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I have a problem I'd really like to get to the bottom of, because it does nothing but make things hard and complicated, for me and those I care about. It feels like such a natural problem that there should be books written about it. I feel (or seem to feel) other people's emotions as much or more than they do, and I'm unable to keep to myself that I'm feeling really bad. This tends to make that person feel even worse, and guilty about feeling their own emotions (feeling bad for feeling bad, etc.), and you can see how it turns into a mess really fast. I could be so happy, immediately, if they were happy, but I find it difficult to be happy around people who are stressed or upset, especially if I feel close to them. I want to cheer them up, but everything about my body language says I'm really being affected by this, and I just make things worse. My sense of humour ceases to function. Since I feel powerless at this point to make things better, I tend to walk away and feel bad and confused all alone. And at this point I probably want a hug. I'm sure there's a better way to handle it than walking away. I actually think I'm better about this than I used to be, but it's such an annoying problem. It's hard enough being upset or stressed when I'm upset or stressed -- why do I have to feel that way when others do!

Elizabeth told me how difficult it was for her after the rape when everyone else seemed so affected by it. You obviously care when something bad happens to someone you love, but why do we humans make these things so complicated? Why do we tell ourselves we have to feel bad because someone else does even though we full well know that will make them feel even worse?

I'm not sure this is totally related, but I was just thinking about it, so I thought I'd mention it. I don't deal with personal stress very well because I used to put up with so much of it. There were a couple times when I nearly broke down from school-related stress and perfectionstic expectations I demanded of myself. I realised I was a lot happier when I let go, and I realised the things I was striving for weren't that important anyway. Living life to the fullest was a lot more important than getting a 100 in every class, or in fact, ridiculously more important than any grade at all. I actually cried about getting a 97 in a class. I sort of came to resent that stress. I hated that I could make myself feel so much of it about something that was really so meaningless in the scheme of things. Now it's really hard for me to see people dealing with that kind of stress. Just thinking about stress stresses me out!

I think I'll go pick up Even Cowgirls Get the Blues for a little while and get to sleep.

"Nonetheless, the oyster, could it fancy, should fancy its excremental equipment a hot item, for what other among Creation's crapping creatures can convert its bodily wastes into treasure?"

Creation's crapping creatures, what alliteration.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 5th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
I think the problem you described is one of the problems with strong natural empaths. I've had people attracted to be because I feel so much, and I often intensify their emotions.

I think the key is being able to own and handle your own feelings, and the ones that you can't avoid feeling because of how much you care, without letting them back out to the people who can't handle them . . .

If you have found anything written about this, please let me know. I feel like I'm moving towards insight on this problem for myself . . .

I think part of the problems is the feeling of helplessness. The only way to avoid it is to be able to accept your limitations, and the fact that bad things WILL happen and you and the people going through them WILL survive and do the best they can. Have more faith in your loved ones to be able to ride out their pain and find what they need for their own path, rather than focus on how little you seem to be able to do to make things better.

and meanwhile i'll try to take my own advice . . . :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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