Archive | March 2013

Depression series – Empaths and the dark night of the soul or My world is falling apart and nobody even seems to notice.


The dark night of the soul.

Check list

  • You feel there is no hope. You’ve tried everything and nothing has worked.
  • There is no yesterday no tomorrow, just a desperate and empty now of desolation and anguish. 
  • The emotional pain is overwhelming.
  • You feel pushed way beyond your limits of endurance to the point of breaking. 
  • You feel all that you believe in is coming apart. 

The dark night of the soul, as it is called, is a very traumatic and severe type of depression.  It feels like your entire world is coming apart. Whatever hope you once held has been lost and all you can do it hang on for dear life, and try and survive.

No matter what you do, you are overwhelmed by waves of negativity, even when you are trying to be positive.

This is a terrible state of depression.  There are no obvious solutions and chances are those around you will not understand what you are feeling, because you can’t explain it to them. Some may even choose to take offence and make it about themselves.

I remember when I hit this stage. I found the people around me had varying reactions to me.

Many were oblivious that I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. A couple asked me what was wrong and tried to help, but I truly felt there was no hope left, so they stopped trying after a couple of days. One took offense and made it a reason to have a vendetta against me, even long after the event passed.One chose to use this information against me when I confided in him.One first denied I was having any issues, and then used it was an opportunity to talk about themselves.

I had a mixed response to my dark night, but regardless, while I was in it, I didn’t feel anyone could help.

The dark night of the soul is something you can’t understand, not really, unless you’ve been through it.
But what is really going on? Why do we arrive at such a point?

What is happening is that this is our last, desperate attempt to hang onto a belief system that no longer serves us. One that has ceased to work for us for a while now, but we refuse to acknowledge it.

We hang on with all our might to what we believe should be, but really, we need to let go, and embrace a new line reality.
There are many old belief systems that might no longer be valid for us.

This could be in regards to a relationship that needs to end.

Maybe it’s time to change your lifestyle or belief system. In my particular case, I believed that I would never be loved, have a partner or find someone and I was destined to always be alone.

Today, such thoughts seem inane to me, but at the time it seemed like a very real concern. I felt I had tried everything, and everything had failed on all levels.
I was stuck in a set of beliefs that no longer were relevant to the direction I had to go. Until I was prepared to accept something greater, I would be unable to move on. However, I was so convinced I had worked it all out that I was no longer allowing growth to continue.

The dark night of the soul is actually a blessing in disguise. It heralds the start of new spiritual growth. Some say it is the doorway to true spiritual growth.
A new way. A new start. It means that it’s time to let the past go, and accept that there are things you do not know, and let new ideas come into your life.

It’s a purging. It’s a breaking of energies. And that’s what makes it so painful.

This was just before I was introduced to the Bach Flower Remedies, and so I had to get through this alone. When I finally emerged, I found that I had new hope, and things were shifting and my life was never going to be the same.

Remember, at its most extreme, Yin will become Yang (and visa versa). They say it is darkest before the dawn, and this is true.

If you are experiencing your own dark night, know that things will get better and it may herald a much greater and amazing journey.

Bach Flower Remedy:

Sweet Chestnut is the remedy for this state. It allows you to embrace a new belief system, and let go of the old one, without breaking you.

It works well with Walnut, which is the remedy for change.

Advertisements

Depression series – Empaths and Anger or My depression is making me very angry.


Anger

Anger, while not actually a type of depression, can often be triggered by depression. This is an article on the type of anger that empaths tend to suffer from.

Empaths, particularly those who are on the spiritual path, tend to repress their anger.
This is extremely unhealthy.

There is this stream of thought that states that spiritual people do not get angry. I understand that in some religions and cultures that even thinking anything negative is forbidden.

There is a  perception that we should always be love, peace and joy and not allow such emotions to come up, otherwise how can we claim to be a good person, or a spiritual one?

While I can understand that we should try to avoid giving energy to negative thoughts, denying them is not the way to do it. In fact, all it does it make them fester and grow stronger.

Remember, what you resist, persists and what you look at, bring into the light and make your own will no longer have any power over you and disappear.

But anger is anger. Just denying it doesn’t make it go away. It needs to be dealt with, and you can’t do that by refusing to acknowledge it.

