Still figuring this out . . . at 55

JustMe
JustMe
@justme
3 months ago
25 posts

Hi all, I'm new here.

I've had multiple people tell me over the years that they think I'm an empath. Sometimes I think I might be, but sometimes I'm really not so sure. Sometimes I know what someone around me is feeling even if they don't give outward indications, but it seems that just as often, or even more often, I have no idea what anyone is feeling and I have difficulty reading body language and facial expressions.

I have ADD, OCD, and I'm on the spectrum, and I suspect those aspects of myself may create obstacles for me when it comes to my intuition. I do have a very difficult time being in a crowd (I saw some other posts about that) and I sometimes will feel an emotion that doesn't make sense or fit a situation, but that can happen even with I'm not in close proximity to anyone else, so I don't know where it comes from. When I have one of those moments that I know what someone is feeling, it's generally a sense of how they feel physically, more than emotionally. It's more of a "knowing" - this person has a headache, or that person is having lower back pain. I don't actually physically feel the pain that they are feeling; I feel something like the memory of that kind of pain, if that makes any sense. But when I feel the unexplained emotions that I mentioned above, I'm actually feeling those emotions, even if they don't make sense in the situation.

I'm curious - can any of you share any of your experiences with how you learned that you were an empath, how (or if) you became able to determine where feelings are coming from (if they are your own vs someone else's), etc.?

Thanks in advance, and thanks for approving me as a member!


updated by @justme: 08/29/19 03:51:57PM
Hop Daddy
Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
3 months ago
1,060 posts

Welcome @justme .


You might be surprised how many empaths are diagnosed with mental illness or ADHD. The reason ADHD is often a label for people who are empaths is due to your mind pulling double duty. Your built in empath radar is constantly taking in emotional energy. And if not properly controlled it can cause your mind to be foggy and fuzzy and make it difficult to concentrate on your real life projects. As a new empath you will need to learn how to purge that emotional energy you take in through grounding. And eventually you will learn to shield and block that energy so that you can pick and choose what you take in. But any new empath is like having a stereo turned on full blast. The emotional energy you take in is overwhelming because you don't know how to control it. 


The good news is that you've come to the right place. I would recommend a few things. First off, click the links below and take the empath tests. This will help you confirm if you are an empath. And it will also help you better understand what type of empath you are (as there are many different types).


http://www.empathtest.com/?fbclid=IwAR20608vDc5_55RlxPcsFsSyEXXoXhIJ5YcndvmEQ1JFOQcw32bF-1Es0X8


https://www.empathconnection.com/quiz


I would also recommend that you check out what Elise put together to help empaths. It's a great way to discover what this is all about and how to control your skills:


https://www.eliselebeau.com/free-empath-survival-program 


As to your questions. It is very common for an empath to be sharp as a tack reading someone one minute, and then two hours later have their skills be put on pause. The reason for this is known as empath fatigue or burnout. An empath that is overloaded will start to feel numb and their skills stop working. (This is actually your mind switching off your empath radar as a protective move against emotional energy overload). In time you will learn how to limit unwanted outside energy and keep yourself balanced so that you are not overloaded.


It sounds as if you are a physical empath (picking up on how people physically feel). That is a very cool skill to have and is a sign that you are probably a healer. You can feel what people feel physically so you are better able to help them find solutions to their pain and discomfort. The way all of this works is that empaths typically have a main skill and several minor skills. I often explain it like the college system where you have a major and a minor. As an empath you normally have a major and several minor skills. If you Google empath skills you can find a description of 7-20 empath skills. I'm sure you'll identify several that you have experienced. 


I hope my response has helped you. Check out the links above and let me know your thoughts and questions. And the nice thing about this site is that when you post you may receive feedback from many people. It's all about exchanging ideas, thoughts, and experiences as we try to figure all of this out.

JustMe
JustMe
@justme
3 months ago
25 posts

Thanks so much for your reply, @hop-daddy!

I took the two tests. The results of the first one are:

Your Total Score: 70 out of 80
Your Out of Control Healer Score: 6 out of 10
Your Protection Tools Score: 23 out of 25
How Much You Mirror Others Unconsciously Score: 14 out of 15
Your Appreciation for Nature Score: 10 out of 10

The second test also said I'm an empath, but I forgot the wording. (I thought I printed the results as a pdf, but the pdf doesn't have the results section.)

Thank you for telling me about Empath Fatigue / Burnout. That definitely resonates for me. I also have physical chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue, so I'm sure it all kind of goes together.

You mentioned grounding. Do you mean physical grounding, as in walking barefoot outside, being in physical contact with nature, or is there a particular grounding type of meditation? I will check out Elise's program.

Funny, the description you used, "like having a stereo turned on full blast". I feel that way so often and I just thought it was part of my ADD. It makes navigating everyday life quite difficult and exhausting.

