Empathy

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posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 09:27 AM
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When I was a young boy, people could probably best describe me as “sensitive”. I was an emotional creature, and had extreme ups and downs – which nearly pushed me to a total depression at an early age.

I couldn’t concentrate in school, and I struggled to make high enough grades to just pass my classes. It is a sad state of affairs when you make straight “D’s” and are proud of them.

The only refuge I had from my constant emotional swings was at home – in the safe domicile of my parents’ house.

By the time I reached third grade, I was still hardly passing my classes. I truly thought I was stupid. My mom and dad had taken me to numerous clinics to test me for A.D.D., A.D.H.D., only to find out that my I.Q. was higher than average – leading the doctors to say I was either lazy, or just overly board in class.

From that point the frustration of my parents increased, and was now aimed closer to me – as they believed I was just lazy. I can recall countless nights where my mother would get so frustrated she would cry, and my dad would lecture me until my mind had gone numb.

I tried to tell them I was not lazy – I just couldn’t understand.

Finally, when I was in fourth grade, they tried one final time to take me to a doctor at Children’s Hospital.

After hours of testing the doctor finally diagnosed me with Tourette Syndrome – which is a mental problem that causes head jerking, motor movement, or random audible outbursts; commonly referred to as “ticks”.

I was put on a pill called Catapres, which was a blood pressure pill. I was put on extremely tiny doses, which my mother had to cut in half from a whole pill and feed to me.

The tiny pink pill was a miracle drug – I went from making straight D’s to straight A’s in one week. I was finally able to concentrate – but the only side effects were drowsiness and lack of emotional response; I was emotionally static when I was on the drug.

However, I began to notice something unusual – I would still have random emotional outbursts. I would either be extremely happy one moment, or angry the next.

I realized through these outbursts that emotional states are what controls Tourette Syndrome – and the frequency of the “ticks” I would have.

But I also realized something else – these emotional outbursts I was having felt different. I felt more detached from them; as if I was feeling them not through myself, but from some other place or source.

Soon my refuge of home was shattered, as I began to feel anger when I was there – starting soon after my father always got home from work.

For a long time I thought my dad hated me – I associated this in my childhood mind because I would always get angry when he got home. I could literally feel it before I even knew he was in the house. I would begin to feel angry, go to the front door, and see him pulling into the driveway.

This feeling continued for some months – until finally my dad pulled me aside and spoke to me.

“Your mother and I are separating for a while,” he told me. He gave me the usual talk that separating parents will tell their children. “It’s not you. You aren’t at fault for this – it’s just that I and your mother aren’t getting along very well.”

He left and went to stay at a hotel room for a few days. Soon after that my mom went to get him – she realized that she had made a mistake, and that she was causing the problems in the marriage. They reconciled.

After that I never felt anger in my house again.

Over the years similar things happened with different people, and I soon realized that the emotional outbursts I was having were not from me – but were actually the emotions of others. And they overwhelmed me.

The pill I was on dulled my emotions to a point where I could distinguish between my emotions, and the emotions of other – you could say I became conscious of their emotional field.

Years later, through research, I discovered there was a name for what I was: an Empathic.

I could feel others emotions.

Even after I came off the pill, and could control Tourette Syndrome, I could still feel the emotions of others. All of those years allowed me to train my mind, to become conscious of the difference between my feelings and others.

It is my theory that everyone can do this – only others aren’t conscious enough of their own self to understand the problems they are having emotionally probably aren’t theirs.

It is my theory that people with neurological disorders – such as A.D.D., or A.D.H.D, Tourette Syndrome, etc. May actually be empathic – and are short circuiting due to overstimulation of their emotions. Only doctors don’t realize this.

To this day I feel other people’s emotions. I know when they lie to me, when they are sad, angry, etc.

It is a gift and a curse.

That is my story….




posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by MentorsRiddle
 


I am giving you a star and a flag. Enjoy it and make it last.
Unfortunately the word "empathy" has sort of a communist social program connotation to it right now. I doubt you are going to have more than a few fans.

