Parents/Upbringing?

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CalMidwester
@calmidwester
7 months ago
108 posts

Hi all,

I am curious if anyone, anyone at all, had parents or other adults that nurtured or appreciated your Empath abilities.  Even if they didn't realize what it was, were you supported? Like many - it seems - I was raised by extremely strict, religious and conservative parents.  Any pushing of that envelope was seen as evil, slutty, rebellious.  In their world, good children completely trusted and obeyed their parents without question because the Bible said you had to do that.  There was even a veiled threat of early death based on the verse that says if you honor your parents you will lead a long and happy life.  In spite of that, I was definitely a people pleaser and wanted them to approve of me.  We have an ok relationship now, although they are not nearby, which probably makes that easier.  My Mother and I focus on what we have in common, an interest in cooking and healthy eating, and that works for us.  

For all of the pleasing, once I was on my own, I never considered following the same path religious wise, or in how I raised my own kids.  I can say that it made me well aware of some parenting mistakes that I did not want to make.  That said, it still would've been nice to feel loved lol.

So, do tell, anyone have a better experience, or similar one, to share?  


updated by @calmidwester: 08/26/17 11:22:08PM
Nocturne's Angel
@nocturnes-angel
7 months ago
866 posts

Hi @calmidwester

I grew up in a household that was strict in the sense that children should be seen & not heard & that "back in old country" if you basically did anything wrong something terrible would happen so fear was a definite factor in my childhood, but as far as abilities it was definitely nurtured as it was part of my lineage.

I grew up in an Eastern Orthodox Christian household by parents who were in their late 30s when I was born. 

I am under the understanding that congregations don't teach the way they did when I was growing up, but in my upbringing my religion & my way of life seemed to actually fit quite well to me.

Like you I was taught that you had to behave not only to please God, but to please your parents because you didn't want to bring any type of shame, etc. upon your family.

JoAnn H
@joann-h
7 months ago
3 posts
Hi, I'm second generation possibly third. My father and I had a connection that we never question. I always knew how he felt about me without him having to voice it. On the other side my mother thought just as your parents. Now since she never understood my father and my connection but realized there was one. How I became more aware of my sense was when my father was laying in a drug induced coma just before he passed. The loss was earthshattering. It sent me searching for answers. Hope it helps.
Lotusfly
@lotusfly
7 months ago
410 posts

No religious upbringing here. In fact, my parents rarely went to church and are more practical/left-brained people (not at all spiritual). Though my mom was interested in the paranormal when she was little and my grandmother (her mother) was diagnosed with a severe mental illness, though never took medication for it. My father was interested in deep knowledge (astronomy, particle physics, and aliens), but other than being very smart, is a black-and-white thinker. So I can see where some of my heritage were the seeds that helped to form my empath abilities. (I was born a pure/karma-free, old soul, empath, and hsp.)

However, there was (and still is) a lot of abuse, drug/alcohol use, suicidal feelings, and mental illness (schizophrenia, depression, ocd) in my family, so I experienced a lot of trauma and abuse, in addition to divorced parents and moving around a lot, as well as dealing with a step-parent and half-siblings, but I believe my trauma actually helped heighten my abilities, as stress often does. It also made it so I did not feel comfortable being me or sharing my differences with my family (or friends for that matter).

So, due to my chaotic upbringing and strict/controlling/abusive parents, I feel that my discovery of being an empath and my gifts was delayed, and deterred to a different course momentarily (mental health sector), but the trauma in my childhood (and after) actually led me to not being able to ignore what was there all along and eventually I rediscovered it :)

I do wish I'd had more aware and insightful parents and a stable childhood, but I have healed from it and I intend to do better than my parents did, with my own children (first one is on the way!). I'm 36 years old and it's been a long journey of healing and self-discovery, but I'm finally "home" (met my soul mate!) and I'm ready to live life the way it was meant to be lived :)

Deborah Craig
@deborah-craig
7 months ago
73 posts

I grew up in an old Italian neighborhood,in fact I'm still here..I was raised Roman Catholic..I'm trying to put this simple..Where I grew up this was normal😂😂😂Who had a dream and ran by someone's grandmother to see what it meant..We didn't know of the word Empath..No matter what it was that someone said,I feel this is gonna happen,I know someone is gonna die,anything they felt this was all normal where I grew up!

Deborah Craig
@deborah-craig
7 months ago
73 posts

FYI,I also married a person who thought it was normal,although he was very intuitive!

