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Struggling With Sensitivity

A few months ago I discovered I am a highly sensitive person. Since then I've been researching the topic religiously. Before I even knew about HSPs, I described almost every trait to every doctor I ever had, but no one really understood the gravity or significance of these feelings and difficulties. As long as I can remember I've had a hard time fitting in and making friends, I've always had terrible hay fever allergies, nearly every experience I've endured puts me in a frantic rage or debilitating depression, and above all, no matter how much friends and family try to support me, I always feel so incredibly alone...words can't describe how scared and sad it makes me feel. I've also come to realize that empaths and HSPs are essentially the same, just that empaths seem to have a more developed sixth sense. I've had moments in my life where I "knew" that something was going to happen, I just didn't understand what was going to happen or how I knew it. I have, in rare instances, heard the phone ring and had a feeling about who was calling, sometimes I was right, sometimes I wasn't, so I dismissed those feelings as coincidence. I've had dreams that later came true, though the circumstances held no significance, I was astonished that I could have dreamed the future. I've even felt emotions from another person over 20 miles away. One instance of clairsentience was particularly profound to me; I felt a crushing weight in my chest, I didn't know what was wrong but I instinctively called my girlfriend at the time to make sure she was ok, turns out what I felt was her heart falling for another man. However inexplicable these experiences may be, there's just been too many of these occurrences to be a coincidence. Only now am I discovering the significance behind these feelings, that only a highly sensitive person could know and understand. I've been learning to trust my intuition more since it's hardly ever wrong, at least when it comes to other people's thoughts and behavior. Lies that affect me directly are the easiest to detect, the more emotion attached to the lie, the more obvious the lie becomes. All this sci-fi talk is hard to swallow but I've met people who have experienced unexplainable phenomenon that escapes even me. One person claimed to see auras and more clearly than I ever could, sense impending danger in the near future, another seemed to see and converse with spirits of the dead.

So now I'm on a spiritual journey of self discovery. I've told many of my friends and everyone in my immediate family, and apparently my mother is a sensitive as well, but somehow she's able to apparently turn her senses on and off, seemingly at will. Naturally I feel weak and out of control because I've never been able to hide my emotions, I don't let anything bother me, but everything just does. I've managed to make one relationship last more than four months, and it still shattered my world when it ended, just as every break up I've gone through does. It takes way too long for me to let go of a failed relationship, and as much as I feel like I need someone to feel uplifted, it takes me over a year to let go of the feelings of betrayal and emotional abuse.

What seems to hinder my relationships the most (family, friend or intimate partner) is my perspective of humanity and the world. I don't like the bleak and cynical view I've taken, but it seems to make the most sense. I hear of the worst criminals in our society watching cable tv on the tax payers dollar, politicans making promises they don't intend to keep, corporations hoarding millions of dollars while the people that keep this country alive lose their homes, etc, etc. And it's not just people in power contributing to our financial and environmental demise, millions of people blindly put their faith in government and religion never considering that their actions could affect the livelihood of others. Take gays for example, I can't tell you how angry I feel whenever I hear people speaking out against gay marriage and sexuality, being gay is no more a choice than being african-american, or having brown eyes, or red hair. Here's another sensitive topic, abortion. So few people consider the fact that there's way to many people on the planet already, we're choking the planet with our presence and it seems that most people value human life above all. You may not like this idea but we, as a species, are not special, we're not more important than any other living thing. It's alright to burn hundreds of acres of wild land for profit and destroy the homes of thousands of animals, but someone aborts a pregnancy because they don't have the money or a healthy home life to raise a child and they're practically ostracized. I, for one, will not bring a new life into an unstable environment, like so many single moms on welfare, or abusive parents. When anyone tries to counter my ideas, they frequently bring religious beliefs or biased opinions to my attention, which only further proves that I'm right, and yet I can't convince such people otherwise. And don't get me started on racial intolerance! This intolerance and humanist ideology is only making our livelihoods worse, we're consuming resources faster than we can replenish them, and people wonder why prices on all forms of product are increasing more than our wages.

I've written these ideas and experiences many times before, and all I ever get is "everyone is entitled to their own beliefs/opinions" and the occasional "I agree" or "I know how you feel" and somehow I still feel like no one feels the gravity of these issues like I do. I feel more and more alone with each day that passes. When I find people that agree with my thoughts, their response is always "that's life," but that's no excuse, if I'm capable of putting my own needs aside for the greater good, then so can everyone else, or I'm just "more human than human." I've got so much more to bring to the table but I think I've portrayed my experiences enough to get the picture.
dpastuszczak dpastuszczak 26-30, M 6 Responses Nov 2, 2010

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I think it is helpful and important for sensitive people to find one another and support each other -- thank you all for sharing your comments and stories. The more awareness we bring to this, the easier it will be for people in our world to understand us, and the easier we will be able to navigate the outer world and share our gifts. The world is in great need of healing, and those of us who are highly sensitive, empathic, spiritually gifted, can offer much that seems in short supply. We have a special role to play, I do believe, and by being healthy, balanced, well adjusted as possible we are in a greater position to share our much needed gifts. But before we can do this, we must heal and take care of ourselves. Blessings and peace to you all.... Dee

