The Burden of Being an Empath

Yesterday several TV stations reported the death of a six-year-old girl while on a free-fall ride built into a mine shaft in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  She fell 110 feet to her death.

There was no age or height restriction for the ride.  She was with her parents and older sibling.  Something went terribly wrong. My guess is that the harness was too big to hold her in and that she slipped out of it.

Summertime spells accidents at amusement parks. Even though school has started in most places across the country, this might’ve been the family’s last hurrah over Labor Day weekend.

One news station even had the 911 audio tape when the accident is first reported, and then, “The coronor has been dispatched.”

I can’t stop feeling for the family, the remaining sibling, the mom, the dad. Did the little girl insist on going? Did the family push her to go? The news said they all had to sign waivers before entering the ride.

You know you’re an empath when you wake up in the morning and your first thought is for that girl’s family and how their lives will be forever changed. My own children at six years old were already pretty special people.

I think back to all the times I said no to my kids.

“Too dangerous.”

“You’re too young.”

“Not a good idea.”

“I don’t think so.”

“No, my job is to protect you and keep you safe.”

. . .  when my middle child would break away from me in a parking lot and take off running.

. . .  when my oldest almost got stepped on by a baby elephant from the 4th of July parade.

. . .  when my youngest (at 2) jumped into the deep end of the hotel pool on vacation with only floaties on her arms to keep her from drowning. (we weren’t in the pool).

. . .  when my oldest daughter’s carpool mom told her she didn’t have to wear her seatbelt on the freeway.

. . .  when my middle child had a dry summer cough that turned out to be pneumonia.

The same middle child took a spill on a Hot Wheels that left a cut above his lip and a scar for years. I was right there when it happened.

My ex was much more relaxed about car seats and things.  Once, on a snowy mountain road, the coveted Harry Potter beach towel flew off the luggage rack on top of the car where my ex had used it to pad the sleds.

“Stop! We have to get it!” my oldest screamed.

My ex might’ve stopped. I was the freaked-out mom with OCD imagining what would happen if any of us got out of the car on that twisty road to retrieve the towel.

“It’s too dangerous,” I said, over-ruling the other four. “We are not stopping!”

Secretly, I was cursing my ex for using that towel as padding, but I digress.

Being an empath is still thinking about Sandy Hook. Or the baby with leukemia, or the child car accident victims in Iowa. I need to get off that Facebook group, too much bad stuff to read about.

I need to stop watching the NEWS.

Wanting to stay informed while being an empath.

The struggle is all too real.

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