Heightened Emotions

I have found that since leaving WOS I have a heightened sensitivity to any form of injustice or suffering.. I can’t even watch some videos on dog rescues because I am so sickened with how people can neglect or abuse an innocent animal. Abused children!? Don’t get me started.

I find I cry a lot lately, not because of the WOS pursey ( although I think it is indirectly caused by the abuse I suffered because of him) but because of the lack of compassion or empathy I endured my empathy has grown to the point of almost embarrassing. I can’t stand suffering of any kind, Animal Kingdom type movies where an animal is killing its prey can upset me for hours.

My heart breaks for all the people suffering in the world right now and I am still upset about Robin Williams. There is so much suffering in the world. If my empathy heightens any more I will be hospitalized or explode! LOL

I saw this movie today and had a good cry, but it was a feel good cry, it restored my faith in humanity. There are caring people in the world, we just have to stay strong and united against the evil.


14 thoughts on “Heightened Emotions

  1. Army of Angels

    That was a heart warming video….I had my time of having to witness the psychopath abuse animals and refuse to get proper help for suffering animals. I think the empathic sense is heightened after narc abuse…maybe a self preservation evolution…


  2. Tifa

    I have always been particularly warm hearted towards animals especially, and if I see any hurt/cruelty I’m weeping a river. I’ve been a vegetarian now for twenty years because I can’t bring myself to eat meat. But I’m respectful towards those who do. My ex N HATED the fact that I was vegetarian. Something of course that was no issue in the beginning, but he’d often cook steak and place a bit on a fork and put it right near my mouth. He even said that if we visited the States that I’d have to eat meat. Nice. I just used to say, that my preference for not eating meat is as strong as his preference for wishing to eat it, and so to accept it! I changed a lot for him, but that was something I was never going to budge on. Ridiculous making judgements on me because of that. Plus despite my own hatred of hunting etc, I do respect people if they wish to do that and my ex N did so apparently when back in the States. It was a very hard prospect to get my head around though, as I figured if I had gone back with him then he would have intentionally made me witness it etc. He was that sought of sick f**k. I recall him telling my family a story of some pigs he had killed and strung up, and my mum politely told him not to say anymore as she was nearly crying. What did he do? He kept talking about it! Yeah, they weren’t too impressed by him whatsoever haha! 😉
    But I’m finding with the work that I do that I am having to really battle against my emotions. I support young people at work, of which some have become so mentally unwell due to abuse. It really is so upsetting to see the impact of how that can manifest such ingrained psychological problems. These in turn can lead to challenging behaviours, and even with medical/psychological help it is unlikely some of these children shall ever return to who they were before the abuse. That being said, positive changes can arise from the support of a multidisciplinary team. But unfortunately this job was not one in which I can do to the best of my ability right now because of my own past experiences. While no where as extreme, I feel vulnerable and shaky myself some days.
    I totally agree with you Army of Angels that a heightened level of empathy after N abuse is self-preservation from potentially anything more hurtful. I know me wishing to seek a quieter job is because I can’t mentally and physically give myself fully to those who need strong figures in their lives right now. I’m protecting myself but also aware that I need to be much stronger emotionally to be doing the work I do. I did it years before with much more ease. Just goes to show how damaging narc abuse is. X x x


