This is my first post so far. I tend to be a very private person due to the fact that not many people understand what an empath is and what it's like to be able to experience other peoples emotions all the time. I know being an empath is a powerful gift and I feel that sometimes it scares me. I feel like I am always having a battle with myself between wanting to be close to people and at the same time wanting to be away from them.
The past year I have ended a lot of friendships because they drained me and I felt very misunderstood and trying to explain myself was exhausting. I very much enjoy alone time now because it helps me recharge and fill up on energy, but at the same time I get feelings of loneliness and isolation. It's also hard being around family and living with my parents because I feel that I carry their emotional baggage and I have trouble differentiating what's mine and what is theirs. I also feel that my extended family looks at me like the black sheep of the family because of the "mental health" problems I had in the past, which I now know aren't. (BIG RELIEF).
I tend to often feel guilty by canceling plans with people because I know it just won't do me any good hanging out with them - but at the same time I feel like I'm neglecting my friends. I learned when I put myself first it serves me well and I feel good, but I have a sense of guilt behind it because I feel that people take it as me "being too good for them" or lazy and other negative traits that are just simply not true.
This is what I am dealing with right now and I know it has a lot to do with self-acceptance and self-love, which I always had a tough time with doing mostly because of the lack of support from the people close to me. I want to thank you guys for being here, even though I don't know any of you personally I feel this is a safe place to share my feelings.