Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Empathic/Emotional Advocacy

We've talked about Emotional Advocacy in another discussion about the different types of Empathic Bonds. But this particular topic deserves a discussion all its own. ^_^

We all have a general sense of what advocacy is. Its definition is: a deliberate process of speaking out on issues of concern in order to exert some influence on behalf of ideas or persons.What this means is that one person speaks for another person or idea which can not speak for itself/themselves, like the victims of violent crimes, children, and the severely mentally handicapped. An advocate is one who speaks on behalf of another person, especially in a legal context. So what kind of people do this kind of job? Mothers, Fathers, Family members, Friends, Lovers/Husbands/Wives, Siblings, Pastors, State Workers, Lawyers, Lobbyists, and the list goes on. We all hope that if something bad happens to us or to those around us, there will be someone there who will be there to not only help them stand, but also to help them speak.

But we are going to take this discussion to a whole different level, to one called Empathic Advocacy. The difference between this and the one mentioned in the last paragraph is that this one takes a deeper empathic bond between one who disassociates from their emotions and one who is close enough to the emotionally dissociative person to advocate for them. This could be an overprotective parent, a lover, a sibling, or a friend.

No matter who it is, though, the bond is so tight that it allows the emotionally dissociative person to walk around worry free, without a real care in the world, while it leaves the advocate weighed down with all of the unspoken emotions the ED(emotionally dissociative) person avoids.

Normally a person does not choose this kind of bond consciously. If it is with a parent, family member, or sibling, it is usually formed when the ED person is at a very young age, and on some level needs to be protected. But as the ED person gets older, this bond continues. They become extremely reliant on their advocate for their emotional needs and support. So even if they get married, the marriage bond is secondary to that of the parent.

This bond, whether it involves an Empath or not, becomes unhealthy and promotes negative personality traits like codependency, and further disassociation of feeling. It does not promote healthy relationships with friends and/or with lovers.

This becomes even more evident if the ED person's advocate passes away or leaves for some inexplicable reason. Then the ED person sets out looking for a new advocate. They become riddled with fear because they do not know how to cope in the world without the emotional support of their advocate.

Empaths are particularly susceptible to becoming Empathic Advocates. Because who better than an Empath could understand the needs and desires of an ED person and be compelled to help, simply because of who and what they are?

You know you've met an ED person in your lifetime. Everyone has. You just may not know it consciously. They are those type of personality that appear needy, grasping, and are often called 'leeches'. You get a creepy or uncomfortable feeling from them when you are in their presence. It often times leaves you feeling drained and emotionally spent when you leave their company.

These kind of people are not what are known as psi vampires. These people do not steal energy, but instead look for a dumping ground for their own emotions so they do not have to deal with them head on. And Empaths are the perfect dumping ground for these souls, unless the Empath knows how to say things like 'no' and 'enough is enough'.

But most Empaths are still so raw and newly awakened to what they are, they have a hard time vocalizing the words to end the situation. Often times, particularly if the Empath is not yet aware of their own nature, they aren't even consciously aware it is happening to them. But neither of these things stops the Empath from feeling the weight, the pressure, and the mental/emotional exhaustion that comes with being an Advocate, willing or otherwise.

It is rare for a ED personality to truly wish to change in order to stand on their own two feet emotionally. Why would they wish to change when they can have someone else do it for them? So short of that rarity occurring, there is only one thing an Empath can do given the hopelessness of the situation ever resolving itself. And it is one of the hardest things an Empath has to learn to do, as well. Cut the bond and leave the person to themselves.

Like a mother to an infant, we will fret and worry constantly, after we have severed a bond with an ED person. Did they stumble around and hurt themselves? Did they get abused because they became dependent on an Emotional Manipulator? Did they get hooked on drugs and/or alcohol? Did they become suicidal?

But the Empath who stands in this situation must face two very important realities. One is that we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves. The Empath is responsible for their own mental health, just as the ED person is. And the second, is that eventually an Empath, in the guise of a mother, must take the child out of the walker and let them stand on their own two feet. They will fall. They may get hurt. But this is all part of the process of growing that a person must go through. It is learning to become self reliant, instead of dependent on others. This is the healthiest choice for both the Empath and for the ED person.

It is the difference between giving a person a sandwich to cure their hunger or teaching them how to grow their own food. One engenders dependency, while the other allows the person to take pride in what they have achieved with their own two hands through struggle and strife.

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