Forum Activity for @ren-mcquiston

ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
10/27/13 06:51:31AM
16 posts

can someone explain this?


Empath

Hi Karen... I can totally relate to your situation. My brother was seriously injured in Iraq in 2007 by a roadside bomb. Aside from dealing with recovery from extensive physical injuries, the worst part was trying to cope with PTSD. He refused to talk to anyone about what happened to him, wouldn't even make an attempt to talk with other soldiers about it, hated the army, the doctors, the therapists and everything really. He was so full of explosive rage. He started drinking excessively and doing hard drugs while still enlisted but recovering at home, which culminated in his arrest for possession and fighting with a cop. My family was doing everything we could think of to try to help him heal but nothing made any difference. The army eventually forced him to return to living on base so they could keep a close eye on him until he was done with the numerous surgeries and other physical rehab stuff, and his medical retirement went through. Everyone was at their wits end with him because he absolutely refused to deal with anything and was constantly violently angry amd abusive. As a last resort, his commanding officer ordered him to participate in a program that trains service dogs for combat wounded soldiers called Paws 4 Vets. That's where he met Chance. From that point on everything changed. He bonded with Chance in a way that he was incapable of bonding with any person. It gave him something meaningful to do with a remarkable animal that took the focus off his pain and used that energy buildup for something constructive. It made him responsible for something other than how horrible he was feeling. He felt like he could finally experience those emotions safely with another being who loved him unconditionally and without judgement. That program, that dog literally saved his life. It gave him a reason to heal and a reason for going through all that pain that his family and friends just couldn't provide. Its been an amazing transformation.My recommendation would be to stop pressuring your ex to seek help and instead, since he seems to respond to the dogs, try to help him find a group that trains service dogs for vets or disabled people to work with. Take the focus off what is wrong with him and instead, help him find something he can do to feel good about himself. Dogs are great for that. They offer so much love and understanding, especially when they sense someone needs them. The added benefit is that he would be doing something worthwhile to help other people instead of just focusing on his problem or letting that problem be the focus of his life and his relationships. I can tell you from experience that trying to force someone to ask for or get help, especially with PTSD, can be a futile endeavour. PTSD can make a person very combative and frustrated. Try taking the focus off that, accept its there and instead, try to help by shifting his focus to something outside of himself. Just be sure not to make it about fixing him. It may just be the catalyst he needs to heal.Best wishes to you.Ren
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
10/22/13 07:02:04PM
16 posts

The True Condition of the Soul


Arts

Acrylics on canvas.I'm never sure what to say about my work. I kind of like to let the viewer draw their own conclusions...
updated by @ren-mcquiston: 03/04/17 08:38:32AM
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
10/20/13 10:12:43AM
16 posts

The Embrace


Arts

Hi everyone. This is my first post to this group. This is my most recently finished painting although it was started more than six years ago. Thanks for having a place where its possible to share our creative endeavors!
updated by @ren-mcquiston: 03/04/17 08:38:32AM
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
10/10/13 06:31:12AM
16 posts



