New, and feeling a little lost and confused, and very much a lone (any advice is appreciated)

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empphire
@empphire
8 months ago
19 posts

Greetings!

 

A few days I realized that I’m an empath, or at the very least, an extremely highly sensitive person. I’m not sure if anyone will actually be reading this, but coming here and actually writing this down forces me to try to figure out my thoughts.

 

After learning what empaths are, I felt so relieved that I am not the only one that thinks, or “feels” or “experiences” the world like me. I’ve tried to tell a few of my friends that I think I am an empath and how I feel, but so far it hasn’t done anything to help me, as they don’t understand what it’s like to be an empath, and they just think I’m over thinking things or being overly sensitive as usual. Trying to get my friends to understand me has always been an issue as I always seem to understand them, but I know that the majority of the time, they don’t understand me or how I think.

 

***But, I’m not here to complain about being lonely. Right now, I am just trying to figure myself out, and see if anyone here can relate and offer some advice on how to work with being an empath/hsp. I am pretty open to the idea of spiritual things, but I am not religious. I can’t talk to my parents about this, as they are firm believers in either your normal, or have a mental disorder.

 

After trying to explain what an empath is and how it feels to be one through articles I’ve found, I become so confused about how I feel. I fit most of the traits describing empaths and hsp, but whenever I try to explain that these traits don’t just describe me, but it’s as if I “embody” these traits, I find myself confused and unable to explain anything that makes sense. When  I try to come up with examples of times I’m certain that I’m an empath, I feel like these examples run deeper than a quick story. I feel as if I would not only have to explain my WHOLE LIFE to them just to understand a 2 minute story, but they would have to LIVE through my whole to see how each thought and piece of my life lead me to act or think for that specific event.

 

As stated before, I think I fit into the general definitions of being an empath/hsp. But again, when trying to reason if I really am an empath or not, I end up overthinking everything and thinking in circles (kinda like what I’m doing right now as I type this xD). Therefore, I’m wondering if anyone that is an empath can relate to anything below:

 

  1. Yes, after realizing what empaths were, I felt EXTREMELY relieved that I was not going crazy, and was really just an empath. However, after trying to talk to a couple, of my friends about being an empath, I became confused, and somehow ANGRY. I think I became so angry, because I only told 2 of my friends who I thought would be able to understand at least a little of what I’m thinking, but obviously that didn’t happen. I think I was angry, because I know that they will never understand how I feel. I think I was angry, not because I feel thinks the way empaths feel, but because my close friends will never fully understand me. Has anyone else felt this?

 

  1. I can’t stop thinking about being an empath. I feel like I’ve jumped from being one crazy into another. Before I couldn’t stop thinking about everything, but now I can’t stop thinking about being an empath. I know nothing has changed, except for the fact that I learned that there is a word to describe myself, but after learning that there are others like me, I can’t stop thinking about it in everything I do. For example, I’ve tried calming down by watching some episodes of Star Trek, which I’ve been watching it last month or two to relax, as I like relating to the crew and their adventure. I was always so intrigued by the world the crew lives, and watching it made me feel like I was part of the crew. However, now I can’t seem to relax while watching the show. I no longer feel as if I am part of the crew or living the lives of the characters. I can’t stop analyzing all the characters now, or trying to predict what will happen, just to “prove” to myself that I am an empath. Has anyone else become, I guess, “paranoid” after learning what an empath is?

 

  1. I get lost in my thoughts, my world, often. In car rides while listening to the same repeating song over and over again, and each second thinking something different. I am seeing the trees, cars, houses, and birds whiz by without seeing them, but I feel like I am focusing on all of them. Everything seems so familiar, and yet when I take a step back, or think of a stray thought, I feel like I have suddenly become lost, and nothing is familiar. It is as if everything I have ever thought or seem no longer feels like I have thought or felt them. It as if someone put a filter through my brain and everything is different. Everything that has seemed so real, seems like it’s never been there before. There are times when I feel like I am not fully there in the moment. I feel less emotions or more physical situations, and that is when I get scared.I become paranoid something is wrong. I feel like nothing will be real again, and I feel lost from everyone else.

 

  1. Even now, still doubting if I am an empath. My biggest argument against being an empath, is I keep reading that empaths can “feel” emotions. I wonder if this means that they can have their eyesight and hearing cutoff and and still be able to sense the emotions of others. I don’t think I can do this. My biggest argument for being an empath is I can’t stop consoling people from small things to big things. And usually, I’ll being helping people, and I can’t explain why, as sometimes I don’t want to help. And not because I don’t want to help, but sometimes I wonder why I am trying to help when MY HEART isn’t into the actually act….I’m confusing myself again by trying to explain things I can’t explain :( I feel like I will put on different masks when I’m around different people because I know how others want or expect me to act, and I gladly give them my best to fit their expectations….but part of me doesn’t want to keep putting on different masks….but part of me does….ugh.