Repressing anger produces harmful negative effects.
We become angry at not allowing ourselves to be angry in the first place, and then we supress that, which in turn creates more anger. It’s a vicious cycle.

This can lead to several things.

A great amount of repressed anger.
A psychic pain around the third eye. By psychic, I mean it’s not physical pain, but a mental, sharp pain, like someone sticking an ethereal knife into that area.
Episodes where you suddenly feel that you want to take a weapon of some kind, and use it on anything that seems to be in your way.  Such thoughts such as, ‘kill ’em all’ might be typically going through your mind.
You are afraid to let go of your anger, because you fear the outcome of it.

Such repressed anger not only has a toxic effect, but it may lead to explosive events, such as road rage. It may be the quiet person who snaps and everyone says, I never would have suspected they would do something like that.

Anger is borne from fear and when we a lot of fear it may become malignant.

Expressing anger is healthy. Just don’t hold onto it once you have done so. Empaths tend to worry about the consequences of showing their anger. They believe they will drive others away, or enter into a confrontation they do not want.

While both may lead to such things, there are ways to express anger without being violent, or abusive, or demeaning about it.

Express how you feel and letting others know that this is something you need to do and let out is one method.

Many people are angry in the moment. However, once they have said their piece, they will let it go and forget about it the next moment. Their anger is in the moment and rarely lasts beyond that.

The problem with expressing your anger is that while it is healthy, those who you are expressing it to sometimes can’t let it go. Your words and your reactions will haunt them. Some will hang onto it and let it fester, becoming angry in their own turn.

This is why it’s vitally important to never get personal with someone. Once you start doing that, you will become lost in a cycle of incriminations and accusations that do no one any good and only end up hurting both parties in the end.

No one ever wins such arguments. Generally, all you end up doing is walking away, and stewing over it in your mind, thinking of the injustice of it all until the next time things explode.

If you are able to do so, there are things worth bearing in mind.

Take people in the moment.

We are not our pasts. Yes, they define who we are right now, but remember to take people in the moment. Don’t force them into a pattern they may not wish to be in any longer.  People can, and do change if they are working to do so.  However, do not confuse this with someone who you want to change, but is unwilling to shift. Such people will keep you in your own patterns, which is not healthy.

Do not get personal.

When you get personal, or attack someone on a personal level, you will have lost your case. Once you put someone on the defensive, they will defend and there it is unlikely they will hear what you are really trying to say, because they are too busy trying to prove their own case.

Many people have a strongly defined sense of right and wrong. They generally consider their actions to be ‘right’, which is always based on their belief system and how they view the world. Anyone who has a differing view is considered as ‘wrong’.

Interestingly enough, the other party will have the same type of model of their own world. They feel they are right and anyone who they don’t agree with is wrong.

However, right and wrong are strictly relative things, and in the greater reality, they don’t exist. What is right today may become wrong tomorrow, and what is right tomorrow may have been wrong today.  We, as individuals and as a society keep on changing right and wrong as we go along.

Really, though, there is no such thing. Right and wrong are quite individual. Right can be best described as something that takes you closer to who you wish to be and wrong as something that takes you further away.

As everyone has different goals, to try and fit everyone into one belief system just doesn’t work. Just because they do not agree with your views, it doesn’t mean they are wrong. It is simply another perspective.  The true gift is that you get to see another way you may not have considered. You might not agree with it, at least not at that point of time, but acknowledge it, accept it, bless it and let it go.

I could get more holistic here, but the point I’m trying to make is that our anger at someone generally tends to be a difference in belief systems. Most of the time, there is something going on that we aren’t aware of so it’s best not to make judgements unless you have all the facts; and those we don’t always get.

If we can express anger in a calm and healthy way, and explain to whoever we are talking to that this is what I am feeling, and while I don’t expect you to agree with it, I want you to at least hear me and understand, it can help a lot.

The other thing to make clear is that you’re not looking to be fixed. You’re not looking for solutions and you certainly don’t want to be told what you should do in order to resolve the situation. You just want to express yourself. If you want answers, you will ask for them.

Too many of us, especially empaths, are ‘fixer uppers’. We feel we have the answers, and in many cases we do… for ourselves.

If asked, we best just share our own experiences and perspectives, and say that this is what works for me. Try it if you wish.

