Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Motherhood of the Misguided Empath

In my lifetime, I have seen one and only one episode of Star Trek. (I think this is a good thing.) It’s the one called “The Empath.” It’s about some aliens that Capt. Kirk and the gang discover in their travels. Apparently, an Empath can heal people by taking on their pain. (Back off, Trekkies, I’m doing the best that I can.)

My friends, I have decided that I am an Empath. A maternal Empath, if you will.

I’ve talked, in the past, about how we mothers feel our kids’ pain more than they do. When they experience heartbreak, disappointment or sadness, we feel it ten-fold. In return, our kids think we can’t possibly understand what they’re going through. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Well, today, I figured it out. I’m nothing more than an Empath. A misguided Empath, because I have this bizarre notion that I can somehow fix my kids’ problems by feeling bad. It’s stupid and I can’t help it.

Today, my daughter was having a particularly challenging day. She was down and out. So down, that she couldn’t explain what she was down about. She takes after me in that way. Her gloom was palpable. Apparently, so was mine.

My husband tried to ask what was going on with me. I explained that it was because our daughter was bummed. He looked puzzled.

“I’m an Empath,” I said.

“Ahh. Star Trek reference. I get it,” he said. “That’s just one of the reasons that I love you.”

And that is why we have been married for nearly 24 years. We are both a little geeky, a little quirky and a little misguided in the notion that we have any control over the emotions of a teenage girl. (Well, at least one of us is.)


At 8:51 PM , Blogger kenju said...

LOL.....I GET that! I must be an empath too.

At 6:20 AM , Blogger Star said...

One ST episode? Really? I don't know how you have managed to avoid it. I think all Moms are empaths.Especially with daughters.

At 9:18 AM , Blogger PI said...

At last I can relate to Star Trek. My sons used to love it. I reckon most Mums and Grans are Empaths - the good ones that is. The trick is to feel and relate without actually spreading the gloom. Yo have a very sympathetic husband I suspect.
Michele sends her best.

At 10:00 AM , Blogger Finn said...

I think women in general are more attuned to the moods of those they love.

Hi - Michele sent me!

At 2:03 PM , Blogger The Turmanators said...

Hahaha! I'm a child psychotherapist so I am a professional Empath, I suppose. Of course, now that I'm not working I am firmly intrenched in the Maternal Empath mode.

I have a friend whos husband is one of those dudes who actually goes to the Star Trek conventions dressed in costume (yeah, I know...but his wife is cool) so now I will have something I can converse with him about. Thanks!

I've been here before and enjoyed myself so I will surely return. Thanks for visiting.

P.S.- I'm a Scorpio (Oct 29). When's yours?

At 5:32 PM , Blogger WendyWings said...

One of my best friends is William Shatners webmaster, the man is nutty as a fruitcake (Shatner that is lol)
I have to stop myself from being an empath a lot of the time, with four kids I would be too drained otherwise :) Michele sent me to say hi this fine Friday !

At 8:18 AM , Blogger utenzi said...

Michele sent me over to see you, Karen. I hope the storm isn't too rough on y'all. Down here in NC we had sub-freezing temps last night for about the 3rd time this winter. :-)

It's too bad that when you take on your daughter's feelings of sadness or angst that it doesn't help her any. Teenagers sure feel that way a lot.

At 5:23 PM , Blogger Jerry in Tampa said...

It takes those characteristics to stay married that long!!! Congrats!

Michele sent me - glad I found you and I will be back!

Jerry in Tampa

At 3:29 PM , Blogger Jess Riley said...

Aw, that's sweet! Three cheers for Empaths and their giant hearts! :)


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