I saw the image at the top of this post come across my Facebook Feed today. I got if off of a great page called: Empathy Welcome and as with most Empath related quotes and information that I see floating around. This one fits the bill. My poor husband many times thinks that I am either (1) hormonal or (2) refer back to #1, I’m just plain hormonal half the time because my moods can constantly change or body ailments can pop up out of the blue.
I can be going along one minute as though everything is fine and then – BOOM!!! I can start stomping around the house, slamming drawers, or at a drop of the hat start yelling at my kids for something that doesn’t quite deserve the high pitch shouting that is coming out of me. The kids, my husband and even the dog have witnessed this time and time again and have had to run for the hills.
….. And sometimes as quick as it started….. It’s done. Almost like “End Scene!”
And then what usually follows is….a nap! Why? Because I am spent. As if something or someone took over my body, made me run a marathon and then left! Left me with the leftovers!!
Let me give you some real examples as to how I have taken on other people’s energy or symptoms.
A few years ago, I got really angry one afternoon. Like really pissed off to the point I was starting to question why I was so angry. The kids were gone, my husband was at work. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on or happened. No family drama at the moment to speak of. Prior to the mood swing, I was having a really good day. The next day I see my neighbor outside while getting my mail. She comes over to chat and tells me that while meeting with lawyers the day before pertaining to her divorce, her soon-to-be Ex Husband (who was going along fine with the divorce process up until now) suddenly wants part of her 401K, part of the home that they lived in, (but she built and he never put a dime in for), and one of the cars that her son drives. She was livid. And really, I was too, the day before, but now I know why!
I remember one Sunday morning at Church I stopped in the ladies room before Service. When I got out of the stall, there was a woman standing at the sink sniffling with a tissue. I thought that maybe she was crying. While washing my hands I asked her if she was OK and she responds that she is suffering from a nasty cold that she can’t seem to get rid of. I wish her a good day. As I walk into Service to find my husband, I notice that suddenly my nose if running (though it wasn’t before we left the house that morning). I first thought to myself, shoot, now I’m getting sick. Within a few moments it hit me – I took a little of the lady in the restroom’s cold away from her. I took on her symptoms…The runny nose went away a few minutes later.
On a particular summer morning, my kids were having friends come over to play and the mom and I were going to hang out while they played. Prior to them arriving I would feel myself getting riled up a bit. Almost angry. I blamed those feelings on the fact that my house was filthy and if I took better care of the cleaning side of things, I’d be less stressed before people come over. Well, after everyone arrives and the kids are sent off to play, I find out that the mom is at her wits end with her children for none of them listening or behaving properly over the last few days, and low and behold her husband had been putting in a lot of time in at work and not around the house a lot to help with the kids. After hearing what was going on, I got that little kick in my gut and thought to myself, “This is why I was so stressed this morning, never mind the house.”
One afternoon while walking down our block, I remember walking by a certain house and feeling the overwhelming sadness that the parents are feeling because their teen-aged children are always on the go and about to move out of the house for the next chapters of their lives. This was confirmed to me in a later conversation with one of the home owners as he was giving me a lecture reminding me to hang on to the moments that I have now with my kids while they are younger because once they get older, you’ll be sad that they are up and leaving.
Last April I remember sitting in my bathroom I remember feeling a strong sense of sadness and I couldn’t help but to keep thinking that “Life as we know it, will never be the same again.” Strong words, and well, some that can ignite panic. A day or so later at the bus stop I learned of a family in the neighborhood who lost their son a few evenings prior in an automobile accident. I called a friend of mine who was friends with this neighbor asking if she knew of the son’s passing. She didn’t. A few days later she phones me to thank me again for letting her know about the accident as she went over to visit the family. She shared with me that though the family was grieving, they knew that they would see their son again someday. And they now have to learn to figure out a ‘new normal’ because (according to what my friend said) they said, “Life as they know it will never be the same.”
(Sit on that one for a moment.)
Another morning while getting ready I started to feel really sluggish and out of it, which was odd because I thought that I had been eating well, drinking the necessarily liquids and actually got a decent night’s sleep. (A rarity, the sleep anyway.) Later that morning I went to get my hair done. While sitting in the chair, my stylist kept yawning and was noticeably tired. She complained of feeling fatigued and feeling out of it that day and thought that she might be coming down with something. After leaving the beauty shop and grabbing some lunch I felt totally fine.
Back in the fall of, or the latter half of 2015, I remember getting such an urge to stock pile bottled water, that it wasn’t even funny. We had the usual cases in the garage and periodically I kept adding to more and more cases in our front hall closet. It was to the point that my husband would make snide comments about it and I even had a friend and another time a relative give me a weird look when I opened up the hall closet door and they saw the inventory of water we had. (Again, insert snide comment towards me here.) It took me a while to put the pieces of this together, but what I think really happened with this situation was, (or what feelings I was feeling) were, well, Flint Michigan and their water crisis.
Now there are times when I don’t find this gift to be as exhausting and actually helpful in a sense. For example, one day my mouth kept hurting on a specific side. I noticed it again a day or so after when one of my children were with me. I asked, “Does the upper, left side of your mouth hurt you today?” The response was “Yes” in a matter-of-fact way. Well, later, we realized that my child’s upper molars were popping through — On the left side!
I’ve also been able to use this gift to feel when one of my children are about to get sick, for instance I can get a severe stomach ache before anyone mentions that they feel like they are going to throw up, or I can feel my nose start to itch or feel dry on one side or the other only to have one of my children come home from school to say that they were sent down to the Nurse’s Office that day for a bloody nose. (I’ve gotten so good at this game I’ll guess which side the nose bleed happened on before I later hear about it.)
I can also have my parents over for a visit and know that my Father’s back is hurting him because, well, mine will too. This helps me to know to keep the kids from playing too rough with him.
Being an Empath is a blessing and can feel like a curse, but as I learn to live with this gift, I feel lucky to have it.
What are some of your Empathic stories??