We might be spiritual being, but we are having a human experience and with that comes all the emotions that us humans have. If you feel anger, express it in a healthy way. Do not repress it. In the long term, there will be health problems by doing so.

If you’re wondering how to not be angry or how to overcome your anger, I’ve personally found that shifting your perspectives and understanding others points of views goes a long way to helping.

Generally, if we don’t want to see another person’s point of view, it means we have a vested interest in denying it and that’s alright. What we may want for ourselves may not be what others want for us.

We may need to fight for what we desire and I believe that’s best done by convincing the other parties that it’s in their own interest to give us what we want.

Of course, this is not an inclusive list of how to deal with anger, or the reasons for anger.  They are simply my own observations and experiences.  I hope it helps.

Bach Flower Remedies:

Holly is the remedy for anger. Cherry Plum is the remedy for fear of letting go

Being credulous doesn’t mean I’m not sceptical, too.


The sceptical Empath

My life has been unusual, to put it mildly. Those who know me would not deny that, and there are some things that I just can’t explain away, no matter how creative I become.

I’ve seen and experienced a lot of things, some of which will be posted to this blog in time.

This is what this entry is about. How credulous am I? What measures, if any, do I take to try to ensure that all I’m writing about isn’t just the delusion of some active imagination?

And that is a good question.

I’m what you would call a purist and I prefer to deal with facts and true experiences. It’s easy to ignore things if they don’t fit your belief system. However, believing that the world is flat does not make it any less round.

I truly believe that we do more harm than good to our cause if we ignore explanations that account for why something happens.

I feel that in order to remain objective about things, you need to be ready to accept that what you thought was so, may not be correct at all. I’ve certainly gone through that a few times in my life.

As new information comes up, I take that into account. Sometimes it fits into the bigger picture, and sometimes I have to rethink what I thought I knew. As long as I remain open to new information, I know I will get to the answers.

Over the years, I’ve done some intense studying on universal laws, life before death, after death, reincarnation, souls, manifesting, and so on. I read everything I could get my hands on and ran it through my mind and my feelings.

Eventually I reached a point where if I focused on a subject, I would ‘feel’ the answer. Meaning that I would get answers that felt right to me, and made sense. Sometimes the information would come quickly, sometimes it would come in section, and sometimes it would take years, with refinements and clarifications added.

I believe that getting the answers was a matter of being attuned to the information. There have certainly been times when I’ve been quite surprised by the results.

A lot of my works do have their basis in my studies of other works, and for that I acknowledge people like Neale Donald Walsch and Michael J Roads and Kyriacos Markides as three main sources of inspiration. Those works helped attune me and allowed me to understand and bring down much more information.

All my work is my work. They are my feelings and thoughts on a subject. What I write feels true for me, though, this may not be the case for others, as everyone has their own individual reality.

If you read these topics and it resonate with you, then use it. If not, then simply use it as another person’s perspective, which can be just as valuable.

By nature, I tend to be somewhat of a sceptic and a cynic. While I keep an open mind about everything, I treat many things I hear about with a healthy dose of scepticism. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and there are many people who repeat what they hear from other sources without check to see if it feels right for them.

I also trust my intuition and feelings 100%. Many things that should NOT be possible, feel right to me. When I was younger, I ignored those feelings, and my life just never worked out as I planned. It was only when I started to listen did things shift and my life ramped into high gear.

I am aware that many of the things I say and discuss are really ‘out there’. I could choose to tone it down. I could choose to use ambiguous words or speak in a way that absolves my responsibility for what this information imparts, but I am not going to do that.

There are people out there who need to find this information. They need to find it because they are experiencing the same things, and will need the validation that it is happening, and that they are not crazy.

So should you read my stuff, may you enjoy my writing.

Also, feel free to poke fun at it with your friends. 🙂

Depression series – Empaths and Trauma or why am I clinically depressed?


Shock and trauma

Check list:

Do you feel depressed without any cause?
Does even the slightest setback send you spinning into depression?
Do you ignore traumatic events and quash them so they don’t bother anyone?
You feel dead inside.

This is an insidious type of depression. It is certainly a clinical depression and sometimes it may be identified as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This is one of the worst types of depressions because on the surface, there is nothing wrong. Your life might even be going extremely well, but still you feel down, depressed for no apparent reason, and worse, the slightest setback will send you spiralling into a deeper state of darkness and gloom.

