I “hear” a lot. “Feel” even more sometimes. Thanks to sci-fi and fantasy I finally figured out I have pretty strong receptive empathy coupled with a major healing talent. Unsurprising considering the sheer number of nurses in my family. The only thing I can think that would a worse gift to have is precognition. Thank you Goddess for NOT gifting that on me. However, living with this is a challenge sometimes, to say the very least.
Note to self: Don't send an empath to the mental hospital unless there isn't ANY other option. I spent more time helping out the other (nutjobs) than helping myself. I wanted to go home just so I could get a break from the noise and mental screaming. My meds help somewhat but almost nothing blocks the sound of the others from me. Don't ask about 9/11. I called in sick that day, before anyone flew a plane into a building.
My brand of ADHD: I hear it all and will process it all. Seriously – everything. Very little escapes me. I might not say anything, but I probably heard it and just rely on manners to determine what to say or not to say. Again, my meds can help somewhat, but almost nothing blocks everything out.
I work in Human Services because I have to. I don't really get a choice. My empathy demands I do this. But people tax me and my energy. The best compromise I've found is my job at DDS: I get to help people but rarely have to interact with them. I love that I get to read and write and interact (for the most part) with a computer and not people. My brief tenure at Denver Human Services doing TANF interviews darn near killed me. I can't tell you how happy I was to lose that job.
On the subject of interpersonal interaction and empathy: sometimes dealing with people, even people I love, is more than I can handle. Yes, I duck phone calls and doorbells out of sheer self preservation. Sometimes even talking to you on the phone, much less in person, is too much for me. It isn't you, it's most definitely me. I apologize in advance that sometimes the only option I feel I have is to hide away from the rest of humanity and its issues/problems. I suck. I know. I'm sorry.
Sadly, it's a thin line between hiding away from people and their inherent mental noise and becoming mired in a depression, whether it's something of my creation or someone else's. I don't have any idea of how to tell the difference or toe the line between the two. For those who demanded I get off my butt and get out, I thank you. For those who wondered what the hell was going on but continued to talk to me and love me, I thank you. For those who were convinced they did something wrong, you didn't and I am sorry.
I have some amazing friends who have opened their homes to me and allowed me a safe haven to rest and recover from the challenges life throws me. Y'all know who you are, but what you have done for me is immeasurably precious to me and I love you all for your generosity and, sometimes, sacrifice. To you and the rest of my friends: without you in my life I am sometimes not sure I'd still be alive. Thank you. Most days I am very pleased to know I remain among the living and you are some of the reasons that is still true.
I have some fantastic genetic family. I have amazing aunties and cousins who have accepted me for me without judging or expecting me to fulfill some role they conceived. For that I am humbled. Additionally I have been blessed to get a chance to rekindle a relationship with family who live here in the metro area. It took me 40 years, but getting a chance to know AND respect you is amazing.
What I learned/did on my vacation:
Had spinal surgery. Note to self: if the MRI says things are bad, they are. Don't fart around. Surgery is your best option. How do I know? I'm still trying to recover all of my neurological functioning and will probably not get it all back. I still have numbness and the occasional stagger in my walk and the weather will probably continue to play merry havoc with my functioning. Yeah, not one of my smarter moves. I should have more faith in allopathic medicine.
Conflict of interests with your job are BAD. Yep: B as in broken, A as in awful, D as in dropping. Don't do it again. You got off lucky this time.