I just started going to therapy. I mostly went to deal with a violent trauma that happened to me in college, but I am realizing something: as an empath, I am traumatized by life.
That might sound dramatic, but let me try to explain.
Every sad news story, every angry person in the street, every stressed co-worker, every rando that yawns on their way to work…their energy gets tangled up with mine and I end up literally ill. It’s not something I can “turn off,” either. It’s part of me.
I’m learning to see empathy as a blessing, rather than a curse, but it’s been a long, slow, messy process.
My new therapist, helpfully, always asks, “what feeling is coming up for you right now?” And I can barely answer. I usually just say, “sadness,” or, “I’m frustrated,” but it’s not even close.
More accurately, I am overflowing with thousands of tangled up emotions, mine, yours, everyone’s, churning incessantly, and whirling so fast I can’t even grasp at one enough to describe it properly.
I left my last session achey, fatigued and eager to cry. After our rough first session, I had literally scheduled my day with time to go home and have a meltdown afterward.
So I went home, got out my cozy blankets and journal and tissues and snacks, ready to have an absolute panic attack. I felt the emotions rising, and I knew I needed to let them out in order to heal.
Suddenly, I couldn’t cry.
And I realized that my own emotions were buried so deep beneath a layer of other people’s feelings, beliefs, and energies that I couldn’t even cry when I wanted.
(Trust me, I do cry sometimes. But I don’t cry as much as is probably healthy).
And then, the oddest thing happened: I wrote a song.
Let me be clear: I have never written a song in my life. I had no inkling beforehand that I ever wanted to write a song the rest of my days.
All of a sudden, though, this song was in my head. I grabbed my ukulele and the Notes app on my phone and wrote it down. And as I sang, hey, presto – waterworks.
I sobbed and sobbed, and the odd teardrop landed on the strings, all dramatic and emotional, just like in the movies. Yep, that was me. A stereotype.
It was such a release.
What we learn from this:
For one, music is energy, just like everything else. It’s what I needed to release whatever societal blocks were keeping me from crying. The energy of the music let me say something that I couldn’t express through words alone. For you, maybe that something is running, or dancing, or sewing, or cooking or throwing darts at the wall. I typically write in my journal. We all need energetic releases from time to time.
I happen to be an empath, so when I get blocked it’s obvious. If you get blocked, it might be rumbling under the surface for years without you knowing. And believe me, all humans get blocked from time to time. If you aren’t expressing your thoughts, ideas, feelings, and needs on a regular basis, find a way to do so ASAP.
Secondly, the song I wrote was actually less about trauma and more about the experience of being human. It came out of something my mom said the other day about empaths being like a sponge, ready to be wrung out.
The song teaches that while trauma is hard, there is something harder: living your whole life misunderstood, inauthentic, undervalued. Well, you don’t have to be an empath to understand that. No matter who you are, your needs matter. If you are struggling with being your true self, do whatever it takes to stop. You are utterly unique, infinitely valuable and never a burden.
This song is for you.
Let me remind you: I am not a song writer. This is my first song ever, but it has already served its purpose for me. It came from the Universe through me and straight to you.
The chords and lyrics are here so you can play it if you want.