One thing I meant to mention in my original post, but forgot, is that another reason I have been hesitant to believe I'm an empath is that when I "know" how someone is feeling, it's usually a stranger or someone I'm not very connected with. My wife has Rheumatoid Arthritis and I never know that she is having a flare until she tells me. I would have thought I'd be more able to "read" someone I'm emotionally connected with more easily than a random stranger. Hopefully, once I learn the techniques you mentioned, I'll be able to do that.

Another odd "knowing" thing that I forgot to mention is that sometimes when I look into someone's eyes (the first time I meet them), I instantly know if they have bad intentions. It doesn't happen every time I meet someone, or even every time I meet someone who later turns out to have had bad intentions, but when it does happen, it's pretty strong. My former boss used to ask me what I thought of people who came in to apply for jobs with the company. He started asking me after I had warned him that a couple applicants gave me a very bad feeling and he hired them anyway because they were qualified for the jobs. They later turned out to be very dangerous people with very bad intentions. After that, the boss always wanted to know what my gut told me.

Thanks again - I have a lot of work and learning ahead of me. :-)

Hop Daddy
Hop Daddy
@hop-daddy
3 months ago
1,060 posts

@justme :


That's great. You scored really high. That gives you some extra confirmation.


Grounding is basically a way to create a balanced version of you. As we know being overjoyed and high vibration all the time is not normal and will not hold. And being low vibration all of the time has you depressed and in an unhappy unhealthy state. As an empath, we take in everyone's low energy as part of our healing. So you're always taking in their bad stuff. That low energy can really bring you down and can manifest as health issues after a while. Adrenal fatigue, depression, and sleep problems are some of the more common side effects that empaths suffer from. A grounding exercise is something that raises your spirits and flushes that low vibrational energy from your body.


On a daily basis your body is working on trying to push out that unwanted low energy. But it is very slow to do so. If an empath has a bad empath day taking in too much low energy he/she could go home and hide alone in their home for three days and probably have most of that low energy work itself out and be back to balance. But that's not practical and makes it difficult for an empath to exist day to day in society. Grounding is the method we use to speed up the process of removing low vibrational energy from our mind, body, and soul. Expert empaths know how to immediately flush out low energy when they take it in from others. But for the rest of us who are not yet experts, there is a process we must go through to ground out low energy that sticks to us.


One minor form of grounding is also called self-care where you will spend many hours doing something fun that makes your heart sing. Maybe you love rom-coms, or a solitary walk through the forest. Maybe you like to garden. Maybe you have a river or sea nearby where you can go to enjoy nature. It's all about taking time out to do what makes you happy and makes your heart sing.


A more effective way of grounding that I do is two-fold. And depending on my available time I will do one or both. First off, there is something magical about salt baths for a lot of empaths. I'll use rock salt or Himalyaan salt in the bath to simulate the sea water. I'll soak in there for 20 minutes or so with soft music. And like magic, I'll finish up and feel completely renewed and de-stressed. It's a great reset. And the second method I use for grounding is meditation. It's very therapeutic on a deeper level of healing. I believe Elise's program touches on some suggested meditations.


On your last part, you have a built in B.S. meter (or truth meter if you will). I am the same. And it sure comes in handy. I've had several psychics tell me I missed my calling as I would have been an outstanding detective with my knowing and BS meter. The old saying "the eyes are the window to the soul" are truth for the empath. When I look into someone's eyes I somehow have an instant scan of their truth. I'll sense accurately what they are all about at a soul level. And what I mean by soul level is that the masks come off. There are a lot of people in our society who hide who they really are. They pretend they are someone else. But they can't hide that from me when I look into their eyes. Some of the bad types will get very uncomfortable around me when we meet. It's almost like they know deep down who I am and that I can unmask them. And it freaks them out. Some of these types I've shook their hand, looked them in the eyes, and they turned white and immediately left the building as if sick. It's quite the scene and happens often. But I've also met some people who will smile and shake my hand at introduction. And as soon as our eyes meet they instantly hate me. They also know who I am deep down, and they don't like it and lash out. I've had some difficult situations with upper management at various jobs over the years who were above me and hated me for no reason. And they went out of their way trying to make my life miserable only because at a soul level they must have felt I was superior or saw them for who they are. It's never a dull moment. :) But that said, these experiences vary by empath. Some don't very often have what I described above. While others are just like me. We're all skilled very differently. Some empaths are also very good healers but tend to attract bad people who want to control them. As you meet other empaths it's very interesting to compare notes and find out about what each experiences.


I also wanted to say that kind hearted people are naturally attracted to me. As are people who are really lonely, wounded, and lost. So while the s**t hits the fan when I meet a narcissist, I also get many kind hearted interactions as well. People whose eyes light up when they meet me who really connect positively to my energy. How about you? 

