inherited-trait/

Wrap all of this together and at places like parades, I am soaking up the excitement and energy from the music, the crowd around me as well as the swirl of emotions that is taking place when service men and woman and first responders walk by or an honored community member who was picked to be the grand marshal.

In recent years I have learned different techniques to shield or protect myself from the energies around me. I will say that I have NOT YET perfected protecting myself fully at large, energetic events like parades, but I am doing better.

To this day, I still cry at parades (as well as at theater play performances,  or when the Anthem is sung in front of a large crowd,  at Superbowl half time performances, and even during large firework displays.) I find the energy to be overwhelming, but in a good way.

I find Playdates to be Exhausting and Draining!

So I think that I have realized this subconsciously for a while now, but today I am admitting to myself: I find playdates to be exhausting and draining!

Never mind that people think that I keep a clean house and the truth is, I scurry around like crazy before someone is due over. (And usually when someone stops by unexpectedly they may see an unexpected mess or dirty kitchen that they necessarily didn’t think that I would have. When that happens, the joke is on them, I guess.

Anyway, lately I have been finding myself dreading playdates. We live in a small town and a cozy neighborhood so it is common for the Moms to get together and chat while the kids play. It doesn’t even matter if the gathering takes place at our house, someone else’s house, or at the park. Even if I really enjoy the company of the mom, or moms there, and my kids behave decently where I don’t have to constantly be on them, I still feel like I need to crash once it is over and that we can’t have any more activities later that same day, and if I don’t have to go anywhere afterwards, that is great too!! I truly feel like the life gets sucked out of me! Sweat pants and a nap call my name right after!

I’ve started to hear a new term, well, new to me recently, that I think may explain why I feel wiped out and actually try to put off gatherings sometimes. The term that I am referring to is called: An Empath.

The definition of an Empath, according to the Urban Dictionary (which I feel is one of the more straight forward definitions and doesn’t use the word “paranormal” to freak people out) is: “A person who is capable of feeling the emotions of others despite the fact that they themselves are not going through the same situation.”  Basically an Empath absorbs the emotions of others, they can pick up or absorb emotional states, energies and surroundings. Sometimes pain or suffering can be heightened above average, too. This “gift” can result in being always tired and energetically exhausted.

I use the word “gift” because being an Empath IS a gift!  It is hugely beneficial for relating to others and the universe as a whole. I am told that this can feel like a curse until I learn how to cope with all of the stimuli that I encounter. I have been told by others that it is part of my genetic make-up and that supposedly 1 in 20 people are Empaths. As I can attest that a seemingly regular day can be overwhelming for me.  I also find it odd that 1 in 20 people have what I have but just recently I have actually heard the word: Empath!

So to get back to my original topic at hand. Yes, playdates exhaust me. Though at the time I think that I am enjoying the conversation with another Mom or neighbor, or blame my tiredness on my frantic cleaning and picking up the house beforehand, I am coming to terms with the idea that I have a gift that I don’t totally know how to use yet.

Has anyone else had a similar experience??

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The stories and topics that I share are as I have observed them, as I have lived them, and as they have happened to me, along my journey. They are not intended to hurt anybody and they are told as I have experienced them. I have also done my best to protect the identity of the subjects in my writings. If you find yourself reading something and suddenly question: “Is that about me?” If that is the case it probably is to some degree because there’s absolutely some kind of lesson in there for you.
If the topics or stories on my blog or in my other writings are not relatable to you, then it is not for you, at least not at this time. We are all in different places along our journeys. What resonates with some, won’t even touch on the surface for others.