My own experiences on being HSP
I guess I’d have to start with all the things I look back on my life now and realize were significant traits of being an HSP individual. That’s as good as any place to start.
I remember having distinct impressions and opinions of adults who associated with my parents, but without any sort of indication from my parents themselves of their own feelings, opinions or impressions. I would sometimes attempt to ask them about the people in question and would more often than not get brushed off and told to do something else – like homework, or an errand. Back then, I could never understand why it was so difficult to answer simple questions; now I realize that to answer a questions such as “Why does Mr. X where those tight see-through pants? Is he trying to get attention?” posed by your 8 year old child is not as simple as it seems. It was far easier to attempt to divert my attention elsewhere. In any case, in discussions with my parents now, they realize these things in retrospect along with me and are thankful they never had to coach me into staying away from certain people and having to explain to me why – why should I stay away when they themselves had to associate with these people. They now understand that somehow I either picked up on their own feelings enough to know who was friend and who was foe OR I was just able to see the people for the frauds they were. Either one, it made parenting for them easier.
Other things I remember from childhood are things such as being able to taste spoiled milk before any of them did; smelling burning bush before anyone else did; being suffocated by blossoming plants that no one else could either see or smell; having a seemingly unaccountable fear of open, public places…. and finally and most telling – an almost unhealthy love of being on my own. Heightened smell and taste have always been “problems” for me. Incidents such as what I blogged about on yesterday have become common place for me. Public places and large crowds have always been a tension trigger for me too – my worst tantrums were thrown when either immediately before, during or after a visit to the supermarket or mall with my mother.
On the one hand, it’s “pretty cool” to be able to have these heightened senses… on the flip side is a little girl who never fit in with anyone or anywhere. She was just so different, so odd, so… WEIRD that no one really wanted to hang around her for too long. It has repurcussions in my life to this day: never sure when I will “scare” somewhere with my unusual insight and conversation and wondering when I will just become too weird for those around me. It’s part of the reason why my last relationship, so bloody and devastating, lasted for so long – self esteem issues ABOUND here.
[Here's another perfect example: I am sitting at my desk, here on the second (and topmost) floor of my office building, and every time a heavy vehicle passes outside, the building SHAKES like an earthquake would shake it. NO ONE ELSE FEELS THAT - unless it's a particularly heavy vehicle and they probably hear it before they feel the shaking.]
Of course, “being HSP” is a label – and like so many other labels, it is confining. I’ve come almost the full journey here. From going crazy wondering why I had to be so different and if I would ever find “my place”, to finding a group of people who sufferend the some of the same trials and worries and stresses I did, to discovering all my unique traits and talents, to realizing that being satisfied with “being HSP” was just not going to cut it and finally to where I am now where I am Camille – a little bit HSP, a little bit pagan (there! finally said it out loud!), a little bit empath, a little bit on the asolutely crazy side, a little bit creative, a little bit technical…. but a whole lot of ME!!!!
My journey has taken me many places; “being HSP” is one of the major highways I have travelled. I have met many interesting people and things long this particular road – not the LEAST of which is my soul-sister and one of my very best friends (who is also HSP and very much the solitude freak like me). Without shadowlynx, I am not sure where I would be today – she was instrumental in me finding myself – a true inspiration she was and still is.
In the final analysis, “being HSP” is many things. The bottom line though is that it means being extra sensitive to all around you – feelings, smells, sights, sounds…. and it also means special needs – peace, solitude, quiet…. and most importantly, grounding (which I have yet to really spend a lot of time on).
Next I will talk a little bit about what I have found is some of the best techniques for surviving the world (and in particular Jamaica) being HSP.