  3. narcopathcrusher

    I can totally relate with the fact of having a hightened sensitivity to any form of injustice or suffering. I have recently received a raging e-mail from a reader who calls me a ”full blown psychopath who is out for victim hunting by this false displays of empathy”. I don’t have empathy the way most people perceive it. When my abusive narcissistic grandmother died i did not shed one tear. I just stood there and listen to her obituary and wondered: who are they talking about? She was a cruel sadist and the world is a better place without her. But the so called empaths believe that we need to mourn everyone and glorify their past because after all ”a person died”. In that sence i will always being an alien compared to them. But i am very familiar with the feelings of isolation and terror a child feels when they get beaten or locked up or called worthless. I will always fight against abuse of the weak or the innocent and even if the reason is justice and not empathy the results are what matters. Crying is a way to purge negative emotions and a sign of healing. You are having progress.In overall i believe that you use your traumatic experience to help others and that is really admirable.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      narcopathcrusher, I can relate to what you are saying. My dad died recently, I had gone no contact with him over 20 years ago. He had contacted me when I had my heart attack and I sent him a letter about 5 years ago when my step sister told me he was dying (my dad was always dying). I did it for her more than anything because she was so worried about him, she envisioned him being in such pain over not seeing me for so many years; he didn’t even open the letter or mention it to anyone. I never regretted going no contact, I was much healthier and happier without him in my life. My son still saw his grandpa as did my one brother but I never expected everyone to jump on my bandwagon any way. It was my choice because I was sick of the bullshit.
      Anyway, I think everyone thought I would suffer guilt when he died, I kinda wondered myself how I would react but I was pretty certain I would be ok and I was.
      I didn’t go to his bedside, and there was no funeral but I wrote a lovely obit. He wasn’t all bad, but he was toxic in my life. I don’t cut people out of my life for no reason in fact prior to James he is the only person I have cut out of my life. I won’t disrespect him but I won’t be a hypocrite either. I have good memories from when I was little, going fishing and such he was never as evil as James.
      I have always been an emotional person, from the time I was little, easily got hurt feelings, was shy, never lied but with quite a temper also. My father didn’t allow emotions that he didn’t approve of so I became monotone in my emotions, no excitement, no laughter, no tears until I grew up and got counseling and learned that my emotions were quite normal and I wasn’t TOO sensitive. I am an INFJ or P depending on which test I take and when I found that out it was such a relief to know there are other people like me out there.
      Just because a person is sensitive doesn’t mean they are weak or lacking anything, it doesn’t mean they are flawed. Because we are only 1% of the population we are different than most people not wrong.
      I can’t watch movies where there is any kind of violence to animals or people. I can’t watch shows like Dexter or Breaking Bad, I never have been able to but since I have been in an abusive relationship and gone hungry, been homeless, been afraid, and then no one empathizing with me and blaming me for my own abuse; I can not stand by and not help where possible. I know I can’t save the world but I can do the best I can to change things. I think we are all put here with a purpose in mind, as long as I have been an adult I have wanted the world to be a better place because I was here. Not everyone feels that way and that is fine for them, they will die at peace. If I just took up space while I was here and didn’t do anything to make the world a better place I would feel I failed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy Z

    This was something I was just thinking about yesterday. I have always been overly sensitive, having a hard time watching when I know the character is headed for something painful, but now, I have to turn things off, turn away, because it causes such physical pain I can’t stand it. I have had to stop reading about Robin Williams especially. I cannot understand why I am so affected by his death especially. I loved his work, he seemed so genuine, but obviously I have no idea who he really was, so why does this bother me so? I also have so little patience for any injustice I see now that sometimes I worry that I am going overboard with my reactions based on my current situation. I am glad to see that it comes with the territory, well maybe not glad but relieved and yet sad in the same vein to see others suffering as well. Thanks as always Carrie for sharing yourself. The things that have helped the most for me at this time are stories such as yours and others helping me to see that I am not alone.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Amy Z, you’re welcome and thank you for sharing. The way you say you felt for most of your life is exactly the way I felt also, always told I was “too” sensitive. I actually find that with people I am very close to I almost have a 6th sense and am often able to pickup on things that are going on with them. It can drive me crazy until I figure out what it is exactly.
      Have you ever taken a Myers Briggs personality test to see what you are? I found it very interesting? here’s the link http://www.16personalities.com/


      1. deeinnz

        Hi Carrie and Amy Z,

        While no one has ever said I was ‘too’ sensitive (probably because most people never really see past my Leo Ascendant) I am empathetic to the point I do actually take on others’ emotions (strong Scorpio/Pisces influence in my astrological chart) and get confused as to what is actually mine, and what belongs to someone else. I have also discovered that sometimes I can pick up ‘stuff’ that has nothing to do with me at all. The most recent example was earlier in the year I woke up and felt the most ‘overwhelming grief’. Those were the only words to describe what I was feeling. I thought it maybe connected to recent events with my father, but that just didn’t make enough sense as I wasn’t THAT upset about the situation. But nothing else made sense. The feeling of ‘overwhelming grief’ stayed with me for most of the day and then by chance I heard on the radio that Nelson Mandela had died. And the penny dropped. I was picking up the grief of a nation (sounds crazy, trust me I know) and once I realised it was not actually ‘mine’, it disappeared, just like that. I have a note on my fridge now to remind myself “not everything you feel belongs to you”.