There will come a time in everyone's life however when they hope and pray for a little bit of empathy toward themselves. Empathy they were unable to muster up for another.



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 09:47 AM
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Gives new meaning to the expression, "I feel your pain", doesn't it? I'm right there with you, (except for the Tourettes diagnosis).....was even put on Valium at the age of 11 by our family physician, due to the "psycho-somatic stomach pains" that I suffered every time my parents would fight....which was often.
I have always been able to feel other people's emotions, physical pain, etc. and it has caused me a lot of grief. The very worst is having 3 children that I adore....and feeling their suffering....hurts me more than any pain that I experience personally.
I have also noticed over the years that certain medications "numb" the emotional pain somewhat.....and have come to the conclusion that there are a LOT of people out there, numbing emotional pain. What I don't understand is the people that can't/don't have empathy.....
(Note: I am speaking about prescription drugs that have been prescribed by my doctor for valid injuries, not advocating recreational drugs.....it's no surprise to me that so many people these days are "addicted" to their meds....especially those who have also noticed the effect of numbing emotional pain).
At the end of the day though, I would rather be the person who has empathy for their fellow man....than the cold heartless person who only cares about Number 1.
Thanks for sharing your story!
jacygirl



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by newcovenant
 


Thank you for your compliments.

I hope no one thinks I am on a political agenda here. I just felt driven today to share my story. I don't know why. Perhaps it will help someone who is going through this.



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 09:57 AM
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Babies are emphatic too. If one cries, the others cries too. I suppose if everyone could feel others emotions, there´ll be no more kills, and agression to others, because they would feel the pain itself.



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by jacygirl
 


I understand your pain. There have been times when I have experienced this physical sensation as well - it is nerve racking.

However, because I have learned how to shut my emotions off - I don't get overwhelmed anymore - at least not as much. Sometimes I can't help it and it over runs me.



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by greenCo
 


I had never thought of that before - that's a really good thought!



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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Thank you for sharing your story


I feel it too. I have been diagnosed with major depression (later changed to dysthymia) and anxiety. I was told I am borderline ADHD. I played the perscripton drug game for over a decade before deciding to go off everything and see how I feel "just being me".

That was when I realized I was feeling other peoples emotions too. And it is a blessing and a curse, but I think it makes me a better person. At the very least I treat others better than I would if I wasn't this way.



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:10 AM
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Fascinating read.

Whilst I do not have tourettes or the empath ability quite as strong as you have, I can concur with some of your experiences.

I am very sensitive to the emotions and emotional-discharges of others, and for many years have had difficulty in filtering what is my own and what comes from outside.

Not an easy life - though I am super-considerate, super-sensitive and feel great compassion for all life, my need for social interaction has waned considerably. And obviously a person cannot describe the reasons for one's apathy towards social interactions to friends - because how can they possibly understand?

I am certain that everything happens for a reason, and that your gift is an absolute unique capability which you should treasure and sharpen. It is a type of "telepathy" after all - albeit on an emotional level... S + F and good luck!



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by geekinthepink
 


I understand your feelings.

There are many times I will put others ahead of my self, because basically hurting them causes me to feel the pain too. So not only do I have to deal with guilt of being selfish, but also feeling their pain.



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by shimmeringsilver73
 


Thanks for your comments & time posting.

I have also discovered that touch can amplify the feelings. Almost like it is conducting streight through the person, and not just free floating in the air and I skim off of it.



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by newcovenant
reply to post by MentorsRiddle
 



Unfortunately the word "empathy" has sort of a communist social program connotation to it right now


What? Empathy has nothing to do with politics or economic perseverances. Its a Human emotion, and a damn good one that makes people decent. I'm sorry to tell you this but communist don't have a monopoly on empathy.

