Emotional Sensitivity, Backlash and troubles with Empathy

Now, I’m sure I’ve said it somewhere on the internet, but I can’t remember if that somewhere was here- and the memory problem is, of course, something that I’ll talk about in another post ONE of these days.

I’ve always been an extremely sensitive person. I get emotional impressions from people or general atmospheres. Predominantly I suppose I’m best at guessing it in the emotionally repressed society of America, but it works without any real range limit. If I’ve had contact with someone before and time to get used to them, I can generally get pretty good at telling how they’re feeling or what’s got them down or happy, et cetera et cetera ad infinitum. If it’s an emotion, I can feel it, taste it, sense it, hold it– whatever it means, whatever THAT means.

I’m good at reading people. I’m not bragging or anything. It’s just a thing. I don’t think it makes me any more or less special than anyone. Everyone is special and fascinating.

The point is quite simply, I feel it when someone else is hurting. I always have and I always will. If I know the person, I can tap into the impressions I get from them and I guess infer things. not always with incredible accuracy, not always understanding what I see, but it’s just how it’s worked. It’s intuition to some extent, annd… and story experience to another. The world likes to run in certain patterns– the human psyche has some of those patterns run in ruts. Tyrants being ‘overthrown’ and taken over by other, different (if not necessarily more brutal) regimes. Girls being kidnapped at a young age and made to live horrible lives.

It’s a vast, vast, VAST story, and we’re all characters, and… from time to time, I’m allowed to cheat a little and read up on the other characters.

As part of the price and reward, I get what I like to call ‘backlash’.

I suppose it’s like being kicked in the gut. Only I guess more like being hit all over sometimes, or being tossed, to use an overdone analogous, on a raging sea. Smashed against the rocks– no, maybe more than that. It feels as if my mind IS the sea, near empty normally, shallow with a few seashells at the bottom. Being tugged out by waves or knocked onto the shore- literally stunned- is the worst and best thing that can possibly happen to me. And there’s part of it.

I like it, in some ways. I feel like a channel, and the good feels good and the bad feels bad. It’s two extremes I suppose, and by any other definition it’d be bipolar disorder, I suspect. My control over these feelings varies from day to day. Sometimes I can keep them from flaring, others they put words in my mouth and I say things I honestly did not mean at all. Sometimes it’s barely noticeable, sometimes it…

It hits hard and fast and if I’m not feeling that great or if I’m already hurting a little, it can send me into an immediate breakdown. Parties can be the worst– not the parties themselves so much as being sick with eleven different friends’ anticipation issues and my own self-esteem problem. In fact, breakdowns just before going to parties are pretty common. I rarely feel like I want to go, especially if anyone else in the family or friends area is feeling sick or doesn’t want to go either. If everyone wants to go and I don’t, the conflicting emotions might make me decide to follow along even if my own original vote was a nay.

In arguments, I spend as much time as possible trying to create an equilibrium between two irritated parties. If there’s one thing that’ll make me upset in a hurry, it’s two people (regardless of if I’m friends with one of them or both of them or neither of them) who aren’t getting along.

I suppose I like arguing so much at least in part because of my brother, and at least in part because, if it’s in good fun, I’m perfectly happy arguing a case that HAS no case, just for the feeling of in-syncness it can provide.

I think being in sync with people to that point, synchronizing my emotions with theirs, mimicking, no, complementing their own emotions with my own is a habit of mine. Something I do almost subconsciously. And… I think it’s a form of shield.

I think to some extent I never come out of my shell. I never let myself grow or do anything I really, honestly want to. I think I sit here and let the emotions batter against a mirror, bounce back, reflect what I feel from others. I feel like people who are nice to me should expect nothing but kindness in return. And that they should get it.

I feel like I’m repressing myself. And I’m not exactly sure what buttons I need to stop pressing to open myself up again. But I do know that I would like to find out.

And to stop.