        1. Carrie Reimer Post author

          deeinnz, I know what you are saying. I don’t talk about it much because I don’t want to sound crazy but I have often picked up on “other people’s stuff” not so much like you with the Nelson Mandela incident but those closer to me like my son, father, or significant other.
          I don’ t know why but I always felt that James had gotten a woman pregnant when in Sudan, there was a lot of stuff i didn’t pick up on, like I was surprised to find out he had gotten engaged and bought her a ring but even when I found that out I still had the feeling that was going to be the next thing I found out but as time went on and no baby ever came out of the woodwork I thought I must be wrong. When the mutual friend said it off-handedly that there were two women james was seeing and that one of them had been pregnant like I knew, that he was right. Right away the feeling that I had been packing for a couple of years left me.
          years ago I couldn’t sleep, I had a bad feeling, I was very emotional, felt almost like I was having a breakdown, finally it struck me that it had to do with my dad and I called him and asked him what was going on. He said not to worry about it and wouldn’t tell me what was going on. A few days later it came out that he was having an affair behind my mom’s back.;
          When my ex had his motorcycle accident I woke up at the exact time the accident happened.
          Another time I dropped by my boyfriend’s place and when he opened the door I could see his aura and he was all black, he later told me he was going to cuba with another woman.I know my brother and my dad came to say good bye after they died.
          My ability to sense things has weakened as I have gotten older but I always knew when James was up to something and it would drive me insane until I figured it out.


          1. deeinnz

            Wow Carrie,

            Seems we have had some very similar experiences. Especially with regard to picking up energy. I don’t have it mentioned on my blog (that I’ve only just kind of started) but have spoke at length about it with Ursula…. my mother is a Narc and my Dad a co-dependent enabler.

            Like you I live alone with my dog and also have a small ‘lake’ (lagoon actually) at the bottom of my garden. I have a picture of it on my ‘about’ page (The Out There Cafe) …. hope it’s ok to put the name of it here? I’m still not sure how this whole blogging thing works and if my handle thing Deeinnz actually links to my blog?

            Anyway back to the energy thing, as that’s how I describe it. I too can ‘pick up’ stuff with people I am close too, I can also ‘read energy’ between other people….. if I”m in a group of people say, and there is a bloke there who is really attracted to a woman (not me someone else), but is not doing/indicating anything to show this, I can tell.

            I’m aware this will sound even crazier than what I’ve already said, but when I have become totally intimate with a man, I can then sometimes, literally, read his mind (as in hear his private thoughts). I can also pick up the nano second he might start having doubts about ‘us’. I’ve discovered over the years that my ability to ‘read’ this energy is ALWAYS correct, despite things they might do or say. Consequently now, I’ve been leading a very celibate, quiet life, waiting for ‘the right one’ LOL to come along.

            I’ve never seen auras, practiced a bit once at trying to, but got lazy lol. I think my ability in this reading energy thing has strengthened as I’ve gotten older, as the Nelson Mandela kind of thing never used to happen.


  5. Carrie Reimer Post author

    Kathy, I am so close in score that it is literally 1 number off, I must answer one question differently when I take the test. I have taken several different tests that are based on Myers Briggs and I can take the test twice in a row and come up with with a J once and a P once. I looked it up and this is what I found, and now it makes sense to me. I usually use an informing style of communicating but I can use directing also, depending on the situation. I found it interesting.
    From this article i would have guessed you to be a P.

    “Another way to distinguish between whether you are an INFJ or an INFP is to determine your 2 preferred communication styles.

    (This is part of another Type model, and it’s the most reliable way to sort INFJ from INFP. If you write me wondering which Type you are, I’m going to push you to sort on this polarity — so you might as well do it now. Spend some time on this page — in fact, read it TWICE!)

    Both INFPs and INFJs are “responding” types. That’s another way of saying “introvert.” All introverts prefer the responding communication style. This is often a simpler yardstick than choosing between “gregarious” and “shy,” which is how extraversion and introversion are sometimes defined. The “responding” communication style simply means that other people are more likely to start up a conversation with you than you are to start up a conversation with them. It’s all about who goes first. In contrast, extraverts are “initiating” types, which means they tend to initiate dialogue more often than “responding” types do. That doesn’t mean extraverts can only initiate and introverts can only respond — it simply reflects what each type is more inclined to do.

