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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Highly Sensitive Person

It's so difficult to pull myself out of this dark pit of doom at the minute. I had to send Ziggy off to mum's yesterday because why should he have to live in misery too? I'm finding it very hard to settle my mind but I have found a release in watching episodes of Neighbours from 2005 on youtube. This reminds me of simpler times. When Karl and Susan's relationship was more important than my own. They weren't simpler times though. I was in a shitty relationship and Neighbours was one of the things we used to watch when we weren't fighting. Looking back, there were no simpler times. Things were tough all through my 20's. Adolescence was brutal and I seemed to spend most of my childhood in a heightened state of unease. I came across a book from the library about Highly Sensitive People. I have always known I was overly sensitive but I didn't know there had been research into such a type of person.

Reading up on it helped me understand myself a little better. No amount of medication or therapy is going to change the way I am biologically made up. I have to be more aware of what I can tolerate and what I can't. Being highly sensitive does not necessarily mean you are an introvert, though being shy is a trait. I'm a bit of a balance between introvert and extravert. As a child I was extremely shy. As an adult I have been through experiences that have helped me overcome my shyness. Highly senstive people pick up in subtleties in the air. They are particulalry sensitive to people's moods. That's why I find work so hard to deal with because I am soaking up everyone's bad feeling. I also can't cope with other people fighting. I just want to run away and hide from it all.

The mistake I've been making is trying to harden myself, or cure myself of being sensitive. It's who I am and I should celebrate it. I should pay more attention to those subtleties in the air instead of assuming that I am imagining them. Like I said before, the main thing is being aware of what I can tolerate and what I can't. So here's a wee list:

1. People who talk incessantly - some people just keep on talking and talking and not being silent long enough to give someone else the chance of talking. This drives me crazy. Especially as, more often than not, what they are saying is drivel. In my head I am going out of my mind and silently screaming shut up, shut up, SHUT UP. I come away from these people feeling completely drained.

2. Crowds - why there ever had to be so many people in the world I don't know. I just hate people pushing and shoving and smelling bad. Everything happens so slowly and you're forced to spend longer than you want to with these people who might as well be animals. You might as well be stuck in a herd of cows waiting to go to the slaughterhouse. Is that a bit dramatic? On the other hand, if I'm having a party I want the whole house to be filled. So crowds are ok if I get to choose who's in them.

3. Children's needs - I remember so vividly what it feels like to be a child and I'm at my best when I'm around them. This is on the list as a positive of course. Children are amazing. I never used to care much for them but now I listen to every word they say. They make you laugh and they make you think and they are just amazing creatures being themselves because they haven't yet realised that they can be anything but themselves.

I'm exhausted now. Making lists is tiring work. I wish I could just shut my brain off but that's another trait of being highly sensitive. I have a rich inner life. I get absorbed in my thoughts too easily. One leads to another. The thoughts aren't always good and I have a tendency to over analyse things. But within that rich inner life lurks my creativity and my appreciation of nature and beauty. And that's what I have to keep focusing on.


Rob Z Tobor said...

I hope you find the switch that will make you enjoy what you have Miss Hannah and you can chill just a little . . . .

hootchinhannah said...

I have found that switch before. I'll find it again.