Thank you, Karma.
That paragraph you wrote on personality misinterpretation could have been written by me. I am very sorry you get treated that way, but I hope it helps you to know that you made someone else (me) feel a bit less alone and strange.
Friends (with only a couple of exceptions), tend to contact me only when they need help in their lives and want someone to dump on. They do this despite my life being much more of of a mess than theirs.
People who don't need help are not attracted to me or quickly drop me since I am not interested in small talk or things like clothes shopping. I have actually asked people if I bore them and they all say no, but they feel they cannot offer what I want in a friendship. That's true, since like most empaths, I want intensity and deep connection. The idea of sitting and having a talk about the state of the world, about the unseen world, about our deepest feelings, etc. sounds boring to them.
If I try to help a friend who obviously has problems that other "friends" don't care enough to bring up, no matter how tactful I try to be, I often get "kill the messenger". This happens even with people who should know me well. Nine months ago I lost my best friend of 54 years due to tactfully asking her to discuss her serious memory and reading problems with her doctor. Both of her parents had dementia. I have brain damage and am familiar with those problems from others with the same illness that caused mine, so I was alarmed. She was furious that I could not "accept" her and ended a 54 yr. friendship. The last thing I want is acceptance! I want the kind of friends who will care enough to risk telling me when I am being an a**hole, and I am mature enough to listen because it may help my growth. My parents died young and I have no siblings, so she was the longest relationship of my life. It still hurts really badly and I doubt I will ever trust anyone who says I am their "sister" and they'll love me forever no matter what, ever again.
I have had many people tell me I am "too good to live" (What?) or the best human being they've ever met, or the most spiritual person they've ever met, or that they like knowing I am around if they need me, but actually being with me makes them feel "less than".
I have asked all of these people if I am acting like a know it all, or am too self-righteous, if I seem to be judging them or some other bad thing, and they all deny it and say they just feel good about themselves until they see how much more volunteer work I do despite being very ill, how I keep fighting my illness, or how I gave to charity from my disability check, etc., etc.
I then point out my many flaws, with which I am painfully familiar, and they laugh and say they've never seen me having a rage or any anger (a major problem due to my brain damage), and that I am always kind, which is not true at all. I just try not to inflict rages on others, and rarely feel enraged towards those I like, though my husband can't escape, poor man. I also dislike most humans and admit it, so I am certainly not the most spiritually advanced person ever, lol.
As crazy as it sounds, it seems I am being isolated and punished merely for trying to always be a better and better person. I had a handwriting analysis done once which said that I can be misunderstood, which is a shame. Understatement! Sorry to ramble, but this really hit a nerve.
Has anyone else experienced the misunderstanding problem to this extreme degree? If so, how do you handle it?
P.S. On past life regression, I had a psychic once run through my past lives, and she hit several I was already familiar with through lucid dreams, but also came up with a few I did not know about. I would give anything to have an experience like you had, janeames, where I could actually talk to a relative who had passed on. What a blessing! Thanks for telling us about it.
Thank you for the link. I appreciate it and will get to it as soon as I finish my lunch.
I am so very sorry for what happened to you. I figured out that I should end one-sided relationships when I got the disease I have and my closest friends turned out not to be there for me at all. It was a couple of casual friends who were really there for me, much to my surprise, though they eventually moved off too, as I got sicker.
I had a similar experience to your wedding non-invitation with a long term online friend, and ended it after I faced the fact that she did not consider online friendship to be "real" even after more than 6 yrs. of long, daily emails.
I assume it has occurred to you that the reason this woman did not tell anyone she had cancer was that she could not fully deal with it, and seeing you ever after reminded her of the cancer? (This is an example of the kind of thing I say that pisses some people off. I was a psychiatric social worker, and don't see why I should not bring up a possible insight, if I have one. I did not say it was a certainty, merely a possibility, and if it resonates with you, it would confirm that it was totally her problem, though you seem to understand that already, but many folks might not. Why this makes people mad eludes me, since like you, I mean only to help). Whatever the reason, it was truly awful, and I can see why you have kept new friends at arms length since then.
I have done the same with the one new person who has befriended me since this happened. I find it very hard to do though, since I never really had a family. I never knew any relatives due to a religious difference which caused my parents to be disowned by both sides of he family, and I had no siblings, and parents who were totally into their work and did not want a child, so my friends have always beenmy family. I am lucky to still have two other 54 yr. old friendships that have lasted despite thousands of miles between us. These are not nearly as close as the one I lost though, though one is still in constant contact with me.
