[This is Part 2 following the initial post for this particular ‘Wisdom for Empaths & Sensitives’ series. You may wish to read that intro post first – you’ll find it here.]
In the Wisdom for Empaths & Sensitives intro-article, I emphasized that:
“For those of us who are naturally wired as empathic individuals, sensitive to subtle energies and others’ thoughts and feelings, early conditioning often includes an array of ‘toxic normal’ patterns of scapegoating, offloading, energy or psychic vamping, leveling, and other things I’ve since come to see as ‘occupational hazards’ for empaths and sensitives,” at least in the dominant culture.
As I’ve also emphasized before, awareness is a liberating force for recognizing and then disentangling or disengaging from those toxic patterns. Once we see the patterns, we can more consciously deal with those experiences and choose healthier ways of engaging or interacting.
As we do this, we can call back or reclaim not only the authentic gifts but also a whole lot of dispersed energy, power, and attention that can then be focused toward authentic expression and healthy transformation in these times.
In this and upcoming posts for this series, I’ll share of some of the key ‘toxic normal’ psycho-energetic patterns that I unveiled over the years leading up to and through my Chiron Return, and by way of my own experience and the deepened energy and shamanic training I was doing over that same timeframe.
Each of these could be an article and lesson-plan in itself, but even a summary helps us begin to identify these patterns at work, name them, and begin to work with them more skillfully.
Again, an important caveat:
Our aim as empathic sensitives and/or Mystica-Femininas is to be aware of and able to choose more consciously, liberating ourselves from — not perpetuating — the victim-perpetrator or bully or blame-shame dynamics of the Dominator Culture.
Let’s assume that most people involved in these toxic normal patterns are operating from (as of yet) unconscious conditioning, so we can compassionately detach a bit from the patterns in play while also choosing to change our own ways of participating or engaging.
With practice over time, we move more fluidly and gracefully in and through these dynamics — just a part of being in the world at this time. Oh, may it be so!
Truly, this is part of doing transformation and psycho-energetic work in a mindful, discerning, and integrity-centered way, and as I always say (or reassure myself!), “It’s called practice for a reason.”
Now, into the juicy stuff — and again, each of these can be and is an area of study and mastery, so could easily be an article and lesson-plan in itself.
But for now, a short summary of one common psychic-energetic dynamic that empathic-sensitives may experience:
Offloading is the name I gave to a specific psycho-energetic and interpersonal communication dynamic by which an individual who is uncomfortable holding high-stress or powerful ‘negative’ emotions (usually unconsciously) uses several strategies to offload or ‘dump’ that discomfort and energy to someone else.
According to family dynamics research, that ‘someone else’ is almost always an empath-sensitive, whether they are aware of it or not.
The empath-sensitive naturally and by conditioning takes it on — to the point of mistaking the ‘toxic stuff’ as their own — and either wrestles and suffers with it or recognizes and transmutes the toxic ‘dumped’ energies, operating as a type of psychic-energetic ‘filter’ or ’24/7 shaman’ for the other person.
While an offload can be ‘wordless’ — the many traditions of evil eye exist for a reason — in my experience the person doing the offloading often uses certain strategies, including:
• baiting or picking a fight,
• saying or doing purposefully provocative things,
• having a sudden, broadsiding tantrum or outburst,
• toxic ‘teasing’,
• verbally attacking or name-calling,
… and acting in ways that are chronically passive-aggressive, narcissistic, bullying, or otherwise engaging the other person’s attention, provoking the desired reaction (ideal, for the offloader), and thus energy transfer.
With the attention and reaction goes the energy and opens the way for the ‘transfer’ of the offloaded (undesirable) energy. This is what it would look like, anyway, if you could see the energetic aspect of these interactions.
For the empath-sensitive, these offload experiences can have a deflating, momentum-stopping, fatiguing, or ‘toxic feeling’ effect on the empathic-sensitive who is the target of the offload. Both the dynamic and the effects are something you can see and feel.
