As an empath I am all too familiar of how it feels to get lost. To only feel like a glimmer of the person you know you are. I am all too familiar of how easy it is to end up in a relationship where you don’t have a voice, to believe since you have the best intentions that others do as well. To be up a murky creek, with no paddle in sight. Let my words be your paddle.
As empaths we have the unique ability to get stuck in depression caused by unruly environments.
The reason this is, is because as empaths we are able to internalize other peoples feelings as if they were our own.
We literally feel what makes our loved ones happy, and even worse we feel what makes them angry and upset.
These feelings become so overwhelming that without us realizing it we start giving EVERYTHING to not get them upset or angry, even the slightest annoyance they feel, we feel too.
While we can romanticize this phenomenon, what is actually happening is the empath is fading away into oblivion. The feelings and emotions that we feel become insignificant, and we really start believing that our own feelings don’t matter at all.
This is where the depression kicks in, it’s because deep deep down within the depths of our souls we are fighting to be free.
Some people might say, what kind of person would make someone feel that way. The truth of the matter is (most of) our loved ones are not inherently bad. It usually happens without them even knowing it. It might start with us insisting that they pick the restaurants and the entertainment, because “we just want to make them happy”.
Little seemingly inconsequential gestures set the precedent of how you are allowed to be treated. In other words you are setting the precedent that they are more important than you, and therefore why would they respect you.
We get so completely enthralled by these situations and living for our loved ones that no matter how depressed we are, leaving never seems like an option. We would literally rather die than break the heart of someone we love. This is also why so many empaths are suicidal.
This phenomenon does not strictly occur in romantic relationships. This could easily happen in a friendship, without us even being aware of it. Friends might constantly ask us for advice, but not stick around to hear our problems. We have set the precedence that our problems are less important, that WE are less important.
The same things happen in parent child relationships. As empath children we feel extreme pressure to not disappoint our parents, because we internalize the disappointment, and therefore we become disappointed in our selves.
On the other end of the coin, as empath parents we give our all to make sure our children are happy, taken care of, and make sure our children know that it is impossible for us to ever be disappointed in them.
We make the best possible parents because we raise kids who have more confidence and are comfortable in their own skin.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, like you have given all your energy out to others and need to recharge yourself, always remember:
1.) You deserve happiness; take time for yourself
2.) Your feelings are no less important than anyone else’s
3.) We are all connected – when you hurt yourself you are hurting others
By: Hillary Gerstler
Thank you...I hate to admit this, but I was crying while browsing these threads. Yours caught my attention..and I can humbly and honestly say that by the end, I had stopped.
Because all that you said is much too true. And I'm glad to not be alone.
This is so true and so difficult to do. It's been my way of life and change is a big exercise in awareness. I actually thrived on being an empath...in my younger years I thought I found my role in this world and I'd give everything I had to help people, empower them and be their advocate. It's really just drained me. Occasionally at work I have such bursts of brilliance and amaze folks how I can advocate and change things so efficiently while others push paper around....but it's so tiring now. Long ago I decided I needed someone to soothe me once in a while not only from all the personal trauma I've had (and never dealt with) but all the trauma I see from my job regularly. I'm not interesting in battling the world for other people anymore. If I could, I'd leave my profession but financially I can't right now....some day.
im burnt out finally. It's been so hard to heal too. I resent people in general, they seem to all fall into the same categories for me and I've become cynical. I used to be so kind and patient but now I just don't want to get sucked into other people's issues, it infuriates me actually.
wow, thanks, Hillary. I'm just learning about being an empath. I've known it inside forever, but I am really seeing it now for the first time. The trouble it is causing me - the depression and loneliness. I hope you continue writing on this subject - very helpful to me.
I've thought a lot lately about all this empath business. it really resonates with me. I'm so lonely, but never alone. Caregiving elderly parents, working with Special Ed kids and being several people's best friend. But ... I don't have a best friend. Sometimes I feel like I'm being absorbed - like that movie, "The Blob." Hehe. Other people's problems are like that pink, sticky goo. I get a little on me, and before I know it, it's all up my arm and trying to take me over. I'm searching for more answers to try to help myself for a change. A change. That would be good. A change in how I treat others and myself. If I treated myself the way I treat others, I'd be in good shape! It's hard to know where to start when trying to change relationships that I have had for 20+ years. To let them know that I have been suffering in the relationship, because I have consistently valued them over me. This is especially difficult with a couple people because I have gone so far as to make them feel that I was the weak one in the relationship (cause I didn't want them to feel bad, I deprecate myself - make myself seem less and constantly over-inflate my opinion of them.) I'm a mess. A hot mess. But like I always joke, well, at least I'm hot!