How I Knew About Empathy

I can remember always being an empath, but I never really knew until I was about 12. My childhood was never ever steady, it was constant stress. My mum and dad split up when I was 2, they say. Court fights over my name to who gets me the most, and both of them being alcoholics, my mum always getting into awful relationships, where sometimes the boyfriends were mean to me. By the time I was seven it was stupid the amount of pain I'd seen. My dad's mum lived with him, and when he wasn't around she'd call me names, I never knew why, but she'd say I was a waste of money, i was a little selfish rat, and I'd just cry. She'd say I just started bawling when my dad returned, and she'd get mad if I didn't make myself pretty. I'm guessing, thinking back on it she was jealous of how close I was to my dad, she never had a girl, and miscarried with every girl she had, I guess there was a past pain there. I didn't know that though, and now my self esteem is messed up. Kids at school were no help either.

When it came to my dad, he was a great dad, but always getting into bad things, always in the hospital. When I was about ten or eleven, he had a situation with a druggie who bit my dad, he had so much bacteria in his mouth that my dad got a skin eating disease and it threw him onto life support, the doctors had to constantly try and stop the disease, but they said that he wouldn't make it. My nan and my mum were pressuring me to talk to him, to say something sentimental, but it was all so overwhelming, like I was drowning, and I wanted to scream but I couldn't let myself, they were both so distressed and sad and concerned for me and a million other things. I couldn't do it, so I walked away, my nan yelled at me, and I cried, and my mum then took me to go for a walk.

We went for a walk from the hospital to this market place, where she usually went to this crystal shop, I kept a stubborn ten feet away from her because I was hating her airy confused nature, the way she gets when she's upset and thinks I can't see it, she laughs, she thinks I can't hear. It makes me angry.

When we got there, my mum stopped at a clothes shop and told me to go ahead, I remember being even more angry at her, but went ahead and waited out front of the crystal shop. I was so angry, so upset, but not enough to let people see, I just kept my hands in my pockets. I noticed though that there was a woman sitting on a bench with a man that had a travel backpack, she was talking to him, but looking my way. I felt like she said something to her boyfriend about me, eventually she kissed him goodbye and walked over to me, I was confused, but surprised when she asked if I wanted to come with her inside. Out of reaction, I just nodded and followed.

Her name was Clair, and she had dark hair, and really amazing bright blue eyes. She was comforting, but gentle strangers always are. She looked over the crystals, and it took her a while, like she was feeling them, deciding, after a while she picked up a stone called Kyanite, and told me to grasp it in my hand. Then she walked over behind the counter, and told me to stand in front.

I did, and she started talking about the crystal in my hand, I was half listening, I was in a calm moment, still upset, but just glad that I was somewhere else. The stone was meant to cut through fears of speaking, opens the chakra at the throat and such. I didn't expect it, but all of a sudden she started talking about how I was feeling, and how sick my dad is, and how scattered and confused my mother was, she used much better words than all those, and described it all so accurately. I could feel the surprise on my face.

She told me that my dad's heart was going to be the cause of his death, and if he survives this, he's going to have some rough few years, and his heart will give out. She was right, because my dad died last year from a blood infection that infected his heart, and he was getting brain damage from no oxygen to his brain from a lung infection.

Eventually, everything she was saying was so close to home that I started crying, just crying so suddenly and I couldn't stop, I couldn't talk, there was so much in me that I couldn't keep in anymore. She stood up, walked around the counter and hugged me. And said I need to open up to people, I need to let people hug me, let people talk to me. My mum walked in a bit later, shocked and starting talking in her annoying airy upset tone. "I knew this would work for her." but I was too busy crying I didn't bother being angry.

She told my mum I'm an empath and that I'm very sensitive to the world, she said doing art therapy would help me a lot, she gave my mum a number but my mum being a classic forgot about it and lost it. But I was sceptical, I didn't think I could be anything interesting like that, so I didn't believe it for a few years. Two years later, it felt like my empathy had become even harder to control, like it'd become stronger. I started high school, and then had to move to a new school. Ontop of the bitchiness, the vapid thoughts, the violent thoughts and the teachers being lazy, my mum wasn't very responsible.

She'd sleep all the time, her car would break down and I'd be at home for two weeks. I'd go back to school with no reason as to why I stayed off so long. My mum gave me such an irregular school year, that people would forget who I was, and then when people realized I existed, girls wouldn't like me even when I never spoke to them, they'd call me names, make jokes about me. It was senseless, and scary. After all I'd been through as a kid, it felt like everything was just getting worse.

