Diary of an Empath

Diary of an Empath

A Story by A.D. Wilson

April 18-  It's been about a week since I died.  The doctor told me I was struck by lightening.  Spring storms can be dangerous in this part of the country.  I guess it was stupid to go out jogging, but the storm was just building on the horizon when I went out.  I was jogging through the park, in the "zone", oblivious to everything but my feet on the path, and the storm moved in faster than I realized.   I don't remember being dead.  I don't remember a "bright light", or Heaven, or Hell, or anything.  I just remember jogging, then waking up flat on my back in the grass, a concerned face looking down at me.  My savior's name is Miguel.  Luckily for me, he is a registered nurse.  On that fateful day, he was driving home past the park where I was jogging.  He told me the blinding flash of lightening nearly made him wreck his car.  He had managed to pull over to the side of the road and sat there, furiously blinking the spots from his eyes.  I don't know how long he sat there, willing his eyes to function properly.  When he looked up, he saw me lying on the grass, tendrils of smoke curling up from my body.  He described how I looked when he first ran over to me.  I don't know why he felt the need to describe everything to me.   Maybe he just needed to get it off his chest.  Maybe he was in shock.  I don't know.  He said the grass near my feet was smoldering and there was a hole blown out of the side of my left tennis shoe where the lightening grounded itself.  He said I was just lying there, my dead eyes staring at the sky.  I wasn't breathing, my heart had stopped.   Miguel administered CPR and brought me back.  From where?  I don't know.  I guess I should feel grateful, but I don't feel much of anything lately.


April 25-  Another week has passed. I feel so lifeless, like a walking corpse.  I used to like stories and movies about zombies.  Now I guess I am one.  I feel no emotion at all anymore.  I don't get angry or sad or happy.  Nothing, absolutely nothing.  I went back to the doctor and he ran several different tests.  He gave me a clean bill of health.  He said there was nothing wrong with me.  Then why do I feel like a lifeless husk?  Why can't I feel anything anymore?  That lightening strike must have done something to my brain.  The doctor assures me that I just have a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and that I will be fine.  Fine....sure, whatever.


May 2-  My boss threatened to fire me today.  He said no one wants to buy a car from a "robot".  I can't help it if I can't gush about this or that car being such a wonderful buy.  I don't care if it has heated seats and gets great gas mileage.  I used to be so enthusiastic.  I loved cars and I loved to sell them.  I would rave about every detail of each car.  The leather interior, the moon roof, the DVD player, the custom wheels.  All of these things used to genuinely excite me.  Now, nothing excites me.  I don't even care if I lose my job. 


May 9-  I felt a glimmer of hope today.  I actually felt something.  Maybe my brain was damaged after all and is now starting to repair itself?  Maybe it was PTSD and I'm beginning to recover?  I don't care what it is, as long as I can feel emotions again.  This particular experience was a negative emotion, but at least I felt something.  That's a start, right?  It happened this morning.  My boyfriend, James, doesn't like the 'new me'.  He asked me "Where is the happy, outgoing person I fell in love with?"  I don't have an answer for him, at least not an answer he will like.  I think that part of me died in the park that day, but I don't say that.  I don't say anything.  James shouted at me, called me names, willing me to get angry, to cry, to show some emotion, any emotion. The old me had a temper.  I would have called him a b*****d and I would have been throwing things at him by now.  But the new me isn't affected by his anger or his harsh words.  When his taunts didn't work, he screamed at me in fury and disgust, then stormed out, slamming the door behind him.  That is when I finally felt something.  It was just a tiny bit of emotion, but it was there.  I felt a little bit of anger and sadness, but it felt somehow distant, not my own.  I carefully analyzed these new emotions and realized they weren't mine, they were coming from James.  My own emotions are dead, they died with me in that park.  However, I can feel the emotions from other people.  How is this possible?


May 16-  I didn't want to go to my doctor and tell him of my breakthrough.  He would probably just think I'm crazy.  Instead, I did some research.  What I found out astounded me.  I discovered the word Empathy- the experiencing as one's own of the feelings of another.  Am I an empath?  Is that why I felt James' anger and sadness?  I have been experimenting.  I went back to the park and discreetly hung around some young lovers.  I felt their love for each other, their desire, and their happiness.  It felt so wonderful!  I sat behind a tree, basking in their emotions.  I probably should have felt like a pervert, I should have felt disgust with myself for living off the emotions of others.  But I don't have the capacity for those emotions, not unless someone feels them for me.  It is a sad existence, but an existence nonetheless. 


May 23- I hate to admit it, but I'm an addict.  I spend every waking moment surrounding myself with people. Gloriously emotional people.  I have to do it.  I feel nothing but dead emptiness if I don't.  So what if I am an emotional vampire?  People make me feel alive again.  I've been practically living in comedy clubs, so I can feel happiness and humor.  I can actually laugh when I'm there.  I've been going to every sports event I possibly can.  The joy of winning, the sadness of losing, the anger some people have for the coaches, umpires, and opposing teams.  It is all a wondrous drug!  It fills me up and brings me to life.  But then I go back home, alone and empty again. 


May 30-  I can't take the emptiness any more.  I have run out of excuses to hang around friends, co-workers, or even strangers. They have all started to shun me because I act 'weird'.   I got caught lurking below my neighbor's window while they were having sex.  I told the police officer that it's not my fault, I just wanted to feel passion again.  They put me in a cell overnight.  It wasn't so bad.  The cell was crowded with lots of angry, emotional people.  A police officer said I would be released in the morning.  I told him I'd rather stay in here.


June 6-  I was released from jail and sent home, but they forced me to schedule a psychological evaluation.  I am waiting to meet my evaluator, Ms. Hurst...here she comes now.  She asks me why I am writing in this journal while she is talking to me.  I tell her it helps me think.  She asks if I am ashamed of peeping on my neighbors.  I tell her I am capable of feeling nothing of my own.  I tell her about the lightening strike and my death and my "rebirth" as an empath.  She writes the information down on a notebook.  I know I am doomed.  I feel only disbelief and pity coming from her.  She doesn't believe a word I am saying.  She decides I need to be institutionalized for my safety and the safety of others.


June 13-  They let me out of solitary confinement once a week to write in my journal.  The doctors think it is therapeutic.  They don't trust me with pens and pencils, so I have to be supervised.  What would I do with them?  Hurt myself?  Hurt others?  They don't understand that I don't feel anger or hatred.  I cling to my journal like a drowning man to a life preserver.  These weekly journal entries mean that I get to be around other people, even if only for a little while.  They still don't know what my particular psychosis is, and they don't believe I'm an empath.  It doesn't matter to me if they believe me or not.  I don't have enough emotions to care.  I feel only what the guards feel, and that is usually pity or disinterest.  When they put me back in solitary, I revert to an unfeeling, uncaring zombie.  I sit and patiently wait for next week's journal time.  I think about the day I was struck by lightening and I realize something.  I died that day and I am in Hell.


© 2011 A.D. Wilson

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Added on April 11, 2011
Last Updated on April 24, 2011
Tags: empathy, loss, near-death experience


A.D. Wilson
A.D. Wilson

Dallas, TX

I decided to update my profile and switch from Lovely Lyla to my real name (my initials, actually). The picture and name fit well with my fan-fiction writing, but clashed with my horror writing. It .. more..

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