Damages Part 2, The World Is A Serial Killer

Please sit back, relax, and do your best to keep an open mind. 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.

It’s Friday morning, and you’ve just arrived at your job. You’re so happy that it’s Friday and the week is nearly over. Only one more shift to go, and then you can make your escape. Damn, it will be so challenging to keep from counting the minutes until the end of the day.

Your thoughts stray momentarily to the weekend just around the corner. You can feel it coming. You can also feel today, actually feel that it’s Friday. Does anyone else in this world feel what day of the week it is?  Why are you like this?

It does not take long enough to reach the elevator from your car. The clock is ticking in the back of your mind, keeping score between your emotions and what’s waiting for you behind that stainless steel door. You don’t need to check your cellphone to know that you’re too late to beat the crowd. 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 just overhead. Something’s coming, filling the front of your mind, and dragging you towards the floors above. You brace yourself, attempting a mental barrier, but once again, you’re too late. The emotional wave hits you, bringing you back to the parking garage.

Quite suddenly, your senses capture something else, another overwhelming intrusion. Then it happens, you’re surrounded and entirely 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 emotional madness.

With thoughts of [just keep breathing], you let everything go and focus on the new challenge. The doors close behind you. You realize something during your thirty-second elevator ride, and it brings a warm smile. Elevators, park benches, and bus stops, the behavior is the same. It’s all about proper spacing.

Thanks to your inside joke and breathing exercises, the short ride 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. No sense in pushing your luck after such a close call.

Okay, now it’s time to hit the break room for a cup of strong coffee, and then the morning meeting. You brace yourself, shuddering as you imagine the morning shift meeting. It’s so much more than just social anxiety; it’s borderline torture—all of those personalities and emotions, and no way to stop them. If you can only get through this day, you will have time this weekend for research. You must find answers to your questions, solutions for your problems before it’s too late.

Just as you’re debating whether 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 thought 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 every day. They live a life of knowing and feeling at a level that most people will never be able to imagine.

If you cannot imagine what this would be like, I want you to please try anyway. It’s important because I’m not finished. It does not 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 pile on a few more layers of the emotional rollercoaster.

Now, please see 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 would like because it makes no difference. You will not be safe anywhere.

Sit back, close your eyes, and please try to relax. So many people and so many emotions. Some of these people are entirely 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 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 so that 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 imagine 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.

Okay, 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 terrifying place, and for a good reason.

Everything I have written here is real. These highly tuned in people are 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 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 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 cannot go to school and get your Empath Degree or take online courses. You are either born an Empath, or you are not. I must add that being an Empath does not 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 may never reach their full potential. I say [potential] 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 all of the darkness that tears us down and apart.

Empaths are not necessarily Counselors, Addiction Specialists, and Healers, but a significant percentage of these fantastic 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 opposites indeed 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 does not feel and one that feels enough for them both. It is undoubtedly a predatory situation.

Joseph Shanklin

June 1st, 2019

8 thoughts on “Damages Part II [The World is a Serial Killer]

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