I decided to listen to the audio book The Highly Sensitive Person because I knew I was sensitive, extremely sensitive, so I thought maybe it would give me some insight. I never expected it to explain almost all of my serious issues.
As a kid I was very shy, to the point so much that people often forget I was even in the room. If someone said something mean to me I’d either burst into tears or get really sick to my stomach. All my life I’ve been referred to as sensitive or emotional. I even had one friend tell me the song I’m Sensitive by Jewel to remind her of me. Come to think of it the other song I’ve had someone say makes them think of me is Maryjane by Alanis. Yeah, those songs couldn’t be anymore telling.
What’s the matter Mary Jane, you had a hard day
As you place the don’t disturb sign on the door
You lost your place in line again, what a pity
You never seem to want to dance anymore
‘Cause anyone can start a conflict
it’s harder yet to disregard it
I’d rather see the world from another angle
We are everyday angels
Be careful with me ’cause I’d like to stay that way
I’ve always felt bad about it, like my sensitivity was a burden and too much for most people to deal with. I suppose knowing what it really is doesn’t mean it’s not a burden, some people deal with me easier than others do.
Things that I now realize about me that are a part of being Highly Sensitive (or easily over stimulated) are the following:
- Insomnia (being too frazzled).
- Having a faster heartrate normally, doctors are always surprised that when they check my heartrate that it’s really fast.
- Avoiding situations that would cause anxiety such as left turns or busy/crowded places.
- Feeling things in situations that aren’t out in the open ie. intuition.
- Feelings things really intensely like music, sometimes it makes me cry and not just because of lyrics, sometimes because the notes or whatever just effect me strongly.
- Being very aware of my inner emotional state, which can be good and bad.
- Creativity, I’ve often said that the part of me that sometimes makes life really difficult can bring out my creativity.
- I tend to have a lot of empathy to the point I’ll be brought to tears for someone else.
- I get easily overwhelmed sometimes to the point I want to cry or just hide, this explains why once when I smoked pot I begged people to put me in the closet.
- Needing a lot of space so much that everyday after work I require 1 hour to be left alone just so I can relax. I often only make plans for 1 day on the weekend if any just because I can’t handle anymore of that.
- Cutting people out of your life is an HSP trait, one I’ve done many times. Usually people that cause me to get over-sensitive way too often.
- I spend a lot of time at home.
My whole life I’ve been criticised for this, to this day I still am. I’m either too emotional or I’m overly-dramatic. In truth, I just feel things more intensely than other people and it can cause me to panic or shut down. I think that’s why I watch so much tv, it grounds me and calms me like not much else can. Listening to audiobooks in my car helps me not get overwhelmed by all the traffic.
It’s a relief to learn about this and know that 20% of the population is HSP, so I’m not as weird and fucked up as I thought I was. I’ve always thought that a lot of my sensitivity was a good thing but the being over-stimulated part can be draining and embarrassing. So from now on when someone tells me I’m too sensitive I’ll just tell them “yes, so please stop making it worse.”