To understand the full weight of my questions and give a decent answer, I'll start with my experience as a child. The first one I can remember was when I was 7, maybe 8. My parents often had friends over - of the unsavory sort - so my sister and I retired to our rooms early. I went to sleep one night, and had this very vivid dream of our house engulfed in flames. I woke up coughing and smelling smoke. Our house was fine, but I got out of bed and made my way through the party to my mom.
I told her, in tears, that I dreamt our house was on fire. My mother was drunk, but the simple story seemed to sober her up quickly. She went around, checking the stove, the plug ins, everything. She got to the dryer and there was a load going. But, in her drunken stupor, she had forgotten to change the lint trap. The lint was actually hot to the touch and smelt of smoke. My mother told everyone to go home and put me back in bed. During one of her rare sober moments she said I was like her. She called it ESP, but she often had these dreams, or visions, and saw and felt things she didn't want to. So she turned to alcohol and drugs to muffle them the best she could. She told me not to be afraid and that I saved them that night.
I've had several more of these dreams. The only difference is, I don't remember them until it's too late to do anything. Minutes before the event will happen, the start of events will hit me like a ton of bricks labelled Deja Vu. More often than not, I'm forced to watch the events unfold. Gratefully, it hasn't been anything tragic.
There are also instances of having a very uncomfortable feeling that makes my skin crawl. I can't explain it correctly, just that it's a gut instinct that something very bad is going to happen. And it's right, every single time. The most recent being when my little brother was going to go for a walk to meet his friends at 9 pm. (He was 15). I said 'okay, see you later.' but in the few seconds it took him to get to the door, it felt like a lead weight dropped in my stomach.
Thankfully, he trusts me. I begged him to stay inside. We ended up sleeping in the living room that night, the large windows in my bedroom making me uncomfortable.
It turns out that a 14 year old boy, one of my brothers acquaintances (not a friend, just someone he knew in passing), was shot and killed on the same road my brother would have taken, at the exact same time he would have been on it. It also turns out that, in the middle of the night, one of our neighbors chased off a hooded teen trying to break in my bedroom window.
Things like this have happened so often that my little brother trusts these feelings I have implicitly.
Now, to explain the Empathy you should know that I'm deaf. I started losing my hearing when I was nine years old. But long before then, I was incredibly adept at feeling the 'aura' of a situation, or figuring out when someone was in a bad mood before anyone else. I've honed this skill over the years, and to others I explain it away as being skilled at reading body language and facial expressions, but that's not it. At least, not all of it. I can tell the moment someone walks in what their mood is, and I will act accordingly. I don't even have to look at someone to know if their mood has gone sour. And, more often than not, it will rub off on me if I'm not careful.
Most people just explain it as me being 'really good with people'. But I know better.
What I call my Dr. Dolittle Complex is exactly as it sounds. I have not met an animal that doesn't like me or isn't drawn to me. It's the same with kids though not as obvious. Animals will crowd me, stray, domestic, or wild. My best friend owned two dogs, her sister owned one, and her parents owned four cats. They all shared the house. Whenever I would visit, I would have Leesi (German Shephard & Husky) curled up against one side, Leah (German Shephard, Husky, & Border Collie. Leesi's daughter) curled against another, and Apollo (Pitbull & Wolf mix, best friends second dog.) sprawled on my lap. These are all very large dogs, so I'd be suffocating under them but most were too amused to do anything. Not that I minded most days. But along with the dogs, were the cats.
I'd have one on my shoulders, one on top of my feet, one somehow against my stomach (between myself and the dog), and another usually in my face, purring loudly and headbutting me. It happened every time I was there. To the point they had to hold all the animals back before I could get in the house or I would be trampled in their welcoming hugs.
Apollo in specific was attached to me. He could be on the other end of the house and if he heard me, he'd come running and bowl me over in a pounce. He'd constantly lick my feet, try to jump in my lap (he thinks he's much smaller than he is), and follow me everywhere, even the bathroom. They started having to keep him in a separate room if I was over for longer than a few hours because he would not leave me be.
Add to that, I've volunteered twice at a wolf sanctuary. While doing so, the Alpha of the pack (whom was known to be wary towards humans) grew very, very attached to me very quickly. He guarded me, protected me, slept in my lap when others couldn't even pet him.
Thanks to that, my friends now call me 'Alpha'. But more to the point, all animals come to me like I'm calling when, half the time I'm not even aware they're there. It can be a bit suffocating, especially times like now. My sisters Shi Tzu is so attached to me it's ridiculous. She's never been like this with anyone, they said. She can't seem to stand being more than a few inches from me. When they take pity on me (since I live in California and even now, in October, it's in the 90s) and put her outside, she will stare at me through the glass door until I move out of sight.
If she's inside, and I step out to throw out the garbage, the moment I'm back in she's all over me.
All the time, for all sorts of animals. Dogs, cats, birds. I've even been able to pick up wild snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, insects - all without being harmed. All very calmly. My ex's mother had a Conure. She was bright yellow and green. But they didn't know how to care for her. She was kept in the kitchen in her cage (which isn't supposed to be done, due to the fumes), and the mother was mentally unstable and would often beat her cage with a mallet if she got too loud. So the bird became aggressive. Once, we took that bird with ours to get their wings trimmed. The bird got out, but instead of flying for the open door, she flew to me. Landed on my shoulder and buried herself in my hair, chirping and rubbing behind my ear like she was pleading me to keep her safe.
All of this gives me nothing but questions. With the sensitivity of dreams, intuition, knowing events before they happen, added to the empathy and the apparent magnetic draw of animals, I know I'm something. The question is what?
I've been called a Medium, I've been called a Light Empath, I've been called an 'Untrained Sensitive' among many other things.
Does anyone else have any input?