Empath Observed

Before I get into the article, I'd like to define the term "empath."  a lot of people think that being an empath is the same thing as having empathy.  It's not.  Most of us, unless we're sociopaths, have a fair degree of empathy.  We can understand what others might be feeling by putting ourselves in their shoes.  We empathize with someone because we have felt similar emotions or had similar things happen to us before.  We say, "I think I know how he feels."

Being an EMPATH is different.  When you are an empath, you not only can empathise with someone else, you actually feel their feelings.  An empath gets slammed by feelings not his/her own from out of the blue.  An empath feels them as if they were their own feelings, but at the same time they feel their own feelings running alongside.  It's very difficult.  Empaths have a hard time in crowds, and funerals wipe them out for days.  This is because they are bombarded with so much intense emotion, they just are swamped emotionally.

I'd like to describe one such experience I witnessed from one of these very special people - my husband.
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I'll preface this with what might be the obvious. I'm not a scientist.

I'm driven by curiosity about experiences I have both had myself, and seen/witnessed my husband have. There were no double-blind studies or peer reviewed research publications attached to these experiences. In that corner, I got "nuthin'."

So, experience is what fired my curiosity, not some made-for-TV drivel, or new age book I read. And, it might be good, although fairly meaningless, to assert here that I am not making this up, or exaggerating.

I have NO ideas what mechanism is behind the events. (There are many similar events.) I do know that they happened. And to me, they defy any rational explanation. This, however, does not stop them from becoming part of my truth. It's either that, or concluding both my husband and I are delusional. There are no other signs of that, by the way.

My husband discovered only recently that what he is, is called an empath. We hadn't really heard this term before he found it someplace online.

It fits.

He has learned, over time to always tell someone when he is hit with this. He does this before he does much else. It helps him come to grips with these things when he has corroboration. He feels other peoples' emotions on occasion. Sometimes they overwhelm him while he is sleeping and he wakes up. Sometimes, the trigger seems to be a photograph - even of a stranger. But he doesn't just understand how they are feeling. He feels how they are feeling.

I will describe one of many experiences he had to which I was witness. He was online, looking around Facebook. He was chatting in comments on the page of a friend from England. This was mild, social chatting - nothing serious at all. Another man put a comment up. This man was someone my husband had never seen or known of before this comment. The comment was also light, like hello, or something equally neutral.

My husband told me (about 15 minutes after it happened), that in the instant he saw this man's tiny photograph, he was slammed with grief, resentment, despair, and anger. If affected him so deeply, he told me he was not able to speak to tell me until he could get a grip on it. He said he had never felt such an overwhelming or odd combination of those emotions before in that way.

As he told me, he was having trouble keeping from tearing up. My husband is NOT an overly emotional guy. He doesn't cry very often. I had noticed that he had been rather quiet for a while, but hadn't paid attention, really. I asked him what he was going to do. He told me (as he always does) that he would write to this man and ask him if this was how he was feeling. Long ago, my husband stopped worrying about looking weird, because when this kind of stuff happens, he is always right.

The man replied in broken English (He was from Indonesia) that yes, indeed, he was feeling those things very strongly. His life had taken a terrible turn and those emotions made sense. The two of them wrote back and forth most of the night. What my husband usually can bring to the table is just the realization that someone does actually know how they feel. At least this is what most people tell him. And this can be useful to the person who is suffering. Most of his empath stuff, you see, seems to be centered around suffering, sadness, grief, or panic. (Unfortunately for my husband.) This other man was suicidal by his own admission. At least this didn't happen.

After discussions, my husband finds that this shared emotion will slowly fade. He is able to recognize that while he is experiencing it like a first hand thing, it is not really his. Underneath this shared traumatic event, he is happy. Weird stuff.  In this case, it still took him several days for the residual feelings to clear. It was brutal for him, actually.

So, after numerous times that I have been a witness to this (which had the reinforcement of the affected person's corroboration and my knowledge of it BEFORE he contacted the other person), how does one explain the mechanism that this happens?

I have given you only one instance. As I said, there are more. Some less dramatic, but others also quite unexplainable by logical means.

So, where do you go with that?

... Marissa Image Courtesy of: Cameron Gray

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