Onlookers will not understand. In fact, they will just dismiss this as someone in a drama, or someone who is just depressing to be around.

This is the type of depression that will power cannot overcome. Sure, you might be able to shift your mood for a bit, but the moment something doesn’t go quite right, you will come plummeting down.

What is actually happening here is an accumulation of shock and / or trauma over a long period of time. When something traumatic happens, we should process it, get support and validation, and do what needs to be done to resolve it.

The type of shocks and traumas we are talking about might be an accident, a death, separation, loss of a job, illness, near death experience, abusive childhood, rape, incest, or any one of countless life events.

Even the process of being born can be traumatic.

So, over time, we accumulate a backlog of these unresolved issues that become toxic and affect us on an ongoing basis and the chances are that we are not even aware of it.

Talking about how you feel can help and if you are fortunate, you will find a friend or a confident who will listen. If you’re really fortunate, they will know how to help you.

However, what seems to be more likely is that people don’t want to know about it. They will tell you to ‘get over’ it,  give you a pep talk, or worse, make themselves the focus, and make your problems all about them.

If you try to bring it up again, their response might be: Yes, I know it already, while they will go on and on about their own issues, thus making you more inclined to no longer discuss what is going on. This will compound the problem as there will be no outlet to discuss those feelings. It is not their fault, though. They just don’t have the knowledge or the tools to help you.

It’s not surprising that we get angry and frustrated with this from time to time, and then decide to supress those emotions, making things even worse.

But most of the time, apart from feeling depressed, you will just feel cold and dead inside, as if all the joy has been sucked from you.

Empaths tend to put their own needs last and often at their expense.

The accumulation of shock and trauma, especially over a long period, will produce clinical depression. What’s worse is that you may feel it’s somehow your fault and that by being depressed, you are inconveniencing other people. You might also be tired of the same thing happening time and time again, and so start to withdraw from others because you no longer wish to inflict yourself on them.

This really is one of the more insidious types of depression because the cause is not obvious. Most don’t know they have uncleared trauma. Most won’t remember much of it, because they have repressed it.

I’ve not seen too much out there on this subject. I hear a lot of reports about people suffering from depression, but not the reasons why, let alone how to really cure it.

There is a cure for this type of depression. (As I believe there is a cure of all things) and I accidently stumbled upon it around 2002.

For years, on and off, I would experience clinical depression. It would be debilitating, and it was as if all the life force was being sucked out of me. Emotionally, it was extremely painful and I had no hope for myself.

On my birthday, I experienced a really bad episode (brought on by my partner of the time attacking me on something that was not in my control).

One of my life’s missions is to find cures for those conditions that are said to be incurable. I think I’ve tried a good many things, but the one thing I keep on returning to are the Bach Flower Remedies, which are a an effective, safe and gentle healing system.

To that point, even though I had not found any that helped me for my depression on a long term, I would keep on trying different remedies in the hope I would hit upon something I had missed. For this particular episode, I took Rescue Remedy ™ to try and obtain some relief.

I noticed that I felt slightly better. Not a lot, mind you, but it was enough to make me wonder why. As the Rescue Remedy contains five Bach Flower Remedies, I ran through the list in my mind, and found that the only possible one that could have made any difference was Star of Bethlehem, which is the remedy for clearing Shock and Trauma.

At that point, I had never used it on its own because I believed that being part of the Rescue Remedy, there was no need.

I took out the bottle from my kit and placed a couple of drops on my tongue. The relief was instant. It was as though an enormous weight had been lifted from me.

It was then I realized that uncleared shock and trauma had caused my clinical depression. The key was that you needed to take Star of Bethlehem by itself in order to gain full healing from it. When it was mixed with other remedies, its effectiveness was severely reduced.

Initially, I kept on taking it every time I felt my depression returning. First it was every few minutes, then it lengthened to hours and after three days, it was gone.

I am now mindful that if I do experience a traumatic event, to make sure I take some.

I have duplicated this result with other people. One case was a lady who e-mailed me a few days later, saying she was considering going on anti-depressants, but asked if I had any last minutes suggestions. I told her my experiences. She bought a bottle of Star of Bethlehem, and wrote to me that night, saying that she had never experienced such a profound relief. In the morning, she wondered how she would get through the day, and that evening, she was at peace with the world and happy to be alive.

