Endless Sea of Grief

Somedays Are Seriously Hard for Empaths

John Ege
9 min readMay 25, 2022

I had in mind to write a piece of fluff today. I may still to get to it, but first, I must attend to a grieving heart. First, let me assure you, I, and my immediate family and friends, we’re safe. If you watch the news, and I am one to recommend not watching the news, but I couldn’t look away, another tragedy, in Texas. I don’t wish to speak it. Maybe some people shouldn’t carry things. There’s enough people carrying this thing. We all carry things.

How to Create an Empath Friendly Home

When as an empath I first recognize emotions pouring in, it can be overwhelming. First you sort yourself and try to identify what you’re doing and thinking and feeling, and when you’ve exhausted the usual culprits, and found no new culprits, you start examining the external environment for sources. Sometimes it starts outside and goes inside.

We all have the potential for being empathic. Some of us seem to be natural. Natural usually translates someone or something shattered through healthy boundaries and left a young person vulnerable.

It may be more of us are more of are more empathic than we recognize, which could explain so much discord in society. That might need some reflection.

If you don’t want to carry heavy today, I invite you to find something else to attend to, and allow this little essay to drift away, like small rose candles set adrift on a river. Let the waters take this back to source.

Joy will come again: lessons from a life turned upside down

Joy will come again…

Is not the message I am resonating with at this moment. I know it. I also know joy will be flavored with some ingredients that doesn’t belong in this tea. When people tell me of loss, and they say, “I will never get over it,” I nod, and say okay. There is no right response to grief. I don’t know enough to a person they’ll get over it. Sometimes I have tried to share how I related to grief, and they will be like, “You don’t know me!”

Yeah. That’s truth. Does it soften in time. For some. Can you still touch the pain of loss. Fuck, I can go there like it was yesterday. I can go to other’s people grief, and get lost. So, the candle flowers there, it’s not a perfect remedy, it’s not the negation of feelings and thoughts. It’s a perspective that can allow some distance. It’s a process of time, you watching movement of light, which allows processing.

I was watching an afterlife thing, which is not the intent of the essay, to share, it’s not a remedy for suffering, but the thing Jennifer Schafer said, as an intuitive, an empath, ‘don’t try to get over it!’ Yay! That’s kind of what I do with folks. Not getting over it? Good for you! Let’s explore it. Let’s not just explore it like a tongue exploring a lost tooth. Let’s put this on like a cloak and stitch on so it enmeshes with us and now look at what I have become…

Anger comes with this. Trying to get information and reporter asks “How do you feel.” I don’t care if the person knows one of the victims, lives in the area, or is just an expert brought in to feel time- that’s the most fucking stupidest question ever. Unless you’re interviewing sociopaths. That would be useful to discover.

How do I feel? What the fuck is wrong with you? How do the families feel. 21 immediate groups of family… The number of officers that are reviewing the crime scene. How do they feel? Will some of them quit? Will some of them harden their hearts? How many people will meet that changed individual and smart off or cuss them out, and they’re still carrying the 21 dead people and they lose it and beat the fuck out of someone.

How do you feel about that? They’re professionals. That never happens. How do you think the people feel who lifted 19, tiny child bodies up onto a gurney, and zipped up the bags?

How do you suppose the school staff and children who survived feel? There will be some kids not wanting to go to school. There will be more parents not wanting to send their kids to school.

There will be people pushing for control. Fucking bastards, that’s horse is out of the barn, has done bred with wild horses with wings and you’re not going contain that shit. It is easier to protect the schools from the inside out, as opposed to letting people in and then trying to root bad out.

Sorting bad, evil, and mental health…

I am going to struggle with this part more than others. Even as much as I know about mental health, and what motivates people, what controls people, knowing how people can stuck and not think right… What I take in is complicated and the filters have are complicated.

This was evil as fuck. I accept that. How does this family feel? Did they know? Did they care? Was any effort made to coral, correct, improve, or whatever it is that needs to be done? I know families that ignore. I know families that beg for help and get none. I know parents who are so exhausted, and likely suffering from mental health problems themselves, so unable to think and attend that they go looking for help in dramatic ways and they end up getting help, forced, because they look like the problem.

But that’s just part of this, too. We’re all part of this problem. Some of doing things to help, to mitigate, some of us are pushing buttons to make others feel. Some of us just feel and we don’t know what to do.

We, mental health professionals, some, know something. All should know, and know more, by definition? That doesn’t happen. Two psychiatrist in the Depp Amber trial, there is qualitative difference between the two. Anyone with half a brain could see that. To go beyond that statement would actually start to cross professional boundaries.

The Goldwater Rule. So technically, just saying the kid was evil, is an assessment and unprofessional. I don’t know enough. This behavior, that’s evil? What was he feeling? Seriously, can you tap into that long enough to understand vectors, symptoms, label and classify, which informs treatment modalities, and disrupt this?

