Warning, kind of a long read, but worth it…

Writing used to be such an unclimbable mountain to me, something that I would never be able to achieve in my life. In fact, I didn’t like writing. The love that I used to have for reading has been transformed into a new love for writing. I found this new love just recently, and she’s the one for me. She is writing of course. I’m hoping this new relationship will last as long as I do.

Today is June 1st, 2019. When I went to bed last night I didn’t know that this morning I would write this piece. When I got up this morning, I still had no idea that I’d be writing from after breakfast until after lunch. That’s how writing is for me. It just happens and it takes over until I’m finished, or my calendar won’t allow me to write any longer. I’ve grown to love public transportation. I’m no longer frustrated by time-consuming bus or train rides, but just the opposite. Traveling time is now writing time.

Why would anyone spend a Saturday morning on the first of June writing something without payment or compensation, especially on such a beautiful sunny day?

First, this and everything that I write is very therapeutic. Writing is a form of expressive therapy, and it promotes self-knowledge. It’s even been said that writing is, speaking to another consciousness.

Second, I’m hopeful that the reader will find it informative. If what I’ve written helps one person learn something about themselves, it was worth it. Another hope is that the reader will be armed with new information, information that may someday help them to help another.

Damages Part 2

Please sit back, relax and do your best to keep an open mind, and use your imagination. This might be easier for some than others. In order to get the most out of what you’re preparing to read, you will need to try and empathize with someone who’s empathizing. If that sounds confusing, well then, that might not go away.

It’s Friday morning, and you’ve just arrived at your job. Your so happy that it’s Friday, and the workweek is almost over. Just one more shift to go, and then you can make your escape. Damn, it will be so difficult to keep from counting the hours and minutes until the end of the day.

Your thoughts stray momentarily to the weekend just around the corner. The weekend, you can feel it coming. You can also feel today, actually feel that it’s Friday. Damn, does anyone else in this world feel what day of the week it is before they even come close to looking at a calendar? Why are you like this?

It doesn’t take long enough to reach the elevator from your locked car. The clock is ticking in the back of your mind, helping you to keep score between you, and what’s waiting for you inside. Damn, why do you always know what time it is? Why do you always know a lot of things?

You can hear the elevator moving between floors, the doors opening and closing on the next floor. Damn, something’s coming, getting closer, filling your mind. You brace yourself, attempting some kind of barrier, but once again you’re too late. The wave hits you, bringing you back to the parking garage. So much emotion for a Friday morning, what are these people thinking, do they think?

You are surrounded, and completely out of time. Several co-workers have made their way to the same elevator, and have already pushed the button. Damn these people and their overcharged caffeine crazed early morning madness.

Wow, another opportunity to practice your breathing exercises. Just breath, breath and you’ll be just fine. There has to be a better way. You realize something during your thirty-second elevator ride, and it brings a smile. Elevators, park benches, and bus stops, the behavior is the same. It’s all about proper spacing. The morning elevator wasn’t so bad, although, at the end of the day when your brain is awake and firing, you’ll probably take the stairs down to the garage.

Okay, now it’s time to hit the break room for a tall cup of strong coffee, and then the morning meeting. You brace yourself, shuddering as you imagine the AM Shift Meeting. It’s so much more than just Social Anxiety, it’s downright terrifying. All of those personalities and emotions, and no way to stop them. This weekend will be the weekend, this will be it. You must find answers to your questions, solutions for your problems before it’s too late.

Just as you’re thinking you should have called in, you realize that your co-workers have moved on to the meeting room without you. It sure won’t make things any easier, being the last one in the room again. On one occasion you found yourself standing for the entire torture session because you were late, and there weren’t enough chairs. It was that morning that you realized whoever came up with that stupid game musical chairs, was a total dick.

Imagine walking into a room full of people, and within a few moments, knowing how everyone feels about you. What if you didn’t have a choice? What if they couldn’t hide it from you? Within minutes of interaction with a group of people, you could see and feel how every single one of them felt about you? Could you handle it? How would you handle it?

Now take it one step further. What if you had to deal with this reality all day, and every single day? Every time you get into an automobile with someone. Each time you meet someone for the first time, or the second time. Each and every single time you interact with anyone. How would it affect you? Would it damage you? What would be the extent of the damage? How would you repair the damage? Would the damage be repairable?

Well folks, there are people in this world living with this condition right now, dealing with it each and every day. They live a life of knowing and feeling at a level that most people can’t even imagine.

If you can’t imagine what this would be like, I want you to please try anyway. It’s important because I’m not finished. It doesn’t end there. Yes, there’s so much more.

Can you put yourself in that place? It’s a lot of feelings to deal with. Now that you’re thinking about all those feelings, let’s move on and add some more.

