Sunday, 14 March 2010


I am cursed with enormous empathy. Sad people make me sad, angry people make me anxious. Happy people make me joyful... but how many happy people do you actually know? When I was a lot younger I spent a lot of my energy trying to fix people, cheering them up, calming them down, taking their troubles onto myself.

It is exhausting! When a girlfriend cried on my shoulder for a weekend over a broken heart I was in a state of collapse after she left. An evening with an arguing couple leaves me tense and irritable. I pick up on nuance that others may be oblivious to: a few years back Milord and I had dinner with friends of his. On the drive I home I said I couldn't believe how toxic the atmosphere had been. He hadn't noticed. They divorced shortly thereafter.

Being sensitive to atmosphere can be a good thing - I have been the person to ask "Are you alright? You seem down" when a good friend needed someone to notice the place she was in. I can tell when Milord needs a bit of space, or not.

At other times it's like being run over by a bus.

I won't say too much here because she may still be lurking on this blog, but I recently spent time in one of the most toxic households I've ever been subjected to. Angry disrespectful parents. Angry disrespectful children. I spent a lot of time avoiding everyone because the ambient rage was eating into my soul.

Although I never said anything specific to the person concerned she must have picked up on my discomfort because she un-friended me on facebook after spewing bile at my wall (if you are not a facebook junkie this is a very very public way of sending a message - ridiculous when you consider she has my email address).

Lady, I have 4 words for you:
Anger Management.
Marriage Counselling.

Soon. Before you damage your babies forever.


Lisa said...

Hear, Hear! In fact, I was telling my mom while we were away how when you visited us in SA with hubby, you seemed amazingly attuned to all nuances in the room.

It's a burden to be sure but makes you a person that people know is authentic in their response to feelings.


Suzanne said...

Oh, my. Am I understanding it right that you said nothing at all, you just were attuned the the situation? How sad that the person is deflecting their own issues in their marriage by spewing venom at you in a public arena.

As sad as it sounds, you're probably better off with her un-friending you.

estelle said...

Hello beautiful child, you have a happy stepmother and a happy dad, how's that for two happy people you know.

I know exactly what you are talking about there is nothing more exhausting than negative depressed people.
Sorry to say but we need to avoid them, they can do you damage.
lots of love

waterbob said...

Being a guy but unaware, I miss a lot of the nuances and all the things that are obvious to you ladies. 'If you loved me you would know that I am upset' kind of bends my mind and has landed me in all sorts of trouble over the years.
Luckily the Madam and I had been together a short time when there was one of those and we established that the only sort of message I understood and could absorb were those that start 'I am upset because ....' I don't know whether I am richer or poorer for it but there we are.
Unfriending is a sad way of communicating though....