I spent over half of my lifetime heavily medicated. During that time, my parents loved and believed in me very much, but they didn’t understand how to help me, or the magnitude of what was happening back then. They tried everything they could, before asking me if I wanted to see a Psychiatrist at age 16. My biggest enemy early on, was NOT my gift, it was my intuitive empathy. As a teen I was like a raw nerve walking through the hallways of a High School, absorbing every ounce of self destructive thoughts, sexual confusion, abuse and damage, and processing it ALL as my own. Don’t get me wrong we had family issues too, but who didn’t in the 80’s and 90’s?
“Intuitive Empathy,” is one’s ability to inadvertently absorb emotional energy from those around them. Most often it happens when you’re emotionally connected to another human, but for the highly sensitive, a connection isn’t necessary. It can happen when you're in close proximity with another, or miles apart when you're emotionally connected. All I would have to do was walk down a hall way, touch the locker of someone that had been hurt, or brush shoulders with a student, and I would physically FEEL, what someone had gone through/experienced or done to another. It was how I knew my HS boyfriend had raped an underclassman, and that she was telling the truth. It’s how I knew a parent was capable of sexually assaulting underage drinkers during parties in their home, and how certain teachers drank at school. It was often the big stuff God dammit, the stuff NO ONE WANTED TO OWN, and for good reason, but when I was moved to confront another human, ask for help, or attempt to discuss my visions and feelings, I experienced violent human shut downs, or public humiliation, and all to deflect what I knew in my soul was true. This lead to an extreme distrust of self and the inability to understand how to manage this unique part of me.
Mental illness is real, it just wasn’t my true story. I was placed on pages and pages of medications over the course of 13 years, all of which worked for no longer than a few months at a time. I would eventually respond to Lithium and that was ALL IT TOOK for a psychiatrist to hand me a Bipolar Diagnosis. Medication can serve a purpose in a souls learning experience. It never truly worked for me, because I wasn't Bipolar, but it dialed my emotional sensitivity down enough for me to function in the world at a time when I wasn’t ready to stand out in any way that I believed could make me even more "unlovable." Not everyone would agree and that’s ok, but I didn’t have the support system to be ME back then. I was so painfully sensitive that existing, was all I could manage. I spent way to long trying to make others proud. I spent way too long trying to show my family and doctors who I really was. It wasn’t until I trusted myself and began seeking out like minded individuals, that I found ME. Shortly thereafter I found my “gifts” and began using them to help others.
It IS possible to have therapists, psychiatrists, doctors and/or family that believe in you (and your gift), but it HAS to start with YOU. My advice to every Empath is to do all that you can to empower yourself. Do not rely upon others to make you happy or to fulfill your soul emotionally. Surround yourself with people that lift you higher, that truly love you and ingest content that educates you and brings you joy. Please know that family may not be part of what brings you back to you, and that’s 100% ok. Don’t force anything. Your internal navigation will never steer you wrong.
There are so many different ways to interpret the same condition. What Western Medicine calls one thing, Eastern will call another, and a Shaman will heal in two hours (whoops did I just say that out loud?). Again, not everyone will agree with this. I am not a doctor, but I have been through a lot and it all lead me to one of the most amazing lifetimes anyone could have ever asked for.
You are so special. You may go through hell for years before finding yourself. Things may feel intolerably dark before they give way to light, but please never lose hope. Please never lose faith in yourself. Your tribe is out there and your life awaits. You and only you can affect our world, can make it better, in the way you were born to do. I believe in you. I will continue to remind you of all your beauty and potential until you see it in yourself once more.
I am a single mom to TWO amazing humans and a Professional Medium. There is nothing more important to me than my boys and my work. We are a (relatively) normal family, with an open heart. We live and breathe to help people heal uniquely in this world.