Strong? Yes. Dumping grounds? No.
We all have broken parts, and compassion for others helps with the healing process. But there are persons who will deliberately and continually take advantage of empaths’ and sensitives’ compassion and empathy. Some people call them energy vampires, but I think of them as dump trucks. It took me a long time to figure out why. When a distraught person is near an empath, we will take on their emotions, help carry the burden so to speak. Emotionally chaotic people will feel some relief JUST BY BEING AROUND YOU. And the more negative emotions they dump on you, the better they feel. So they will want to be around you. A LOT.
Perfect description of this is “a crush of want.” (Nick Cave). When I heard this, I thought, yes, yes, yes. That is exactly what it feels like. Because the want is never ending for some people. It feels suffocating, and if we don’t get out of the way, the dumping will crush us. If I take your pain on as my pain whenever I’m near you, guess what? I can’t be near you. I have my own wounds to heal.
Empaths are strong. We can handle a lot of emotion. All kinds. But we need to set boundaries to keep the dump trucks out of our environments. They are skilled at demanding our attention as they rattle into the room. I feel no match. So I step away. I refuse to be the garbage dump. We are at cross purposes, so I will cross you out of my life as much as possible. I will not invite you into my home, and if I meet you, it will be on neutral ground. And I will give myself time to recover after time spent with you. The less of a host a become for you, the less of a parasite you will be, and eventually, you will go looking for another dumping ground.
My children helped me clear my environment of dump trucks. That was my turning point. My energy shift. I wanted my energy to go to them. It was up to me to create a peaceful family environment. I made it clear that my children would always come first, and the dump trucks slowly but steadily paraded away.
Do I still take on other people’s emotions? Yes, of course. It is part of who I am and who I will always be. Born this way. But I recognize who I need to stand back from. No one wants to be a dumpster.