It’s no surprise that an empath “shuts down” in the presence of people who abused then. Maybe you get quiet. Maybe you feel anxious. Maybe you avoid them. Maybe you dissasociate and daydream. Or maybe you can’t be present because you have incessant flashbacks of trauma. Raising my hand to all of those.
But if we dig deeper to the energetic level we can also discover metaphysical reasons you shut down in the presence of your perpetrators. See, an empath’s natural frequency is high. It is because love and joy are super high frequencies, buzzing about with giddy expectation in each and every one of your cells.
This is how you want to feel and perhaps do allow yourself to feel when you are all alone. When you’re alone, it is safe. But when an energetic threat encroaches on your personal territory (aka your body and energetic field), you begin dimming it. Gradually at first (as a child or whenever the trauma first began), then altogether flipping the off switch as your response becomes more automatic. Over time, as a trauma survivor, you learn not to turn it on at all.
In other words, you’re used to opening up your energy to receive expected, real, unconditional love back from the vibration of love you are giving to someone. You learn that love feels bad coming from them but you’ve been told it’s normal or you are already programmed to accept this “love.” So you gradually stop sending out the frequency of real love since what you get in return is so painful and cannot match it. You accept the fake love and play along like it is real or normal.
Eventually you stop opening your heart Chakra altogether and assume something is wrong with you for not getting the authentic vibration of love returned to you. In other words, you are subconsciously trying to prevent additional trauma bonding with this person(s). In order to do so, you have to lower your vibration every time you are around them. So you end up tired, drained, depressed or listless as a result of protecting yourself by putting yourself into a “sleep” state (think of a computer). You have learned to prevent this other person from feeling your genuinely high vibe because it either is rejected or because whatever they reciprocate with feels really bad, or because you end up feeling used which makes you feel powerless (again, think of the computer).
Now imagine, if you’re one of the “super empaths” as I call them, who is 100% energetically and emotionally sensitive and very in touch with their mind-body connection as well as their subconscious mind and that of others, how often you will be lowering your vibration to protect yourself on a daily basis. Probably most of the time. And you probably won’t like that version of yourself at all. She will probably leave you very disappointed in yourself because you know how much potential and how many gifts you have to share with the world which you can’t realize if you’re in self-protection mode all of the time. When you feel this way, you have to remember that it’s not your fault. If you’re a trauma survivor, it’s a normal and expected response.
But also, keep in mind that there legitimately is no way to stop being assaulted by other people’s egos or energy draining ways. There is no way to stop abuse in order to protect yourself. Being a good person won’t do it. Being nicer won’t help. Projecting love and light certainly won’t help — it will only attract more external egos seeking a fight against the truth about themselves they see in your eyes.
This leaves you in a real predicament because you want to blind people with the light within yourself that you share when it is safe. It feels good to you. But realistically you can’t safely shine this without it attracting non-stop lower vibrations who expect you to give up your energy or transmute theirs for them.
I don’t yet have a great answer here. But I do remember this and an trying to learn it myself:
“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”