Hi. I understand how overwhelming it can be to experience everyone else's emotions constantly. I would suggest checking out the empath survival guide also. There is some really useful information there. There are a lot of strategies that you can try, like shielding and grounding. For me, I found that shielding made me feel worse than better. I felt like when I errected a shield I felt cut off from an important part of myself. It was almost like wearing a blindfold and trying to function without sight. I found that I was unable to relate to people without my empathic senses. I guess this would be a good thing to try if what you want is to cut the empathic parts out entirelyGrounding seemed to work better but it seemed that I was still dealing with a lot of confusion about why I was feeling a particular emotion. Basically, is it mine or does it come from the outside? So where do I draw the line?What I have found that works really well for me, personally is paying attention to when I first start experiencing an emotion. I try to stop myself from immediately getting wrapped up in it, I ask myself several questions: 1. Is this mine? (The first question is the hardest, because it forces the logical part of my mind to step up and calm the emotional side down long enough to assess the situation.) If it isn't mine and its obvious I use grounding to release it before it really takes hold. If I can't tell whether it is mine, then I go to the next question. 2. Where in my body am I experiencing this emotion? I found that if I pay attention to the onset I can usually sort out its source, I.e. MY emotions tend to emanate from the heart chakra area, while other people's emotions feel like they hit me in the forehead, wash down my face and settle in the pit of my stomach. If I can pay attention to the physical sensations that accompany whatever I am feeling or picking up, then its pretty easy to distinguish which is which. Again if its not mine, I can ground it out. If it is, I allow myself to experience it fully and try to figure out what the trigger was. I'm not suggesting that this method works for everyone, but it has really helped me get a handle on things. I know it seems like a lengthy process, but it does become second nature after repeated use.I know how turbulent feeling everyone else's emotions all the time is. I spent a lifetime swept away by the stormy negativity around me that lies just beneath the surface of many people. I thought I was crazy, insane, because I just couldn't figure out why I constantly felt so horrible (I'm way better at picking up the bad stuff than the good). Discovering that i am an empath was a game changer for me. It gave me power over how I was feeling...I could choose to "own" it (mine) or to understand, but not be swept away by it (not mine). I realize that as empaths many of us carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We, in many cases feel that its our responsibility to bear this huge burden, but that's simply not the case. We are responsible for ourselves alone, actions, thoughts, intentions and emotions. Carrying the weight of feeling someone feelings is really to much to bear. I believe that with this empathic gift we can choose to help and comfort people because we are aware of their needs when others are not, but I think in order for us to be effective we have to be able to act outside of the emotions. Paying attention to the signals from my body that accompany emotions has really helped me to make sense of things and to not accept the emotional burdens I feel from all around me unless I choose to.Hope it was helpful.Best wishes!Ren
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
08/14/13 08:16:43AM
16 posts

Not allowed to feel...


Empath

Chuck...we could be related :) I am adopted and have no knowledge of my birth parents, so anything is possible.Interesting that your son is a drummer as well. Its a great stress relief!Patterns and cycles are something that I run into all the time. They fascinate me to no end, even when I find being immersed in them painful.As far as my partner is concerned, she is highly intuitive and very accurate when it comes to psychometry. She however doesn't "get" the empath part of me. She tries but finds it really unnerving when I talk about it or ask if she's feeling a specific way. Usually, it will cause her to be more withdrawn emotionally. I try not to ask anymore, as it clearly makes her uncomfortable and she tries even harder to mask or hide what she is feeling. She doesn't understand that my question is not a criticism of her, but only so that I can figure out if what I am feeling is mine or hers. I just want to know if the emotion I'm feeling at the time is something I should explore or discard.The journey of our souls is indeed a difficult one, and sometimes very lonely and painful. But honestly I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Even in the midst of pain I can see why its necessary and foresee its benefits to my growth as a soul, which makes it easier to take. I often feel like I am lucky to learn this lifetime's lessons with someone I love so deeply.Best of luck and joy to you on your journey. Exploring your own darkness is fascinating and enlightening however lonely it can be.Ren
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
08/13/13 12:56:30PM
16 posts

Not allowed to feel...


