POLS 134: Spec. Topics in American Democracy Journal Entry 3

“When you let your light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”

— Nelson Mandela

Earlier this week, we discussed the views of empathy and when we think it could be too much. I explained how involved I get with the emotions of those around me. It gets so intense that my parents tend to hide situations from me until they think it’s been quelled- I tend to find out on my own though. They’d often say in “a fi yi yuh own good”, which is Jamaican Creole that translates to “its for your own good”. Personally, I try to safeguard myself from being consumed by the emotions of others by trying to dissociate myself as much as possible from intense situations or people that feel too much in a sense. I even do it by gatekeeping my inner circle, I don’t open up to many people or allow myself to get too close to many people because I don’t think I could keep myself from sabotaging my mental health. The truth is that if Dunbar’s Number stipulates that one can only maintain stable social relationships with at most 150 people at a time, then there’s a likelihood that I will be feeling with and, sometimes more intensely, for at most 150 people at a time. So imagine how bad it was throughout COVID ? I was in a health-conscious frenzy just like Tommy ! I’d spend hours wiping surfaces off with Lysol and alcohol wipes, never taking my masks off. I would spend days giving my parents and siblings lectures on how dangerous COVID is and why they definitely should be wearing their masks with even the ones you trust the most-they all had severe asthma and even the thought would send me down a dark rabbit hole. The scariest moment was when my sister, that’s a nurse in Connecticut, had caught the virus; she has also very asthmatic and hypertensive. She was bedridden for weeks, overran with pulmonary issues and incoherence from all the medications. It was in the peak of the pandemic where we had little to no knowledge of how to even treat COVID symptoms as effectively as we do now. It was a really low moment, but luckily we survived.

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