I understand somewhat what you are talking about. I took for granted & thought that everyone felt things the way I do. But, when I have a serious head cold or when I was younger and tried pot or other mood altering things...I feel totally disconnected & in my own space only. It is terrifying & I am VERY uncomfortable with it! I think that controlling your energy yourself would give you the freedom to go back to the way things were if it were too uncomfortable? I have never been able to disconnect enough voluntarily to feel angst, only relief!
I've recently found out that I am an empath and have been hearing about and looking up things people do to help live and thrive as an empath. Of course, this usually means to stop being overwhelemed with emotions by putting up a shied, and this is what I think you mean by "stop absorbing the energy of others."
I have to say, that I am very scared of this to for a few reasons.
1) There are times when I have (accidentally) cut myself from others emotionally, after feeling completely emotionally drained by others. This is what lead me to believe I was a sociopath or something before I learned the term empath, because I thought I wasn't feeling real emotions when they were just mine. I felt very empty, and I would wonder if events A, B, or C would happen , how would I feel? And each answer was the same: I would be ok with any option, even though I knew the out comes would be very different as it would affect OTHER people very much and in different ways. This made made me very uncomfortable, because I feel like no normal person would go through this.
2) There are many times I've discovered that I use my empath abilities to unconsciously bring people near me. I now know that I am able to feel what they're feeling or want as a friend, and amplify that emotion back at them, which makes it sometimes easy to meet people, and makes me happy to be around them if i think I am helping them. Without feeling this or reflecting what they want back (someone to laugh with, advise them, or just sit with), I am scared I will lose the connection that brings me close to people.
That being said, I have realized that I need to find a balance between blocking people's emotions out and letting them in. Blocking people out has lead to the problems stated above.
But I believe that this fear is a result of not knowing myself in the first place. If I don't block out other peoples emotions, I realize that I am not myself, and makes me feel distant from others. If I block them out, I realize that I am distance from others. Therefore, I need to learn how to be myself, and let people be drawn to me for being me.