It got to a point where I dread school, I had to force myself from crying before I went, and getting home I'd cry from how overwhelming all the people were, their faces, thoughts, eyes, body, everything was just so stuck inside me. I cried one morning at school, and visited the lady who always tried to get me to come to school, I forget her name now, but she was nice. I couldn't stop crying, and she couldn't understand me, but she let me sit inside the detention room where no one was, while I did my work.

Sometimes people would see me, and ask why I was in there, I'd always shrug or claim I didn't know, but all I could think was that I wanted them to go away. This went on for a while, the psychologist there tried to help me, but it never helped, thinking of calming things didn't help.

And then, just one day, I couldn't go to school, my mum yelled at me a lot, she stressed out that I was ruining my life, that it was all her fault. I kept telling her she wasn't a bad mother, but she gets so sucked up in her emotions she didn't believe me. I dropped out at 15.

I say all this because now I'm 17, and I'm still at this same point, even worse. I can't physically leave the house sometimes, I go weeks without seeing people, and I don't have any friends except for the occasional talk on facebook, and even then I can't stand keeping a conversation. People find me weird and awkward, I try hard to look people in the eye, and sometimes I zone out so bad in public to protect myself that I forget things I'm doing or where I'm going.

Today I couldn't go to the hairdressers because of my self esteem and my empathy, I couldn't go because I can't stand seeing myself in the mirror, and thinking of feeling all those things, and hearing all the fake conversations. Sometimes it feels like I can feel what people are feeling so much that I can hear them, I know what's wrong with people by text on a screen, it's something I like being able to do but hate at the same time. Lately it's been more of a curse. I don't have any interests except art, and nothing really picks my interest except studying people, even when it ruins me so much I can't help my mind from doing it automatically.

I look at things people do, how they improve themselves, there's other teenage girls around me that can casually go places, they have a healthy amount of friends, they get new clothes every month, they have parents with a job, they get their hair done every month. I have hardly any clothes, I have two outfits at the very least and all my clothes are from months and even years ago. I know this sounds really materialistic and I hate myself for it. I've never had a childhood, and now I'm missing being a teenager, but teenagers these days make me angry, so what I'm really trying to say is that it's stopping me from having a life, I feel like I've been an adult all my life. And empathy is making it really hard to even step outside the house, I can't find anyway to control it, and it's getting worse. I hate people for making me like this, I hate people for putting their thoughts inside my head, but I can't say that, it's so awful.

I'm angry, I'm depressed, I hate myself. I just want to be better, and I have no one to talk to and nothing I can do. I don't want help at the same time, I don't want any human contact, the thought of it makes me scared, anxious.

I'm hoping there's someone out there that's experienced it this bad, and has any advice.

justnovelty justnovelty
18-21, F
1 Response Feb 11, 2010

I am a empath too...I have to ground myself quite often. I dislike crowds of ppl...especially when I look around and one sticks out like a sore thumb and I can feel negetive vibes coming off them. I sometimes put a block up where a particular person is concerned just so I can be in a calm state of mind and not every where. <br />
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As I am getting older I meditate alot, I do not avoid places or people any more not even when I feel anxious or depressed I make myself function. I have good days as well as bad...I do not concentrate on the bad I always embrace the emotion I am feeling...identify with it, understand why I feel like this and release it. This was very hard for me to do at first...some days it takes longer than others to release my emotions I am feeling. What keeps me focused is the fact I know if I harbor any emotions especially those brought on by others I will be ruined...been there done that. <br />
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I do meditation on my charkas, use colors when I meditate when I feel necessary, bath in baking soda, yoga / pilates any thing that releaves stress from me. You like art...why not check into a class or do some paintings or drawings at home? Try going to an art gallery that cheers me up too. Another thing I do is go outside...get a breath of fresh air...do you exercise? Exercise has help me too...its a great self confidence builder. Also write...I too like studying people and their emotions even though I know how I'm gonna feel afterwards. I normally write about how I feel, situations I encounter of if I noticed someone was off. I too dropped out of school. I was 16 years old. I remember feeling angry, depressed, and self confidence going. Keep your head up...it will get better once you learn how to control it a bit. Peace, Love and Light. I'm here for you.