"Hell Is The Life You Pretend To Live After Giving Up Who You Really Are."

~Alyson Kay

As a teenager, after being put in the middle of my parents’ contentious divorce, I was confronted with the prospect of facing life on my own for the first time. Prior to this, it never occurred to me to question what my parents had taught me as a child.  Thinking for myself had never been encouraged, expressing feelings had been discounted or thwarted, basic emotional needs ignored. Fearful obedience had been the key to my survival.

Up until then I had been told what to believe, what opinions to have, what to feel, about myself, the world and everything else. So those beliefs had to become mine in order to survive within the family, even if they were untrue. I became a perpetually frightened, nearly invisible stand-in of myself. No one seemed to notice or care that I was a shell.

At that time, there was really no way for me to know that much of what I had been taught was negative and contrary to ever having a healthy, happy, productive life. My background had in no way prepared me for living and functioning on my own. But by then, I believed my unhappiness was my fault and my problem alone to deal with. I just thought that God made a big mistake when He created me and I deserved no better.

In retrospect, its not surprising that I would go on to express through self-destructive behaviors, feelings of low self esteem, bad relationship choices, bouts of depression, anger, confusion, and sadness. Somehow though, I began to realize that my life wasn’t a dress rehearsal. I had to try to turn it around because no one else was going to rescue me.

Come Back for Me
One Empath’s Journey to Reclaim the Child Within

For highly sensitive empathic children, life is already complicated and challenging enough with daily sensory overload and the emotional overwhelm picked up from the world around them. It becomes even more challenging and frightening when that child is brought up in a chaotic, emotionally unstable environment with self involved, emotionally neglectful and narcissistic parents. The world never feels safe and it takes a heavy toll with long lasting negative consequences.