Thank you for your response suzqdamo, it's always a pleasure to hear from people struggling like me. I just wish there was an easier way to bring us all together. Though the HSP condition is not widely known in the psychology field, it is well documented and many psychologists around the country do specialize in treating troubled HSPs. Have hope, you know you're not alone even if you feel like no one understands. I take an anti-depressant, it helps a lot with the emotional intensity of everyday situations, but I still have great difficulty letting go of what I can't control. For me, a loving relationship seems to help me get past some of those cynical thoughts about human nature, it helps to focus on something more important to you in your life. I hope I've been helpful. And remember that being highly sensitive, as difficult as it is, grants you incredible intuition. Listen to your heart, chances are whatever you feel toward any one person is accurate, for example, if someone gives you a bad feeling, you probably shouldn't associate yourself with that person. I wish you luck and hope you can find your muse.

I feel so blessed to have found your post and know there is someone out there like me. As a child I was always told, "You wear your heart on your sleeve" or "You really need to toughen up!" I always, always felt like there was something wrong with me and I actually still do. Everything from my work life to my personal life suffers. I push people away b/c I am so sensitive. I sometimes lash out because I feel like people do not understand me or I always wonder how can they say this or do that? Don't they know that's mean or hurtful? I am always told that everything is all in my head. I'm always thinking someone is mad at me. I absolutely hate being this way sometimes. People just don't understand me and I guess I just don't understand myself either. Any little thing could just throw my day off. A nasty look or just someone not saying thank you or hello. I just can't turn it off. I don't know how people cope. Everyday is a struggle to not let people see my so called "weakness"........

I feel something not many may be aware of and is important is...if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and have been baptised in the Holy Spirit then you will have spiritual gifts. Each is given different ones but me being a sensitive HSP have been given prophetic type gifts. I see and know things for people. I have visions and dreams which come true, etc. I am just now starting research on being this and am a bit overwhelmed and depressed. I eat to make myself feel better using a lot of sugar and it really doesn't help yet I keep repeating this over and over.

I understand how you feel. But I can tell you right now, if you try to convince people you're right and they're wrong, you're doomed. People just don't operate that way. They reason by emotion, not logic. I know this is all the more the difficult for you because you are concerned about what people do to harm the state of the earth as a result of their beliefs. (In this respect, I'm more resigned than you. I think the boat has left the dock on that one.)<br />
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Someone with a history in political activism would tell you something like this: don't worry about trying to convince those who disagree with you. Instead, put that energy into mobilizing people who agree with you.<br />
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I do think you are correct that a cynical attitude is appropriate, however unpalatable that state of affairs may be. In general, people are self-centered, unaware of the consequences of their behavior, and aggressive when they are thwarted to the least degree. If there's an up side to this, it's that people often don't realize they are this way. I think many people genuinely believe they're basically good people, and when it's pointed out to them that they've done something cruel, they do wish they'd thought to do otherwise. I fear there is not much you or I can do to change any of this.<br />
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I wish you luck with being a highly sensitive person. I know I find it a constant challenge.

I can not express how similarly to you I feel. The incredible frustrations that I feel every day with things that I read about, or personally experience. The level of greed and malice in this world sends me reeling and confuses me. I want to put a stop to it, I want to destroy the people who take advantage of others so mercilessly, but I feel so hopeless, powerless .. I feel as if it would only temporarily solve a problem, or promote further warfare. I hate people for being so easily drawn in by anyone who will stand at a podium and spout whatever strikes their mind, I hate people for needlessly assaulting each other constantly.<br />
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I too have felt these incredible experiences of clairvoyance or clairsentience. I still feel a crushing degree of guilt for a dream that I had of two people having an accident - they were injured almost exactly as they were in my dream, and they blamed me for it in the dream .. Then I watched it happen to them in real life. I am still unsure if I did the right thing. I feel that one of them showed their true colors to the other person during that time but I'm so truly unsure as to whether or not I could have tried to prevent that. They would have thought I was crazy for telling them. But I really don't know.. I still worry that she has lasting injuries because of the event that I foresaw.<br />
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I feel we could do a great service to humanity if we were given the power and position, but unfortunately, it's the people who fight for it and step on others that get those powerful positions. No matter how your society is formed, it seems to still wind up the same. It's so incredibly disappointing reading history and watching it repeat itself over and over again no matter what year it is because of our short lifespans. I feel like humanity is so beyond hope or purpose. I'm so disillusioned. I used to be visionary, positive, my heart was burgeoning with a desire to be heroic and save the world. Now, I look at the world with pity .. Or at least that's how I feel. Where are the people of true value? Perhaps you're one of them. I'm looking forward to enjoying exchanges with you..