I'm an Empath, and I can no longer carry dead weight.
That's the problem with being an empath. Your kindness can often be misconstrued and you can feel a sense of guilt and responsibility for things that are not your burden. When I started to understand that I didn't have to endure a self-imposed state of suffering due to my conditioning, I began to release things that did not serve me. The light feeling that followed, though I still have things to heal from that I had taken on, was that revelation with my middle fingers up in the air. I didn't have to keep apologizing for things or be in a place of reflecting things to others that held detriment for my wellbeing.
Just because someone is 'there for you,' it does not mean they have your best interest at heart. They may unwillingly know this, and that is the lesson to learn. There is no blame to place, and though emotions will be attached to things, it's the work of going through them that help you reengage with your empathic empowerment. When you release things that highlight aspects of codependency, control, inadequacy, or other low vibrations, you can discern what is yours to work on and what is not. You can feel through your pains and simultaneously see the mirroring from others and feel for their cause without the attachment to them. When I was in a weakened state, it was the compound effect of taking things on that were representative of the years of gunk clogged up in my system. The escape from that is what led me to all that I understand now or at least the confidence in my knowledge and the bravery to communicate it effectively.
The irony is as an empath, you tend to attract lower vibrations because they see your light or the good in another. Hence the energy vampire imagery or association to narcissism. If you are lost in your insecurities and for me, I was simultaneously beginning to overthink everything because I was starting to 'get it,' it was a constant overwhelm in my brain. No one could understand me, but I found solace in those whom I perceived could. I wanted to have the normalization when in my mind, I was deciphering so much information. It transitioned from wanting to be psychic as a kid, and spiritual, to waking up to a hell of a lot more than I bargained for. But it also helped me look at life again with childlike wonder and truly focus on the things I enjoy, instead of what brought me misery. There are the illusions our egos trap us in, and to be constantly surrounded by that and receiving contradictory information, your inner voice can become quiet. When I reached a point of complete sadness because I was repeatedly shocked by the actions of others, I knew that this was not life, nor my purpose, so I started the healing process.
To look back now to see how far I have come, circling back to my youthful wisdom, it has been an interesting dive into the psychology of self and others. I can identify different aspects that were illusionary, and as an empath, wanting the growth for others versus my perception of pain perpetuation. I see trauma bonds, narcissism, weakness, all of it, and I see their roots. When watching movies or TV as a child, I would often be in the mood of let's kick the villain's butt, but also wanting to understand their motives and the history that got them there.
When you release your need to fix others in some regard, which is like a switch that goes off for you at some point, I was 7. You can start to believe they can take care of themselves, and if they do anything of ill-intent, it's knowing that it is a direct derivative of their pain. It can still hurt you or make you sick, but the other lesson is to heal those wounds so as not to hold people in that same place. You have to let the people that hurt you or that disappointed you in some way do their work, and if you meet again, and you have evolved, you will be able to feel their growth. If not, it's fine to wish them well and walk in the other direction. Even if you have the sudden urge to punch them in the throat.
What you really come to heal is any state of lack you may have, and you learn that if you can give so much to others, you can give that all to yourself. To be in your empathic strength is to have your own back, and be there for others without a hesitancy, but it is also not of detriment to you to give. It's finding that balance, and as you question yourself, and your history and all of the thoughts and feelings arise, create something constructive from them. Advise others unbiasedly, and purely. Be aware of when your ego may be talking, and listen to what makes you feel happy, safe, and supported.