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Highly Sensitive People - Support Thread

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
This thread is for Highly Sensitive People; those whose sensitive nervous system makes them extra receptive to stimuli. This is a place to share experiences and feelings and to work together on supporting the recognition of this trait in ourselves and others.

By way of introduction, feel free to let us know about you and your family if it feels right.
Some possible introductory topics;
What about HS is challenging for you?
What about HS is rewarding for you?
Do you have any resources (Books, Authors, Therapeutics, Practices, Et Cetera) that have served you well as an HSP?

Welcome to the HSP space smile.gif
Edited by bruna - 12/12/13 at 9:07pm
post #2 of 33
I am not social and don't spend time with anyone but my family. I'm spiritual and I "pray" a lot, and spend time doing self-care.

I think it isn't necessary for me to be intimately involved with the news, my nation, my community. I'm just not like that. I try to be the best person I can be, daily, and minimizing problematic stressors is part of that. We need sanctuaries, and I try to be one, for myself and my family.
post #3 of 33

I also steer clear of the news. No cable here and I try to get my hubs to keep the talk radio/news radio off. We have a stereo on our patio and he leaves it on ALL the time, I feel like every time I go out there I have to turn it off but by then will have heard a story of a kid being murdered or something like that. I can't take it and always have to think about it, cry, etc.

I'm currently in a big city and HATE it. I'm actually an extrovert which is odd for a HSP I know, but I'm just outgoing, I don't form close friendships easily at all, people always want to spend so much time together and I need to be alone much more than most.

 

Currently I'm feeling so drained. A 3yr old, 20mo old and due in Feb. Sometimes I feel so awful b/c the loudness of my kids makes me want to scream at them and run away...I have to have them go into their room or outside even if they're just playing! I wish I knew what could help that, the overstimulation. Having kids and having adrenal issues the last couple years has made me MUCH more HSP, anyone else notice this with kids? I told my hubs about my issues w/the loudness/noise (in fact I've tried to tell him about all of it but he totally doesn't get it) and the other day he scoffed when I told them I couldn't take the noise and to get out. Made me so upset that he'd use this weakness of mine to turn around and practically make fun of it.

I've found Motherwort tincture seems to help a bit and am taking milky oat extract and drink lots of herbal teas but would love to hear what lessens the symptoms for others.

 

I'm also having a hard time right now in my marriage and most likely filling for divorce soon. I know I need support but so hard to ask for help or depend on people, especially when you just want to shut everything out!

 

Anyway, thanks for starting this, bruna, I hope people chime in as I don't know any other mamas that seem to be like this at all so nice to find a grp to talk to:)

post #4 of 33

Thank you for starting this.  It is so nice to have a space with other similar people.  

 

What about HS is challenging for you?

-I also prefer not be hear the news, read news stories or even look at my Facebook timeline.  Inevitably someone always shares some gruesome article that derails my entire day.

-I get really upset when someone doesn't like me or they are unsatisfied with something I did.

-I get really nervous in social situations if there is people I am unfamiliar with.

-I over analyze everything and as a result change my mind constantly


What about HS is rewarding for you?

-I am really good at my job, because I always strive to please people.

-My palate is very refined and I can pick up many different flavors in wine and food.

-Suffering from this has really improved my spirituality.  Prayer and meditation really help me.

 

Some of the things that I have found helpful:  Going outside, even in the cold weather.  Omega 3 vitamins.  I also am trying to adhere by a schedule for my life.  I have made myself and my spirituality a priority above all else.  It has been helpful to know that there is a time for everything, even relaxation.  A cleaning schedule and getting rid of the clutter in my house has helped me feel more calm at home.

 

Pumabearclan:  What kind of prayers and self care rituals do you find helpful?  I also need to really work on identifying my problematic stressors and avoiding them.

 

yippiehippie:  I totally empathize with you.  I can't imagine the noise of two almost three young children all of the time.  It must be so hard to have some peaceful time for yourself.  When my son is crying and I cannot calm him, I find it very difficult.  When we were living in the city, I found life much more difficult.  Every siren and screeching car would leave me upset and anxious.  Now we live in the country and have few neighbors and I feel much more at peace.

post #5 of 33
Hi biofarmer, I use all kinds of techniques, from all different disciplines. I like mantras, I usually pick a phrase on compassion or gratitude that I made up or a traditional one. Shaker hymns or chant is also nice, if you like to sing a little. I also do some yoga and offer my body to Life and my higher self while I'm doing it. I also contemplate a lot, which is why I need extended silence: I think and experience deeply manifestations of the goodness of life such flowers, birds in the garden, and I sometimes free-associate mentally while contemplating, such as examining a situation in my life in order to understand it, accept it, change it. Accepting responsibility is probably the hardest part of that. Joy and satisfaction are the better parts smile.gif

