On some level, most people will know what empathy is. But do they know what it’s like to be an empath? To sit in the presence of somebody else and physically feel what they feel. Sitting in a room of people feeling the emotions of all of those who surround them. I do, I feel it all.

Maybe its Borderline Personality Disorder that makes me so perceptive to other people’s emotions, maybe it’s something I was gifted with before I even had a personality disorder. Who knows, right?

I don’t remember a first time where I felt everything someone else did, I thought it was completely normal to be like this. I used to hate it, I felt like it was a curse. Do you know what it feels like to walk into a room, like at school, and be completely suffocated by emotions that you can not distinguish from your own? It honestly feels like suffocation, its overwhelming and it hurts.

If you cry, I cry. If you’re angry, I’m angry. If you’re worried, I’m worried. I take those emotions away with me. Weird? Definitely. 

I spent years completely unaware of the emotional war that was happening inside of me, I was completely oblivious to what was actually happening. Over time I started to realise what was happening, that I would kind of consume someone else’s emotions as if they were my own. I never knew what it was call until someone posted about it on social media. Empath. That was me.

Over time I learnt to own my truth, to distinguish the mess, my emotions separate from theirs. I learnt to hush the voices and feelings inside. To pull them apart and see whom they belong to. Then I could use my gift to really help people, I saw parts of them they didn’t realise they were laying bare to people like me. I could sit and feel them.

Although this gift wasn’t enough on its own, I taught myself how to read body language, tone, words they used, so I knew how to approach them or a subject and I knew how to help. I spent years observing people and feeling their deepest emotions before I could even comprehend helping further than absorbing their feelings. Granted I am still nowhere near perfect at reading people, but I have a much better understanding of it than I ever thought I would.

In college I used my knowledge and gifts to show off, reading friends. Telling them what I knew, what I had read, sometimes I could even explain to them what their parents were like. I took advantage of what the universe had given me. In some sense I understand why eventually I had a mental breakdown, maybe it was a punishment for abusing it and for neglecting my own emotions.

When I left college, I think I learnt that my gifts weren’t to be used and abused in the way I had previously. Instead I focused on fixing myself, connecting to those close to me so I could potentially help them, I rarely used my gift outside of those people if I could help it.

After a few years I learnt how to fully look after myself and how to look after others. I started reading strangers and if I felt confident they would listen, I might have a conversation with them, give some light advice. I did similar online, although reading someone online is much harder especially when we can show parts of us, we want to online and not the full picture and often not the full truth. I like to think I’ve done some good, that I’m worthy of my gifts now.

I still struggle with being an empath though, I get exhausted from feeling everyone all at once, I have my own down days where I block almost everything out and stay away from busy places. I still get very much overwhelmed by others and sometimes my own feelings, as my own feelings can be very big.

I also question whether being an empath means I draw in narcissists; they’re whole meaning is to deceive people and maybe deceiving an empath is a challenge to them. Maybe they see a strong, gifted person and make it their life mission to break them.

I’ve had my fair share of those, narcissists I mean. That’s probably another reason why I feel like the abuse I received was my own fault, because I have an ability to read people. Did I read them wrong? Did I ignore my instincts?

I have this overwhelming need to fix people or attempt to make their life better. It feels like there’s an enormous pressure on my shoulders to do that sometimes and more often than not I give in to that notion. That might be why, in the past, I have lost parts of myself to other people. I commit completely to these people to help them.

It’s still very hard for me to focus on me and my own emotional needs, but I’m still learning of course. I can recognise times I need to recharge, isolate myself and focus on my own self-care. Sometimes I shut the world out, just to keep myself together and well and I know that’s okay now. I also don’t tell people I’m an empath, partly out of fear I’ll be judged, partly because I don’t want to use my gifts to show off again. I do the best I can when I can, and I try to do as much good as I’m capable of even if that means I absorb other people’s emotions.

Are you an empath?

What are some things you struggle with?

Love and light

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