Today I had an HSP day.
There was a tiny dark spot on the ceiling of the playroom that distracted me from my conversation with an education administrator. Instead of hearing her questions, I kept wondering what it was. I managed to answer the questions mostly because I had heard them all before and I knew the answers. But it took me forever it felt like to realize it was a scrap of paper someone had left there after decorating the room some time ago. I felt better once I knew it was not a bug or a water stain or something that could hurt me, but I had to hold myself back from grabbing a chair to stand up and pull it off the ceiling where I am sure it hung suspended from a tiny bit of scotch tape.
Shortly thereafter figuring that out, the children went for a walk outside. One of the teachers was wearing a Santa hat. This time my eyes deceived me enough that my companion turned to see what I was looking at. I smiled and told her I had seen the Santa hat, not able to say that the children walking by the window was enough to take my attention away from the very important conversation we were having, or that I was aware of each and every child's emotional mood, the colors of their clothing, and that they all were wearing hats. She explained the Santa hat as it was the only stocking hat the teacher had on. I put two and two together and figured they were having a stocking hat day.
I attempted to focus once again on our conversation, but I was very aware that the stitching on my jeans was itching my leg, as I tried not to shift in my chair too much, and that she kept looking at my eyes so much I wondered what she thought of me, and did everything I could to avert her gaze, even wishing I could put my sunglasses back on.
I held it together as we finished talking and went into another office room. There I was met with piles of papers, boxes, and plastic tubs filling the space so completely there seemed to be a haze of dust in the air. As she talked I could only hear every other word, piecing together the impertanint information and nodding my head as if I understood, when my mind was racing attmepting to figure out what all the things in the room were for and why were they stacked in random places everywhere. The animal hairs and dust on the person talking's sweater now became more evident, and my anxiety reached a bit of panic. I could not focus enough to talk, so I just kept nodding, hoping I was playing it off well enough that I didn't look totally a fool.
We finished our talk with seemingly minimal damage on my part, but as I walked out the doors I felt a sense of relief. I gulped fresh air and wanted to lay on the lawn to roll around and get it all off of me. This was not a practical matter, but instead a yearning within, that my adult self knew better than to do. So, instead, I took off the coat I had been wearing throughout the conversation, got into my car, put on my seatbelt and began to cry.
Another car pulled into the lot beside me. I pulled it together, rolled down the window and took a big deep breath. Wiped my tears, started my car, and drove home.
This was one hour of my day.
This happens everyday.
I see the dots of dirt in the floor corners of the bathroom stalls at Target. I can smell the overwhelming scent leftover from people in the aisles at stores. I hear the clicking of people's phones, and the way they breathe when they eat in restaurants. I can feel someone 'riding my a**' driving down the road. Even if they are 3 car lengths behind, I know when they want to go faster than me. Everywhere I go, I am bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, touch, emotions. It is a lot.
But the worst part is, I can't explain it to anyone.
It is like explaining colors to someone who is blind. If you do not feel what I feel, smell, hear, taste, touch, then I cannot tell you. I cannot explain that this keeps me from jobs, from life. I cannot explain that it is my greatest gift and at the same time a curse. I cannot explain.
But today I was reminded by one of my HSP mentors, the author SARK, that being honest is how we reach people.
And if I am to help the children, mothers, and families who are Highly Sensitive too? Then it is part of my job to share it with you.
There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing to fix. There is no cure. It is simply the way my nervous system is set up. It is the way my brain works. It is the way my body experiences the world.
I have felt pleasure unheard of. I have seen sunsets that make me cry with joy. I feel love so deeply it shakes my whole body at the thought. My life is lived deep. There is no other way.
So even though today I tried to hide who I am to fit into a world that is not, I am proud of me for tonight, coming clean with the world and revealing all I felt today.... or at least that hour. (We don't have enough space for me to do the whole day!! :)
May you know that no matter how you experience the world, it is okay. We just need to find where our puzzle pieces fit.
And if you are highly sensitive too? Then you fit into my puzzle just fine.
All my love
Jeannine Proulx is an extremely highly sensitive author, Intuitive Life Coach, protector of children, and supporter of women, who likes to roll on the grass, soak up the sun, and dance on the beach... and dislikes cluttered offices.
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