I hope things look up for you, yippiehippie. Sometimes I'm Mother and sometimes I'm a mother; sometimes I'm fulfilling a role that may even be counter to my personality (tuning out your children's noise, or making other sacrifices, for example) and sometimes my personality is fully engaged with my child. I think that kids need Mother as much as a relationship with a particular woman who is a mother. We can't *be* archetypes, we can only approximate. I try to notice when I have to fill a role and what will be required, personally, to accomplish that. As a sensitive person, there's a lot more inner conflict and sacrifice than I am comfortable with in order to accommodate others and be giving of myself. But I do it anyway, to the best of my ability because it's important to me to love.
post #6 of 33
I like to bang the low-carb drum, and I'll do it here too: once I finally went low-carb (it took a very arduous year) my anxiety totally dropped off and my self-possession shot up. I was a carb-addict all my life, was raised on starches and then went low-fat. I now eat a hgh-fat low-carb diet with lots of omegas (as biofarmer said) and I feel pretty placid most of the time. It's been a huge help.
post #7 of 33
Hi all. Tired HSP here. Simply subbing at the moment. More later when recharged. Namaste
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I am so enjoying reading the posts and to see the real value in this space.
I am reading all your posts several times, and thinking things over, which I do with things that truly interest me, and am bound to respond when I get the next opportunity.

Currently in the bath, indulging in my comfort zone smile.gif
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well, I have a moment, so I can be here and take a chance to write.
Writing on a mobile phone is a little awkward.
I have recently connected to my HS trait in a deep and meaningful way. All my searching to better understand myself and my orientation to living has lead me to this trait at the heart of my experience. That's what I feel.

I have to head out again, a busy day, but will return soon...wink1.gif
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Back at the desktop computer now with some time alone until baby wakes.
  By way of introduction, I live in a small family group of 3, and we are tight knit and very close. My son is 18 months old and I have been with my husband for 6 years 
  I spent a lot of my life before creating this family searching for meaning in a solitary way. Becoming a Mother has grounded me, and I feel like I am finally finding a path for myself and not just fulfilling someone else's needs.
  Maybe 4 years ago I found the Highly Sensitive Person book by Elaine Aron at the library and learned about this trait. I connected to it instantly.

  The greatest reward of my trait is, I think, the rich experiences I have, sensually, cognitively and physically, because of my keen and extra-sensitive ability. I am a born nurturer, I have extremely deep connections with a few special people and animals. I experience deeply the good things in life, and am highly perceptive. I can think and feel deeply about the human condition and the state of the world and conceptualize ambitious projects in arts, social science and practical applications. I can lead well when I feel safe in a group.
  My greatest challenges are that I tend to give people what I sense they need from me unconsciously, even when it is not my truth. I lose touch with my truth easily when I spend time with non sensitive others.
   I was especially vulnerable to this before i had a support system in my husband and son, meaning all the years between birth and 31 ROTFLMAO.gif . Not that it is other people's fault that I tune in to them and that they use that attention, but there are a lot of people out there who are starving for nurturing, and I often hurt myself by giving without getting
  Another challenge is a sense of perfection I have had from an early age. I prevent myself from trying things that I feel I will not be superbly good at. I feel I am getting better at this as I reduce the anxiety factors in my life (low income, no support system, poor nutrition, bad housing, bad relationships, unfulfilling work). Running myself down tends to result in inhibition and a loss of pleasure.
I can be distraught about the troubles of the world and have as of yet failed in my rather ambitious plan hatched in early childhood to save the world smile.gif.

  I also have a wickedly critical mind, and can criticize and analyse the hell out of anything, especially myself.

Pumabearclan- I appreciate hearing how you have made your self a sanctuary. It sounds like you have your life organized to work for you, with optimum stimulus. Nutrition is key, isn't it?

