Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Empathic Victim in You

So, in a past discussion I wrote about Empathic, and non empathic, victims of domestic violence. This discussion will go to a whole different level, because in this case the Empathic Victim I'm talking about could be any one of us at any given time.

The first type of Empathic Victim is the Empath who does not know their own abilities, the Raw Empath. The second is the newly awakened Empath. The third is the fully awakened and working Empath. The last one is there, because no one is exempt from this problem, not even the most skilled and experienced of Empaths.

We all have those moment's don't we, when we become so overwhelmed with another person's emotions we forget all of the tips and tricks we've learned to shield ourselves from the onslaught. If you can say otherwise, its probable your in denial because you don't like the word victim being associated with you. But there is no shame in this, and you don't have to admit to this fact in front of anyone but yourself. So be honest with yourself.

So what is an Empathic Victim anyway? Well lets look at what a victim is first, shall we? There are several very good definitions that fit here: A person who is tricked, swindled, or taken advantage of. Or it can be defined as: One who is harmed or killed by another. And another definition is: One who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition Here is the last one (I promise): A person who suffers injury, loss, or death as a result of a voluntary undertaking.

To break all of those down and sum them up, what we really need to say is that the world is a cold harsh place and many of the people in it will take advantage of you if you let them. This does not mean that the world is hell and all the people in it, save yourself of course, are demons. It is only to say, one must be as realistic about these things as they are optimistic and trusting toward the world and the people around them, particularly Empaths.

Being an Empath doesn't make you omnipotent. You are not all seeing, all feeling, and all knowing. You can not heal every case you run into, and it is futile to try. That is not to say it is futile to offer help, but it is also important to know your own limits and stay within those means. Otherwise, you face the possibility of becoming an Empathic Victim.

And even the most experienced and expert Empaths have to watch out, as well. Because from the novice empath to the expert, we all have the same traits. We love to help those in pain. We love to offer support to others, even at our own expense sometimes. We hate conflict and love to find resolution. We are peace makers and healers born. But sometimes these traits can also be our worst enemies.

Take the case of Emotional Advocacy (which I wrote about in several other discussions). One may not realize they are being used as a dumping ground, because it is masked in the facade of love and friendship, but it does not change what is is, even if it is wrapped in pretty paper. Nor does it change the inevitable outcome, either. The only thing waiting for an Empathic Advocate at the end of the day is exhaustion, sorrow, anger, and resentment.

We are not naive, by nature. We are to observant of the world around us to be deemed that. But we do like to find the good in all people. We like to have hope, when we work with others. And sometimes, this can lead to be manipulated and taken advantage of. And if you are still a novice who has a hard time with the word 'no', this becomes even more dangerous. You could be pushed into doing things you have no wish to do. Drugs? Alcohol? Sex? Crime? All of this to fit in with those around you and please them. And what are you left with, but self loathing, disgust, and shame?

We are highly sensitive emotionally. No, I'm not talking about picking up on the emotions of others, though we do that too. I'm talking about our own emotions. The slightest condemnation can force us to retract ourselves into our shells. It can bring on depression, and even suicide attempts. And for what, another person's opinion of us we could not change to a positive one?

Never think for a second that the struggle is over when you have awakened, and are experienced. It might get a little bit easier, dependent on how aware of others personalities you are, but you are no invulnerable, even in your shell. You can be hurt, just like everyone else.

The question then rises, what will you do with that pain, that shame, that sorrow, and that anger? Will you learn from it and let it go? Or will you begin to repeat a pattern of abuse in which you are the Empathic Victim and the world is your abuser? The choice is yours. And this is not a choice you get to make once in your lifetime. Its one you will have to revisit often over your lifetime. It is one that must be vigilantly kept, while tempering it with your innate trust of others and the wish to help.

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