I am also serious by nature, am a "brainy" type, with corresponding interests, and feel lonely if I don't have anyone to discuss the things I am interested in. I have tried having many casual friends and felt far more lonely that way than I do now. I actually felt like I'd been dropped on another planet. From what I've read and seen in videos, it is common for most empaths to prefer a few deep relationships. I agree with you that most people do not need that in their lives, but not having real intimacy would remove all purpose from life for me. That is just me and I must be who I really am for the time I have left. I pick up that some people are actually afraid of that kind of closeness and most don't even seem to want it from their family. I feel like a different species!
I am glad having more friends but more casual ones has worked for you. I believe most people prefer that these days, or at least it appears that way to me,so you should find it easier to do. I doubt it would ever work for me, since it is just not who I am, and there is also my illness, which makes new friendships almost impossible now, especially since I can no longer drive. I also have to run my husband's business, which ties me to an office 84 hrs. a week. I've made peace with it mostly, but I'm not where you are yet.
It would have been a lot easier for me to deal with it if my BFF had died, as awful as that sounds. It is also possible that what I picked up with her and saw happening over the past couple of years is correct. It is a very common symptom of Alzheimer's to vehemently deny having a problem, so I would not blame myself at all if it turned out I was right, but since she lives 4,000 miles away, I will never know if I was right or not, and I tend to think that no matter how flat a pancake is it still has two sides, so I must have done something wrong, however small, that I can work on.
I am pleased that you have not let that former friend become empowered by your pain, but instead have taken your power back and used it to find happiness. I look forward to arriving in the place you are now! Thanks for giving me hope....
Sorry, I misunderstood that part about her friends. My friend always said horrible things about her other friends too. That was a red flag I missed, thinking myself different, since I'd been her friend forever and because she told me several times and even wrote me a letter telling me that her sister and I were the only two human beings she really loved and would never leave behind.
Not trusting her own friends was probably a flag too with your friend. I missed so much of that stuff on purpose. I ignored things like that a lot when I was younger and had no boundaries; a typical empath problem. Now that I have boundaries, I do not tolerate being treated that way.
I went to one Meetup of people with a common interest, but it was on our busiest work night , and we had to leave the business phone unattended and my husband had to go too, to drive me. It was way too long at 4 hours and I could hardly walk after sitting on a folding chair that long, and my husband said he would just drop me off in future, go all the way home and come back to pick me up. I couldn't do that to him after how hard he works at his age.
I do have a few friends, it is just that they all live really far away from me. I had to move where I live now for my health when the problems started and have never fit in here. It is totally different than where I am from. I only have two who live close enough to see, and one is tied to her house just like I am to mine. We share an illness, plus she cares for an elderly woman full time in her home, since like me, she is too sick to work outside the home. The other is a workaholic, working 100 hrs. a week since many other incomes depend on hers. I see her 1-3 times a year and almost never communicate in-between, since if I do, she bombards me with her problems all day long, in mile long emails, and another thing I've quit is being everyone's free shrink.
I did a lot of counseling with people who have my disease ( ran a support group for 10 yrs. before I had to stop driving) and I am very lucky compared to most. We become invisible when we are housebound and many have no friends at all. Curiously, I find that many of them want it that way. I wish I felt that way, it would make it much easier.
If I ever find time and energy and want it enough, I will try to start my own MeetUp at our local senior center which is close enough I would not feel bad making my husband drive me and drop me off. Being sick, I am reluctant to lead a group again, since I can't guarantee I can show up for it myself!
It sounds like you did the right thing with that funeral. It was very gracious of you.
OMG, after reading the intelligent and articulate way you write, I cannot believe anyone could think you stupid! They are probably: a) jealous for some reason, b) misinterpreting kindness for stupidity, an all too common problem since sociopathy has apparently become an acceptable "moral" code in our sick society.
Ditto for being a pushover, though in my case, I used to be that way, until I made myself open up and invest emotionally far more slowly. This has been recent but has already paid off when I got very close very fast to someone who seemed like a fabulous new online friend for me and after long daily emails and phoning me many times she suddenly abandoned me. I know it is her problem, and I think I know why she did it, so I do not blame myself. I would have been devastated before, so losing my BFF has already taught me something helpful. To close myself or hold back is not my nature, but I can do it. It takes practice.
