13

July

Empathy

Tuesday July 13, 2021


There has been several times over the last 2-3 years when I’ve thought about writing a blog for Moodscope. At least one of those times I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on a draft before deciding the writing isn’t for the public domain. What’s different about this time? As a survivor of several bouts of depression over the past 30 plus years, I often have to hit rock bottom before I contemplate doing something that will scare me, like putting my writing out there. This time is different; it’s not me at rock bottom but a friend, let’s call her Simone, who suffers from complex PTSD.

Think of some of the worst things life can throw and she lives with several. To name a few… years of sexual abuse as a child, perpetrators not stopped or punished; an autoimmune response leading to her hair falling out and never growing back; a sister (her best friend), who recently cut her and her nieces out of her life. My emotions about the circumstances she finds herself in can be difficult to cope with. Disbelief, anger, sadness, fatigue and helplessness make consistent appearances on the phone calls since that have replaced face to face meet ups since the beginning of the first lockdown last year.

I’ve always been highly sensitive to the emotions of others. Luckily, unlike Simone, I have a loving husband plus a small circle of close friends I can turn to when my emotions are running high. Which brings me to my question: what coping strategies have you found helpful when dealing with strong emotions in the face of someone else’s suffering? Are they the same or different from those you use when the suffering comes from within? Thoughts on a postcard… or a blog…

The furtive scribbler
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


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