Re-posted from August 1, 2019.
The necessity of pain, what would we be without it? We will never know. Our pain creates us.
Like most of what I write, this piece comes from 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.
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 film)
Within moments of removing my memory-proof vest, I felt the impact, followed by the pain. I did not 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 continuously 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 jerk.
During the winter, it’s common for animals to crawl up and inside cars 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 jerk) 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. Fortunately, the event is relatively uncommon.
If you relate to this story on a personal level, then I’m writing this for you. The empathy education process does not end. You will not receive a degree or graduate. What you can do is educate yourself and continue through a never-ending cycle of empathic level-ups. Eventually, you will be able to shut it all down at will. Anything and 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 do not misunderstand; everyone should face and heal from past trauma, not just attempt to block out or numb the pain. The event I’m referring to is something completely different than merely remembering something traumatic from the past. For those that can relate to what I’m saying, I’ve written this piece for you.
August 1, 2019