One year of hyper-empathy

This blog is about a year old now. Since my life has shifted quite a bit since I’ve started writing it, I keep thinking about re-branding or re-conceptualising what this is about.

Actually the subject I might have the most things to say on recently is “survival in Berlin”. Perhaps it’s also relationships. Yes, I still dig the autism topic, but it feels like my learning curve is ebbing off slowly. I don’t struggle with solitude as much as I used to. I don’t do these strange esoteric things so much now (mostly because I’ve sometimes found them destabilising and counterproductive if my goal is to strengthen – or actually, build? – a more solid sense of self and ‘boundaries’).

So I don’t dig the “empath” topic that this blog started out with near as much. I’ve started writing this in part to explore and learn to deal with near-psychic sensitivity to things that most people don’t perceive and get affected by.

Over this year I’ve learnt a lot related to that; perhaps the two major findings were that a lot of this is linked to being on the autism spectrum (where instinct at the level of animals or ‘psychics’ happens to some people); other aspects – as I’ve just come to assume/accept very recently – are the effect of very early (natal) trauma that left me with essentially no boundaries (no sense of self vs. other => in my case, a much higher sensitivity to everything that’s in the other and no distinction in the level of intensity with which it’s felt). Later tensions in life didn’t support the building of identity and boundaries either. E.g. a history of migration and growing up queer didn’t particularly support reversing the original dissociation; to the contrary.

So in a way, I’ve come to understand some of this in terms of concepts and observations from psychology, specifically autistic self-advocacy and the literature on somatic trauma healing. I’ve found some answers and some ways of dealing with things, somewhat.

A lot of credit goes to Karla McLaren’s newer books (on decoding your emotions when you are insanely sensitive, and implicitly, on trauma healing), and to my martial arts dance teacher (who is probably not aware that many of the grounding and awareness practices she teaches are a direct antidote to trauma-induced shielding and dissociation, at least for students who know how to use them in that way).

Maybe it makes sense to review where I stand after a year of writing this.

To define what the main topics are now, what direction I’d like to take this in the next period. [interruption]

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