Adaptation, More Dirty Laundry & The Very Definition of A Good Listener

I’ve been told, ad nauseam, that I’m too sensitive…and you’re God damn right. But it’s not just an opinion. It’s a fact. To everything around me, and everyone. Every noise and every feeling. It’s not a surprise. And now, with the ‘help’ of some…we’ll call them interested counselors and psychiatrists, I’m at least partially wise to the term HSP, much to my extreme aggravation and embarrassment. But it’s become comforting the more I consider it being a thing. And not just tripe. Two and two together as it were.

Ever taken a walk, or a bike ride with earbuds crammed deep in your ears…before any music or speaking comes on. All other sound is deadened. Muffled. You’re woken up to the sound of your heartbeat. Your own breathing. The pattern of your walking. The vibration and feel of the earth under your feet or tires. You feel the movement through your whole body. From the ground up. You’re heightened to oncoming cars or any other dangers you might be missing while your ears are blocked.

You’re aware of everything around you. New blooms. Animals. How the wind is blowing the trees. The temperature. If the clouds are moving. How fast. Something crushed on the ground. You wonder how long its been there. Who dropped it. If they ever realized they’d lost it or tried to look for it. You notice the layers of the earth. You consider the seasons and passing of time. Maybe? Maybe you think about something you forgot to do that day. Maybe you think about something funny that happened earlier. Maybe you smile. Because you’re the only one there. That’s you. There’s the cord that keeps you inside that peace and separation. There’s your hands and arms beside you. Your red T-shirt. One of two red shirts you own. Not the UA one. The other one. It’s nice to not have to wear a coat today. It’s sunny. Finally. Remember when you ran in the snow in January and got soaked. The passage of time. Seasons. How far can I go today. Wonder what I’m up for. You feel wind shifts and weather changes on your face and skin. Rumbles in the ground. You’re aware of your own blinking and swallowing. Any minor sensation of pain or pleasure, any feeling of joy or sadness is magnified while your focus shifts in between your body and your own thoughts…and all this happens in those few seconds your music or show takes to start up. It all happens while you’ve had a few seconds of silence to notice everything else…everything.

…Now imagine living in those few seconds every minute of your life. It might be nice not to be distracted by all the outside ‘noise’ though. Only trouble is, in the absence of that ol’ noise, your mind has to go elsewhere. And it will. It does. Luckily you have a choice to take your earbuds out. Not to overthink things. And to reconnect with all your senses at their full capacity. But isn’t that what you were just doing.

…Now imagine taking those earbuds out and there being no change in your perception or connection with the world. And no improvement in your hearing. Nothing returns. No change. Would you feel like you were doomed and panic, or would you feel blessed to have had the ability to sense and feel things differently than most for that short while. I can’t tell you my own answer because I don’t know any different. And I’ve adapted. I’ve adapted to feeling, seeing, knowing, watching and analyzing, rather than hearing anything but that deadened muffled noise in one ear, and nothing in the other.

It’s something I grew into as it changed. It’s something I’m used to. It’s something that’s taught me where my interests and true strengths are. And it isn’t anything I need to be teased for, taunted about or challenged on going forward. EVER again. I communicate the ways I’ve learned to be comfortable doing so. The ways that I might best learn about someone and them about me. It is a social insecurity with new people that I’ve learned to work around. Not always successfully or to my benefit. But I adjust and time moves on.

There are a million ins and outs of how I’ve adapted, and a million things I question. But there are some things I do know through learning to accept myself the way I am. My sensitivities, lingering OCD and anxieties included. Package deal. I’m learning. First thing being that I’m done not talking about this shit with people who don’t know me. Because it’s part of me. And not knowing has only lead to heartbreak for me. Second, feeling it’s a nonissue for me after so long, is completely and 100% incorrect. Third, if I’m able to understand and accept others as they are, I need to give myself the same comfort. And not put it off as an insecurity and unmentionable. Because not being able to say it has caused me too much trouble and misunderstandings. And a lot needs to change in this next half of my life.

Next…know that I will be aware of everything. I will see everything. From sky to earth. I will watch everything and I will have to process it. How long it will take or where it leads my mind to reconcile any given conclusion is beyond my control. I know that I will keep my body busy to keep my thoughts at bay when it’s needed. I know that I will turn to my thoughts and feelings when my body needs a break. I know that this will never end, it will be hard for others to understand the way I see and have to handle information, that I will be misunderstood, and that it will always be tiring. So I will expect to count on me only. Because I know what this is.