Cheshire Cat
Cheshire Cat
@cheshire-cat
3 months ago
1,438 posts

@hop-daddy,

   Your first reply here was so good, I hope you saved it for other newbies here, so you don't have to type it all over again. It really covered things. 

Cheshire Cat
Cheshire Cat
@cheshire-cat
3 months ago
1,438 posts

@JustMe,

      I also read strangers easily while having lots of trouble with people I care about. I think it is because I am emotionally invested in them, and do not really want to know anything about them that would really upset me or disappoint me. If you think about it for awhile, you will figure out your own reasons for this difference. Like hop-daddy, truly dark people recognize right away that I can see what they are, and they often turn around and leave, which is fine with me. 

     I am one of those not so well-adjusted empaths who has become a hermit, rather than deal with being endlessly used by and disappointed in people. In spite of that, I have found one grounding practice that can even help someone like me to be out in the world for short periods. I stand up, imagine weights holding me to the ground and imagine a large ring through my solar plexus, connected to a thick chain going deep down into the center of the earth, holding me to the earth. Then I tell myself I can handle whatever this planet throws at me. I do think walking barefoot on the ground is another good one to try. 

JustMe
JustMe
@justme
3 months ago
25 posts

Thank you again, @hop-daddy, for all this information! It is really helpful!

That's so interesting, what you said about how an empath could hide alone at home for three days to get back to balance. For a period of years, I was a semi-hermit. I say "semi" because I had to hold down a job in order to live, but that was just about the only place I went. I would stop at the store on the way home if I absolutely needed something (this was before home grocery delivery and being able to get everything on Amazon), but otherwise, I was inside my apartment with the door locked and blinds drawn and that was the way I wanted it. Getting through the work day took everything I had. I would go home completely drained and sleep for hours, then get up for a few hours, then go back to bed for the night. Then I met my wife and moved to a different state. I worked from home for the first few years, which I loved, but then I had to start working outside the house again. I worked part time for a long time and that was ok because I had a couple weekdays of being home by myself to recharge. My hours have gradually been increased and now I'm working 5 days a week and it's getting more difficult again. I'm seriously working toward what I hope will end up being a new work-at-home situation that I can transition to in about a year. Fingers crossed.

I don't always see someone's true nature when I look into their eyes. When I have seen it, it's always been as a warning, when the person is bad news. I really haven't experienced a feeling that others have hated me. I tend to feel that people generally either like me or don't really care one way or another, and I'm more than ok with that. LOL. That being said, I can usually spot a manipulator a mile away and once I see that in someone I tend to be very distant to them. I was in a relationship in my 20's with a sociopath who was an expert manipulator and now my radar for that is much sharper than it was when I was young.

Thank you for sharing your grounding methods. I am going to try a Himalayan salt bath this weekend. I used to take Epsom salt baths, but I always felt worse after and didn't know why. Then my wife discovered, when she was looking at our genetic markers based on DNA tests we took, that I have a gene mutation that makes it difficult to properly process sulfur. Doing some reading about it, I found out that people with this mutation often can't tolerate Epsom salt baths. But I DO love Himalayan salt, and I'm so looking forward to trying it in a bath.

I've meditated in the past and I want to start doing that again. I think I'll spend a bit of time on that over the holiday weekend.

I've been practicing Elise's Techniques 1 and 2 (turning the volume of others down and my own up). The first time I tried it was last night as I was getting ready to fall asleep. I mentally turned down the volume of others to 8 and I was surprised to feel strangely hollow. Not in a bad way at all. It was very interesting to me. I kinda dig feeling hollow.

JustMe
JustMe
@justme
3 months ago
25 posts

Cheshire Cat:

@JustMe,

      I also read strangers easily while having lots of trouble with people I care about. I think it is because I am emotionally invested in them, and do not really want to know anything about them that would really upset me or disappoint me. If you think about it for awhile, you will figure out your own reasons for this difference. Like hop-daddy, truly dark people recognize right away that I can see what they are, and they often turn around and leave, which is fine with me. 

     I am one of those not so well-adjusted empaths who has become a hermit, rather than deal with being endlessly used by and disappointed in people. In spite of that, I have found one grounding practice that can even help someone like me to be out in the world for short periods. I stand up, imagine weights holding me to the ground and imagine a large ring through my solar plexus, connected to a thick chain going deep down into the center of the earth, holding me to the earth. Then I tell myself I can handle whatever this planet throws at me. I do think walking barefoot on the ground is another good one to try. 

Thank you for sharing about reading strangers more easily than people you care about. That is validating for me in the whole am-I-really-an-empath struggle that has been going on in my head.

I used to take walks in the morning before work and I would imagine white light energy going from the sky, into my body through my crown chakra, then through my body and out my feet and into the earth. I really liked the way that felt. I also like walking barefoot in the grass. I have balance and physical sensory issues and when I am outside barefoot, my balance is so much better.

