After that first surreal vision at the hospital in Kuwait, I didn’t have another similar experience until many years later, well beyond my time in the military. However, I did feel very different. I began to notice that I could “feel” other people’s emotional states a lot stronger than before. I think most of us have come across someone who is really angry or depressed and picked up on it, but I began to feel myself being in tune with everyone I came close to. I wasn’t reading their specific thoughts, but it was like the primal energy behind those thoughts was radiating from their bodies, and I was able to perceive it.
It felt like a distinct tightness in my chest, even if I wasn’t directly interacting with them. Simple proximity was enough to cause me to be aware. This wasn’t an intentional effort to read people. It was something I experienced like one would smell a scent from a nearby person who had on too much cologne or perfume. I didn’t always detect something from every single person, either. I speculated that some were just relaxed and didn’t radiate anything, or at least anything I would feel.
At the time, I was a man in my twenties with a very healthy sexual appetite. I could go to a club and easily recognize people who were attracted to me and open to “hooking up”. I felt like a hunter picking from willing “prey”. My mind would be very focused on the purely physical desire. I could move through the rooms of people socializing and find others to satisfy my needs.
I had a lot of one-night stands. Everything was consensual, it was just easier because I could feel how they were responding to me as we talked. I was good at short-term relationships, but my hunger for new people kept me disinterested in monogamy. Even today, twenty-plus years later, that still holds true.
It was a very mixed blessing however, due to my inability to filter. It became increasingly more difficult to be in crowds, and by the mid-nineties, I stopped going to clubs because I found a new way to make contact with people: computer bulletin boards and then the Internet.
In those early digital days, the BBS scene was local. I would dial-in to a computer set up to be a messaging board and could interact with others. Some of the BBS’s were configured to allow multiple users to connect at the same time on different phone numbers. This allowed for real time chat. The users were usually in my city because long-distance phone charges discouraged far away people from using the systems.
So these were smallish digital communities that would regularly host “BBS parties” at someone’s home. There was enough variety to keep me satisfied, and when the shift to the Internet began, an explosion of new people in “chat-rooms” hosted by companies like AOL and Yahoo felt like new hunting grounds.
By the late 90’s I had fully adapted my sensitives into my carnal lifestyle. I still struggled with feeling “sane” and almost daily questioned whether or not I was suffering from delusions and my sexual success was the result of the confidence they created. There were a lot of rough times, too.
And then the visions returned.