While this is not the only cause for depression, it is a major one and well worth looking into if you are experiencing such symptoms.

Nearly everyone suffers from traumatic events in their life. From their birth to the present and they are rarely cleared.

Bach Flower Remedy
Star of Bethlehem.

Depression series – Empaths and Anxiety or Everything is great! So why do I feel like it’s not?


Anxiety

Checklist.

Do you feel anxious without any reason?
Do you feel something terrible is about to happen?
Do you suffer from anxiety attacks?

Anxiety, though closely related to feelings of guilt, tends to be a different kind of depression.

It’s the feeling that something is wrong or the sense that something horrible it going to happen. It could be a feeling of impending doom, or problems which you are ignoring, but still are eating away at you beneath the surface.

Indeed, one of the causes of anxiety is us refusing to look at, or acknowledge something that we feel needs to be done. It might be as simple as cleaning your home while you’re choosing to chill out or perhaps that homework you’ve not done, in spite of the fact may be due the next day.

It could be that exam you’re going to take soon, or the job interview that you are about to have.  Maybe it’s that pretty girl you’re about to ask out, or that stunning fellow who you want to look your way. (To be sexist J )

One might also feel anxiety about their personal lives. Especially if they are insecure about their relationships, or feel they should be in a relationship but aren’t.

Both can cause enormous distress, as it’s often due to our self-image, and the belief that something is wrong with us, or we are doing something wrong.

Some of us are experts at avoiding looking at things that we don’t wish to do, but know we probably should. This is different to procrastinating, as with that, you are making a deliberate choice to put something off as opposed to something that should be done, but has not been. This produces a feeling of great unease which is disruptive to our normal harmony.

It could also be due to something we think we should be doing, but are not. This might be as simple as calling someone (such as a parent) or stopping what you are doing in order to placate someone else. This kind of anxiety borders on feelings of guilt.

Empaths also have the extra burden of picking up anxiety from others. You may well be picking up on the emotional distress of another, or even a sense of fear on a global scale.

Some psychic empaths will often pick up impending events some weeks before they happen. For instance, there are some who picked up 9/11 before it happened. They did not understand why they felt what they felt, only that they felt a sense of dying and incredible grief.

Such things are already out there, in the collective consciousness, well before they happen, the greater the probability of them occurring, the more the empath will feel such things.

Is it said that this type of anxiety is us sensing things from the astral levels (that is, that levels which are not the physical realm) but not being able to bring the information fully down, so we know what is going on.

Anxiety is frustrating to live with, and some live with it on a daily basis, never quite knowing the reason why. Many hide it well, but they just can’t seem to get over it.

Bach Flower Remedy
Aspen

Is how I see myself how I eventually will look?


Empaths and weight – Part 4

So, what does this have to do with being overweight?

There are certainly several factors here.

My image of myself is that I’m unattractive, and so my body starts to reflect this.

This liver has a lot to do with controlling weight, so a poorly functioning liver will make it harder to lose weight.

My desire to be accepted as I am also is likely to a contributing factor. If I am overweight, but still loved and accepted regardless, then I know they want the real me.

And actually, that last one is a fallacy, because the real me isn’t my body, it’s not my weight, or lack of it; it’s who I am being.

Also, it doesn’t seem to matter what I look like nowadays. There are those who are obsessed with me regardless of what I say or do. To me, it’s really a mystery as to why, as I can’t imagine what they get from my friendship that they couldn’t get elsewhere.

If I ever work that part out, I’ll certainly blog about it.

For the Empath, being themselves around others may be one of the toughest challenges they may face in their life.

The question of whether energy is being held on a cellular level is a very real one. Also, the question of how do you release it so you may begin to heal is another.

From my own experiences, I believe it’s a very real thing. The quality of our cells are what make up our body, and ultimately our health, and how we feel.

Freeing our cells from those destructive emotions is what should be done in order to achieve healing on physical levels.

It is easier said than done, though.

I’ve been on this process for a long time now. More years than I care to remember and not all of them heading in the right direction, though they did show me which direction not to go.

One thing I have noticed is that there are milestones. Places were you have achieved a major healing, and you suddenly feel amazing and have found a new lease on life.