OT: Star and flag and that was good read. Thanks for sharing and pouring your soul.
edit on 10/18/2011 by Mcupobob because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by Mcupobob
 


Thanks for reading



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:36 AM
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I understand how you feel. You are blessed to be more fortunate than some. In my situation, home was never a refuge, there was no refuge at all really, my parents were too clueless to even realize that there was anything wrong with me, or what they were doing to me empathetically, so I had to become MPD/DID to cope and now I don't know how to fix myself and return to being a more helpful and likeable being.



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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Empathy may not have anything to do with politics....but lack of empathy in a politician, can have consequences that affect a lot of people. What kind of president (prime minister, etc.) would we have if the job only paid minimum wage? How would your country be run if the leader was struggling with the same issues as the common man/woman?
My point is, that empathy doesn't just mean sensing another person's pain/feelings....it also transfers into being able to put yourself in the other person's shoes. If a leader is able to truly understand the problems of the people they are leading.....or if they themself HAVE the same problems....would they not then have a different (better?) perspective on how to solve the issues?
Sorry, I didn't mean to change the direction of your thread.....I just believe that empathy is a VERY important quality.....and unfortunately, many of our leaders don't seem to be able to relate to us. We have lived our lives trusting that certain authority figures have our best interests at heart (leaders, teachers, doctors, etc.) when in fact many do not. Perhaps you truly have to experience something to understand it fully.
I try very hard not to judge another person, or....to put myself in their position (when possible) to understand their point of view. (Stopping now, before I completely stray off topic, lol).
jacygirl



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by elliotmtl
 


I am so sorry....

If I may be bold enough to try and lend some advice.

I feel that MPD is a result from disconnecting totally from a certain aspect of your emotional self. A side that you repress and hold back.

What side is it?

Try to connect with that side of yourself - so long as it doesn't hurt you or others - and when you go to sleep at night. Lay down and imagine you are talking to that aspect of yourself. Make sure that that aspect realizes that you are him/her and that aspect is also you.

When you have this conversation, do not speak outloud - only in your head. Only do this while you lay down and try to go to sleep. Imagine this conversation happening somewhere you can feel relaxed - like a nice sunny island, with waves and beautiful clouds.

Talk to one another in your minds eye - try to connect with one another and become friends. Make an effort to understand that half's personality.

Imagine this conversation in your mind - don't think about the responses your other personality will gieve, just go with it. Only think about what you will say.

Over time I think you will come to intergrate this personality into your life - and become a whole again.
edit on 18-10-2011 by MentorsRiddle because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 11:07 AM
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Thank you friend, it is good advice, I am sure I will try to do something like that sometime, but it is less a matter of not knowing what the other parts of my personality are like, and more a matter of being afraid to connect with them because I don't want to remember or refeel the things that have happened to me, and I still don't really feel safe or relaxed anywhere yet. But oh well, its not so bad as it probably sounds,



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by elliotmtl
 


What I recomened for you to do is something I have done for years and years.

I have had dreams about them. In the dreams we have spoken for hours (or so it seemed in the dream world).



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 12:53 PM
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I wrote novels with different aspects of me as different characters (though I wasn't consciously aware that I was doing it at the time and even now I'm not entirely sure what I did) but my fantasy world in those novels was based on a fundamentalist Christian worldview where God is justified in being an abuser just 'cause he's God and you've got to love him anyway...and I don't really believe in that worldview anymore so now even my fantasy world is stuck in limbo


I am intending on learning dream skills but I have to proceed slowly because I'm still naive and probably a bit too easily swayed by powerful experiences....



posted on Oct, 18 2011 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by elliotmtl
 


I've found that with me - I have a hard time discovering who I am, and what my purpose is in this world.

For that reason I beleive there are different aspects of myself, which I mimic from books, movies, etc. Because I think they best portray that side of me.

Make since?

So it's easy to get wrapped up in a fantasy, when you are unhappy with the major aspects of yourself.

only untill I realized that I am strong, and I do have purpose did I start recovering from my little fantasy.



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