Empathy is where you can understand and share the feelings of one another. There is a stereotype where autistic people lack empathy, however I feel like that isn't the case!
By Ida Anderson
Sometimes my feelings override everything else, which makes it difficult to show empathy to others. This is because my feelings are too strong to even think about what others must be feeling. My mum believes I have too many feelings that are always getting on top of me. However, if I am calm and not emotional then I can feel quite a lot of empathy. It will even make me very sad and overwhelmed.
In the summer holidays, my boyfriend was coming to stay for 2 weeks. All of a sudden, a family emergency happened, and he had to rush home. I completely lost it and had the biggest meltdown of my life. I was so wrapped up in my emotions, that I couldn’t begin to think what my boyfriend was feeling. I feel like this could make others believe I lack empathy but, that is not the case!
When my boyfriend was upset that he didn’t have a piano, I felt extremely bad for him. I knew how much he wanted to play one and that he couldn’t afford it any time soon. The next day, I used all my pocket money and brought him an electric keyboard. He was so happy! And it made me feel good.
I once had an online friend. We don’t talk anymore but we did know each other on and off for 4 whole years. He had something called Prune-Belly syndrome. He was born very early and only one of his kidneys worked! Later on, it failed and when he was 10, he had to have his first kidney transplant. When I was 10, I couldn’t even walk inside a hospital because I didn’t like the smell. Imagine a 10-year-old going through that kind of surgery. During the time I had known him, his new kidney failed, and he had to go to dialysis 3 times a week. Luckily, he got another kidney from his brother. But, every time he talked about it, I would cry like a baby. I felt horrendously bad for him and it made me so sad to the point where I didn’t want to talk to him anymore.
Another time I felt so much empathy for someone, was when I heard about this girl who died at school from a javelin hitting her head. This happened way before I was born, however it made me feel so sad and I would think about it every day for months. I even felt sorry for the mother of that girl and would search the news and read all about it.
I also feel very bad for the homeless. I think this is because I sometimes worry about being homeless myself and what will happen if I never find a job suited for my needs. I sometimes give money to them and I feel happy when it makes them happy.
Although I can show a lot of empathy, I can hide away my emotions in public. My dad once was leaving for 6 weeks and when we were saying goodbyes at the airport, all my family cried. Except me. I don’t think I lacked empathy, but I really didn’t want to cry when strangers were about.