Yippiehippie- A Mama 3 times over, what a tremendous role you have! I can't relate to that much responsibility yet, but I have worked in daycares and found the best way to calm down noisy groups where the energy is going all over the place is to get right down on the floor, right at their level and relax on some pillow or something, just model calmness. A way to bring this out in yourself is just observe with an open mind, and to relax your face muscles, but smile with your eyes. It works for me to calm myself when my mind is going haywire thinking about all the reasons something is wrong, or bothersome etc. I don't know if this is helpful in your situation, but I thought I would offer it to you. You have many pressures, and I wouldn't expect you to be feeling very well all the time with the stressors in your life. Is there a particular reason why your sons' loudness is bothering you? Is it what they are yelling about, meaning is it the reason they are yelling that is bothering you?, or the volume or tone perhaps? Is it because you cannot hear yourself because you are spending so much time hearing them?
Edited by bruna - 12/14/13 at 12:24am
post #11 of 33

So nice to hear everyone's experiences and what helps them navigating through life. I only found out about the term HSP last year so still connecting it to myself and forgiving my 'differences' instead of questioning. And I do appreciate much of it, just at a time right now where it's more overwhelming than helpful.

I had a little talk w/DH the other day and tried to explain better, but he never seems to get it, really. I want so bad to move to a smaller town, cleaner air, more community feeling, and I want a little land (we currently have chickens and ducks and a large garden, but I'd really love a few acres). The heat here in the desert gets to me too, but mainly it's the people and traffic. DH knows how desperately I want this - NEED this! - but will just say we need to give it time and it's not that bad (he grew up here and is not HSP and is used to it). The problem is that he's in a dead end job, makes very little (been on state aid since we married and he lost his other job), and has no promise of making much more, they've actually told him that. It's near impossible for us to save so will be a struggle to move, but if we were on the same page I know we could find a way. How do I explain that it's for my health, happiness, and well-being?? He just thinks I want to move is all. It's so hard when you're with someone that seems to make no effort to understand you, I'm pretty sure he just thinks it's selfishness, but in the end I don't feel supported. 

 

I was going to go back through these posts and comment on all of them that resonate w/me, but they all do! I can relate so much to what you all are saying. Thanks for sharing everyone. THanks for the ideas too. I think a lot of this is my pregnancy hormones too as my mood swings are crazy. This is why I'm trying to wait to file for divorce (some days I feel positive I need to do it, others I think everything'll be ok).

How do you all, since you seem to have it down so well, nurture your own emotional well being? My mother's was/is abusive, I barely have a relationship w/my father, and feel like I'm looking for someone to mother me right now, I've been so independent my whole life. I'm so exhausted from mothering my kids, how does one take care of themselves at the same time? Does this make sense?!

post #12 of 33
Yes, this is me! Just subbing for now but will add more during my next break from DD.
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yippiehippie View Post
 

So nice to hear everyone's experiences and what helps them navigating through life. I only found out about the term HSP last year so still connecting it to myself and forgiving my 'differences' instead of questioning. And I do appreciate much of it, just at a time right now where it's more overwhelming than helpful.

I had a little talk w/DH the other day and tried to explain better, but he never seems to get it, really. I want so bad to move to a smaller town, cleaner air, more community feeling, and I want a little land (we currently have chickens and ducks and a large garden, but I'd really love a few acres). The heat here in the desert gets to me too, but mainly it's the people and traffic. DH knows how desperately I want this - NEED this! - but will just say we need to give it time and it's not that bad (he grew up here and is not HSP and is used to it). The problem is that he's in a dead end job, makes very little (been on state aid since we married and he lost his other job), and has no promise of making much more, they've actually told him that. It's near impossible for us to save so will be a struggle to move, but if we were on the same page I know we could find a way. How do I explain that it's for my health, happiness, and well-being?? He just thinks I want to move is all. It's so hard when you're with someone that seems to make no effort to understand you, I'm pretty sure he just thinks it's selfishness, but in the end I don't feel supported. 

 

I was going to go back through these posts and comment on all of them that resonate w/me, but they all do! I can relate so much to what you all are saying. Thanks for sharing everyone. THanks for the ideas too. I think a lot of this is my pregnancy hormones too as my mood swings are crazy. This is why I'm trying to wait to file for divorce (some days I feel positive I need to do it, others I think everything'll be ok).

How do you all, since you seem to have it down so well, nurture your own emotional well being? My mother's was/is abusive, I barely have a relationship w/my father, and feel like I'm looking for someone to mother me right now, I've been so independent my whole life. I'm so exhausted from mothering my kids, how does one take care of themselves at the same time? Does this make sense?!

Hi Yippiehippie, I hear you :Hug

Without a support system, we are generally in emotional trouble. And I don't think it necessarily needs to be a system made of people, if that is not what is available :o

It sounds like you have an outdoor space that gives you some of what you need, a garden and animals is a great source of envy to me, who lives in an apartment above a major road!

What do you do to take care of yourself?

Are you making a plan for your future, including how to live where you want someday, and some nice modest goals in the meantime while you meet the demands of pregnancy and mothering?

