Here is what Microsoft Word for Mac has to say about the definition of empathy:
1. the ability to identify with and understand another person’s feelings or difficulties
2. the transfer of your own feelings and emotions to an object such as a painting
Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
(sidenote: wow, it comes with its own citation? That is nifty! Scholarly articles from certain databases should come with that... it would make footnotes so much easier!)
Anyways. Sometimes I feel like I have more than the normal amount of empathy. I don't just read about things happening in the news, I feel them. There are a lot of days that I can't read milspouse blogs that are going through a deployment, because I feel it too much, and it hurts. I don't watch the news - at all- besides the nightmares that it gives me, I end up bawling through the whole thing, the good parts and the bad parts. If I'm reading, at least I can pick and choose what to read, and what paragraphs to merely skim.
Today has been one of those bad empathy days. I just can't seem to pull myself out of this rut. And I know that my life isn't that bad, but I feel so weighed down by everything that is going on all around the world. All I want to do is hide from the world.
I know that this is probably stemming from the fact that I haven't spoken to anyone in my family for the last two weeks. Ranger Man called my mom last weekend, to make sure she was okay... and I know logically that every day I go without talking to her, the harder it is making it. But I also know that the longer I don't talk to her, the more I can be in denial. I don't have to recognize the fact that I can't go 'home' anymore... it doesn't exist anymore. Denial is a good place. Until you get to days like today, when the only good reason you have for denial is denial itself- and denial without a modicum of justification isn't quite as sweet.
So instead I read the news, and I read other blogs, and everything compounds and I feel emotionally drained, even though I really didn't do anything today. It's almost as if the effort of not doing anything is weighing on me as much as I was doing something- it's not a passive nothing, it's a very active nothing. And I know, I know... I will have to talk to my mom and my dad again. But for now, I just don't want to. I want to pretend that they still live together and that everything still makes sense.
I think that's part of the problem, my worldview was rooted in this foundation that was consistent... and now that it's gone, maybe trying to adjust the way I see things is taking some time? Or am I making excuses again?
I'm still trying to figure out what it is that I am most upset about... What a rotten day.