I woke up at 4am. I had a nightmare.
I was driving in my old car. A nifty blue Renault Lupo. Having completely forgotten how to work the gearstick, I looked through the front window to be met with blue metal frame work; I couldn't see where the car was heading. Suddenly the car landed on the top level of a huge concrete car park. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the vehicle in gear. My seat was miles away from the steering wheel but everytime I adjusted it forward, it would roll back further and further until I was practically in the boot. Cars surrounded me and I couldn't do anything to get out of the way. My grandma appeared to me for the first time in a long time and then dissolved.
I woke up with my heart racing, feeling so desperately alone and needing someone to cling to. There was this cloud of heavy energy surrounding me. To top off my anxiety, I could hear a voice outside of my window calling in to the night. They sounded too close to my room and I was paralysed with fear, so I lay rigid in my bed, trying to calm my heart rate and not start crying again.
You see yesterday I had a bit of a wakeup call. I've thrown around the word empathy a lot during my life. I would consider it to be one of my strongest traits as a human. However, in my constant quest for knowledge and growth, I came across an article about empaths. As I clicked on the page and scrolled down, every word reflected back into my soul who I truly am. I kid you not. Every. single. word. I could feel tears rolling down my face. Then I couldn't stop.
I equate last night's monumental discovery to the unveiling of my Queerness at eighteen years old. You can call it problematic to compare the two, however the structures are strikingly similar. Both involve a repression of a fundamental part of you that society deems as weakness. Others can accept you or shame you for your truth. Of course acts of violence towards empathic people are not comparable to the suffering of Queer people, although I can reference many experiences in my life where being subject to others suffering can feel like someone physically pounding your heart with a rolling pin.
If you aren't fully clear on some of the traits of an empath then let me explain through my own experience.
I am a walking-talking sponge that absorbs all of the energies around me. The energy inside of huge shopping centres is so fractured and negative that I have to stand outside or run through the store in order to preserve the flow in my chest. Constant sound, lots of other anxious people's energies, dank lighting and plastic surroundings are my personal hell. I hate Primark beyond belief. For food shopping, I write a list prior and get in and out in under twenty minutes without fail. I can feel the energy in a coffee shop or the presence around a circle of friends. If it feels off and I have the option to leave, you bet that I am out of that door as soon as I can.
Feelings are HEAVY. Feelings are contagious. I know that I can affect others around me and the effect can be overwhelming positive; should I be in a balanced and connected space. It is like you are oozing out light in the darkness.
Strangers are like magnets towards my energy and open up to me about their lives. Whilst this has meant I have met some beautiful and fascinating souls in my experience so far, it also has allowed deeply negative individuals to leak their poisonous crap all over me. I'll end up stuck with all of this thick tarry gunk in my chest as they walk away smiling. When I am physically exhausted, it's harder to maintain these energetic barriers and I find even more toxic people swan in and sit next to me on the bus.
If I listen to music and the lyrics are moving it is impossible not step fully into that space and feel exactly what the lyricist and musician are experiencing. I have to be really careful to choose the vibe I want to spend time in, otherwise I easily get sucked into a dark vibration and struggle to climb out.
Violent films, sexual assault scenes in films don't just make me uncomfortable. They leave me in a depressed state for weeks afterwards. I still can't shake the rape scene in 'Girl with a Dragon Tattoo' from my soul. I remember screaming at my parents as we watched the film to turn it off. I was in such a state of hysteria that they were sat dumbfounded at my response. I never saw the end of the film. The same applies for a horror movie at my friend's 13th birthday party. Iron masked criminals slept surrounded by dead bodies holding huge machine guns. I cried so much at the images that they furiously turned it off. I knew I'd ruined the day but I couldn't help it. For weeks after in the school corridors, I could see these characters hiding around corners ready to leap out and capture me.
I can spot lies and bullshit from one hundred miles away. People can't fool me. I worked as a receptionist in a marketing company for two weeks on their reception desk and it was horrific. The staff would come to the desk to talk to the other receptionist and bitch and moan about such fake crap. Behind their eyes they were so unhappy and their energy was horrible. Everytime they approached, I tried to read my Louise Hayes 'Gratitude' book as to centre myself amongst some of the fakest humans I've ever encountered.
Energetically connected, calm and patient people are the best people on the planet. I have only a few friends who when I spend time with them, I feel like I am tuning into safety and my true soul's calling. My Grandad was like this. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are always happy, but they are honest and unencumbered by distractions or false sense of identity. When they are with you, they are with you. Not checking their phone every five minutes for someone better to appear. Not hiding their true essence for fear of being judged. These people are rare gems and should be appreciated every day.
I can be there for people anytime they need me. Their emotions are easy to absorb and to subconsciously mirror back to them. When it comes to my own emotional needs however, I don't have the language or the trust to show friends the truth. The response has mostly been confusion or patronising words of advice so I don't bother opening the door. Even if there are people who are beautiful souls and willing to listen, it feels shameful to show them all the baggage I have been carrying around. It is once and a blue moon that I let it all go.
I'm crying again as I type this because sometimes I wonder if I have the mental and physical energy to keep going on in this way. It's like someone has turned off the lights and I'm just walking around in the dark, looking like Gordon Ramsey's forehead.
So here I am. An empath. Exhausted and alone. What now?
Well according to numerous videos and articles I've consumed, being an empath can be a phenomenal resource to the planet itself. It's not all doom and gloom. We need more people to bring about peace and work with healing energy in our current system. Just look at the state of madness around us. The main crux however, is if you don't know how to keep yourself strong and connected, you lose access to your own personal power.
So yet again it comes back to working on yourself. When you dig deep into your soul, you find all sorts of diamonds in the dirt. The dirt for me is oozing thick anxiety and darkness I repressed for years because the pain felt too much. But I'm tougher than I thought. My resilience has got me through so much. So I'll be damned if I stop now.
The practices suggested are inner child work, emotional maturity, creativity, keeping boundaries with negative people, meditation, moving your body and opening your heart.
Being one hundred percent honest with friends and family is not easy. Mostly because they don't know what to say or they think you are losing your mind. 'Everyone feels sad' is not the right response; whilst there is truth in the statement, it ignores the extent to which this sadness lodges in your soul. It is on another level of feeling. And I refuse to take medication or numb myself with addictions anymore. I want to shift into a new space where I can be strong and use my energy to help others whilst keeping myself safe. I can't keep clinging onto old energy, old toxic patterns and relationships anymore. It doesn't serve anyone.
I know the right people will get it. Still, it's not easy. Slowly but surely I watch as others drift away on their own iceberg. I look out at sea, hoping more energetically attuned people on icebergs will start drifting towards me. Or perhaps as I move onto a higher plane of awareness, others that are awake will start to meet me and we will climb on dry land together.
I'm tired. I'm sad. I'm lonely. I'm overwhelmed. I'm entrenched in pain.
I'm brave. I'm honest. I'm vulnerable. And I'm willing to feel all of it.
The empath x