Joanna's Empathic Awakening Story

In 2014, I went through an empathic awakening. An empath is someone who is extremely sensitive to the energy and emotions of others, and can feel other people's feelings as if they are their own. Learn more about empaths here.

When I went through my empathic awakening it was like my world was turned upside down. I kind of felt like the universe had picked me up and shook me around like a snow globe. I truly thought I was crazy some days. The whole empath thing was like out of a movie - it was really unbelievable and overwhelming for me. 

I hope that by sharing my experiences I will provide others who might be having similar experiences the comfort of knowing that they are not alone, they are not crazy, and that there tons of healthy ways to deal with this, and integrate it into their self-knowledge in a loving and empowering way.

A little bit of background...

I've always been a deeply spiritual person. But for the most part, my spiritual life has always been pretty private. I would talk about it with a few trusted friends, but otherwise I've always kept it to myself. I grew up in a Catholic household and even though church was a big part of our life, faith was private and not something that was really talked about in depth. I always felt pretty isolated in my faith. Moreover, I went to public school and was socialized in a very secular environment. 

This shaped my faith in a very particular way. I believed in God and some of the Bible, but in very practical, down-to-earth ways. I believed in the deeper ethical values I found in the Bible - especially the gospels. But I never really believed in any sort of supernatural things. For example, I didn't take the Bible literally. I took it very metaphorically. For example, I did not believe miracles were real. I understood them as metaphorical stories that had deeper meanings and ethical values beneath the surface. I never really believed in spirits, angels, or stuff that seemed to me like weird, childish, fairytale-like stuff.

I was not one of those weird, woo-woo spiritual types.

The reason I'm bringing this all up is to show you how fucking crazy I felt when the whole empath thing happened. I was not one of those weird, woo-woo spiritual types. I was just a "regular" person and then stuff started happening.

My first encounter with the term 'empath' was on this really weird woo-woo site that talks about developing your empathic abilities. And by abilities, I'm not just talking about making sense of your feelings, but basically tapping into psychic abilities and learning and developing the empathic language of Dreamtongue. It was weird. I'm not sure how I got onto this website, but I remember being sucked into it and thinking this was kind of cool, but pretty unbelievable... but I feel like I might have these abilites (whispered a tiny voice inside of me).

So that was the first tiny tremor. It wasn't until a few months after that that shit started to GET REAL.

When shit got 'REAL'

I'm cutting this story pretty short, but basically what happened is I had a friend who went through some really traumatic experiences - which she never told me about - and after spending a lot of time with her (we went for a trip together for a week) I took on her trauma. So, basically, I thought that her trauma had actually happened to me. As you can imagine, this was pretty intense experience for me. But it's not the trauma itself that made my experience so intense - it was the uncertainty of not knowing whether this stuff actually happened to me or to my friend. 

So, basically, I thought that her trauma had actually happened to me.

When this all happened in the back of my mind I was always thinking about that weird empath website. Deep down inside, on a subconscious level, I knew I was an empath and I understood that I had empathically connected to my friend on a really deep level and tapped into her traumatic experiences.

Also, I was suddenly able to do things that that website described. So, even though I had this weird and scary experience with my friend, I was also having some really awesome experiences! Have you ever seen the movie, Limitless (with Bradley Cooper)? 

A lot of the time, I seriously felt like that guy! 

Things in life felt really clear. For a few weeks, I felt like life was a movie and I was the director. Like I could almost see what was about to happen. I had a lot of moments where life was just so beautiful - like a travel commercial or something! 

A lot of this awakening stuff was really cool, and really fun!

So a lot of this awakening stuff was really cool, and really fun! Sometimes I felt like life was a video game and I was playing it! 

I experienced life like this for a few months. But all throughout, the experience with my friend still haunted me. Despite all the positive empathic experiences, I was still in denial that I was really an empath. Consciously, I still couldn't fully admit that I had these abilities to interact with energy and emotions so deeply. It still felt crazy to actually believe that I could feel other people's feelings. 

Being in denial is a very common experience to have during an empathic awakening. It kind of feels you have magic powers. Even though you don't. They're actually very normal abilities that most people have in certain amounts and intensities. But when you have an empathic awakening, you are just in a very high state of awareness and for the first time you are consciously noticing abilities that you've always had, but previously you were just using them very unconsciously and intuitvely.

An empathic awakening is a huge shift in how you perceive reality. Your reality and your consciousness is expanding, and as an empath and highly sensitive person it's extremely overwhelming - even when a lot of it is positive. 

"Crazy people don't know they're crazy."

And this is one of the main reasons I felt really moved to create this website. Like I mentioned earlier, there were a lot of moments where I truly thought I was crazy. I'm an academic researcher, and I have some background in psychology. I'm a fairly logical, practical, and down-to-earth person. And I thought maybe this was the onset of like schitzophrenia or something. Like I literally called someone I knew who was a counsellor and said, "I think I've had a psychotic break." That's how much I doubted myself and my experiences. Luckily, I turned to the right people who believed me, supported me, and told me I was not crazy. The counsellor I had called said to me: "Crazy people don't know they're crazy." 

Raising awareness about the empath experience

One of the intentions of this website is to raise awareness about empathic experiences. One of the biggest problems I faced was that this was just not something I had ever heard about - and this lack of knowledge made things really scary sometimes. I had to talk to a lot of people before I could trust that I was an empath, and that there was nothing wrong with me. If you, or somebody you know, is having similar experiences I hope that sharing this story will provide some comfort and support.

Sharing my story is one way that I hope to offer myself as a resource to you.

Sharing my story is one way that I hope to offer myself as resource to you. On this website, I will also be sharing tools that I used to get through my awakening. Basically, just a lot of different self-care techniques, and ThetaHealing - which helped me the most. My hope is that if you've come here and are experiencing or about to experience an empathic awakening that yours will go more smoothly as a result of engaging with these materials. I hope that in any moments of darkest you may have you will remember what you saw here and use that as a comfort and affirmation. Being highly sensitive and an empath is really an amazing gift and I hope you will find more joy, than pain, in unwrapping it.

Ultimately, the ThetaHealing® technique offered me the most relief from extreme emotional overwhelm as an empath. It also helped me integrate my empathic abilities and become an empowered empath. It has been completely life-changing for me, and in a way that feels smooth, natural, and calming. In fact, at this point I no longer even consider myself to be an empath at all. It is possible to completely shift your entire sense of being with ThetaHealing.

Your next steps...

If any of this has really struck a chord with you, click here to sign up and receive my free e-book, WTF I'm an Empath!? A Self-Care Guide for Your Empathic Awakening.  And watch my video below to help you move more smoothly through your awakening.



Watch my video to reduce anxiety and emotional overwhelm. I will guide you through some ThetaHealing® downloads that will help you feel calmer and more balanced, reduce emotional overwhelm, and disconnect from the feelings and judgements of others. You will immediately feel calmer through this quick and easy meditation technique.

Read Dr. Joanna Perkins' official biography here.