Sickness and shutting down

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bvashti
@vwsmiles
5 months ago
8 posts

Good Morning,

Recently my father was sent to the hospital unexpectedly.  Years ago both my mom and sister had breast cancer.  I realized that whenever anyone who I am very close to get ill; I shut down, the emotions are way too overwhelming.  I generally break down and cannot function, so I taught myself to just shut down.  My family sees this as being uncaring, but it is the opposite. 

Does anyone else shut down like me?  I hate being so misunderstood, but no one seems to understand that I cannot handle the emotions.

Thanks.

VW


updated by @vwsmiles: 10/17/17 04:17:59AM
Raindancer
@raindancer
5 months ago
27 posts

Yes, when things get too overwhelming and the pain is too acute, i can shut down.  For some of us, support can help with this, especially gentle caring support.  Hugs help.  Best to you getting the type of support you need to get through this.  It sounds like you have had your share of pain and this is a bit much for you at this time.  If you can break down to the point you can not function, this sounds like a defense against being overwhelmed.  Can you tell your family this so they will understand? 

Karen2
@womanwhowalks
5 months ago
764 posts
bvashti:

Good Morning,

Recently my father was sent to the hospital unexpectedly.  Years ago both my mom and sister had breast cancer.  I realized that whenever anyone who I am very close to get ill; I shut down, the emotions are way too overwhelming.  I generally break down and cannot function, so I taught myself to just shut down.  My family sees this as being uncaring, but it is the opposite. 

Does anyone else shut down like me?  I hate being so misunderstood, but no one seems to understand that I cannot handle the emotions.

Thanks.

VW


Hi...yes..inshut down all the time when things get too overwhelming....because It's not just your own feelings and emotions...as an empath your picking up theirs as well...they're scared and in pain and you're feeling MORE not less...i don't know how to explain that to non empath ppl...ie family....so I just do whatever I have to do to keep sane....so you are definitely NOT alone...you are simply taking in too MUCH emotions....not to little...it's a natural response being an empath....
Jan Howorth
@jan-howorth
5 months ago
10 posts
Hi, I have a similar coping mechanism, I purposely don't remember deaths as I try and shut them out. My only sibling brother (the narcissist!) gets depressed a week before and a week after each one. It's 20 since my dad died and if I see anything happening between a father and son, be it in life or on film I still crack up. I can shut out emotions at will and find it easy and as the saying goes bitterness will eat you from insid, it doesn't bother me. Like you suggest it seems callous but it's the only way I can keep my emotions stable. My mother, who abused me, was schitzophrenic and I didn't see her for 20 years and when I met up again she did nothing but talk about my brother. I use her as a yardstick to keep sane, if I feel myself losing the plot I think of her and withdraw till I'm in control of my own mind again. I've just bought a Tourmsline bracelet and feel as though it's helping me, I have just done a term teaching and don't feel as stressed as before.

Jan
Jan Howorth
@jan-howorth
5 months ago
10 posts
Wow the words are the same, shut down, cope, sane, inside, plot the more I read up on Empathy the more I seem enlightened, it's like a whole new world I've discovered at 58!

Jan
bvashti
@vwsmiles
5 months ago
8 posts

Raindancer:

Yes, when things get too overwhelming and the pain is too acute, i can shut down.  For some of us, support can help with this, especially gentle caring support.  Hugs help.  Best to you getting the type of support you need to get through this.  It sounds like you have had your share of pain and this is a bit much for you at this time.  If you can break down to the point you can not function, this sounds like a defense against being overwhelmed.  Can you tell your family this so they will understand? 

Yes, That is exactly what it is, my defense mechanism.  :)  Thank you!!!!

bvashti
@vwsmiles
5 months ago
8 posts

Jan Howorth: Hi, I have a similar coping mechanism, I purposely don't remember deaths as I try and shut them out. My only sibling brother (the narcissist!) gets depressed a week before and a week after each one. It's 20 since my dad died and if I see anything happening between a father and son, be it in life or on film I still crack up. I can shut out emotions at will and find it easy and as the saying goes bitterness will eat you from insid, it doesn't bother me. Like you suggest it seems callous but it's the only way I can keep my emotions stable. My mother, who abused me, was schitzophrenic and I didn't see her for 20 years and when I met up again she did nothing but talk about my brother. I use her as a yardstick to keep sane, if I feel myself losing the plot I think of her and withdraw till I'm in control of my own mind again. I've just bought a Tourmsline bracelet and feel as though it's helping me, I have just done a term teaching and don't feel as stressed as before. Jan
Hi Jan, I do the same thing.  I can shut my emotions off in a minute, most people think that I am so cold, but it is survival for me.  Sometimes turning off is the only way that I can make it through the pain.  I still process the pain, I just have to do it a little at a time. I'll have to look into tourmaline.  Thanks for you input.  :)

bvashti
@vwsmiles
5 months ago
8 posts

Karen2:
bvashti:

Good Morning,

Recently my father was sent to the hospital unexpectedly.  Years ago both my mom and sister had breast cancer.  I realized that whenever anyone who I am very close to get ill; I shut down, the emotions are way too overwhelming.  I generally break down and cannot function, so I taught myself to just shut down.  My family sees this as being uncaring, but it is the opposite. 