Normally, that comes after a major revelation. You have understood something at an emotional level. You have discovered a block and have been able to move through it. You feel great, and life is good.

But it doesn’t seem to last…

There are several reasons for that.

You may have only uncovered one of many traumas, and as you find yourself adjusting, new stuff starts to come up. It could even be the same things you just resolved, but at a different period of time. Don’t ignore it, though. Don’t feel that you shouldn’t have to go through it all again because you’ve already dealt with it. It might take many times to deal with the same issues, but as long as you can make progress with each case, you will eventually reach a point where it no longer has any power or affects over you.

You may need to change your lifestyle. Often, we are a product of the lifestyle we choose. Stress is a great killer. We slowly kill ourselves over time by allowing major stresses and worries to drain us of our chi, our energy, and ultimately correct our bodies.  Changing your lifestyle to reduce stress is not always easy, but it is still a choice. We may have to give up what we feel we want so we can be healthier. We might feel that others are depending on us, and we have no choice but to continue on, normally until we suffer some kind of catastrophe.

In my own experience, it is an illusion. Things that you swore you had to do and be a part of seem to go on just fine once you move on. People have to adjust, and they do.

There is more than one way to live your life. It’s unlikely that you’ve found the only formulae that works for you, or so you feel, when there are countless other ways out there.

If you can identify those things in your life which are harmful to you, then it’s worth doing everything you can to prevent them from occurring, or re-occurring.  Easier said than done, of course, and yet your healing will depend on that.

When you reach a milestone, you will feel great for a while, then that feeling fades.  What has happened is that you have integrated it into your life, and moved onto a new level. With new levels come new challenges and problems to resolve.  Sometimes it seems like it’s a never ending process, but giving up isn’t really an option either.

If our weight is caused by trapped energy, then shifting that energy will help us with weight loss.

If you get the root causes of why you fall apart when losing weight, and are able to work through those feelings, you will feel yourself shifting and have renewed energy to do what you feel you need to do to bring yourself into balance.

At this point in my life, I’m still looking at these things. Sometimes it may take a while to fully understand what is going on, but for now, I am sharing what I have.

Energy pathways and releasing past traumas goes a long way to a higher quality of life.

No doubt there is more to this, and I’ve only scratched the surface… it’s a start though.

Truth is the best policy, though sometimes lying can stop a beating.


Empaths and Weight: Part 3

As in the previous entry, this is an examination of the causes of my self-esteem which I theorize contributed to my weight gain. It is written, not as a victim’s story, but so others may see themselves in me.

Nowadays I cringe at all the fundamental errors I made while trying to find a partner back in the 70 to mid-90s. It’s clear to me what I could have done differently, but while I was doing them, I could not see it at all. The entire process was not only a mystery to me, but I swore what I was doing was logical to me; hence it should be logical to everyone else.

I am also thankful I didn’t succeed as it would not have brought me any happiness, at least not after the initial short term.

As stated, even though I was in much better shape, I did not feel attractive at all to the opposite sex.

I believe my poor self-image issues didn’t really begin until I was thirteen. Until then, I was pretty much being me, and, even though I was just a tad too young, there were girls who were interested in me.

However, my father disapproved of my being myself, and seemed to hate everything about me, including what I liked, how I laughed, the fact I laughed, and even the music I enjoyed. He was a sociopath, but I wasn’t aware of that at the time. To lounge back in a chair would risk being beaten. To enjoy something meant that it would be taken away from me. I pretty soon learned to hide the things I enjoyed, and I became very secretive. I would even be guarded about what book I was reading, or what music I would listen to. No one ever caught me relaxing either.

However, that was at home and I was fine outside of the house until one particular incident at a school camp changed everything.  At the time, I was very short for my age, had not reached puberty,  so I had a high piping voice. A couple of people I hang around with were supposedly gay, but being 13, I had no clue what the hell that even meant. I was quite innocent.

At the school camp I found myself being picked on, and in one incident I suddenly was being bullied and beaten.

I thought it was because I was short, but it wasn’t, of course. They assumed I was gay, and in 1976, that was not something you wanted to have people think of you as, especially if you were actually straight, which I certainly was.