Thank you for pointing out that admitting my flaws can be used against me. I forget that too often. I do it only when people insist I am somehow saintly and make them feel like they are lessor beings just by being myself. I want them to see I'm human too, though sometimes I wonder about that, but for other reasons and that is a whole other thread!
The rages come from the brain damage. According to my Neurologist, loss of temper control is the number one symptom of permanent brain trauma. I had zero temper before and it feels like being possessed.
The brain damage came from two things: 1)a car accident with a head injury at which I was declared dead on the scene. Surprise! and, 2) the late-stage neuroborreliosis aka Lyme Disease, which is slowly killing me because I was misdiagnosed for 21 years. Lyme is only curable in the first stage and you can get remission in the second if you are young and have lots of money for treatment. I was not correctly diagnosed until late stage three. This is very common, unfortunately. There have been many homicide/suicides due to Lyme rages, as they are known, so I have an extra reason to avoid toxic people since they enrage me.
Thank you for admitting you agree with me about humanity. I think many people are only interested in what you can do for them, IME. It takes courage to say that in our culture, where we put a happy face on everything and I also think we require women specifically to put up with just about any sort of behavior in order to be thought of as decent, nice people.
If interested in finding out what sort of brain problems you have, you can ask for referral to have a neuropsychological evaluation. The copay can be pricey, and it takes several hours, usually spread over 2-3 days, but you will find out exactly what is going on and if anything can be done to help fix or improve it. I remember I went into shock when I saw my results, refused to believe them and got a second opinion, which was the same. I did not speak to anyone for two weeks after that, but then I faced facts and dropped my professional licenses, as it was clear I would never work again. I do run my husband's business, but doing it from home is the only reason I can; it is not a lot of work, though I am tied to the phone. I always open the office and turn on the phone very late, due to feeling so bad in the mornings and having all sorts of medical maintenance chores, so we miss clients due to my illness. The results of the testing also instantly changed my disability status, so that I no longer have to worry about the stressful reviews they normally require.
Sorry to butt in on your post to Karma, but I wanted to comment that is also how I think of people, especially since that was my career before my illness, and I often see that people do have a mental illness behind their actions. This does not help me; in fact, it makes me more depressed to see just how many people are mentally ill out there, how they are not getting diagnosed and treated, and how just one with a serious personality disorder can ruin an entire family's happiness. I have seen one person poison entire families so often, yet I know most people will never remove toxic family members from their lives no matter how badly they are treated by them because they believe they must love them. Worse, they blame themselves, since they do not know the person is ill. Your ability to perceive that will save you a lot of pain.
I mentioned in another post that people where I had to move for my illness are very, very different than where I come from., so much so that I gave them a name, the MIMM people, which stands for Moronic, Immoral, Mentally Ill, Materialists. That may sound harsh, but I've had two friends and one relative move here, thinking they would like being warm and wearing sandals and having less arthritis pain, only to go back up north, saying they could not stand the people here and were so lonely it was not worth being warm, so it is not just me who feels this way. I've lived in 8 states and this one is the only one where I felt like I'd landed on another planet. My husband's job is not portable, or I'd be out of here, no matter how much sicker the temperate climate would make me.
I totally agree with you about finding your passion, but not everyone finds one. I have a moderate interest in many, many things, and am never bored, but have never felt a great passion for any one thing. It was very hard to decide on a major in college due to that, and at almost 65 yrs. old, I still have no one thing I feel compelled to pursue. I always have interests to read about and research, but nothing drives me. I am very glad you did find a passion, and I think that is a wonderful way to live. You will also meet people with that same passion that way. I guess people like me could pick their top 3 interests and do what you've done, diving their time between them.....
Thank YOU, Kaolin.
I'm glad I'm not the only one out there who has been told she is "too good". What an absurd thing to say.
I don't know if you're familiar with Enneagram typing, but if not, you might find the test interesting and it's free online. The motto for my E-type is: " There is always room for improvement", and I definitely believe that. So many don't even try to improve as people, and I remain truly baffled as to what they think we are here on earth to do then. Only recently did it dawn on me that we many not all be here to do the same things....guess I'm a slow learner, lol.
I know this is not PC to say, but I am not PC, and I am not OK with people not looking at themselves. I am fed up with people who blame everyone and everything but themselves for everything, and the resulting pain they cause everyone around them. However, I'm older than you, and you've got plenty of time left to get as disgusted as I am. (grins)