Does anyone else shut down like me?  I hate being so misunderstood, but no one seems to understand that I cannot handle the emotions.

Thanks.

VW

Hi...yes..inshut down all the time when things get too overwhelming....because It's not just your own feelings and emotions...as an empath your picking up theirs as well...they're scared and in pain and you're feeling MORE not less...i don't know how to explain that to non empath ppl...ie family....so I just do whatever I have to do to keep sane....so you are definitely NOT alone...you are simply taking in too MUCH emotions....not to little...it's a natural response being an empath....
Well said.  It makes so much sense now.  I am feeling their pain and fear.  My family is ok health wise now.  My sister told me that I need to learn to let go of feeling the way I do.  I tried to explain how I feel, but she said I just need to "get over it". LOL.  This is not something to "get over". When we were kids and had to go to the doctor or dentist I felt her getting shots and fillings.  My mom could not understand why I would freak out when they were giving my sister a shot or taking blood, but I could feel everything like it was happening to me.  She got a penicillin shot once and I passed out in the waiting room.  No one knew why, but I felt the needle go in.  Thanks for the insight.

Karen2
@womanwhowalks
5 months ago
764 posts
Well...in a way you do have to learn to let go...but for an empath it's a completely different process...getting info from a non empath is getting NO info to an empath....anytime someone tells me I need to learn to let go I wanna smack em....tell me what I need to DO to learn to let go...otherwise your words are empty and meaningless to me....lol
bvashti
@vwsmiles
5 months ago
8 posts

Karen2: Well...in a way you do have to learn to let go...but for an empath it's a completely different process...getting info from a non empath is getting NO info to an empath....anytime someone tells me I need to learn to let go I wanna smack em....tell me what I need to DO to learn to let go...otherwise your words are empty and meaningless to me....lol
LOL.  I feel the same. 

Chrisis
@chrisis
5 months ago
37 posts

I was shut down for years before I understood what was going on. but it happens still to me, when things get too much.

Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
5 months ago
476 posts

@vwsmiles:

It appears to be very common for empaths to shut down and go numb when overloaded with emotion. I tend to have a very close emotional connection to my immediate family so when there is sadness or drama I seem to get slammed with emotions and then go numb or shut down. And as you said, it is your defense mechanism. That's very true for all humans when overloaded with emotional trauma.

You should be able to get out of that emotional shut down by meditating and grounding immediately when you are presented with that situation.

bvashti
@vwsmiles
4 months ago
8 posts

Hop Daddy:

@vwsmiles:

It appears to be very common for empaths to shut down and go numb when overloaded with emotion. I tend to have a very close emotional connection to my immediate family so when there is sadness or drama I seem to get slammed with emotions and then go numb or shut down. And as you said, it is your defense mechanism. That's very true for all humans when overloaded with emotional trauma.

You should be able to get out of that emotional shut down by meditating and grounding immediately when you are presented with that situation.

Thanks Hop Daddy.  I realized that I needed grounding and have been working on it. While it still bothers me that people think I am unfeeling, I know I am not and that is all that matters.  I can't make others truly understand why I feel the way I do, all I can do is explain it to them. 

Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
4 months ago
476 posts

@vwsmiles:

You are a totally normal empath who just sounds a bit burned out. As for being detached and a little aloof around people, that is also totally normal for an empath. When you are doing that your empath radar, as I call it, takes over your mind and you get quiet and anti-social. And when overloaded and burned out you as an empath will naturally want to be alone and secluded. That's totally normally and is your mind's way of telling you "we need a break". You can counter this through daily grounding exercises. If you keep up on your grounding you will feel more energetic and more involved in social activities and being around people.

Jan Howorth
@jan-howorth
4 months ago
10 posts
Hi, I am 58 and only just found out about Empathy. For all those years I have just not understood life, I've just got through it the best I could. Now I'm finding loads of things out about myself and it's turning me s but selfish. For example my family have known for years that when they get hurt they just have to hold my hand and their pain goes away. My daughter ( now 25) still tells people about when she broke her arms in her teens and I held her hand all the way to the hospital until the doctor told me to go, then she started screaming in pain and I was allowed back in till they had set it.
I have always offered my services to people without any returns and I have recently started to wonder if what I have been doing has been draining me physically and emotionally. The selfish part is tgat now I just want to concentrate on myself and try and become a balanced Empath. I am avoiding trying to help people from afar and wishing them luck, I want to regenerate myself as I've had a few illnesses in the last few years and wonder if they are a result of my giving myself away.
I have started reading up on Reiki and I'm hoping to go on a course this summer to see if I can understand my own energy and what is possible. Life keeps getting in the way though!

