“…if I was around someone who had a temper, someone who seemed to have no boundaries, or someone who was negative, I would feel a desperate need to figuratively throw glitter at them….” Cynthia Sageleaf
I’ve known I was an empath for many years. I’ve never liked conflict or anger, and I finally became sick and tired of being a people pleaser. If you’re an adult, and you can’t be peaceful, then leave me alone.
I’m protecting my space, now.
Having worked as an addictions counselor for 30 years, I shielded when I remembered to, but sometimes things moved pretty fast (faster and faster as the paperwork increased). I’m still irritated by one of the higher ups praising us front liners in a speech for working “tirelessly.” Sorry lady, but we were tired. People get tired. I got tired.
The only way I survived that job was to toughen up, to turn my natural sensitivity way down, and bury a portion of myself. Now that I’ve been retired for one year, I sometimes feel a little guilty about not doing more with my degree/license/experience to help people. But I’m getting over that.
Last night I was in a meeting where a sensitive subject was being discussed. The tension felt like electrical charges jabbing into my body. I felt emotionally overwhelmed and wanted to run away. I stepped out of the room a couple of times and didn’t hang around afterward. I’m starting to realize that with my defenses down, my empathic receptors are more exposed. When that happens, I want to hide out for a while. And that’s okay.
For many years, I was tough, the breadwinner, the career woman. Now I volunteer two hours a week with first graders. I love their spontaneity and that I don’t have to do paperwork on them. Along with family issues that come up from time to time, I’m going through all the stuff that belonged to my parents which is big job, physically and emotionally. In some ways, I still have to be tough, but now, it’s on my own terms.
My favorite days are when I get to stay home all day, do some painting or writing, and don’t go anywhere further than my own back yard.