Being an empath is one of the worst parts of life to me. Because of what I go through I'm almost always in a state of anxiety/fear, which is mentally draining. I don't even have it within me to protect myself... How am I supposed to help myself when I invite the problem in to my life? That's part of empathy. I'm understanding and i care, so people like me and want my attention... I attract people who are good for me as well as people who are bad for me. I care about everyone so turning down one for the other is unfair to me. People say "you should care about yourself first", but I've tried that... If I do then I stop caring about people and turn in to this ugly, judgmental thing that I start to hate. I honestly didn't think I would live as long as I have... I wish I could start my life over.
From one Empath to another- You can care about everyone and still put yourself first. When you put yourself first, you are not saying you don't care. You are saying, "I need to take care of myself, otherwise, I cannot give my best to others."
But caring doesn't mean slaving yourself out. If you show empathy to others you should expect them to understand your position as well. It's hard, but do not allow negativity into your life, do not allow negative people into your life. I myself am having trouble with a similar issue... but I know that if I allow negative people into my life, it will negatively affect people around me.
People say "you should care about yourself first", but I've tried that... If I do then I stop caring about people and turn in to this ugly, judgmental thing that I start to hate.
Perhaps you need to work on a happy medium for yourself. You seem to be two extremes, a doormat or a judgmental callous person.
First, have you checked with a doctor to make sure this isn't some sort of chemical imbalance?
Second, you need to seek meditation and coping mechanisms. It doesn't have to be one or the other. You can work on being a caring, compassionate person who is not a pushover. You have the right to have expectations of good behavior from others and so it's perfectly fine to expect other people to treat you well and when you have your own needs, not criticize you.
Work on it. It comes from within.
Death Fear & Anxiety.
My first attempt to deal with empathic overload was to imitate Mr. Spock (this was the 60’s). That resulted in an accumulation of armor, which got in my way and, as I got older, I had to remove it. Then I learned to imagine there was a knob inside me, and if I dialed that knob down, it let me control how much emotional input I allowed in. That still works well today.
However, that didn’t stop the Santa Claus field. When I was young, other kids would just sit down next to me and tell me their life story, which was always a little freaky. Now other people’s children will just walk up to me in a store and start talking, which is both adorable and terrifying as you don’t want people thinking you’re luring their children to you for some nefarious purpose. When that happens, I start looking for their parents and the quickest way to get away from the child.
When you’re very open, you must be careful of people trying to latch onto you in a codependent way. If you're having vampire dreams, that's the unconscious trying to warn you.
There is one other thing. A blog post in this site suggested that an empath is a mirror to the narcissist. Empaths are attractive because they reflect what others want to see. If you stop reflecting—stop being a mirror—then the narcissist will go someplace else.
Oh, a storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away.
The lyrics to my earlier life as an empath.
Ah. The joys of the personal, emotional band aid that is a vulnerable empath.
One upon a time, I neglected to fend for myself and my own self care, self preservation and mental stability. The effort of simply giving a shit was too much hard work, too much effort and seemed beyond my reach. The walls crashed down and resisting others and their emotional baggage states almost sank me into complete apathy. The antithesis of my caring nature.
Learing personal self care, was a much more difficult task. As an empath, I was absolute bollocks at accepting others help, yet too open to assisting everyone else draining myself completely. Irony, learning to put ones own feelings and needs in front of another’s? Months of anxiety, worry and even oppressive guilt.
It took an age to say no, a simple step in the beginning but one of the most important stages, becoming increasingly imperative for my own sanity and mental well being.
On a personal level, my meditation takes me to smash the gym, spar, lift weights, travel, allot a weekend alone when required, read a book. What ever you require to recharge-take it, it belongs to you. Being clairsentient and empathic is an amazing gift and natural born talent. Your extra senses and intuition are the very things that can guide, protect you, serve you well.
Hope you can push past the cons of the gift and find the pros that work for you.
No starting over, just keep pushing ahead. The rules may change for you, nothing is an absolute truth except for physical death.
I feel like an Empath also based on what you have written here.
The most important thing for an empath to learn is how to turn on or off the empathic sense! This can be done by Aura strengthening exercises. These are taught in MARU Center work. This is a series of exercises based on the ancient wisdom traditions. Here is the link.
Even if you decide not to do the workshops yet here are a few simple exercises to go on with.
1. Visualise your Aura as a solid egg of white light. Visualise energy as bouncing off the solid egg if coming from outside and bouncing off and returning back to you if coming from you. In this condition, the Aura is completely sealed.
2. Visualise the Aura as allowing energy to come out from you and pass out into the external world but not allowing energy in.
3.Visualise the Aura as allowing energy to come in from the external world but not allowing energy out.
4. Learn to switch between these three states at will.
I know the feeling. People's moods are contagious. You want to comfort the friend that feels bad, but you know you will feel bad too if you get near them. It's why I'm kind of relentless about cheering people up.
I also suffer from severe anxiety and panic, though I never really connected it to being an empath Maybe that's part of the cause.
There are some spells that can help you get your psychic shields up so you won't feel other people's emotions so much, but it takes practice.
I don't like to overstep my advice, however I'll tell you this Amethyst:
You can change how you perceive people.
I relate to how you will be sick if you abandon your sense of compassion.
And I know that it hurts all the time paying yourself to others trying to make them feel better.
By my beliefs, you are an animal, maybe a very magical animal, but an animal. They also are. Rabbits in cages. The point is that the higher we think we and others are, the higher we have to fall, even if all we do is to elevate one another.
The top and bottom, the average, is strange for empaths. I don't know the best advice, I just know I care and made a haphazard attempt at advice. From me to you, it hurts all the time, mind breaking pain, but we live. That's what we do.