The only thing that clued me in, and saved me was that a few days ago, I had made up a story about having a girlfriend. It was half wishful thinking on my part, and also a desire to fit in. The details came from my imagination, and a girl I visited in my mind on a daily basis that I called Patricia. She had no last name. So, when someone asked me if I had a girlfriend, I told them I did.

One of the guys who had just been beating me said, as he was walking away, “and that’s bullshit about you have a girlfriend.”

The others who were with him however, said, with some surprise: “Do you have a girlfriend?” and I said I did. Suddenly, they changed their attitude, plied me with questions on her, and I happily made up an elaborate story to support it, which wasn’t very hard, as I had all the details already. I told them I didn’t have her surname as it was complicated, and they accepted that.

Suddenly, I was in. People accepted and liked me, and I learned that if I modified my behaviour, people would change towards me.

Young teens were so homophobic back then.

No one ever found out that the girlfriend was fiction. I ‘broke up’ with her a few months later, and it was promptly forgotten.

(As an interesting side note, in 1992, I met a girl called Patricia, she looked like my fantasy girl, and I had coffee with her a few times, but it didn’t go anywhere, and I never remembered her last name as it was too complicated!)

It was clear to me that by hanging out with two questionable friends, it was hurting my reputation, so I cut them loose (and while I regret the method of doing so, it certainly wasn’t any loss to them) and tried to be well, more sporty.

I decided that I had to rebuild my reputation. I did everything I could to try and change people’s perception of who I was, and tried to involve myself to become accepted.

The camp acceptance was a flash in the pan, though. I had impressed everyone there, and I had also showed them there was more to me then met the eye, but this did not continue at school.

I was lousy at sports, and that went against me. I had lost my coordination the following year due to being hit by a car while crossing the road. My hearing and coordination was affected, and even the leg I broke took three months to heal.

I was also paranoid, and anyone who did try to befriend me during those years would be treated with extreme suspicion, as I believed I was being set up.

The paranoia was a result of my home life, and the fact that there was a group of kids who loved to pick on me.

All in all, it made for a very bad combination. For two years I struggled every day to fit in and in the third year, I just gave up and kept to myself. I felt as though there was an invisible glass barrier between me and everyone else.

At the end of year three, it all changed and suddenly I was more accepted, had good friends (including some who were former antagonists) however I was never relaxed enough to just be me.

The damage had been done. I became a product of other people’s perceptions of me.

The perception of the opposite sex also didn’t help. I was told that their view of me was that I was too short (I’m 5 foot 6 inches), too serious, too intense, and not good looking enough to be seen with, and finally, I was told I was too nice.

Now, I realize that those were mostly superficial things, and really, it was their issue, not mine, but at the time, there seemed to be a complete lack of single females, and even the odd ones who were single certainly had those quibbles about me.

What was missing with me, though, was not that those things were wrong with me, because even if they were, that wasn’t the main issue. It was my lack of self-esteem that was the problem. The fact I had no faith in myself. I didn’t believe that anyone would want me for me and what was more, that I was someone that they would want to be with.

I had no self-confidence. The moment I was put in a situation that warranted it, I would fall apart within, and feel isolated, lonely and desperately unhappy. Of course, no one understood why that was.

Ironically, I had plenty of inner strength, I just didn’t believe in me.

Such is the story of many empaths. They don’t believe in themselves. They feel  so much pain, so much loss and isolation that the moment something good comes along, they fall apart, especially the moment they feel challenged.

It certainly was my story, and I ended up being quite the aloof / poor me / victim type towards the end. I hated being that way, and I did everything I could to shift and when I did shift, it was traumatic and painful, but it changed everything.

To those empaths reading my story, please don’t feel sorry for me. I am not looking for sympathy. I am sharing so, if you have gone through the same thing, you may see yourself in me, and reach a new understanding of why you feel so isolated and depressed.

I certainly held a lot of the anger on a cellular level. I never let it go. I was unable to do so. If I felt frustrated, I’d either repress it or vent it through biting humour. I was also passive aggressive, but I never truly vented my anger. I didn’t know how to. Those who were initially responsible for those early events were no longer around. I had nowhere to go with it.

If anger affects the liver, then it is little wonder that my liver has taken so much damage. Fortunately is had the capacity to heal and regenerate.

Though this subject is about weight, it’s worth noting that the main push is self-esteem, and that is a subject many empaths suffer from.

Next: Looking at how this all fits together.