Empath

Chuck...I see a lot of similarities...a lot. My partner is the one "in charge" in most aspects of our life together. Its not something that I have too much if a problem with most of the time. What I'm finding now that i do have a problem with is the double standard. I'm finally in contact with my inner voice again which is great for me...not so much for her. I'm sure she finds it shocking that suddenly I am being assertive and I am starting how I feel about things instead of just keeping it to myself. I would feel bad about the shock of it all but I don't really.A huge part of the problem is my willingness to put myself and my needs last. So much of our relationship has been based on her needs and not my own. For example...I gave up drumming at the beginning because I didn't actually own drums and my tapping and beating on various things bothered her. It was a great way for me to relieve stress but it was such a nuisance that somehow I managed to stop. I held out longer with the painting and art bit eventually that was taking too much time away from her and I basically stopped that as well. let me tell you...it was the worst thing u could have done to myself. I went from being a talented expressive person to a shell of a person. I stopped dreaming, which was probably even worse and definitely more disturbing because I used to work things out through my dreams and gain so much insight. By the time I hit thirty, which was right after our second cycle, I had given up all my hopes, plans and goals for the future. So here I am, six years later trying to regain all that I willingly gave up, trying to become a real person again trying to deal with my emotions and the choices I've made and where it has all led me.Its pretty overwhelming. There were places I wanted to see, things I wanted to accomplish, people I wanted to meet and I threw them all away for "love", to be with her. How depressing. And the most ironic thing is that none of it mattered in the least bit. Except to me and that small bit of self I had left.But that small bit of self, the ever expanding person inside is yearning for the freedom to be, to feel, to express, to grow. I can't stop listening to it. I am compelled to acknowledge it, to embrace it, to love it. Its just discouraging veto know that im the only person in my life to greet its return with hope and joy. I've been away for so long.What's been going on has been horrible but ibwouldnt trade the pain of it or the experience itself because it served to bust open the dam I had constructed internally, the place where I kept my true self contained. What's going on now is pretty much fallout cleanup. Its frustrating to deal with, hard to put myself back together, hard to feel that my partner sees my emerging self as a threat. (We both have abandonment issues so no big surprise there) I think that the biggest issue we have is also one of our major differences: I am willing to go through the pain and discomfort necessary to understanding myself and my why, because I know that growth is hard and painful, she is not. It makes dealing with MY problems somewhat easier but dealing with OUR problems that much more difficult. I think I do know deep down what the solution is, but my love and concern for her keeps getting in the way of making that choice. Pttthhhhh!I too am tired of being a doormat. I know I have a right to exist, to be, to feel to experience things that normal people do. Maybe you're right, that I'm seeking validation from her but to me it feels like I'm seeking equality. Maybe its the same thing.
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
08/13/13 10:22:48AM
16 posts

Not allowed to feel...


Empath

Thanks for responding. To answer you, in regards to how my anger is being perceived by the people in my life, you are absolutely right in wondering if I seem threatening. I know that people find it threatening. To some extent, it frightens me as well. I don't know if I have just had my fill of the situation I'm currently in or if its because I don't have much experience in expressing it. For the majority of my life I was basically taught that I had no right to be angry or sad or anything negative. My mothers favorite expression was "You think you're (insert emotion here)? I'll give you something to feel (insert emotion again) about. Not a very good way to teach your child to express themselves in a healthy manner. So my anger, sadness, fear etc was expressed by cutting. Yeah... imba self-mutilator. Its the ugly truth. I haven't done anything like that in years and years but never found a better way to express it, aside from music and art. But in my relationship, from the beginning, its never been okay for me to take the time in solitude to express it. I've always had to be "on" and completely available to my partner. So I know part of the problem is that there us just so much I haven't been able to deal with. I feel like I'm being threatening and I don't mean to be, I'm just really really overwhelmed at this point. I do try to talk about how I'm feeling in a healthy non- threatening manner but no matter how calm and rational I am being, I am still treated like I'm reacting violently. Im not a violent person by nature...never even been in a physical fight with anyone...always the pacifist... always the peacemaker. Its hard to be treated like someone's abuser when all I am trying to do is work through this. Even just feeling sad is seen as threatening to my partner...which just adds to it all
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
08/13/13 08:02:36AM
16 posts

Not allowed to feel...