 

  1. I’m still wondering if I am an empath, or if I switch between a hsp and a sociopath. There are times when I feel so drained or so excited, or any emotions not even that extremely and I wonder why I’m feeling it. I usually brush it off as a natural response to a stimuli, but now wonder about it. There are many emotions that I feel like I’m having, especially with others. But whenever I wonder if this emotion is real or if I should be feeling a different emotion, I feel like I’ve become multiple parts of myself. Some still don’t mind feeling the emotions, and some wonder why I’m feeling emotions at all. Sometime I feel so drained, that I don’t think I’m feeling anything at all. I’ll feel glad that I helped someone, but that gladness feels like a whisper. But at these times, I’m not mad or sad, I just feel like I can’t feel anything. It is especially during these times, that I feel like I am manipulating people. I am good at reading people and situations and predicting what will happen, and sometimes I wonder if I’m accidently influencing people like how they influence me. This is usually by accident, and it’s more than just “pushing people's buttons”....again, I can’t describe it. :(

 

Yikes, this is lengthier than I thought. And yet, not even a fraction of a percent of how I feel, as I am sure any empath/hsp can relate to. It definitely calmed me down thinking someone out there can relate to this or may one day read this. If anyone has any thoughts, please respond! It doesn’t have to be much, as I clearly know the struggle of explaining things. Just saying I can relate will be enough to make my day!

 

I know empaths have to deal with people dumping their stories and emotions on them, and I have just done this to you. I sincerely apologize, I am just trying to find out if I am actually an empath or just an hsp so I know where to begin in trying to figure out how to deal with these emotions, and stop freaking out. I am 20 years old, and living with six other girls in my apartment. I feel like a strange to them and even my closer friends, as I go to an engineering and science college, and see the world much differently than them.

 I am looking for thoughts, from both my generation and others, as I feel like my generation especially is not as emotionally in tuned with each other due to all the social media resulting in shallower relations. It would be nice to know how other empaths/hsp my age deal with this without feeling like an outsider, and how other generations can advise me on anything they now realize was a mistake in their life regarding being an empath.

 

Thank you for taking your time to help! (And again, apologies for this emotional story dump)

 


updated by @empphire: 08/20/17 01:52:36PM
JoAnn H
@joann-h
8 months ago
3 posts
Hi, I'm new to this website but not new to being an empath. First of all you are not crazy. The name empath may had been coined in science fiction the ability isnt. Im actually a 2nd generation empath.Your friends can't relate to you feeling others emotions because they don't. Its not how they perceive the world.If you want to prove it to yourself. Use situations that you know how they make you feel. Say a spot near a lake that just invites you. How does it make you feel. Then go, as people pass by see if you feel anything out of the ordinary. That feeling will be someone else's. I know with my empathy it has grown by leaps and bounds since accepting it. I have more control. I can control how much I absorb unless it's a large crowd. I can ease pain by touching someone. I can sense my love ones even at a distance. My oldest child, the one I have the strongest connection to, lives on Scilly and I can sense when he is distress. Embrace your senses. Don't fight them. If you feel overwhelmed take a steaming shower/bath. The steam helps to drain others emotions. Learn your limitations. Avoid large crowds until you can control the absorbtion of others emoitions. If you have to go to a sad situiation limit how long you are exposed. Hope I didn't confuse you further.
CalMidwester
@calmidwester
8 months ago
108 posts

Hi there.  I am fairly new to this forum and I can truly say, your list of issues all rings true with me.  I definitely had/have a lot of the same thoughts, worries, etc., since figuring this out.  At first, I was a bit mad, being 51 now, that I had had no idea why I was so 'over sensitive' all this time.  My parents, some friends - especially in high school - had no tolerance for my over-sensitivity.  I felt really mad that I had to endure all of that without understanding what was going on.  

My counselor was the one who suggested this to me, so at least I have him.  No one else really would understand and that seems to be pretty common, but hey, at least you have us now.

My best advice to you is to step back and really look at ways to take care of yourself.  Meditation, grounding, limiting unpleasant news and/or movies and tv, those things all really work.  It has made a HUGE difference and I'm only two months in.  The more I do this stuff, the better I feel and the less I am even drawn to the more taxing situations.  I have started reading again and although like most empaths, I love music, I sometimes ride in silence in my car if the music choices are not helping my mood.  I notice more beauty around me and feel more gratitude for my blessings.  After a couple of weeks of being unhappy about this, instead of focusing on the downsides and the past, I started thinking of it as a gift and set out to learn as much as I could and see if perhaps I could in the end help others with my gift.  