Cheshire Cat
Cheshire Cat
@cheshire-cat
3 months ago
1,438 posts

@JustMe,

You said: "I have balance and physical sensory issues and when I am outside barefoot, my balance is so much better."

I also have balance problems and have fallen over and hurt myself many times. I do balance improvement exercises for it, but they only help so much. Do you know what the cause of that is in your case? It is brain damage in my case, but I've wondered if it might be worsened by empathic overload, since noisy places tend to make it seem worse. Have you noticed that?

I have that sensory mixing thing...can't remember what it is called. In my case letters and numbers all have colors assigned to them. For example, the number 4 is always navy blue and the day of Saturday is always red. Is that the sort of thing you mean? Do you feel your sensory issues are related to being an empath? 

Sorry to be so nosy... I am a rabid researcher and info hound. :-)

JustMe
JustMe
@justme
3 months ago
25 posts

@cheshire-cat ,


I don't feel that my sensory issues are related to being an empath, but I do believe they interfere with my ability to be in touch with my empath abilities. I am able to be empathetic - to put myself in someone else's shoes and imagine what they might be feeling, but being empathic - "knowing" what someone is feeling in the absence of obvious cues - is a muddled mess right now. I am hoping that doing some grounding work and practicing the techniques to separate other energy from my own will help with that.


I don't know specifically what the cause of my balance and physical sensory issues are, but in my case, I believe it kind of all goes to the autoimmune / gut health.


I forgot to clarify that part of what I'm calling "physical sensory issues" - so as not to confuse that with the fact that the empathic ability is also sensory - is spatial awareness issues. If I walk into a place where I've never been, for instance, and it's larger or smaller than I expected, or even if it is laid out differently than I expected, I'll often feel kind of dizzy and off-kilter. And I'm also sensitive to bright light/glare, loud noises (especially sudden ones), a lot of tactile sensations like light touch, clothing tags, or the air conditioning in the car blowing across my skin, which is akin to the light touch thing.


I am on the autism spectrum, and I believe that most if not all of my sensory/spatial sensitivities are due to that. The balance stuff (and occasional vertigo) is probably more gut-health related.


I'll pay closer attention next time I'm in a public place, as to whether the empathic overload affects the balance. Public places do tend to be difficult for me, some days much more so than others. We're going to have dinner out with a friend tonight, so I'll be practicing my theirs/mine energy techniques and I'll pay attention to how my balance is.


I don't see colors for numbers or letters, but I do very often associate certain colors for people. It's not the same as reading an aura. I don't actually see the color. It's just the color that I associate with the person when I think of them, and I have no idea of the significance of one color over another. I see numbers, days, and the months of the year in a specific pattern in my head.


I don't know if any of this is helpful, but I hope so. LOL.


Cheshire Cat
Cheshire Cat
@cheshire-cat
3 months ago
1,438 posts

@JustMe,

     I remembered the name for senses that are mixed up with each other....synesthesia. I think associating a color with a person in your mind definitely counts. Only about 14% of people do this, and only about 5% are empaths.

     I have a physical illness, caused by trauma triggered dysautonomia combined with epigenetics, imo, called Fibromyalgia. It includes being bothered by lights, noise, air blowing on skin, labels on clothes, slight drops in temp, etc. Normal sensory inputs are drastically magnified, just like you experience. The gut is also messed up in about 80% of people who have it; mine is so bad I cannot digest anything w/o prescription meds.  Many empaths have fibromyalgia; way beyond chance. I do not mean to say everyone with those symptoms has it. It has many other symptoms including constant pain. People with fibromyalgia are hypervigilant though, just like empaths. 

      As you get more in tune with your abilities they may grow. I can tell what people are really feeling by tuning in to their foreheads, where I see a video played out of their real thoughts. This works best with people I do not know well and when a lot of emotion is involved. Of course, this is clairvoyance, not empathy, but many of us have various clairs also, and they can suddenly develop later on in life, or at least they did in my case, though I was born empathic. 

      What you said is very interesting to me. I am pretty old now, but if I was young today I think I would be on the spectrum, due to certain behaviors of mine as a child that fit the diagnosis, though in my case, these behaviors run in all the females on my mother's side of the family and we outgrew them after childhood, so I am not sure about that. 

     Good luck with your dinner out. I hope you can really enjoy it. 


updated by @cheshire-cat: 08/30/19 10:44:29AM
JustMe
JustMe
@justme
3 months ago
25 posts
@cheshire-cat,

I have Fibromyalgia also. I don't remember if I ever knew that the tactile/sensory stuff was associated with that as well. I was surprised when I saw in another post that many empaths have Fibromyalgia. It's pretty interesting.

I'm at work right now (wrote my previous reply during my lunch break), but I'll reply more later. Have a great afternoon!

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