Thanks for listening and I hope you don't think bad of me. 😊
Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
4 months ago
476 posts

@jan-howorth:

It sounds like you definitely have a healing gift. And Reiki is a good fit for that gift. I have also heard of others like you doing spiritual massages where they remove pain and even cure illness through massage. It's an exceptional gift. Just keep in mind that as you heal people you are taking away their pain by absorbing some of that yourself. You have to be careful as you can get sick and worn down yourself. If you are going to help others on a continual basis you will need to get good at grounding exercises so that you can flush that bad energy out of you.

Jan Howorth
@jan-howorth
4 months ago
10 posts
Because I have never known it was a gift I wasn't sure if I was harming myself. I have a lot of kids who used to rely on me and I've recently got remarried and moved 50 miles away basically because they drain me. When I go over for a day visit I have to do the blocking exercises to let them keep their own issues. I used to come home exhausted but since I found out about the exercises it's a lot better. I've just bought a Tourmsline bracelet to ward off bad energy and I'm looking at some grounding crystals tomorrow, any advise on which is the best would be greatly appreciated!
I also teach students with Educational and Behavioural Difficulties and I used to take all the bad vibes home with me but it's a lot better now. I've changed jobs to teach better behaved students and as yet my health has improved.l tremendously.
Jan Howorth
@jan-howorth
4 months ago
10 posts
Regarding the shitting down, my wife has been keeping up with me on reading about Empathy and when I go quiet she knows what's happening, I have been recognising and understanding it more and it's great to know I'm not just a moody git in my old age. It sounds more common than I first thought.
Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
4 months ago
476 posts

@jan-howorth:

Since you are such a natural healer, I would say you are probably a higher risk for energy drain. It starts off as fatigue, and then you can often get sick or have physical ailments. It sounds like you have already done that. 

I think your blocking exercises will help. But energy is kind of like water leaking out of a damn. Sooner or later it will find a way through. That's where I think your protection stones will serve you better. Black tourmaline is a great one. But I find that works better when grouped with others. I also like black onyx, black obsidian, and shungite. I keep a small pouch in my pocket at all times that contain stones of all 4. They don't need to be very large. They collectively have really helped me create a barrier so that I am noticeably less fatigued at the end of each day from energy drain. You can find these stones at a local crystal store or online at Amazon.

As an empath we are energy exchangers. We take away the low energy that people have and they get a lift and feel higher positive energy in exchange. It is probably more noticeable with your physical gift when you touch someone and they feel better and you probably feel off in exchange. With me I speak to someone in distress and I absorb their pain. They walk away feeling better and I start feeling sick, dizzy, and fatigued. That's the energy exchange going on. To live your best life as an empath you have to find ways to ground that low energy out of your body every day to return you to your normal high vibration. If you don't do this you will get moody, sick, and fatigued.

The protection stones help quite a bit but can't hold off all the energy that is coming your way. Some people do grounding meditations (which is really the best way to clear stuff out). I have also personally had really good luck taking salt baths at night to clear away the low energy from the day. I add 1-2 cups of rock salt to the water and get immersed in the bath water for 20-30 minutes while listening to classical or spa music. The music is relaxing and the salt really pulls out the low energy from your body and neutralizes it. I always come out of the bath feeling renewed.

Raindancer
@raindancer
4 months ago
27 posts

Hop Daddy:

@vwsmiles:

You are a totally normal empath who just sounds a bit burned out. As for being detached and a little aloof around people, that is also totally normal for an empath. When you are doing that your empath radar, as I call it, takes over your mind and you get quiet and anti-social. And when overloaded and burned out you as an empath will naturally want to be alone and secluded. That's totally normally and is your mind's way of telling you "we need a break". You can counter this through daily grounding exercises. If you keep up on your grounding you will feel more energetic and more involved in social activities and being around people.

And we have to be careful to not be broken by people who do not have the same values as us.  In addition to being burned out some of us can be chewed up and spit out if not careful.  Some people do not have the same care of others and would even look on as someone dies, doing nothing, just like what happened in the Penn St. fraternity a couple of months ago.  There are too many who still don't care.  It is hard to not numb sometimes just because that is sadly too often the background noise of the universe or at least a universal background noise of too many people, the silent noise of apathy that we as empaths hear as screams of "i don't give a crap anyone but me". How often do we hear that noise from others? That sounds very bleak to put yet not all would even care if they are empath and some want to read feelings of others only to the degree they can use others.  It takes lots of love and nurturing to care.  If it is too one way and we are left in any sense to die, even emotionally, we can close down.  If we give too much yet others do not return it, what happens to us?  We need to be careful in our associations.  Some would watch ya die without picking up a phone to make a call and others would do that in some metaphoric or emotional sense.   Maybe we need to close down sometimes until we can get to where we can be around those who can restore us.  We must be extra sensitive to restoration from others who are able and willing to care and act on it.  Uplifting others is needed in this world.  That applies to us also.  We need to be uplifted also.  Without it, we can run dry if overused or left forsaken when our own crisis come.  We sometimes need a break before we get broken or the wrong others will break us or simply watch us break without doing a thing even to offset their part of it. 


updated by @raindancer: 06/18/17 03:43:55AM

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