Empath

Hi. So I'm curious to know if anyone else has this problem and how do you deal with it and the serious frustration it brings.A little background...my partner of 13 years and I have been having a really difficult time for the past year and a half. There has been a lot that has gone on and a lot of heavy emotions to contend with between the two of us. Its taking me a fairly long time to come to terms with everything, to try to heal. Unfortunately, this is totally unacceptable to my partner. I'm just supposed to get over it all, stop feeling badly and never bring it up again. For me, this is proving really difficult especially since this is a cycle that our relationship runs through every four or five years. The last two times we've just swept everything under the rug and let the situation be. That, of course leaves a great deal of emotion being pushed down and unexpressed, where I believe it festers and poisons both of us and the whole relationship. I have been trying to actually heal my wounds from this go round, as well as to come to terms with the previous cycles so that I and we can move on, either together or separately...which ever happens.The problem with the whole thing is what i guess you could consider a double standard. My partner is allowed to feel however she feels, to emote, to express, to be. I am not, it seems. It feels like I am not allowed to have my own emotions or thoughts about what's happened, or to express it in any way. It makes Her depressed or bitter or sad or feel like she's wrong...but never mind how i right feel...that's not nearly as important as how she feels. And its not just her that feels that way...had a really good friend who want even acknowledge my existence anymore because I'm not "safe" to be around, or whatever.I will be the first to admit that the situation I'm in makes me angry and hurt...and that a lot of that is coming out but after thirteen years and three of these cycles, I kind of feel like I have the right to feel and to express how I feel. I'm trying to experience it all and get it out if my system. All this unexpressed emotion is paralyzing and I'm tired of holding it all in. I'm not trying to be abusive or take advantage of anything. I just want to be able to move on...emotionally, spiritually creatively and whatever other ways I need progress. But I keep running into this same roadblock. I am simply not allowed to feel my own emotions regarding this. I am only allowed to feel hers. And she doesn't want me to know how she feels ( which is something I can't help) it to talk about anything.So what do you do? Anytime she even catches a glimpse of my emotions, like my feelings get hurt over something minor, or I'm angry and trying to cope with it, or something happens that brings up a sad memory, it turns into a huge four day ordeal,( whether I bring anything up or not) where she refuses to interact with me at all. Its like she punishes me for feeling badly by treating badly...which only exacerbates the feelings of anger and frustration I have. I feel like I'm in an emotional feedback loop where any action I take just fuels the cycle and makes it so much worse. I'm at a total loss here.To top everything off, I am also expected to be there for her, to comfort her, to listen to her, to be on her side but that's as far as it gets. There is no reciprocation on her end. If she has a concern about our situation that she actually feels like expressing... usually angry... I'm expected to listen quietly and be supportive of her and her viewpoint but not to have any sort of emotional reaction at all. Even though the situation concerns me as well.So does anyone else have a problem like this?Its not just my relationship with her that is like this. It seems to carry on in all my relationships. I'm everybody's support and rock but no one is there for me. Its been like this my whole life and I'm wondering if this us a common problem for empaths or if its just my bad taste in people. I'm tired of feeling so alone in every aspect of life. I'm tired of not being allowed to feel my own emotions. I'm tired of feeling like having my own emotions or struggles makes me a monster. Its like, how dare I have feelings or the need to express them.Any advice would be appreciated
updated by @ren-mcquiston: 05/20/17 12:56:02PM
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
04/10/13 10:34:48AM
16 posts

anybody else have this problem?


Empath

Lol. Sometimes a good ego boost is just the right medicine...or at least a good laugh. Thank you for reminding me that I do indeed have a right to process my experiences before I share them. On the other side of this is, of course, my wife. I've told her everything that he had to say. I was really hesitant to do so, knowing that she would be hurt by it (something I try very hard not to do) but after some reflection I knew I had to or I would just become a party to his games with her. I try very hard not to play games with people...usually it turns out badly for everyone involved. I guess you could say he forced my hand. Needless to say, she was unhappy about everything he said but also unhappy with me that I took a few days to digest the experience. Thanks for reaffirming my right to do that. I really did not want to be drawn into the conflict and did not want to lose my friendship with him but even more than that, I did not want to hurt my wife. It came down to who do I care more for, my soulmate and the love ofy life or my friend.
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
04/10/13 05:38:10AM
16 posts

anybody else have this problem?


Empath

Thanks for the response. Glad to know I'm not the only one who has experienced this kind if thing. I have experienced the same sort of incident you described. At the time it just seemed random and bizarre but put in this sort of context, it totally makes sense. I suppose it is rather like being a siren. Never thought of it that way. :)
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
04/10/13 05:31:57AM
16 posts

anybody else have this problem?


