Being an empathetic person has plagued me long before I even knew how to define the word. As a child, it was easy for me to cry thinking about the misfortune of the world around me. People used to call me an “old soul” while referring to the sad look I carried in my eyes and the troubled expressions I made growing up. As long as I can remember, all I’ve ever wanted to do was make the world a better place. I could never understand war, hunger, or hate. I could not comprehend human suffering or why we were doing nothing to stop it. As I grew up however, and learned the politics of the world, it made sense and began to trouble me in a whole new way.
My mother had an awful childhood that I knew about far to early. I feel like I have always known about the abuse she suffered her whole life. Her childhood is a nightmarish story of sexual abuse followed by the physical and emotional abuse she endured while being married to my father. When I look into my mothers eyes I can see that pain, beyond the smile and the laughter and it physically hurts. I can literally feel that pain deep down in the gut of my soul. These feelings of empathy have a lot to do with the mama’s boy I am today. My heart breaks for her.
My father always told me that I was going no where in life because I have always hung out with the underdogs. To a degree this was very true. I have always identified with the different, obscure and weird people of the world, I am one. This is what lead me to the road of addiction, and the ability to not feel my feelings kept me there.
In a relationship, I think I’m pretty selfless. Who knows what he would say about me, but when it comes to matters of the heart, I feel like I loose all control. I die inside when I make a mistake because I can feel what I have done to that individual. It hurts and I get upset not only because they are upset at me, but also because I don’t want the person I love to feel the feelings that I know that they are feeling. Its very hard for me to lash out or say something mean because I will instantly regret it as I watch those words tear into the person I love. When it comes to an argument, I appear to be a pussy, not contributing to the verbal beatings that are taking place. The phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is the most ass backwards thing I have ever heard in my life. Bones repair themselves while words cut deep into your soul and scar your brain forever.
I’m a teacher because I want to change someones life. I want to make a difference. I want my empathy to be a good thing while I try to understand and relate to my students when life has them down and they want to quit. Its beginning to make some sense why I am the way that I am. We all have strengths and weaknesses, mine just happens to be the same thing.