Evil is the laziest and easy label to toss in. The fact I can go there, too easy, is evidence for emotions. Mine. Others. And this label works. It motivates people and there will be movements and rallying and pitchforks.

As opposed to sadness, introspection, and asking what are we, a society doing? How are we complicit. You may have an emotional reaction to that statement. We are. We participate in a society. Our voice matters. Most people, most the population, are quiet and reserve and we are least likely to rise up until things are so bad in a community that we say fuck, we’re done. That scare the government. That’s why they bought bearcats and drones with Covid relief funds because they know they have been pushing and pushing and hurting people with policies, and they’re unrelenting and they know just how far to push it before people snap…

Are people snapping? Are all these ‘crazy’ folks snapping because they have reached their emotional threshold for keeping it together.

Ever had a breakdown? Have you ever said, I feel on the verge of breakdown? Ever have road rage? Have you practice getting that under control, or is that okay? Ever see other people road rage? Is this what this? Work place violence has been on the rise since 2017? Is it just more acceptable now? Is it because people authority released violent criminals? Why can’t we release all the non violent, pot smoking peoples? Seriously, I don’t care if someone smokes pot. I care if they rape, rob, and kill people.

How do you suppose the counselors feel when they watch this. How do they feel when they have to go into these schools and talk to survivors. Pronoun, gender, abortion, taxes, war, their aint one thing more important than this conversation right here, because not one person in this bloody mess is going to think anything is more important than being able to safely show to school without being killed or watching peers killed.

Nothing is more important than the protection of our kids. We are failing. Parent’s rising up to say we are failing have been called terrorists and put on watchlist. While schools are busy changing names because of historical meaning, we are fucking dying out here. Put that into a perspective pipe smoke it.

Am I feeling? I am a counselor. Every single work day I have gone to work and heard some shit. I have taken on feelings. Every day, for 13 years I have processed my feelings and other feelings, and I am pretty good at thanks to my family of origin who introduced me to the boot camp of horror training, and so I have been feeling things beyond the pale for a long time. I am fortunate only in that I found a pathway for softening, and pursuing health.

I am fortunate only in, by the grace of God, there go I.

It’s not just feelings, it’s also thought I have to contend with. Mine were never homicidal. Mine were suicidal. Started at the age of 6. Imagine being 6 and things are so bad that you’re wanting to end your life. It happens. Sometimes there are valid circumstances… I experienced some shit. I hear some shit.

What ages were in this elementary? What sadness was provoked? What shit storm of suffering just happened… No. Not just happened. Has been happening. Has been increasing. Has been getting worse as many civilians think they are entitled to just blow things up, crash and grab robberies, rape on trains, drive through crows, shoot up Asian owned stores…

Civilians cry for peace, justice, non-violent communities, but our national leaders cry the war cry! Let’s go help other countries.

How about if we fucking help ourselves before we start treating the world for their perceived ills. We’re likely the most ill informed, fucking sick, war mongering country on the planet at this particular moment in time- and yet, we won’t to control other countries? Yeah, a little anger?

Because sadness is overwhelming and that is a sinking thing, like fuck, don’t get out of bed I am overwhelmed… A little bit of anger gets me out of bed. It give me energy to do that one next thing I gotta do…

What do I gotta do?

I got to go to work. Community mental health. I don’t have to go. I could quit. But I am going to go. I am going to hear some shit. I stopped saying I have heard it all five years ago, because fuck, every time I said that the universe sent me someone else with a story. I am going to go help someone sort emotions and thoughts and decided on a plan that moves them towards a remedy. An imperfect remedy.

Provider appointments are scheduled out 2 to three months. There are not enough doctors. Not enough counselors. Not enough MAs, nurse providers, and case managers. There is not enough money in mental health, and I am not saying dump a bunch more money in it so a bunch of elite, CEOs can cash in while minimizing money to the front line where everyone is dying and suffering and blowing up.

It’s almost as if, very easy to buy into this, there is a faction of society that wants the suffering because… I don’t know. Control through chaos?

Yeah, I am feeling stuff.

Do you want to help kids? Do you want to help our nation?

First, make schools safe, from outside and inside. Second, stop teaching personal pronouns! Third, teach emotion wheels and trees and coping strategies. While you’re at it, plant real trees and plants and care for animals! Fourth, kids are natural empaths- teach them personal boundaries as they’re learning to recognize their emotions and other peoples emotions. Fourth, take the damn masks off so they can see faces and read emotions. You don’t improve the quality of interaction by teaching differences, you improve by recognizing emotions and the human soul in other people.

John Ege

Discovering the Unseen through Art, Word, Thought, and Mystery.