Growing Up Empath

Hello and welcome to my very first blog as a regular here at Women and Words!

Thank you to Jove and Andi for the invitation and vote of confidence. I’m going to be honest here and tell you that my initial reaction was a big fat *gasp.*

Me: “I’m not worthy!”

Jove:  “Just write about writing.”

Me: “Easy for you to say – have you ever talked to my editor?” Ha!

I’m flying blind here.  The easiest way to ease in to this would be to go into more depth about my life and answer a couple of questions that I get frequently. I hope that you’ll find something interesting and come back as I’ve tied up 3 Monday’s a month.  Feel free to ask more – and I’ll try and work them in.

So, I write ghost stories about kick-ass women with supernatural powers and Bold Strokes Books is kind enough to publish them. People have even told me that they read them!  All kidding aside, I’ve been blessed with some awesome reviews and feedback from around the world. I’m so grateful for each and every one of them.

Now, on to the most asked question.

When did you first “know” you had abilities?

I’ve answered this question before – but this is the long answer that I promised “one day.” AND it ties in nicely with how I was able to write Sunny Skye’s empathic character in The Awakening.

I was born in 1962, in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the beginning of the Hippie revolution. (Thank you, Mom, for not naming me Moonbeam or some variation of it!) I was a love child, born to an amazing woman who had suffered an unimaginable loss the year before.  My brother, Chuckie, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome before he was a year old.

Mom tells me how happy I was with a sparkling personality and that people would stop her on the street to tell her how beautiful I was. My mother also tells me that at two years old I spoke both english and spanish. I also began reading and writing at the age of three.

Baby Me :)
Baby Me 🙂

More is the pity that I don’t remember any of this. My first memory begins at the age of 4 or 5.  My mother and I lived in a pink apartment building and I had my own room.  Every night as I lay in bed, the view down the hallway is very clear, as is the light from the lamp spilling from the living room.  Every night, the same melody would play (I can still hear it and it’s eerily similar to the Hunger Games whistle) something would take me from my bed and bring me on different adventures.

Perhaps adventure is the wrong word as the destination was usually a dark one. Places such as empty and dark theatres, caves, different planets. Hiding, hiding, always hiding.

This is when I learned to be quiet, be invisible, become one with the background. What I didn’t know, and wouldn’t know for many years to come, was that I was born an Empath of epic proportions in a time where it was a great sin to be – or have anything close to – gifts that could resemble something paranormal. My mother simply told me the same things she’d been told about her abilities. It wasn’t real. She learned to box her abilities and intuitions up and put them away.  And when my mother puts something away – it’s buried deep!  Empathy wasn’t her gift – it’s mine, and not one person in my life would recognize it for what it was until I was in my thirties.

Consequently, I became a direct sponge for other people’s emotions. Good or bad, I didn’t have the ability then to discern that they didn’t belong to me.  I lived in the energy-frequency of the people who had the strongest emotions around me. I was easily influenced, a little follower of the most powerful personality in my personal space.

I suffered as a child. At the time, had no idea why I hurt.  Looking back, I can see that I was feeling all the pain and loss that my mother carried, the next door neighbor’s broken heart, the babysitter’s teenage angst, and my other neighbor’s fear of intruders after a bloody robbery (of which I witnessed the aftermath.) Another acquaintance was full of disappointments and regret, my teacher’s resentments of her bad home life; the list goes on and on.

No wonder I didn’t fit! A child of 4 or 5 – full of big, adult-sized feelings.  I was so full of everyone else’s emotions; I had no clue where – or even what –mine were.  I would sit in the middle of the room, paralyzed, and covered in everyone else’s feelings, crippled with exhaustion.

I was that kid in class. You know, the one always picked last for any team (I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast this morning but I can still remember first and last names of my tormentors from grade school!)  But because they felt bad about me – I felt that way about me.

But that’s a whole different story.

So, that’s the long answer.

See you next week!



  1. Well done, Yvonne. I love the picture. Those beautiful eyes are more so now. Keep up the wonderful work. I’m looking forward to your next post.


  2. Thanks for the window into who you are, Yvonne! I’d pick you for any team I’m on and I hope you can feel the butterfly energy I am sending you right now!


  3. I’m a WP newbie/scaredy, and I empathise very much with what you’ve written here. Thank you for being brave enough to be honest. It makes me feel braver. 😉


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