I really enjoyed reading this thread. I feel quite understood just reading what your experiences have been. I will tell you about myself, and then I'll ask for some of your all's advice.
I am an HSP and an introvert, perhaps an HSS. My mother is also an HSP and HSS, and she introduced me to Aron's books when I was a teenager about ten years ago. I was a gifted child (my mother was a teacher and recognized this) and remember summers of just playing outside with my brother, reading a lot of self-help books and memoirs, and just daydreaming, napping, and organizing my room. During the school year I took long naps in the afternoon after school. All my life and since childhood, I've been sensitive to heat/scents/blood sugar, which caused nausea and I've fainted many times. I have struggled with depression in junior high and high school as well as during awful stents at a couple jobs. In high school I was extremely quiet and worried constantly until I received confidence my senior year. I have acted like an extrovert for several years in the social scene, only to go home and retreat, nap, read, journal, go on walks by myself, and turn down friends' and acquaintances' requests to go do stuff together. (I have always felt like I never learned how to be a good friend to people. Now I realize that I needed time by myself.) I always felt like I didn't belong in either the super-quiet groups or the extroverted groups. I relate to the HSP tendency to think and feel deeply, and I soak up good conversations like oxygen.
My happiest times of my life have been when I've been by myself and in tune with my feelings, or when I'm with one other loved one at a time. Thankfully I fell in love and married an introvert. We enjoy a very minimized home, and we greatly enjoy our very simple schedule. I am now in a time of renewal, I believe, as I have a better job, schedule, health, diet, and am learning a lot more about myself (and therefore gaining more confidence and setting boundaries more). We don't have children yet.
I am concerned about some things, though. It feels like I'm in the best time of my life. I am setting better boundaries with social engagements. I make a priority to read (this is where my high sensation seeking comes into play. I read tons). I journal extensively to work out my feelings and thoughts. I am doing yoga now, which I thoroughly enjoy. I am trying to focus on being more authentic with my "work persona," and this has reduced my stress by at least 25% I'd say. My husband understands at least some things about my sensitivity. We value our time together a lot.
I wonder if you guys wonder if I should have any cares in the world. But my questions are:
- How am I going to bear through the nausea of pregnancy?
- How am I going to maintain my healthy HSP habits through this intense transition?
- How am I going to deal with labor?
- How am I going to decide if I should have more than one child?
- How will I be able to take breaks for myself?
Huge questions, I know. If any of you has any answers or advice to any of the questions above, or comments, please let me know. I guess I've gotten myself scared that because life is good right now, that becoming a parent will kick down 90% of my work to get confidence and a healthy life. I believe I've built my good habits on sand, and they will shift with the season of parenthood ahead of me.