We are all works in progress to be sure. Hang in there!!

Lotusfly
@lotusfly
8 months ago
410 posts

Hi @empphire and welcome! It sounds like, because your family and friends are closed-minded, your true self has been stunted, and you're confused about things because you don't have someone in person who can relate to what you're going through. But that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. You have found a place where people will now understand you :)

I went through something similar when I was 18. I had very controlling parents and so I did what you've described, which is people-pleasing (changing my behavior to please others) and questioning myself.

The truth is, discovering you are an empath is just the beginning of discovering your true self! Also, all your racing thoughts are a sign that you know something is not right but you can't figure it out, so your brain goes into overdrive. You will learn a lot, as empath is a really broad term for many possibilities, but take your time and don't fret at figuring it all out at once. You have plenty of time :)

I went the wrong route when I was 18. I thought something was wrong with me and was medicated for being different and confused about who I was because of my difficult upbringing. I was 35 when I finally learned about empaths and that I was one (along with being HSP). Now I'm accepting of myself and true to myself. 

Some words of advice...don't be afraid to say no to others or rub others the wrong way by being you or with what you say or how you act. It's more important to be genuine. Some people may leave you and things in your life may change when you fully embody your true self, but have no fear, because things and people that are in line with the real you will come into your life. This is because life mirrors whatever we put out to it :)

Keep sharing...no matter how crazy what you're experiencing seems...because chances are someone else here can relate. I personally can relate to all of what you've said at some level at some point in my life. Kudos to you for researching and speaking up :)

empphire
@empphire
8 months ago
19 posts

Thank you all for responding! It really made my day to see that others can understand or relate to me, and I am not going crazy :)

 After writing about how I feel, I've begun to calm down. I really appreciate all your advice and take these words to heart. Meditation or at least taking a hot shower seems to be good options for me. Reading books or other people's experiences makes it easier for me to figure out whats going on as well, and I am extremely excited that the people here are genuinely willing to listen and help :)

Kit Kat
@kit-kat
8 months ago
230 posts

Hi empphire! I'm glad the replies so far have helped and It's cool to hear your story... I can relate tremendously..... It's really hard feeling like no one can understand what it's like to be empathic. Here are some things that I've learned that have helped me feel not so lost (I found out I was an empath a couple years ago, and went through much the same thing that you're experiencing!) --

-I decided I needed to give myself more slack. Like you, before finding out I am an empath, I already knew I was a very highly sensitive person. It validated a lot of things, but still didn't feel "complete," if that makes sense. But once I found out why I felt so vulnerable all the time, and why people had such an emotional effect on me, I decided I needed to be a little more careful with myself, rather than expecting myself to be like everyone else so much. If we're going to have so much empathy, we should at least have a healthy amount of it for ourselves (I believe), since we go through so much emotionally every day... We need our own kindness : ) I remember being in the bathroom awhile back before going to one of my college classes that I felt particularly uncomfortable in, and reading stuff online about how to deal with being an empath to try to gear up. It was, in some ways, more effective for me back then because even just knowing that there were other empaths out there made me really, really happy and made me feel so much better. But I still try to get back to that.. & it still helps.

-I also decided that there are some people who are safe to talk to about my abilities and some people - not so much. This community is a totally safe place <3 I'm really, really grateful for it.... Like you I was excited that people on here would listen and want to help :) To me, this really shows how empaths are most often spiritually gifted in addition to emotionally "gifted." I've never found an online community as helpful and kind-hearted as this one!! (and like you I've been lonely; I've sought friends online on a bunch of different sites. This is the only one I've really stuck with!) 

-Some people will say that empaths don't exist. I disagree, because of experience! I do, however, think that there are things that make changes to our abilities, in negative ways as well as ways that can help us cope. And that's one of the things I really like learning about on this site. 

-There are two options: feeling like being an empath is a gift, or feeling like it's a curse or some kind of disorder. Seeing it as a gift may disagree with a lot of secular views, but I always feel happier when I look at it this way! Oh yeah, and one of the best techniques I've learned for curbing my overactive empathy (since this is often an appendage to being an empath) is actually 'channeling compassion.' Compassion is a byproduct of empathy, and it's really super healing. This article helps explain what I mean:

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/tania-singer-compassion-burnout

I hope this helps, and welcome to the EC!!