But as is often the case with all of these experiences or strategies (depending on whether you’re on the receiving or projecting side of the exchange!), the offloading strategy hijacks the attention, energy, and momentum of the empathic-sensitive who acts as the projection screen or filter. The offloader ends up feeling better after purging him or herself of the psychic vomit; the recipient of the offload, of course, ends up feeling worse.
These are similar strategies used by psychic or energy vampires.
The key for each of us is to be able to recognize these patterns in play earlier on in the process, and thus be able to respond rather than react, or at least deal with the offload sooner rather than wrestling with it for days or weeks.
In the next post of this Wisdom for Empaths & Sensitives series, I summarize the typical experience of Leveling
In upcoming posts in this series, we’ll take a look at the experience with psychic or energetic vampires, being scapegoated (or scapegoating), and several things that heighten sensitivity even further, like electromagnetic field (EMF) ‘pollution’, ‘tron overload’, astro-energetic transits, and even Near-Death or kundalini experiences.
For the current list of some of the other existing posts in this Empaths & Sensitives series, including the popular Hissy Fits and Tantrums post, have a look at Resources for Empaths & Sensitives.
And if you’d like to address these topics in a more personalized, tailored way, send me an email (jwalters ‘at’ ivysea ‘dot’ com) about scheduling individual tele-sessions.
Until next time!
Big Love on the Way,
November 22, 2013 at 6:28 pm
Thank you for this Jamie! Looking forward to the upcoming posts!
November 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm
Thank you, Nadine. I know you have experienced these things too (along with the extended Chiron Return years, thanks to those Retrgrades!). 🙂 More posts for the series are on the way (and previous ones in the archives). Big Love, Jamie
December 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Hi, good article. As a guy who would consider himself highly empathetic, and who has experienced a massive amount of offloading, the only solutions I can contribute are: firstly to process the emotion by holding very still in an isolated, quiet peaceful and safe place. And in future either avoid the offloader until you feel strong enough, or focus on being busy on a productive and worthwhile task(can be tiring). I find people only offload to other people who they feel are open to conversation and not busy. If you are busy & productive, they will have to either internalise their negativity, find someone else to offload to, or somehow become even more busy than you, to offload.
just my experience..
December 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm
Thank you, Brian, for stopping by and sharing from your experience. Avoiding the offloader, whether literally or by being busy, is a good ‘tactic’ to have in our bag of tricks (or ‘magic backpack’ repertoire). And you’re so right … that can be really tiring sometimes, particularly if the offloader matches your avoidance by escalating their offload-antics to get your attention! (Have you ever experienced that?)
If we’re not able to avoid — if it’s a family member, partner, or work colleague — then we can opt for another approach. That’s what’s great about building a good repertoire once we’ve learned of the pattern that’s in play!
Thanks again, Brian. Feel free to add more from your own experiment!
November 16, 2020 at 5:59 am
Gosh yes. The subject of being scapegoated, offloaders and vamps… I’ve lost count (pun wasn’t intended as I wrote it). It’s good to read someone’s writing that recognises and describes so clearly the same dynamics I’ve come to observe happening around me. Thanks.
January 8, 2021 at 1:32 pm
Hey there, Luke. Thanks for visiting – I’m glad you found some recognition in the common m.o.’s that more empathic, compassionate (etc) peeps (or Highly Sensitive People as some might say) are on the experiencing/receiving end of. Or just noticing the common interpersonal dynamics and polarities that exist. I wrote the article for the very same reason, based on experience and observation! 🙂 I figured that at least by recognizing the patterns, we could notice that in ‘real-time’, which, for me at least, helped to create a little bit of a distance between the onslaught, offload, Narci hissy fit, etc. and the body-mind reaction that’s natural in those situation.
Wishing you well in 2021 (and it’s surely gotten off to a dynamic start!).