Like so many of you, I find myself lost and in search of something to better understand my experience (s).
This is my story.
ESP, Intuitive, Clairaudient, "Imager", Sensor, Empath, mind reader... These are all descriptors I have either heard someone say about me, or I've come across in my personal research. To be fully honest, it wasn't until recently that I even tried to find a label that described my experience. So, here I am. My story's title is about the best I can do to put words to my experience/ability.
Ever since I was a child, I remember being very sensitive to the world around me. Heck, in Kindergarten I went and hid under a table after the teacher reprimanded me. The school told my parents that I was not mature enough to enter Kindergarten, so I got held back a year. Even before that though, I clearly remember being an anxious and depressed kid. I often felt alone for no reason. I did stay to myself a lot, at least to start. I was pretty quiet in my first few years of school. Things got better in the 3rd grade, however, as I started to take interest in girls. I clearly remember the first kiss, playing on the playground, sports, etc. Something else was happening though too. Actually, it had continued. People's emotions seemed so intense to me! It actually scared me.
Before I go any further, I should state outright that I am a Virgo.;) I have an insatiable curiosity, which has led to many odd, strange, and often times, dark experiences. A number of other folks on this site have identified themselves as Virgos, which when I read their stories, made my hair stand on end and inside tingle (literally) because I could relate. I know... A little off topic. I think it's still relevant though.
The sensitivity continued, but I was often distracted with life and able to ignore it. That was until I'd get depressed or forced to look inside for some reason. This became more and more of an issue during the awkward teenage years. Fights with friends, bullies, break ups, anything less than an 'A', family discord, etc. Now that I think of it, I was pretty much experiencing it in hyper-drive then. I detached over time. I felt like others were almost vampiric in their efforts to suck my energy. Eventually, I had nothing left. Sure, I was a social chameleon when I needed to be. On the inside I was dying though. I couldn't relate to others. I could actually see/sense the same from them. I've contemplated suicide many times in my life. I believe it is in fact depression, but for some reason I feel like it's linked to the whole psi thing too. I was introduced to the world of psychology/psychiatry at an early age. Efforts were made to help me manage my mood and anxiety. I learned how to cope early and this really helped. Little had changed though in my experiences with others. I would see others on the streets, doing their day-to-day activities, etc. And I would get this flooding of information as a passive observer. Everything from the brand of their clothing to food to type of car, body movement/language, stature, tattoos, facial expression, behavior, speech (tone of voice, cadence, volume, nationality, color of their hair, eyes, etc. Were they wearing a watch? On what arm? How about rings? Wedding, class, mason, etc? What finger? It'd just go on and on. The information would just come into my head. Sometimes, I couldn't shut it off and I wanted to bang my head on the wall to make it stop. There were definitely times when it was sensory overload. I can't explain it, but there was no sequential order to the information that I observed. It happened all at the same time with all senses. As I gathered life experience and continued my education I began to think everyone did a similar assessment of others, but maybe to a lesser extent or with less awareness.
In college, my studies in counseling and clinical psychology made me focus on my abilities more. Again, I didn't know, or have any reason to know, that I had any kind of special ability. At times, however, it was clear that something was wrong, or at least not right. Interactions with professors, peers, friends, and others were different. I was forced to look at my interactions with others in a counseling environment. Process vs. Content was introduced. I finally had something that made sense. I knew immediately that I operated in the process. In fact, nothing else mattered. I didn't care about the weather, etc. I wanted to know what someone was really saying to me. Strange, huh? Someone tells you something... Of course that's what they're saying, right? Not really. Often times I would hear something different than what they were saying. It didn't really come in the form of words. It was more sensed than anything. I didn't need to touch them. I could feel them. It started as kind of a reading between the lines thing. Eventually, I started to experience what I thought was just an amazing empathic response or over developed imagination. I could see in my mind pictures of what they'd tell me.
Fast forward 10+ years. I was working as a prison psychologist. This imaging ability continued. At first it served me well. I was green and definitely overzealous when it came to learning about all things perverse, deviant, dark, etc. The psychopathology was astounding. After about 5 years something started to happen though. I had probably interviewed/assessed and provided therapy to hundreds, if not thousands, of criminal minds. I had begun the process of what I called reverse profiling. Based on the contact, I was able to identify typologies based on personality, patterns of behavior, etc. The offenders love to embellish their criminal histories, especially when it comes to victims. In my latter years of service, I refused to listen. It was too much. The imaging had gone to a new level. In addition to the actual offender, his past and ongoing predatory behavior, I had access to tons upon tons of records. Being the perfectionist Virgo I was, I wanted to make sure my diagnostic assessments were as accurate as they could be. I scoured all available documentation. I would start to see crimes play out in my mind. At first just the crime. Later I was at the scene as it unfolded. That's how things continued. When people would tell me things I would start to see a picture in my mind, kind of like an 8mm film. Keeping the process in mind, what I was told was not necessarily what I would see. I began to understand what I was seeing was the real issue. It's not that what they said didn't matter or was any less important, it's just that I began to sense something else.
Things came to a head for me in late Spring of 2010. One day, during a staff meeting, things began to get heated among my colleagues. At least that was my perception of things. I clearly remember dismissing myself to go the restroom. I felt flush and was sweating. I felt hypoglycemic, like it was time to eat something ASAP. I had never had that type of immediate onset before. I splashed some water on my face. All of a sudden I felt this intense emptiness, like something had come in and scooped out my soul. I remember crying and at the same time asking myself, 'Why are you crying?' I gained composure and returned to the meeting where I lasted all of 5 minutes before having to return to the restroom. Things were worse but I composed and returned to try it again. I started to feel weird. I kept my head down because I felt so embarrassed. I didn't know what to do or where to go. My supervisor asked me if I was alright. I remember saying no and then noticing some fine motor trembling in my hands. Eventually, this encompassed my whole body. I was having something like a seizure, but I was fully aware of what was happening to me. I could talk at first. Then I just kept repeating that I was sorry. The psych term is echolalia. My muscles would tense up and I'd go in and out of catatonia. I could breath and blink and that was about it. Oh, I remember crying too. Basically, I became rigid and was stuck in a certain pose for an undetermined length of time. My supervisor, warden, and others didn't know what to do with me. I had never had the experience, so when I could talk, I told them it would be fine soon. It went on well over an hour before I was taken out the hospital. A few hours passed until I was actually stabilized. I spent 6 weeks in different hospitals trying to figure out what was wrong. This included Mayo. It was determined that I suffered from PTSD and a conversion disorder, and that the seizures were actually pseudo-seizures. In short, I made myself sick. I know that the mind is extremely powerful. I think much more than we know. That said, over the last couple of years it's become clear that the mind can heal the body just as much as it make it sick. If that's the case, then what else can it do?
I am sorry for going on and on. It does say story, right?;) Actually, this is the abbreviated version. I've experience so many bizarre things in this life. I now feel, however, that I have a handle on the sensing thing. The imaging thing... Not so much, but it too has gotten a little better.
I don't know what, if anything, I'd like to get out of sharing my story. I guess I'm curious to know if others have had this experience (s), what it's called, how do they cope, etc. It'd be a bonus to hear that I'm not psychotic too! Ha. Well, thanks for enduring my story.
Best wishes to you all!