Damages 3, The Flashbacks

What would we be without our pain? We are all damaged…and it’s necessary.

For those individuals spending their entire life reliving the pain with each pull of a trigger, it can be a never-ending story, not unlike the movie Groundhog Day. (I recommend the movie)

Like most of what I write, this piece comes from the (my) heart. And why is that? Because of past, present, and future. With every breath, and every heartbeat. My pain moves with me, and I am my pain.

8/1/2019 AM

Within moments of removing my memory-proof vest, I felt the impact, followed by the pain. I didn’t hear the click of the trigger, but the memory tore through me like a speeding bullet, fired through time from my childhood. The defenses that I’ve spent a lifetime creating, and constantly improving didn’t fail me, I chose to put them aside and relive it all once again. Sixty seconds of complete empathic flashback.

I was eight years old, hanging out in front of the house, and trying to ignore the boyfriend of a relative. No, he’s not guilty of anything except being a dick. Being late in the year, and cold outside, it’s common for animals to crawl up and inside cars and trucks so they can use the heat from the motors that have been recently turned off. On this particular day, the terrible happened. My caring side will not allow me to give the details of what happened next. Too many of us are animal lovers, and that’s a good thing. Having to watch someone (the dick) end the suffering of a neighbor’s pet five feet from where I was standing was traumatizing. Connecting to the animal on an emotional level only made it worse, and back then I didn’t know why I felt and experienced things differently than those around me.

Over forty years have passed since that cold winter morning in Northwestern Montana, but I can still feel everything if I allow the event to take place.

If you relate to this story on a personal level, then I’m writing this for you. The empathy education process doesn’t end. You won’t receive a degree or graduate. What you can do is educate yourself and continue through a never-ending process of empathic level-ups. Eventually, you will be able to shut it all down at will. Anything and/or everything that is emotion can be powered down. And I have more good news for Empaths. Much like body armor, these defenses can be prepped in advance. For those able and willing, it’s possible to learn these skills. Level ups are critical for our survival. Please don’t settle.

J.S.

August 1, 2019

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