Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Empathy: A How I'm Feeling Post
My emotional state has been quite the roller coaster over the last few days. But because of the upheaval, I've sort of had an epiphany. I'm extraordinary empathetic. I always knew that I was sensitive & felt deeply for people who were going through different things, but it was reinforced over the weekend.
After hearing about the... tragedy... (I want a better word but I don't know what to say) in Connecticut on Friday, I couldn't stop crying. It was like I was leaking and I couldn't quite pull myself together. Eventually, I got it all "tucked in" enough to get stuff done. The next morning, I was still feeling off. It was a feeling like when you walk into a room and the floor is slightly tilted... it looks normal, but you feel the difference. So I figured the best thing to do is to get out of the house and visit one of my friends. We talked a bit and I told him I was worried about going to this particular potluck that afternoon. Reason being, they always have a "discussion" about either current events or spiritual things or whatnot and I knew that the shooting was going to be it. He told me not to fret too much and that I'd be ok.
A few hours later, I'm at the potluck, feeling ok, eating some food, and talking to friends. Then they started the discussion. It was to shooting, of course... I was actually ok throughout the whole thing, pretty much because I was totally focused on the crocheting I was doing. After that discussion ended, someone suggested a season of prayer. Normally prayer is great, but at that particular moment, the only thing keeping me together was being able to crochet. During prayer, all I could see was blood... and tears... I kept trying to push the feelings out, but I couldn't. Prayer ended and I just wanted to lay on the couch, but people kept asking what was wrong with me. I felt frozen. Like if I moved I would break completely. So I just laid there and breathed. That is until my friend that came with me insisted we leave so he could figure out what to do. I remember getting up, quickly making my way to the door, whispering goodbyes, and trying to put my shoes on. The one of the girls looked at me and asked was I alright, and I felt it. It was like a crushing or a vacuum in my chest and I ran out of the house. I got to the front yard before the pain rammed me. I wailed. I couldn't breathe. I felt so much pain and sorrow radiating from the center of my body. It was so far past terrible I can't express it. I kept seeing them. Hearing them. All I could do was wail and sob with my face to the ground. I wanted to stop crying but I couldn't. Eventually, my friend carried me to the car and drove me home. Even now, writing this, I'm focusing on my breathing just to keep the tears at bay.
The following days were rough... to say the least. I'm feeling everything and it's very tiring. A couple days ago, when leaving work, I had a thought. I pray for God to make me more like Him, and He's the strongest empath ever... so me becoming more sensitive and in tune to the experiences of others could be Him answering my prayers. People have been telling me that this empathy is a spiritual gift since Saturday. I guess there's nothing I can do to back out of it now, so I just need Him to help me to use my empathy efficiently and not get clobbered by it.
I went to a counselor this morning... he was nice. Pretty much restated things I knew, but he read me very well. I need to learn to do that. I did some reading about managing empathy and have decided to get back into meditation. Hopefully it'll be good for me.
Right now, I'm ok. Not up not down. I'm good with this.