Kate
@kate
6 months ago
131 posts

It's pretty sad to read how often religion goes hand in hand with unpleasant memories and strictness... :/

I can't say they shut me down, and I've definitely been nurtured because my own mother had premonitions and these kind of feelings that i had as well, especially through dreams. My grandma was/is a strong character, and my grand-grandmother used to help the wives of the soldiers with readings during WWII. It took me years until she finally told me this, because it's a bit of a taboo, borderline between being right and wrong, especially with my mother.

With me, I had a strong "calling" towards learning more and I've always had a special thing for children, animals, people in need and so on. I'm also a confessions magnet at times, and the one people spot first when they're lost in the city or at the subway and looking for directions xD

As far as religiousness goes, my family was a bit, but not so much, we just always respected the major dates that were a source of celebration/party and happiness/being together with friends or family so, it never ever got bad connotations. We each had our own vision on religion and when we felt like of course we did a prayer or went to the church... sometimes... not often lol. But still. I had a period when I went more often, but it was purely out of personal curiosity and searching for meanings, history and a lot of stuff, so it was during the same period when i was reading about astrology, occult branches and so on. I kinda mashed them together. Went to a Reiki course that I did not enjoy much (the after feeling was... to say at least, weird) but I was also welcomed by an energy therapeutist lady and I liked those sessions more. It was more calming, and it was hand in hand with healing and using natural medication to treat affections or whatever... she was quite well known in my city actually). During the thingy I used to feel a tingle on top of my head so strong it made me smile widely or laugh, I couldn't control it, it made me happy. As far as my vision goes on it, I believe every religion has something beautiful to teach, and I am sad our priests for example don't focus wordly issues such as pollution and respecting nature and animals, something people were I live lack a lot... respect for nature. I don't make religion a central subject in my head, though it remains an important part of the society here, and while I will always keep my own ideas (mostly related to certain distorted images created by the human mind when spread further through speech or put in words), I also believe in Christianity to a certain extent from a historical point of view. 

Where I lived, having feelings about something that is to happen was never something "omg the devil" blah blah. Anything spiritual of this kind was seen as something that could possibly help, but it needed pondering over and deciding whether it's good or not to give it much attention. Usually people wouldn't speak about it in these contexts that we are on this forum though. The branches that involve communicating with spirits, using gemstones or cards and whatnot are on the forbidden/not safe side and no priest would like hearing you talk about them as a "yo hey I do that in my free time" xD. I have my doubts when it comes to these things as well, and the steps are really small and careful. Generally speaking I don't like certain colors of it, but I feel more at peace when associating or delving into the Norse/rune reading culture for example, rather than the french, italian or arabic roots of the tarot, and also more than some of the chinese bone/turtle shell/etc practices. It's also related to the character of the individual. If you had a good image, were doing good things, were calm or from a good family and so on, people would respect more when you had premonitions or these kind of things, as opposed to someone with a less fortunate start in life whose "dreams" might have been equally true. 

Looking at what i wrote I wonder if some people feel like calling it a Fantasy World i lived in xD it surely wasn't, and while I had a fine childhood as far as family, travelling and everything related to them is included, I was the one willful enough not to accept bad things happening to me or trying to calm the waters. I also meditated over what happened to me and over time filtered out the unpleasant things, though I sure remember them, I don't feel remorse... or anger. It also helps talking to someone about them. It was pretty bad when it came to school and classmates though and I only mean the social side of it... :/ I didn't like it. I had my trust in people lost for a long time. And I'm social by nature but simply sensible to the negative stuff so I was a bit lost. Had issues with bullies too... What i believed in was always challenged more or less. Grades & relationship with teachers or bigger people were always ok. 

The major issue I noticed within the society is being taught to disregard inner feelings and emotions, or not follow them. This is a huge mistake I wish it was no longer taught within families as well. Instead of strengthening/empowering the individual or teaching balance/consideration for the people within society, you weaken it to make it more malleable or less resistant to other people will? That's how I felt about myself, and I've always been about figuring out what I want to do, what I have to do, who I am, what I am capable of ^^. The need for boundaries and personal limitations (Especially coming from essentially... well, having a body xd as weird as that sounds, I wish I could do things without being bothered by sleep or need to eat sometimes). Well...

My bad for a not that correct English.


updated by @kate: 04/09/17 03:31:15AM
CalMidwester
@calmidwester
6 months ago
108 posts
You are right, it's sad/interesting how religion can be used as such a negative. I believe it can be a positive, but unfortunately it has been used to control people through fear for a long time.
Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
6 months ago
467 posts

@calmidwester:

This is a great topic for discussion. I think times have changed and current parents are probably more free to help their kids with gifts today compared to several decades ago. Obviously not everyone will be open to this. And this is particularly the case for religious families. But I do see progress.

