I agree with all that's been said. I just want to add that this can lead to serious, even life threatening physical problems, so I urge those of you with this to be checked out.
I also threw up a lot as a child and was constantly told I was high strung. I was about 7 when I realized I was fundamentally different from others in some way, but over age 50 before I ever heard the word empath.
I now have these annoying physical conditions: Irritable bowel syndrome, dumping syndrome alternating with gastroparesis, repeating bouts of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
I also have these dangerous illnesses from this: bile reflux, Barrett's esophagus, chronic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, malabsorption syndrome. Three of those can take your life and one will shorten it by an average of 20% if not treated, and the med for it is super expensive.
Recently, I let someone who initially seemed like the perfect friend draw me down to where I was a puddle on the floor and I had a relapse of gastritis that included stomach bleeding, resulting in expensive, uncomfortable tests and a permanent liquid and baby foods only diet. I am really getting sick of smoothies!
I keep the phone ringers turned off in our house now and never answer the phone. If it is one of my old pals whom I trust, I call them back. Even our business clients just have to leave a message on the machine. I can't watch most TV now as it is too noisy and violent. My nerves are so raw now, I wear headphones to block out traffic and other noise during the day and use a white noise machine at night to sleep.
It took repeated lessons, often with narcissists, to make me finally get the lesson from this last situation that I MUST put myself first, hold everyone at arm's length until I am sure they are not using me or mentally unstable, and not be so open or invest myself emotionally until then. I thank this person for finally providing me with this much needed truth that I was too much of a martyr to learn until now.
I used to think first and always of how bad I might make the other person feel by insisting on boundaries or ending a relationship I'd started once I realized it was not right for me, but now I see two things: 1) not defending my needs is enabling the user, and 2) what about how bad the other person is already making ME feel by treating me with such disrespect??? I know some of you can relate to me when I say that I never even thought of that!
I have been a daily meditator for decades, but until we put ourselves first in our own lives without guilt, I do not believe that is enough. I hope my post will keep just one person from ending up as sick as I am.
Namaste to all,