Now imagine yourself getting onto a bus full of people. If you have not used public transportation before, then please feel free to imagine a school bus instead. Okay, now please go ahead and sit anywhere that you’d like because it makes no difference.

Sit back, close your eyes, and please try to relax. So many people, and so many emotions. Some of these people are completely minding their own business, others are not. This particular bus is carrying a very diverse group this morning. People of every race, color, and creed. A few of them definitely do not like you based solely on the color of your skin. Furthermore, one or two of the passengers are carrying around so much hate and anger that it’s almost too much, and twice you find yourself coming close to ringing the bell, just so you can step off the bus and on to a street with a name that you have never even heard of before.

You see, not only within a few minutes do you know how everyone feels about you, but add this to your new stress level. You’re now connecting to the other passengers emotionally. You’re beginning to connect to and feel all of the sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, and happiness on the bus. Just think how confusing this would be. Especially if you don’t know why it’s happening to you. In fact, why would you know why it’s happening to you? It’s not something taught in school.

Ahhh school, let’s stay on that for a minute. Grade school, middle school, and high school, how terrifying would school be? Imagine being a young person in grade school. Now junior high school. Now high school. How overwhelming would it be to be dealing with all of the normal growing up issues, plus these new challenges? Terrifying is an accurate description of how your school experience would be. Keep in mind that quite a few young people already think school is a very scary place, and for go reason.

These things are true. These highly tuned in people are really out there in the world. Unfortunately, quite a few don’t make it into or through adulthood. The stress of knowing, feeling and seeing can be too much. Many turn to drugs, alcohol or other destructive coping skills. A toxic lifestyle tends to lead them to one of two places. Either The Department of Corrections or an early funeral. Some have a psychotic breakdown. Similar to drugs and alcohol the mental breakdown is equally destructive and tends to end the same. Prison, death or a revolving door at a psychiatric hospital. A large percentage of our homeless population suffers from mental illness, and among the homeless, this illness tends to go untreated.

When the coping skills don’t work or no longer do the job, the situation becomes desperate. At this point ending the pain is all that matters, and thoughts of suicide take over. There are few things in this world as sad as someone killing themselves, and the sadness is magnified when if the victim is a young person. I’m using the word victim because it’s applicable. They are victims of our world. It’s in this way that our world is a stone, cold killer. Free of sympathy and empathy, this world can and will kill if allowed to do so.

There is a label for those people who are born with too much empathy, these emotional specialists. They are the Empaths. I say Too Much Empathy because unless The Empath learns how to minimize or completely shut these things down, it can destroy them.

Being an Empath is not a learned skill or trait. You can’t go to school and get your Empath Degree or take online courses. You’re either born an empath or you’re not. I must add that being an Empath doesn’t mean that you know what you are, and there are many different types of Empaths in the world. Furthermore, many different combinations of empathic abilities. Some Empaths operate at a very high level. Like anything else, it’s a question of effort and sacrifice. Those who put in the work move forward. Those who feel they are cursed and spend their lives trying to make it all go away never find out what they’re capable of. I say Capable Of, because an Empath who embraces what they are and seeks a life of service to humanity, can do a lot of damage. Damage to disease and mental illness. Damage to addiction and depression. Damage to any and all of the darkness that tears us down and apart.

Empaths aren’t necessarily Counselors, Addiction Specialists, and Healers, but a great percentage of these amazing people tend to be Empaths. In fact, not all, but most of them are. A word of caution though, I have met a few Treatment Professionals and Addiction Counselings who are one hundred percent narcissistic. I must add, the narcissist is the direct opposite of The Empath. Oh yes, our Universe has a sense of humor, and it’s very true that opposites attract. I’ve seen quite a few relationships between Empaths and narcissists. Some narcissists have even been known to seek the Empath out, intentionally creating a relationship between a person who doesn’t feel and one that feels enough for them both.

End Part 2

Joseph Shanklin

June 1st, 2019

7 thoughts on “Damages Part 2, The World is a Serial Killer.

  1. Hi Joe, thanks for finding my blog. You have some interesting writing and experiences. Empathy is crucial but agree when very sensitive to others it can be overwhelming and damaging. Think there can be ways to build an emotional core of strength though and writing, meditation, all of that can help. Most writers need this sensitivity and insight into others. And then there’s the narcissistic writers….


  2. Wow, You really have a grasp on the meaning and feelings of an empath. I have been studying the relationship between an empath and a narcissist a little, due to my own experiences and gained some insight into myself because of it but your post has shed even more light on some things I have been struggling with, so thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Joanne. If you liked this one, you will probably enjoy my novel. It touches on the subject many times throughout the story. I meet with an editor/publisher tomorrow here in Denver. I’ve spoken with a few editors, but I haven’t found the right one yet. 🙂


      1. Oh wow, that’s awesome. All the best with the meeting, hope they are able to help 🙂 and I will definately be getting a copy when it comes out!


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