Why the Empath?

I have always had vivid dreams, I also remember things from an age where, most people don’t remember. Like the day my mom and dad split up and eventually divorced. I can remember it very clearly, my mom sitting on the arm of the couch and Daddy standing in the middle of the room. They were yelling at each other, and I don’t think they know to this day that I was sitting at the end of the hall listening to them.

I remember first meeting my dad (step-father, who is Dad to me). I remember being home sick and he came to see my mom. His youngest son was with him and he was wearing Oscar the Grouch pants. (Not sure why that stuck in my memory).

When I was 7, I was in 2nd grade. I had a dream about a Monster (see the link for the story) that woke me up and when I went back to sleep I had the same dream that night. I can still vividly remember this dream nearly 40 years later.

I also have strange coincidences that have happened. Example, I worked for a county Purchasing Department as a Secretary and one day I answered the phone to someone asking for a woman named Ima Lamb. Ok, tell me you would not have thought that was a joke. Well, about 6 months passed and I got a call from, you guessed it, Ima Lamb. She worked for another county in the Purchasing Department.

***** Trigger Warning *****

When I was about 23, I was having my 2nd miscarriage in a 6 month period. This time it was a bit more traumatic, I was bleeding and was to be scheduled for a D&C. I was so stressed out that I broke out in hives. I went in to take a warm bath to soothe the hives. While sitting in the warm water, I noticed the water getting darker in color. I was already bleeding from the miscarriage. I drained the water to find myself sitting in a puddle of blood that was continuing to grow in size. I called my husband in to call the doctor. He started getting flustered, I wouldn’t necessarily say he was panicking but he was not his usual calm self. I was calm, I don’t know why, but I was and I rattled off the number for the doctor. The doctor said it was normal to be bleeding, until he heard the size of the puddle and told us to get to the emergency room right away.

In the emergency room, things got worse. They made my husband stay in the lobby to register me, which would normally be ok, except then they wouldn’t let him come back for some reason. When he started getting upset, they threatened to call the police on him. Being a Corrections Officer he told them they were already there. Thankfully at that time, a police officer that knew him came up and asked him what was wrong. When my husband told him, he made them let him in the back with me.

Meanwhile, I’m in the back, continuing to bleed and my incompetent nurse decides that I needed the IV in my hand. As she is fumbling to put the needle in the very small vein in my right hand, I kept telling her that it hurt and that it was not going in. Eventually she forced it into my hand, blowing the vein. I have never, up to that point, passed out in my entire life and have not since. I had a bruise for over a month on the back of my hand and 20 years later you can still see the vein and the damage done to it.

After that, things seemed to go more smoothly, I was wheeled back into the OR, the local country music station was playing in the background. As I was being put under for surgery, one of my favorite songs at that time came on the radio, “Love of My Life” by Sammy Kershaw.

When I awoke in my room after the surgery, my husband was waiting for me. After a while, he asked if I wanted him to turn on the television. I told him I would and that I wanted the Country Music channel. While sitting there listening, the very next song that came on was the one that had been playing as I went under for surgery. That was my first experience with what seemed to be messages through music.

***** Trigger Warning End *****

Last year, a close friend who had been fighting Breast Cancer, lost the fight. We had been friends since our Senior year in High School. One of our pasttimes would be to listen to music. The day she died a current radio hit had been stuck in my head, mostly the chorus of the song, and not one that I had ever listened to with her. When I got off work and into the car, I had the urge to turn on the radio. This was unusual because I normally listened to an audiobook on my commute. I followed the urge and as I turned on the radio, the song “Any Ol’ Barstool” by Jason Aldean, which was the song in my head was playing on the radio. The song was playing in the exact place that I had been hearing in my head all day. When I arrived home, my family informed me that Katherine had passed.

After this second music incident, I began wondering if there was more going on and began researching. Fast forward to a year later, work has been seeming to put more strain on me that in the past. I started having more health problems. I began becoming fatigued way to easily, going from my bed to my chair and then falling asleep within a half hour of waking and still being tired and had no energy. After going to the doctor she had some tests done, including an ultrasound. Uterine Fibroids were found and my doctor sent me to a gynecologist in the nearest big town (I live in a very rural area). He scheduled me for surgery.

The typical 3 hour surgery ended up taking 6 and I had to have a blood infusion. In the month that passed between setting up the surgery and the actual procedure the fibroid had grown from about the size of an egg to the size of a grapefruit and had the weight of a newborn baby.

Things seemed so much different after my surgery. I don’t feel like I passed into the light or anything like that but there were both physical differences and I won’t necessarily say spiritual differences. I became disillusioned with organized religion years ago. Things were just different.

One day, my mother called me and was telling me that she had a dream about her dad and that she was looking for him. When she woke she called one of her brother and found out that my grandfather had a stroke. My daughter had been telling me that she has been seeing and speaking with spirits for the last couple of year. This made me wonder if maybe there was more to this music thing than I thought.

Fast forward again, to a few days ago. This week at work has been extremely chaotic. I am a 911 dispatcher, and my nickname at work is Mayhem. I am your typical “shit magnet” as they call it in law enforcement. Day shift is especially hard on me as most of the calls are minor and you have Admin coming in and out and more people asking you for things and then you have the people calling with things that you shouldn’t call a police department for…We are not information, we are not the weather service, and we do not want to listen to robo calls talking about credit card debt on the 911 line! (Sorry rant over).

I have been training a new dispatcher and we were discussing empathy vs sympathy and that he needed to be more direct and assertive instead of defending himself from an intoxicated/high caller on 911. The conversation about empathy got me thinking and I began wondering if being an empath was the reason I was having so many problems with handling things that never bothered me before. I was wondering if I was becoming overloaded and began researching ways to recharge myself.

After reading several websites and taking a self assessment, I came to the conclusion that I am an empath and that all of the strain I had been feeling was because I was becoming overloaded with the emtions of others and not being able to release them.

And so begins my journey to being an Empath.

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