As for my family upbringing, I think my mother is a closet empath. And I know her grandmother used to work at a hospice and as the story goes she would see dying people's souls release from their bodies at death. And she used that skill to help people in their dying moments be calm and then cross over. But my mother became really religious when I was a teen and she cannot deal with the paranormal. It upsets her. And I think what upsets her the most is that I think deep down she knows she has paranormal skills but her deep devotion to Christianity causes her to mistake the paranormal as evil. She was a teacher who retired and became an ordained minister. And then she has come full circle and is now a part time chaplain at a hospital where she helps the dying and their families cope with the death experience. So in a way her own spirit keeps directing her to help people in the way that an empath would, but her religious beliefs keep her blocked from really being who she should be. And I remember about 9 years ago telling her about some of the ghost sightings we've had at our house that at that time revolved around my young daughter. And she freaked out on me as if I had been blasphemous. So I know I can't even bring up my own empathy with her.

But as many of you know, I have two teenage kids who are also both empaths. And at this age they hate the anxiety and depression that they have to deal with when at school. But since I discovered that I was an empath first, I am thankful that I am able to give them guidance on how to ground and release what they absorb. And when they are ready I will teach them how to expand their skills to help people. From this standpoint I think we are seeing progress in my family history of discovering and accepting our skills. And we are very open about who we are and what we experience in my household. I think it greatly helps with our kids development.

RyuukoGo
@ryuukogo
6 months ago
110 posts

My mother was a devout Catholic and my father Atheist...but 1/2 Native American Indian...both accepted me being an Empath.Although the word was never used what I did was considered normal.I remember one time when I was a teenager in a rush to leave and my father asked my mother why I was leaving in a rush...she told him that I sensed something wrong with my GF,later wife,and his response was..okay.Other incidents like that happened and it was considered normal.

I suspect if they knew more that I was an Empath I probably would have spent more time with my grandmother and the tribe she came from.

Visitor
@visitor
6 months ago
303 posts

I was raised in an agnostic family, very dysfunctional and hateful, although not any worse than a lot of other families. They thought I was a brat who was trying to get attention. I had no idea what an empath was, no idea if clairvoyance ran in our family or not. I just knew I was "too sensitive" to everything. My mother was the center of the family; neurotic, depressed, demanding, vindictive, punitive, sadistic, childish, etc. My father and the rest of us were co-dependents. The fact that I joined a church was met with scorn by my "realistic" family who believe we turn to dust when we die. I feel suicidal on a daily basis and right now I'm waiting for a suicide hotline to respond, so don't worry about me. I won't do it, but I'm tired of this stupid planet.

Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
6 months ago
467 posts

@visitor:

I'm not sure if you will see this. But you sound like you have a lot going on and could benefit from connecting with all of us on this site. Why don't you register with as screen name so we can communicate with you? All of us have gone through tough experiences with extreme anxiety. I'm sure we can share some ideas on how to better calm yourself.

Visitor
@visitor
6 months ago
303 posts

@hop-daddy. How funny. "Visitor" is my screen name, I'm registered with this site and I visit regularly. I contacted the hotline and it was like talking with a robot. I've made it my life's work to calm myself. Medications, vitamins, minerals, meditation, therapy, etc. etc. etc. I feel like I have no shield for the outside world right now. A whole lot of negative stuff is getting in.

Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
6 months ago
702 posts
My parents weren't religious per se but I did get exposed to the Methodist faith at an early age. My grandmother would baby sit me a lot, so I'd go to church with her. However, I still had a strict upbringing....not allowed to call boys, had to be home before dark, had to be watched by a sitter...well into my teens. This strictness, coupled with being an outcast and bullied at school/abused by friend of the family caused me to rebel to an extreme. Long story short, I left home when I was 15 for good and never really looked back. I did go through trying different religions....Nazarene, Catholic, Wicca, Presbyterian, Buddhism. Wicca did resonate with me the best, but there is the non acceptance. Now I don't identify with any religion, but rather spiritual. I believe a mix of all...now seeing there is truth to all....no one path is better than the other, it all depends on what resonates with the individual.

