Last night my hubby came home tired and exhausted. The work day had kicked his ass and I felt it across the room as he untied his tie and unbuttoned his shirt. I knew asking what was wrong was a loaded question and frankly I already knew. We also made a pact not to bring a lot of work related stress into our home and especially into our bedrooms but that's where it was and that's there we were.
So I asked again until he broke and I listened as it spilled out of him. I reached for my bag of "f*ck them & it's gonna be okay babe" but couldn't find it. I had nothing left to offer. Certainly not because I didn't care or didn't share his grief or didn't have opinions. I was just tired of being on this end of the conversation.
For as long as I can remember people come to me to vent. I know more about people and their problems and their stuff than I care to. I have that thing about me that allows perfect strangers to tell me their whole life stories. It happens everywhere I go. It's a gift and well...
I really don't mind. I'm a firm believer that being open enough to share your woes will eventually shift our collective consciousness and release up from feeling shamed and embarrassed and alone. I think anytime someone speaks and finds empathy and compassion from someone else it makes them feel that much lighter.
But here's the thing. I am a bit of an Empath. I feel everything deeply and it takes a WHOLE LOT of restraint on my part to deflect a lot of what comes my way. I even have a mental exercise I do when someone starts talking and I feel the pit of my stomach tensing up. I take their words, mentally scribe them on paper, ball that paper up and throw it away. Silly I know but it's helped me over the years to maintain some sense of sanity.
Okay so here's the real thing. I can spend tens of minutes on the phone, across from someone, over email listening to everything that's wrong in their life from their man to their hang nail and not once does ask me about my day.
I actually ended a friendship over this. My ex friend didn't know for an entire 6 months that my boyfriend and I broke up because she was too busy talking about herself.
I am a dumping ground and it's my fault.
As a writer this is actually a good thing. Do you know how much material I have stored up? But as a friend I would never divulge unless of course...
So I say to you my wonderful friends and family. I love you all and I'll always be here to listen but when I'm so I'm so dumped on that I have nothing left to give to my own husband I have a problem especially since he's one of a few people who calls just to say hello (special shout out goes to my aunt who calls every morning with some crazy story she heard on the news...she makes me laugh). I have to be more conscious of the energy I adsorb so I'm limiting myself to your stuff. There's nothing I can do about it anyway...but listen and the listening has depleted me.
Am I alone in this? Am I just a sucker for people and their stuff? How do you deal with people who drain you? OR are you the one always in need of ear? Do you ever consider the energy you release on others when you dump your stuff on them?