I’m someone who takes on the emotions of others. Not just in the moment as it’s happening, those emotions fester within me for an uncomfortable length of time.
I used to think this might be a personal flaw, a sign of emotional intolerance when it comes to others but I can handle my own emotions. I can talk myself of a ledge before reacting.
In my work or in my personal life, if someone has a meltdown and unleashes in a fit of anger, then breaths a sigh of relief because they’ve released their anger as it came, I keep it. At full volume. It’s gone out of that person and into the “atmosphere”, a.k.a, if I’m around, me.
This is a problem. I can’t blame anyone for reacting to anger, sadness, disappointment or frustration, so there’s no one to blame. No one to give this burden too.
This pandemic has been brutal. I can feel fear as soon as I open the door, on top of my own. Was it just my fear of opening the door? Quadrupled? Maybe. I doesn’t matter, I feel it.
Cats are like this too. If you’re upset, they’re upset. If you’re calm, they’re calm.
I credit my cats for getting me through these intrusive emotions. I’ll get spooked, then they’ll run and hide. My attention is immediately turned to making the cats feel better by faking calm.
They can see through this, so I have to keep using a soothing voice and deep breathing. Very soon, I’ve convinced myself that I’m okay therefore they’ll be okay. I know I’ve been successful when they come out from hiding and check in with me. There it is. Calm. Happiness when I hear purring.
I don’t know how I would’ve survived this time without them!