Is there something termed as “too much empathy?” I personally thought no term such as this exists, but when I checked on it I was surprised that it does exist. First things first, why did I check on this at all? There are some people I, sometimes, find myself unable to step in shoes of. I mean I cannot imagine doing what they do or what they have done. Looks like, I should not have to. So empathy means understanding what other person is going through and being able to gauge what they need and also be able to understand why they need it. It can be a gut that tells you or your understanding of that person. We, as humans, want to be understood without having to explain. Empathy is not agreeing to people who are wrong but just understanding when people feel discomfort to express and just respect that. It can be an actual challenge when the other person is struggling to articulate and feel it is a pressure to explain and that is when most empathy might be needed.
There is a term called as “empathetic reactivity” and it essentially means “when too much empathy is bad”. It is also be termed as “toxic empathy”. When we are empathizing, we are taking on other person’s feelings and when it is so excessive that we feel them as our feelings that is where we need to step back and check ourselves. Such stream of emotions can lead empathizer to hopelessness and depression. Another prominent and known problem here is when you empathize with everyone, you could end up feeling drained and having no time for your problems.
Although I know world needs more people who empathize, there are also good folks who are doing overtime here and this is just for them to take a break and concentrate on their ownself.
Does everyone have that one memory/incident, or multiple even, the one we never talk about? It can’t just be me. It is a bad memory. Sometimes, I want to talk about it hoping that would make it go away, like it almost makes it’s way out but something holds me back from sharing. At other times, I just don’t want to talk about it. It will take everything down with it. It terrifies me, thinking of consequences if it came out? It’s been so long, I keep hoping it would fade with time. It doesn’t. Will it ever go away? I always wonder as an after thought to this dreadful memory. I am never trying to recall it, never. It is always an unwanted feeling, distasteful, sad and yet it is, maybe, one of the most consistent flashbacks. At 3am tonight, I am wondering when did I decide to keep this a secret? Why did I decide that? I know why I don’t want this out now, that is clear. But why even then? I could have shared it. Instead, I pushed the entire episode to the back of my system, locked it in an old memory box, threw it’s keys into abyss, filled my heart with so much love and other memories and yet it pops back, kind of like “remember me” by Jim Moriarty. Or like my head is being forced down the Pensieve. Weird how brain works, like me looking for an analogy for a memory I hate so much. Someday, someday I would like to question the other person, do they remember this the way I do? What’s their side? Does it make them sad too? Tell them what it does to me, maybe then I will be able to let it go. Maybe then, it won’t come back.
I am an only child. To top it, I was brought up mostly by my grandmother as both my parents were working. Since childhood, I loved being with myself. I was used to it. I still remember coming home from school, grandmom serving me lunch in her half sleepy state and then she dozed off while I had all the time to myself until my mother came in from her job in evening. I read, danced, watched tv, slept. I never missed someone’s company. I never wanted to visit a friend, I remember being upset if someone came in during those hours. Now, years later, I am struggling to find that time which is just mine to spend.
To clarify, I love living with the man I have married. Absolutely. He gives me as much space I want. He is not the problem, well technically no one here is a problem. It’s just that my parents miss me and his parents expect us to be around them and we both want to spend time with our friends too, mix that all and it is one messy dish called my life. Hah! Let’s go through my day in a gist. I wake up, have breakfast and either read or watch something before I start my work around noonish, we have lunch, we have dinner, I wrap up work, we chill for a bit, I read to sleep. If I look at it like that, I do have morning and night to be by myself but before marriage I had whole weekends too. Now? No, I do not have them to myself.
I don’t want to come out wrong, I love being with my family and his family but I miss my day of lying in bed ALL DAY ALONE DOING NOTHING. Call it unproductive but oh was that fun! I miss it so much. I hate adulting. No one warned me that adulting will involve answering so many calls. Ugh. I just want to be a kid that no one bothers or pays attention to. No one has huge expectations and you don’t hurt anyone. Just study, be a good kid and they will let you be by yourself. I work hard, I am a fairly okay person too I guess and yet, no one lets me be by myself now.
Ah, people have grave problems and I am just sulking for some time to waste. Maybe I still am a kid that way!