Empath

Thanks for the perspective. I think that you are probably right about the energies of other people being like a drug. Does that make me addictive? Lol. I also think that I have a responsibility to respond to my friend rather than just turn away. That sucks. I really don't do well with conflict and knowing my friend as well as I do, conflict is most likely what I will have on my hands. I feel manipulated and I should address that, not because I have a desire to fix him but because I need some closure maybe. I can't accurately describe how much this facet of my existence wearies me. Its always the same thing. It makes me feel like I really can't let people get too close to me. Just increases my loneliness. Ah well. Not really a surprise. Thanks for responding. Its good to know that I'm not alone in that regard.
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
04/09/13 05:53:53AM
16 posts

anybody else have this problem?


Empath

OK. So this sounds really bizarre, at least to me. Maybe I just don't understand what is happening. I keep running into this situation with various people in my life, usually friends with whom I spend a lot of time. They are my friends but nothing more. It seems like people become obsessed with me. To the point where they feel like they have a need to own me? Everything will be OK and then suddenly something changes in their behavior towards me. They want me to themselves or something. To the point that they start trying to get me to spend time with them only. They become possessive of my time and energy. Its even gone as far as them asking me to spend time with them without telling my wife of thirteen years that we're hanging out. That's usually the point where I turn tail and run. I've lost so many meaningful friendships this way that I've truly lost count. I don't have any desire to keep secrets from my soulmate and can't understand why this keeps happening. I don't think its a romantic thing at all. Simply a desire to possess me or what I am or the wisdom everyone says I possess. I really don't know what it is. I'm in the process of losing a good friend right now. My wife and I have had this particular friend for a little over a year now. He is also an empath, so maybe that's why I am so surprised. He and my wife have been at each other's throats a lot lately. They work together and probably shouldn't. I have been trying to stay out of their argument, hoping that they will work it out. But recently I had lunch with him and he told me that he's done being my wife's friend. That I'm the one he cares about. And we can hang out together when she's not around. And then he goes on to tell me that I don't have to tell her that I've seen him or that we hang out. Why on earth would I do that? It just seems wrong to me to keep my friendship with him a secret. Like I'm doing something wrong. This has happened so often with so many people I just don't know what to make of it. During my conversation with him I guess you could say that my Spidey senses were tingling. I felt like he was describing what was going on between him and my wife so that he intentionally looked better than her to me. That he wasn't being authentic with me or about anything really. And that he was trying to cause strife between my wife and I. I felt like he was trying to manipulate me into being deceitful. It was so uncomfortable that I don't have any desire to continue being his friend.So my question is, why does this keep happening? How do I prevent it in the future if that's possible and do any of you find yourselves experiencing this sort of thing?Please help. I'm tired of losing friends this way.
updated by @ren-mcquiston: 03/04/17 09:07:10AM
ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
03/05/12 06:35:42AM
16 posts

What just happened to me?


Empath

thanks for the input...i've been aware and affected by other people's emotions since about eight years of age, but when i hit thirty, it was like a dial that had been set on 4 was suddenly turned up to 10 and its been very overwhelming at times...i just recently accepted that i am an empath...before, i just thought that i was crazy...

i'm learning to keep my guard up as well, but sometimes i forget just how overwhelming it can be and i am taken unawares by the extremity of other people's emotion...it reminds me of why i have been avoiding public places like malls and flea markets for years...i feel like i need to stop avoiding places like that, because they may serve as great practice for me in keeping myself grounded and protected, and i'm getting better at blocking stuff....

as an update to my original post, my friend with the store and i have talked a lot about what happened that day...he's also an empath and suggested that i build for myself an adobe igloo around my mind to keep other people's emotions out....i think its an interesting idea, but after several more interactions with him and his partner, i am convinced that he's blocking out too much....i think that adobe is far too deadening for me...i don't want to keep everything out, i just don't want to be overwhelmed by the constant influx of other people's emotions...i read somewhere that sometimes empaths put on weight as a defense (obviously not intentionally) or a buffer that slows down the absorption of outside emotions ...it was stated that it is mostly water weight, so i wondered if something visualized as being constructed from water wouldn't be a better material to use than adobe, which seems to me to block everything entirely...any thoughts?

ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
02/26/12 07:21:04PM
16 posts

What just happened to me?


Empath

you're right...i do need to make a habit of grounding and protecting myself...still working out what best works for me...but i know that its necessary, even on days that i start out feeling good...thanks :)

ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
02/23/12 04:56:29PM
16 posts

What just happened to me?


Empath

Thank you all for your kind words and advice...I really appreciate it. :) It was a fairly shocking experience, as i was not expecting it and very confusing and muddling as well. The further away from the situation I get, the stronger the impulse is to avoid working there. Its like, the more I replenish myself, the less appealing it is. I can't stay away from the store entirely, he is a friend, after all and its the only store like it in the city i live in. And he's not a bad person, I am just not feeling the need to subject myself to sudden and violent emotional explosions??? for lack of a better word. The last job i had, I worked for a woman for six years, who was constantly having angry, violent, and random explosions, that sometimes she decided to inflict on me directly and sometimes not, but they always affected me negatively. It was an oppressive emotional hell hole, to say the least. I don't think it would be a good idea for me to subject myself to that sort of environment again, period, much less at this point in my life while I am going through a process that is so intense.

Thanks again for the advice. It was really helpful. :)

ren mcquiston
@ren-mcquiston
02/23/12 05:05:44AM
16 posts

What just happened to me?


Empath

Yesterday i had an experience that I'm not sure about....I could really use some input, advice or whatever.

Ok, here goes....

My wife and i have a friend who has just opened up a metaphysical store. We had discussed a possible job for me a few days a week so i went down to talk to him about it. I was feeling pretty drained, its been a long week and a lot of people have needed my energy. I'm not so good at replenishing myself, yet, or remembering to do so. As soon as I got there and started talking to him, I went from feeling drained to feeling a whole host of other emotions: anger, angst, frustration, despair and worthlessness. He started asking me what was wrong and told me that my aura was kind of iffy and flickery. We started discussing some things that are going on in my personal life and relationship with my wife and my the things i was feeling intensified, which came as a total surprise, because a lot of the things we were talking about are things that i have been successfully dealing with in myself.

Just for some background info, around the first of the year I experienced what I guess was nothing short of a total spiritual awakening, which has totally transformed me for the better, and i have been working really hard at solving that ultimate question, "Who art thou?" Its been difficult, but infinitely rewarding, and i really feel like I've made a lot of progress in getting reacquainted with my soul and dealing with some misconceptions and archaic mindsets, which were keeping me from really living.

Anyway, he kept questioning me about what was going on and all the while, he was furiously trying to get his computer to work, dealing with people who were coming in and bothering him, and also trying to deal with his boyfriend, who was being annoying. I stayed for about an hour and a half, trying to have this conversation with him, all the while feeling worse and worse. My visit culminated in watching/feeling a fight between him and his boyfriend. There was such violence in it, even though it was just a verbal conflict, that i could almost see the energy play between them. Needless to say, it was extremely uncomfortable and i left as soon as i could find a way to do so without being rude. When i got home, i was so depressed, and honestly wanted to die(not that I have any intention of harming myself, just the desire for it to end).

So my questions are thus: Were the awful things I was feeling more likely his and not mine? Do you think its possible that the experience was worse because he is a powerful witch and that much more in touch with the universe than average people? And finally, my impulse is to avoid him and to turn down the job offer, because i don't feel like i can work there now, that its not the right place for me to be while dealing with the intense self exploration I've been undertaking. Should I turn down the job? And is my desire to avoid spending too much time down there a result of intuition or is it just because my experience yesterday was so bad?


updated by @ren-mcquiston: 06/15/17 07:42:48AM