Yep… you read correctly: “Pain Sponge” is what my family has labeled me since age 4. While I’ve always been a pretty tough cookie about my own pain, I have the most unhealthy habit of trying to absorb others’ in an effort to take it away. What’s this all about? I know I’m not the only one guilty of this, because therapists seem to encounter numerous patients with this characteristic-often young women but more and more men as well. What sparked this topic? Well, our girl over at Snackface is feelin a little heartache about a little sitch with her best gal pal in the world and I am SOO wanting to take away that pain. I dont even know either of these two girls, and I can’t even really relate to having such an awesome friendship in the first place. So why did I tear up when reading her latest post about her best friend struggles? Why do I desperately want to heal the friendship without any bumps, bruises or scars on their end-yet would totally beat myself up over something that’s not even directly related to me? I guess I’m just interested in anyone’s thoughts about their own experiences trying to take on other people’s pain.
The truth is, I’ve been this way forever, for toooooo long. I know it’s not beneficial to either myself or others, yet I’m addicted to it. I feel guilty when I’m feeling pretty good while other amazing people are in a rut. Imagine growing up where your parents get upset with you for watching starving children in third world countries and endangered species on TV while my brothers are scolded for watching Bevis and Butthead. Kind of twisted, right? Like in some way I was going to be able to solve these global problems as a six year old in Shelburne Vermont, crying at the suffering of others in front of the TV?
Just curious thoughts of the afternoon, wondering how fellow Pain Sponges cope with these things. Therapists can provide only so much help, sometimes you just gotta hear advice from other guilty pain addicts.
peace and love,