The hour was late and the evening had been pleasant. Glad to be snuggling into bed, I pulled the blankets over my body but found no comfort or warmth in them, instead, I felt covered by a sudden sense of dread.
I heard a gurgling. I wondered if our water pipes were backing up. I asked my husband if he heard it and he remained sleepily still, saying he didn’t think it was the pipes. I knew something was wrong, seriously and dangerously wrong and it had to do with water but I couldn’t really identify what. Remaining still, I tried to place the source of my overwhelming onset of fear. I said, “I think I am going crazy because I feel really scared about the water”. Before my husband could respond we heard strange bonking noises, as if someone was banging a bucket on a fence. Then, we heard a dog yowling – not a howl, not a moan but a distressed yowl. “Perhaps that dog has his head stuck in a bucket” mumbled my husband. “Perhaps”, I said. As if paralyzed I listened, on edge. Trepidation felt thick in my throat, foreboding washed over me. Again, the dog yowled and I could not remain in the warmth and safety of my home, a force beyond my immediate recognition propelled me out of bed. Moments later, flashlight in hand, I braved the cold night and set out to find the source of my terror.
There he was, floundering in the middle of a neighbor’s icy backyard pool. His eyes were panic-stricken and he uselessly swam in a circle. I reached out to him but he growled and struggled to get away. His head went under water momentarily and upon bobbing up his eyes spoke of a growing hopelessness. My husband leapt into the pool and saved the dog.
Being an empath is not a “blessing and a curse”. It is an innate part of me.