So, I've only this week come to a new personal revelation regarding my awareness and sensitivity. I have #CPTSD and have been diagnosed with #Bipolar2Disorder , as well as some other things. I have always believed that I am SO hypersensitive and hyper-aware of other people and my external, and internal, surroundings because of the hypervigillance from my #CPTSD . And I still think that's true, to some degree.
But I've been delving into and learning about #HSP or Highly Sensitive People. I'd heard that phrase many times, but I thought it meant someone who gets their feelings hurt easily, which I do, so I assumed I fit that category and left it at that.
Well. It turns out getting one's feelings hurt easily can be a trait of these mysterious HSPs, but that's only a tiny part of it. Highly Sensitive People have hypersensitive nervous systems, which makes them hypersensitive to most external (and internal) stimuli. This is not a disorder, but actually a personality trait, and can be biologically measured. Also, HSPs process information much more deeply than the general population. HSPs often have sensitivity to light and sound. Yes! They notice subtleties... Everything I have read about the subject pertains to me, except most HSPs seem to have a sensitivity to caffeine, and I do not. I am also not shy and or afraid of conflict. Apparently 30% of HSPs are extroverted. But the people who write this are obviously introverts because they mention that extroverts make up 30% of HSPs, then spend 7 chapters on introversion and shyness. (I am sensitive to this seeming "dismissal" of the extroverted HSP LOL). I am also not self-conscious when being watched, I am literally an actress- quite literally.
One description I read stated: If you are having a conversation and a HSP, and y'all are by some windows, and the light from the window is in the eyes of the person you're talking to, you will automatically get up and close the blinds. I genuinely thought everyone would do this, common courtesy! But no. HSPs do that because they 1)Notice the light from the blinds-How do you NOT notice that, come on. 2) Perceive this person might be uncomfortable, and do an action that you feel might help. All without the other person saying a word.
Noise. I play my music so freaking loud! So I thought clearly I have no issue with sound. No. I am in control of my music and I like the way it sounds. However, DISCORDANT sounds, like chaos is a busy grocery store or honking and yelling in traffic, constriction, ambulances, helicopters hovering, or sudden unexpected loud sounds in general are EXTREEEMELY upsetting for me. Once in college, I was at a lecture, and the person behind me was eating chips, crinkling the bag. And chewing. After about 40 min of this I was so enraged that I stood up and shouted at the person to stop being so inconsiderate- "WHY WOULD YOU NOT PUT THE CHIPS ON A PAPER TOWEL INSTEAD OF CRINKLING THE BAG EVERY TIME YOU GOT A CHIP! COMMON COURTESY!" Well, I'm discovering that's not "common courtesy". Chances are he, and virtually everyone in the class didn't even hear the bag or the crunching, most people would not even HEAR that, let alone be bothered by it.
I am deeply moved when I see works of art- and can be so for days. I will cry in a cathedral or because of a painting. I cry when driving down the street and I see someone who is homeless and obviously mentally ill- I start thinking about the fact it's unlikely he'll get the help he needs, then look at the mental health care in the United States and how we are failing the mentally ill, then I'll cry and be messed up about that for days.
And the movie "Joker". That movie ripped my insides out, I cannot describe the pain I felt, and the subsequent sobbing for days and days. I saw it in the theater, and I will cry about it now at the drop of a hat. I didn't see it as entertainment. For me, "Joker" was an evaluation of the mental health care system in the U.S., how the mentally ill are treated, and the consequences that come with ignoring the mentally ill. Yet people thought that movie was so entertaining. How is watching an innocent mentally challenged man repeatedly being abused and hurt and neglected entertaining- that was the entire movie. How is that funny? I admit, I am still pretty upset about that.
I've always thought that the majority of people on this earth are a bunch of unfeeling, unseeing, selfish Jerks who don't care about going deeply into anything unless it affects THEM, which hurts society.
So now I'm rethinking everything. I am definitely a Highly Sensitive Person, but I also have a history of extreme childhood trauma and abuse, and that combination overlaps so much, especially the hypervigillance. I have no idea how that will all come together. There are never easy answers. I may never know.
And now I have a lot of anger to work through. All of the people around who could have helped when i was a child- they saw a horrible situation (but did they even see it?) I was certainly verbal about it! They saw all of this and did not help, did not stop to consider the ramifications of what abuse could do to a child. I honestly don't think that ever even crossed their minds.
I've spent my life angry towards most other people because I feel they choose to stay on the superficial side of things because it's comfortable, and they choose to ignore important things because it's less comfortable. Now I'm seeing I'm in the minority. I'm the odd duck, not them. 10-20% of the population are HSPs (that's what the research now, says).
And there is so much more information that i don't know!!!
This is all new to me, but i'm learning. And the validation of my own sanity is so awesome! But how frustrating to have this personality trait in this world- compounded by Complex PTSD, and a host of other issues...