As a child I preferred to sit with the adults, watching their body language and listening to what they said. My mom comes from a large, loud, Irish family that more often than not didn’t tell the truth. When they did it was usually to my mom. I picked up early on when a person was lying or being evasive. I could spot people who were a little “different” right away. Some would ask why did I keep the company I kept if I could do this. The answer to that is I thought I deserved what I got from them. I knew who and what they were as soon as I met them but had no self esteem or confidence. I thought very little of myself and didn’t care what happened to me.
The qualities of empaths are similar to those of a bipolar person or at least to me. Some say empaths are more of a mystical thing not a scientific one. I’m not sure about that.
People often confide in me even people I’ve just met. I’m deeply affected by the emotions of those around me. I put other’s needs and happiness first. I always support the outcasts and underdogs. I have a deep love of animals and feel more comfortable with them than people. I become overwhelmed in crowds of people and then feel anxious, irritable, and impatient (unless I drank). I’m somewhat creative and feel tragedy/loss deeply and for a longer time than most. I can easily read people whether it’s by their writing, eyes, mannerisms, there’s always a tell. I’m often yelled at because I “know” things but can’t explain how and people think I found out in a malicious way. I’ve also proven this to be false many times.
These traits describe many people. I do feel everything 100 times more than most people. That is the most difficult part because I wish I didn’t. Alcohol helped with that. I don’t grieve like everyone else does. I still have days where I cry uncontrollably over my dog GiGi who was hit by car at the end of our driveway. I think I can still see her white fur gently moving in the breeze as she lay there so still. The same when her brother died years later from a heart condition. His death was not a pretty one. Even though she was hit by a car there was no visible injury to her. Her brother was different and I’m the one who found him when I woke up in a puddle of blood. My dad was at dialysis so I lost control of my emotions. I still see my Mom as I ran into her hospital room. Nurses laughing, drinking coffee, one man doing chest compressions, bloody foam running down her chin, a howling sound that I’m not sure if it’s me or my Dad who’s on his knees. I’m the lucky one in the family who gets to witness the death of everyone or everything I love. I get to remember and feel all of it continuously.
It’s something my twin sister won’t have to go through. I’ll be the one to deal with my Dad too when the time comes. The worst part is my sister distancing herself from me when I’m the one taking the blows to protect her and my nephews. She would never see it that way. All of the grief and pain has shaped me into who I am today. I have kept things from her because I know it would hurt her and when she holds a grudge it isn’t pretty. She already hasn’t talked to our Dad since Christmas and I’m not sure why. I refuse to give her anymore reasons to stay away from us and only consider her husbands family as her real family. I have to say this hurts more than I thought it ever would.
Sometimes I think watching all those movies was a bad thing. I always had an idea of how life was supposed to be, how sisters were supposed to be, none of it worked out that way.