When I was a child, I lived very much in my own mind. I had a vivid and colourful imagination and spent most of my waking hours lost in another world, a spell binding fantastical world. Very much supported by my ravenous love and insatiable appetite for literature and poetry, my adventures were distinct and spellbinding, often offering up a mirror to how different my everyday life and existence really was.
This is not to say I did not enjoy or find parts of everyday reality as wondrous or as interesting as my more ‘make believe’ reality. It was just that it was all just a little more problematic and at times as a child and then as an adult, I could not quite understand exactly why, aside from repeatedly thinking that there was something fundamentally wrong with me.
I was quiet, thoughtful and intense child and indeed grew into an equally intense young woman. Deep thinking and more inclined towards the existential questions in life, I loved and still love talking and exploring these concepts in my own mind and with well-chosen others. I adore the beauty, stillness and vastness of nature, just as I did as a child, the soothing sound of classical music, the magical journey of creative writing and silence, always-blissful silence. I am naturally emotional, feeling all emotions and energy intensely and I am often moved to tears.
However, as a child, the world I inhabited was a little more disconcerting than it is now and certainly more confusing. That is before I realised with the help of a book written by renowned Psychologist Elaine N Aron that I was in fact a Highly Sensitive Person.
As a child, my most frequent emotion was fear, followed by overwhelm caused by overstimulation. I was highly sensitive to noise, finding such things as car engines, lawnmowers, and truck sweet sweepers terrifying. I did not like people shouting, detested arguments and was sensitive to tone and pitch generally.
I was incredibly uncomfortable in crowds or large groups of people and I found talking to people even when on a one to one basis quite problematic because I found the experience so incredibly over-arousing.
I had incredibly sensitive skin and found wearing clothes almost painful and hated to be touched; detested having dirty fingers and cried whenever wind chapped at my face. I had problems with the taste and texture of foods, hated to be too hot or too cold and had a low tolerance to pain and the list continues……
Unfortunately, I do not have the space to describe at great length all of the many facets involved in a being highly sensitive person, though I do hope I have given you some idea of at least some of them and perhaps even introduced a subject matter that you may not be familiar with.
In my next post, I hope to explore in more detail the trait of High Sensitivity and look at some of the science behind it and how one can learn to manage, live with and even love this hugely rewarding part of ourselves.