As far as the empathness, I do believe that my mother and possibly my grandmother had abilities, but nothing was ever said on the subject. My mother did have a spot on intuition...she was right sooo many times. But it was still never really discussed. I imagine she was a physical empath....looking back to our troubled relationship when I was growing up and on the road, she was sick often. Which would correlate to the troubles I had.
updated by @cat-whisperer: 04/27/17 07:54:05AM
Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
6 months ago
702 posts
@visitor
Growing up in such a toxic household had to be rough. Like @hop-daddy mentioned, you have found a site that you can possibly vent some of your frustration and not harm yourself. I have been in your shoes before....I have to say, not trying to be cliche but this too shall pass. There is so much negativity now days it does make it very hard to function as an empath. Try getting out in nature when you feel you are at your wits end. Lay down in the grass and just breathe....close your eyes and smell the earth, listen to nature happening, this is my go to when I feel so bad. This helps me, hopefully you will get some calm grounding from it too.
Blessings
LoconnorO
@loconnoro
6 months ago
148 posts

Hello, I think this is a great and very interesting topic. I grew up in a Christian Conservative household, my parent's are both possibly narcissistic. I also grew up gay... which I don't really talk about much but it had a lot to do with my self development because I went into severe depression from feeling hated, on top of my parents would have fits of rage and sometimes my brothers and especially me would come out the victims of verbal and even physical abuse. They have gotten much better since then, but as a kid I was very intuitive and Empathic, and my family looked at it as a gift. I remember telling my parents about this odd and extremely urgent need to call my Granny the Friday night she was sent to a Hospital before later passing away. My family was very supportive of that, on top of I was always exceptionally amazing at reading people. My twin brother wouldn't speak growing up so I would always speak for him. My little brother spoke horrible English until he was around 6, and I was the "translator" because I just understood what he wanted. I got along with pets that usually didn't get along with most people. To say the least, I was a weird kid and my family just kinda accepted that part of me. What they didn't accept was homosexuality and they still don't, and while I still hide it from my family, one day I will have to tell them. I don't sleep around because I am the type to wait for the right person, but my parent's see all people in a group they don't agree with the same. But I'm grateful for my experiences because it showed me that people we often see as narcissists are often just mislead and hurting people. We often, as empaths, don't agree with narcissist for obvious reasons, and sometimes I see people looking down on them. I was once included in that, but now I realize they're just hurting souls who we can help, and growing up in the family I did, I feel better equipped to help people. I rarely meet people who actually seem to be bad people, most are just mislead. 

But yeah I grew up in a family that didn't embrace, but also didn't disrespect anything that was "empathic". They just don't understand when I say "I have a feeling that something is off", they've learned that usually if I speak up about it, something is off. They don't, however, respect my efforts to start growing more herbs and going more natural lol. I want us to be on a healthier diet, and I, myself, am trying to be Vegetarian. They make that extremely difficult lol. I hope this helped!

Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
6 months ago
467 posts






I was also brought up in a pretty religious upbringing. One of my brothers is gay and is also a narcissist. It is interesting how often empaths and narcissists end up in the same family. But my brother many years ago was very nervous about coming out given our religious background. But it went pretty well for him and we all had to issue with it. I think even in very religious families accepting homosexuality is a lot easier that it used to be. Good luck with that when you feel ready.


What my religious family cannot handle is the paranormal and the topic of me being an empath. It's a very misunderstood topic where I find most religious people label it as witchcraft or devil worshiping. So my question for you is whether you feel your family will have an easier time accepting your empathy or homosexuality?

LoconnorO
@loconnoro
6 months ago
148 posts

@hop-daddy

My immediate family is very accepting of my being an Empath because of how often I've done things (as a kid) and they just understood. My Granny (My mother's Grandmother) was a something like an extremely powerful Empath... I don't know if that's a thing, but she was extremely loving and caring and she was extremely in touch with her intuition. You would walk around her and it just radiated, it was this intense but extremely warm and comfortable feeling. So to say the least, my mother grew up with someone who "just knew things" but she knew she could trust her. My mother will also randomly get Vibes and has conversations with me about premonitions (She called it "God tugging on your heart".. The night my Granny was put in the hospital before passing I got this unshakable feeling to go see her or call her, and I told my mother, and on the way home from her funeral we just had a conversation about it. I was 8 I think)

My father just doesn't really care at all. He looks at me weird when I say something feels off but he just accepts it. But i should add that I've never used the term "empath" except around a family friend who I know is one, but never at home. I'm also into medicine and things and my family has always learned to trust my intuition on whats going on as well. To be honest, they probably just haven't looked into Empaths enough to understand or have an opinion on it, they just know family members and friends who are different in a very good way. I know my family won't accept homosexuality because of how often they speak out about it and my cousin came out and their reaction was extremely harsh. They poorly about him all the time. I still have massive amounts of anxiety saying I'm gay even on here, so it was actually a relief to read your response.

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