I’ve lived with this heightened awareness and (excessive?) empathy for as long as I can remember. It doesn’t feel like it’s my choice to look for those signs in others of discomfort, pain, inner struggle.
I just feel it. Notice it.
And I struggle with deciding who and when to offer some type of support.
I want to fix it all.
I have my own issues that need fixing. I meet very few fellow empaths. People that are willing to carry my struggles with me. But even when others try, I struggle to convey the depth of the pain.
In contrast, I feel the depth of pain in others. Sometimes without them saying a single word.
I see how heavy the darkness is around them. I detect and notice the subtleties of pleadings to be seen. To be noticed. And I want to acknowledge them all.
But I’ve learned.
To avoid the emotional leeches. Even the ones who don’t mean to be.
It’s hard to put distance there. But it’s a necessity for mental and emotional wellness.
I could easily get swept into a relentless barrage of waves, drowning in the hurt and cries for attention from others.
My heart aches to comfort. Soothe. Speak life and truth and words of affirmation.
But I can only do so much. I can only pour from this vessel so many times before it becomes empty. And if it becomes empty, completely empty, without steps to be filled again, I become exhausted, depleted. And have nothing left to give. Even to myself.
It’s why I need solitude. Music. Church. Laughter. Literature. Art. Physical affection. Sleep.
Things that replenish.
It is guilt to turn away when I have seen.
It is conflict within my very being.
Because I can’t unsee what I have become aware of in another human.
I help those I can. Who will allow me in their space. I reach out to fellow empaths when I believe I find one.
I choose carefully these days about where to expend my energy.
The choosing feels selfish.
But it’s necessary.
But that necessity has been an exhausting, yet valuable lesson.