I suggest you take  little time, as much as you can, to do a little positive planning for the things that will take care of you. 

post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
I am dropping in to list a few resources, books, that I recommend to check out on the subject of High Sensitivity. Any suggestions from others are very welcome.

The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D,
Broadway Books, New York
- I just started on the exercises in this book and feel really encouraged. There is a guide for forming a HSP Discussion Group in the back; perhaps something we could do on this thread if the interest and attention is there.

The Undervalued Self Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D
Little Brown and Company, New York

Restore Your Love/ Power Balance
Transform The Inner Voice That Holds You Back
Find Your True Self Worth

- This book clarified the ways power and emotion control our relationships to ourselves and others, highly recommended.
Edited by bruna - 12/18/13 at 4:27pm
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by yippiehippie View Post

My mother's was/is abusive, I barely have a relationship w/my father, and feel like I'm looking for someone to mother me right now, I've been so independent my whole life. I'm so exhausted from mothering my kids, how does one take care of themselves at the same time? Does this make sense?!


 



This was me also. And I also had an unsupportive (to say the least) first husband and (also) divorced when my child was a baby.

I was incredibly lucky to fall in love and to be loved and cherished by my second husband, as my first marriage was ending. He has been literally my only support.

I ended my relationships with my parents and siblings soon after ending my first marriage. I am and have been completely estranged from them. I've been criticized for that, but there wasn't enough of me to go around and I finally decided I had to cut ties or lose my health and sanity - literally. It's been very difficult and I've gone through stages of regret, self-recrimination, grief, etc, but I have always believed that it was right and essential for me. This part of my life has become much easier as those relationships retreat further into the past.

I don't think you ever get fully on top of nurturing yourself when you haven't been nurtured from your parents. I still feel a deficit and have to work on it. I have not had as much stamina for mothering strains than I see that other women do. It's colored my relationships with friends and my husband(s). The only reality for me is that I didn't get it from my parents and there are no substitutes - my spouse, my child, my friends, my boss etc are not and cannot (and will not, usually) parent me, and it's transgressive to expect them to. It took me awhile to accept this weakness in my personality and do something about it. Now I use archetypal parents instead; every culture has at least one mother: Mother Earth, Madonna, Durga, etc. When I am Mother, the archetype, to my child I feel closer (like I'm channeling) the archetypal Mother and she is helping me, I am "following in her footsteps" so to speak, and like a child I want to be like Her. Praying, looking at artistic images of the archetypal Mother, and trying to identify with Her helps me. The same is true for the All-Father, and even the Lover or Divine Spouse fulfills me when the human marriage feels flat or strained.

Try to teach your children to cooperate with you to make a good relationships with you. Something my unfortunate circumstances revealed to my child is that relationships require *mutual* respect and cooperation to be successful. Up to a point, don't hide from children how you are feeling; if you need some quiet, ask them to help you with that so that you can rest now and then. It may take years for this to sink in but it can't hurt for them to perceive and respect the needs of others.

Motherhood has gotten easier for me now that my child is a successful adult. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and at times I didn't think I would survive it. I always have been an optimistic and constructive person and always had the hope that in the future my child would be a healthy adult, that I would be free to live where and how I pleased, and that I would achieve personal fulfillment and wholeness in my life, and these things have indeed occurred. It happened for me little by little, over years. Above all, don't take on any more responsibilities or make things worse for yourself in frustration, impatience, or illusions. Have hope for the future and believe in yourself. Count your blessings. Live one day at a time. Breathe deeply when you think of it. Keep your options open. Learn to love and depend on yourself above all.
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hello HSP's, how is everyone fairing these days? Any updates? :)

post #17 of 33
Subbing. First discovered Aronson a few years ago. Being HSP/introverted/piscean makes life verrrrry interesting sometimes!
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sageowl View Post

Subbing. First discovered Aronson a few years ago. Being HSP/introverted/piscean makes life verrrrry interesting sometimes!
Welcome to the thread sageowl smile.gif
post #19 of 33
Thanks, Bruna. I saw the older thread and was blown away by how many of us there are...it's kind of comforting to know there are other HSPs out there, since I only know a few in real life.
post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sageowl View Post

Thanks, Bruna. I saw the older thread and was blown away by how many of us there are...it's kind of comforting to know there are other HSPs out there, since I only know a few in real life.
It really feels good to make the connection with others. I feel pretty alone in this in daily life.
I believe my Mother is an HSP, although not very in touch with the trait.
My young son shows signs too. Anyone else find the trait ran in your family?
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