Saturday, September 22, 2007

Empathy


Empathy is - according to the dictionary - the ability to share and understand feelings of others..........

Can one run out of empathy?? maybe i have.... run out that is........ or maybe it is just that i need to put the emotions where they will do the most good??

i have faced since September 1st..... a child whose mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer - another who's dad has been on dialysis for 5 years or more and time is running out - two children who got left at day camp this summer because mom never came to pick them up... and their dad had to be called .. when they got home mom had packed her bags and just disappeared.. two more children who's father packed his bags this past Wednesday and walked out while mommy cried and they watched.. i have another family who lost a beloved aunt and mother to suicide in August.. i have a five year old suffering from neurofibromatosis - better known as the Elephant Man disease.. he has over 200 growths over his body and one pressing on his optic nerve..... i have another child who is wearing braces on her legs and suffering from major muscle degeneration.........and it goes on and on and on........

Can i run out of empathy?? have i run out of empathy??

It was inferred in an email this week that i have lost empathy ...... or that is the way i interpreted it....

i have to find a way to deal with the crisis of folks around me... IF it means sorting out which ones i can fix/help with... and leaving the rest to others who can help....then that is how it must be......... i am only human....... if i don't jump for joy over some online episode maybe i just don't have any jumps of joy left in me....... maybe i expect you to do the jumping just this once....... and next time i will do it for you.....

and just in case YOU are reading this........ did you ever think maybe my life just overwhelms me sometimes?? maybe i can't always be on my game.. "miss perfect" .. maybe sometimes i am just human........nothing less nothing more...........


4 comments:

Buffalo said...

I doubt there is anyone who doesn't feel helpless and overwhelmed numerous times during their life. There are times when the battle of life rages so furiously, and we are so weary from the fight, that we want to curl up on our father's lap, (or some figure of protection), and allow them to wage the war.

Empathy means taking on someone else's pain and is quite different from sympathy. Too much empathy can destroy a person because there are too many ills that simply can't be fixed.

Where does the strong, the "answer person" go for answers when they are emotionally depleted and unsure of what to do next.

Hang in there.

searabbit said...

I was exactly coming with Buffalo words... empathy is one thing... sympathy is another... and being empathetic all the time should be quite challenging and exhausting... I wouldn't like to feel that...
Readin you in regard of what you are doing for the school kids, I think you shuld just allow yourself to take an empathy break here and there... and if some aren't happy with it, well... they can at least try to be sympathetic to you, no?

Anonymous said...

no one can cure all the ills in the world no matter how much we would like to.. lend an ear when needed, give your heart-felt well wishes, but you cannot take on everyones problems and heartaches.. look out for you in the meantime- dont let things and people over whelm you ( which i know is sometimes easier said than done)take care sweetie and enjoy your day... hugs, Hisflower

Susan said...

(((Big Hugs)))

Tell you what? Hide with me?

love, me