KitKat

Deborah Craig
@deborah-craig
8 months ago
73 posts

Thank You for all sharing.Your experiences make me go down memory lane,for I never knew I was an empath until a few yrs ago..Although I always knew that these experiences were real,just never had a name..@lotusfly,you are spot on when you said empath is a broad term for many possibilities! Many many yrs ago I was wondering why my emotions were so deep,and then I found out my emotions (Moon) in astrology was in Scorpio,emotions are so intense so I said OMG , now I understood myself better,but here it's just a double whammy for me! 🙄

Deborah Craig
@deborah-craig
8 months ago
73 posts

I never knew about the sociopath , if I was aware I would have saved myself heart ache and pain...The sociopath is a brother to me..The only advice I would say to someone is identify the sociopaths around you!  This is so important ,then you know what you are dealing with..Not knowing he destroyed me,but I'm back and was always a free spirit!  The biggest mistake for me was not knowing he was a sociopath@emppire I think once you get off the fence,I hate being there I feel for you to accept you are a empath you will be going forward..I say this because you are describing yourself and to me you are an empath..But the sooner you make a choice if you are or are not an empath, you will feel more calm.😀As far as other people go, You are who you are and sometimes it can't be explained..I know that you want to share this with your friends and to some people it's impossible..Plus don't be on the defense...I am so happy that you came here and you can share with other empaths and who knows you may wind up with a friend that is in your own circle! I know the experiences can be overwhelming and you want to share this!😀Please don't overthink it.. I know because my wheels can do some spinning😀I'm a free spirit all my life,and that's all I know how to be and want to be..someone doesn't understand,oh well...Now I'm 63..I still dance to my own beat to the drum! 

Deborah Craig
@deborah-craig
8 months ago
73 posts

I accidentally stopped following this..ugh....I pressed that bell to see what it was.Now I know.i am new here and still working my way around🙁

Deborah Craig
@deborah-craig
8 months ago
73 posts

I'm back!😂😂😂

empphire
@empphire
8 months ago
19 posts

@deborah-craig and @kit-kat

Thank you so much for responding! Hearing about other people experiences really help me understand what I'm going through and stop being so overwhelmed. 

As you guys said, there are some people "who are safe to talk to about my abilities and some people - not so much". This said, I've realized that some people who are close to me are to me, emotional vampires, or at least dump their emotions and problems on me without giving much help back in return. This has definitely been very emotionally taxing, and I've noticed that it most often than not makes very tired, and a bit antisocial as it's sometimes hard to fit in, even with my friends.

That being said, I love the article kit-kat has shared. It makes sense that instead of being overwhelemed with emotion (unconsiciously) because someone else, we as empaths should try to feel more compassion for the other person. Personally, I think this would really clear up all of the (negative) emotions in me if I can focus on something positive and healing.

Karen2
@womanwhowalks
7 months ago
783 posts
Hi...I think part of your problem is that your not 100% sure what an empath is...and what happens during the process of sensing energy...once you begin to understand your abilities and HOW it works I think a lot of your doubts and insecurities will fall away....as you start to make sense of your abilities your mind will become calmer...as you learn how to ground...how to disconnect from ppl...how to take care of your aura/energy field...you'll find your mind AND your emotions begin to even out...when I realized I was an empath I wanted to learn EVERYTHING about this word....needed to understand how it all worked..everything was so loud and in my face and I needed to get it under control so I could function outside of my head...my whole world is about energy...emotions I pick up from humans..spirit...I hear and feel it all...my strongest ability is Clairaudience. ...I hear energy and spirit...so my brain has THAT to deal with too...lol...no one other than another empath will know what your talking about...that's a fact....when I try to explain stuff to my friend I get blank looks....lol...I don't share any of my abilities with my family as they are firmly entrenched in different areas and wouldn't believe me...altho my Mom exhibits some empathic abilities but doesn't know it...for me the term empath encompasses MORE than sensing emotions even though I do that as well...it's much more than that and not easy to explain how it all comes together in our heads....it's like me trying to talk about my work...lol...impossible...I can talk to other bus drivers as they understand every thing I say...but when I try and talk about my work to non bus drivers I feel like i'm talking another language...so I stop...we have our own 'work' language that only other drivers can understand....and it's like that as an empath...what we feel and sense goes MUCH deaper than any words can describe to a non empath....it sux that we can't share with other 'abnormal' humans...being an empath is normal, non empaths are the odd ones...lol...I can't imagine NOT being empath and can't understand sometimes how people CAN'T possibly pick up what i'm sensing as it's so obvious....to me that is...lol...

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