I think that if you ride a scooter long enough in Thailand, you will get in an accident.
I was working in a cafe when Jim showed up and sat at my table. I was wasn’t expecting him, since he was out getting info on train tickets.
He says, “I need your help.” Immediately I sense something is wrong, although I can tell he is trying to be very calm so I don’t freak out. “I need you to help me clean up a little scrape on my leg.” It was then I noticed his shirt looked dusty and he had some dirt on his arm. I instantly knew he had an accident with the scooter.
We went home, he showered, and we assessed his bodily damage. Big wounds on his knees and several scrapes all over his body–shoulder, his side, and elbow, and the back of his knee is going to be black and blue.
Apparently, a truck pulled out right in front of him as he was driving. He hit the brakes, but of course, fell over and off the bike. The guy behind him, who was also on a motorbike, ran into Jim–which caused the most injury. He said the other guy kind of “flew off” the bike.
So now he is hobbling around the apartment in a lot of pain.
Now that I know I’m an HSP, it is interesting for me to look back and assess the emotions I experienced when dealing with his injury today. As soon as he indicated he was injured, my heart started to beat faster and I wanted to jump into action in whatever way I could to help him. Did he need to go to the hospital? Can we clean the wound? Do we have the right first-aid materials? What can I do to help and make the situation better?
When we got home and were looking at his injuries, my entire body was enveloped in a pain of its own. Seeing wounds on the skin of the person I love the most in the world made me hurt. My body felt like it was in a state of emergency. When I think about it now, I can’t really put it into words. I don’t know why I felt that way. Because I care about him so much, I want him to be happy and not in pain. But it’s deeper than that. Physiological.
I want to be clear–I didn’t look at his knee then feel pain in my knee. It’s not like that. I just felt a bad feeling all throughout my body. It reminded me a bit of the jolt that goes through my body when I see homeless people.
I remember many years ago, Jim and I were chasing each other around our apartment. With the way it was laid out, you could run in a circle around the kitchen and through the living room, so sometimes we would chase each other in circles. I know–silly. Once, he slipped on a rug or something and went crashing into the floor and the wall. I instantly started crying. Why? It surprised us both. I think it was because I was somehow involved in him spectacularly wiping out. I felt so, so bad, even though he was fine. Isn’t that strange?
Do you react strongly to other people’s injuries?
Related posts – Empathy: Feeling the emotional pain of others