    Many responding Catalysts often wonder whether they are actually extraverts, because they can be downright gregarious in certain situations, especially with their natural interest in teamwork and other people. It’s hard to imagine a Catalyst not wanting to be around people! The question to ask yourself is whether you have a tendency to initiate conversations, or wait to respond to someone else’s overtures. If the latter, you’re probably a “responding” communicator — which fits for both INFJ and INFP.

    To sort out whether your preferences are for INFJ or INFP, investigate whether you possess the directing or informing style of communication.

    “What’s that?” you are probably asking. Well, it’s a concept that’s nearly impossible to explain via the internet, but I’m going to try. According to Dr. Linda Berens, the founder of Interstrength Associates (formerly Temperament Research Institute), each of us is hard-wired to utilize one communication style over the other. That means you’re just plain born that way — it’s innate! And it’s not only about the words we use; it’s how we communicate our intent (though some of us have been conditioned to soften or amplify our natural style, depending on our environments and how we were nurtured).

    David Keirsey titles these styles of communication “role-informing” and “role-directing” — which is the same concept with longer labels. And let me make it clear: directing and informing are on a continuum, and everyone is capable of doing either one at any given time.

    The question is, which style are you more comfortable with? (And nobody gets to live on the mid-point.)

    The directing style of communication is easiest to spot. The extreme form is the style used by traffic cops, stressed parents, and military commanders. It includes communications that would be classified as a “direct order.” Examples include:

    “Sit down.”
    “Put it over there.”
    “Clean your room.”

    The message is delivered in an authoritative tone of voice. The reason Keirsey calls this “role-directing” is because the person speaking the words assigns what roles are to be played in the interaction. In the examples above, the speaker adopts the “in charge” role, while the recipient is automatically subordinated. The listener is expected to cooperate and play the role the speaker has determined.

    The informing style of communication is harder to detect. Sometimes those with the directing style are simply oblivious to it, not recognizing that a defining interaction just transpired. Extreme forms of this communication include messages that might be classified as “victim talk.” Examples include:

    “I don’t have any money.”
    “That music is so loud.”
    I’m not feeling good.”

    These communications are delivered in a non-authoritative tone of voice. The reason Keirsey calls them “role-informing” is because the person speaking the words is deliberately not defining what roles are assigned in the interaction. In these examples, the listener gets to choose what roles are to be played — meaning they have been granted authority whether to ignore the remark or act upon it. The critical factor is that the recipient of the message gets to determine what part they choose to play. They can act on the information, or not — the decision is freely theirs.

    The examples I’ve posed are those of extremes — bossy on the one side, victim on the other. But please don’t think I’m painting INFPs as victims and INFJs as persecutors — I’m using extreme examples and descriptions to make my point! In real life, most normal communications fall somewhere closer toward the mid-point. Perhaps the best example is the simplest one:

    Informing communication: The light is green.
    Directing communication: Go.

    Chances are you’ve spoken phrases of both these kinds during various episodes in your life. Which reinforces the point I made earlier — everyone is capable of doing both styles of communication. And one episode of directing does not define you as having the directing style; nor does one episode of informing define you as having the informing style. The appropriate question to ask yourself is, which style are you more comfortable with?

    In this special situation we are investigating — meaning our attempt to distinguish a preference for INFJ or INFP — it can be tricky to discern which communication style one prefers (compounded by how this is nearly impossible to explain through the internet). In a nutshell, INFJs are more comfortable telling other people what to do than INFPs are, despite both being introverts. INFPs are more comfortable just providing information.

    I’ll provide a couple more examples:


    “Ask Jerry for specific instructions on balancing the budget.”


    “Jerry has some information that might help you balance the budget.”


    “Marion, would you find a restaurant to host fifty people at a banquet in September?”


    “Marion, do we have information on any restaurants that could host a banquet in September for fifty people?”


    1. Kathy

      Carrie, You are so right… 🙂 I am on a dating site, yes everyone, it is possible to do once you are over the horrible N.. A nice psychologist I had lunch with contacted me via the website after the date, was very polite and asked me if he should call again. I wasn’t interested in him, but instead of being direct I said, “Thanks for a wonderful lunch, I enjoyed your company, but I didn’t feel the connection I needed to continue.” That was the nicest way I could put it without being so direct. 🙂


      1. Carrie Reimer Post author

        A round of applause for Kathy!!good for you! so happy to hear you are getting out and even happier to hear you are saying “no thank you” with confidence. That was a great response!


  6. Pingback: I Bet You Are An Empath | Ladywithatruck's Blog

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