I’m in the fortunate unfortunate position in life where I seem to be constantly the bearer of other people’s agitation. As the eldest child, the most independent friend and allegedly the best listener (goodness knows how when I spend half my life in my own little world) I spend an inordinate amount of my time listening to and trying to soothe other people’s woes.
Some may see that as a good thing and indeed I am glad that I can help people by letting them unburden their worries onto me. The old cliché seems true – problem halved and all that.
The issue for me is that I don’t have a deflector shield big enough to repel all of the negative energy that gets thrown my way and inevitably some of it sinks in and is left behind to fester, swell and plague me from inside. Sometimes I feel like a pincushion where each needlepoint is the remnant of such a conversation, leaving its mark subtly, but not completely without pain.