I have always been a loner, even as a child. I was the oldest of three children growing up in what I considered the middle of nowhere. We had a small farm where we raised our own cows, pigs, chickens, geese and turkeys. We had a garden, which consisted of the normal veggies, herbs, and flowers. We also had dogs and cats, lots of cats. I had a cow; a Jersey named Penny, who was a descendant of Elsie the Cow. I was always walking her in the woods, I would observe the ever-changing face of nature during our walks, and she would nibble on the sparse grass along the way. Our destination invariably would be what I called the Three Ponds, so named by me because there was one large pond and two smaller ones after the large one. It would be at the large pond where Penny would wade in up to her belly to drink deeply of the clear water, while I sat under the birches that hung over the pond and just try to clear my mind. I always enjoyed those walks, because I needed the peace and quiet of the woods, to hear the rustle of the wind through the trees, especially the pines, and always, always needed to go to the ponds. You see, mine was a very odd childhood. It seemed as though I was always the one that had to take care of my sister and brother, and as I grew older I became the “mediator”, if you will, between my mom and dad. Mind you, I only listened to them complain about each other to me. They would never try to talk to each other. Then there was the nightmare of going to school. I was a shy child so I found it very hard to make friends. I was targeted by some of the other children as being different. I wasn’t different, I was just more sensitive than most.
As I grew older, I tried very hard to shut out people in general. I hated (and still hate) to go shopping. I have literally left my cart in the check out because I couldn’t handle the stress of waiting in line. I am still trying to figure out how I managed to work for a major retailer for 14 months. I guess it was the fact that I truly enjoyed helping my customers, and I loved my co-workers. It was just toward the end when my old supervisor left and the new one just didn’t seem to fit. Coupled with the fact that there were changes being made in the way we had to stock our shelves put me over the edge. I just couldn’t handle how the customers were looking at me. They were upset because we couldn’t keep the stock up. I could sense their feelings even though they wouldn’t voice them. I could always sense how my co-workers were feeling as well, and I would listen to them as they complained to me about work or something going on in their lives.
I was wondering one day why I felt the way I did. Why I need to walk every day, morning and night with my boys (my puggies :) ). Sometimes I would drive up to the little mountain close to my house and walk with them for an hour just to decompress after work. Why I need to go to the ocean now more than ever. I have always been drawn to the ocean, but I have always lived near a water feature, be it a brook that ran through our front yard when I was a child, the ponds I walked to with my cow, the river I live next to now. Why do I cry at certain times, like at the end of Criminal Minds last night? And a host of other things as well.
As I started to research the subject of empaths, I realized that a lot of what I was reading described what I was going through, what I was feeling, what I needed to decompress. While I do not have ALL the traits, I do have most of them. For instance, I studied for a Computer Forensics certificate in 2010. A couple of the classes had rather graphic text books. I studied them as part of the curriculum, but they really didn’t bother me. I was detached. However, when I was a firefighter in my town, I responded to a car accident with fatalities. I did my job as I was supposed to, but I was almost catatonic afterwards. Soon after that, I resigned. I could not be detached. I would always feel that pain. But, watching a movie with violence really doesn’t bother me, as does reading a true crime novel, or a horror novel. As for creativity, I love crocheting, writing, and a few other things.
I still don’t feel comfortable labeling myself as an “empath”, maybe a “highly sensitive person”. I am not qualified to label myself as anything. I just know that I have been and have felt, this way all my life. I have tried to shut most of it out, unsuccessfully. I live alone now with my boys and my kitty, and I do like it that way. Oh, I am a little lonely at times, but right now, I really don’t want anyone in my space. I have more than enough company. :)