Feeling Our Way Through a Haze of Bullets

Nancy Colasurdo
4 min readMay 27, 2022

Wow, you really feel things, don’t you?

Yes, I do.

Are you, like, an empath?

I used to feel pride when I was in conversations like this. Yes! Yes! I am a deeply feeling person. Isn’t that great?

But now, not so much. These days I say to myself something to the effect of, “Yes, I am. Aren’t you?”

I was talking with a friend this week about being an empath (she’s one, too) and she expressed anger at the term.

“I’m so sick of that label,” she said.

I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it gave me pause. Intellectually, I understand that not everyone can be an empath. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a thing.

But truly, if I’m fighting not to gorge myself on a pizza when a grocery store is shot up in Buffalo or I’m hearing stories of parents giving DNA so they can identify little shattered bodies in Texas, isn’t that somewhere in the realm of healthy reaction? Because for those of us who stress eat or stress drink or stress freak out in any way, what is more stressful than living in the United States of America right now? Especially if you’re an empath.

Jesus, have mercy.

Let’s review the last handful of years. The cult of Trump has done irreparable harm to my family, immediate and extended, and many, many other families. The COVID pandemic has taken over a million of our citizens, including my father and my uncle, and it’s still rampant; that doesn’t even include those living with long COVID. Race relations are teetering at best. Republicans, fueled by conservative Christians who seem fond of the Constitution unless we talk about separation of church and state, are aggressively coming for women’s reproductive rights.

And … and … mass shootings are the norm. That’s right. Churches, supermarkets, theaters, concerts, and, heck, why not, schools where children are gathered to learn.

At this point, we may as well just put boxes of firearms on every street corner and have a free-for-all. Pissed off at the kids who bullied you on the playground? Take your pick. Hey, there’s a shiny new one right there. Watching a teacher stare that down might be fun. Feeling miffed at your drug-using mother…

Nancy Colasurdo

Activist Journalist, Opinion Writer, Author, Life Coach in Greater NYC area. Occasional guest columnist at NJ.com. Six-word bio: Zen chick with a Jersey edge.