Absorbing the Energy of People We’ve Never Met

It’s true that we absorb the energy of others.

Even when someone tells me a story about someone, I feel a lot for the person. Some stories return to mind a lot.

There was a story told to me by a young man two years ago in Istanbul; the story was about his 18-year-old niece. His and her families found out that she had a boyfriend and they got extremely upset and insisted she stay at home; the young man also told me that he took his niece out for a driving lesson once and she cried a lot when she couldn’t quite use a stick shift properly and he laughed and laughed — he told me he laughed a lot. He also told me that he used to walk his niece to school growing up and he used to drag her around, pull her around and that made him feel good.

His niece’s name was Elif Rusen. I’ve never met her. I saw a photo of her when he told stories about her. He used to tell stories about her in particular because he used to be angry; he said that Elif was growing up in Istanbul and that Istanbul made really bad girls. He used to say that girls weren’t good in Istanbul, that they were good elsewhere.

Like I’ve said, I’ve never met Elif. But her image comes to my mind sometimes as I walk around Istanbul.

Turkey isn’t my country and it never will be. I understand that everyone should live their own lives. I understand that I should learn to mind my own business and perhaps even live in bliss but I can’t.

I feel like we even absorb the energy of others we don’t even know.

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Deborah Kristina

Author of ‘A Girl All Alone Somewhere in the World’, ‘Confessions and Thoughts of a Girl in Turkey’, ‘From Just a Girl Grown Up in America’. (Amazon.com)