And…know that I will hear you. In my own ways and the best I can. I will take your words, and your reactions to me, to heart. And I will let mine respond as well. I will know how you feel and what you’re thinking. I will listen and watch everything intently to know how you’re affected, what you need and how you choose to relay it. I will tune to your emotion, affection or hatred, and respond accordingly depending on my own. I know that I will be constantly processing your feelings as well as mine. And how they work together, or don’t. Assessing every bit of it. And feeling without question. I know what I can accomplish and what I can be successful at. And am. I will know what’s expected of me. Because I have to pay attention. And I will know the relationships I form with friends and coworkers will be just as much a matter of my intuition as they are what I’m given outright. And that those relationships will be confusing at times, and either lovely and lasting or tenuous. And that it is not a simple matter of ‘you’re moody’ or ‘stop being so sensitive’.

I’ve mentioned before taking extreme offense to being told either of these things. And that probably is my fault. But even if someone were to live as me for a day, or even more, I don’t expect the reaction to me would change. I’ve tried to explain it. I’ve tried to talk about it. Human nature and all that. I understand. No you really don’t. And that will be something I work on going forward, acceptance of that and myself. One too many times, I’ve been told my sensitivities are unique or appreciated, “special”, endearing…the list can go on and on. Then be told in the next breath that I’m overreacting and offputting if I happen to get upset about something…even if only once in a blue moon. It’s an unfair mindfuck. Sometimes I need to express all those not so “perfect” feelings too. I don’t need to be granted more patience than others do. But, any at all would be nice. I am not a lesser human than another because of my emotions. Least of all my feelings of love, as misplaced and unwanted as they have been at times. But I am not a lesser human for any of this. And none of it is a disability. Just a mere blessing mixed with curse.

In short, I confuse and tire myself as much as I do others. I compensate. I succeed. I fail. I win and lose…and I’ve adapted. I am adapting. I am secure in most things…apparently I am not yet secure in this. But again…acceptance and understanding. If only from myself. I’m working on it. I’m shooting for putting more things to rest than I stir up. From now on.

End.

 

 

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39 thoughts on “Adaptation, More Dirty Laundry & The Very Definition of A Good Listener

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            1. Um…ya, Because it’s superior! Even has the best color bottle. *Unscented* indeed. What’s the point, I ask you!

              Lololllll, I had cashmere woods too. I had one called cozy sweater or some such thing I got at the same time and I cracked it on the corner of the counter. My fall was ruined 😭

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            2. I’ve never used scentless gain…but probably need because of my sensitive skin…if it works for that. NOOOOO! 😂😂😂 See, at that point, I would have found an old jar and salvaged ” cozy sweater”💪👊💪 Aint NOTHING ruining my fall!!! 😂😂😂😂 How did you crack it on the corner of the counter? Lol! 😀

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            3. Have you ever gone to put a coffee pot back and hit it on the edge of a counter?…like that. I keep them all on a tray thing on my kitchen counter and…I missed. I *shud* have put it in another container…or duh burned it without the glass…..damn.

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            4. I have done that! 😱😱😱😱 Now I have a Moka pot and it solved all of my cafe problems❤☕ Lol! Now you know….😊 If I pay good money on candles they’re getting used until all that you see is the wick. Some call that cheap….I call that frugal.

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            5. …I definitely would have cheaped it if I had been thinking.🤔 I saw that candle thing unfold before my eyes as I was explaining *not* being able to use it cause it didn’t have a container! Good grief. 😣

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            6. Yes! 😁 Scents are therapeutic. I keep backup good smelly stuff, and randomly put dryer sheets in discrete places, so that myself or guests get a whiff of something pleasant every time.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this. 😊 Aside from hearing problems, this spoke to me. The part that stands out to me most is the mention of confusing/frustrating yourself as much as you do other people. Yep! 100%!

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    1. Hah. I actually walked into that revelation just recently. I feel like Ive heard that so much from people. Which, whatever. But then I realized, ‘do you think it’s easy *being* me?!’ Not at all. It’s not just about trying to annoy people purposely for the sake of it! 🤤 I do the same to myself!

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    1. Very true. Some things I don’t readily give up out of well founded fear. But it’s time I do give up the things I’m able to up front. One day it will work out.

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  2. I only just came across the term HSP last week. Which is a bit of a shame I guess, as it would appear I have been living this reality for several decades. It is good to know it is a thing though. And, having read a bit about it, and now reading your story too, it is very reassuring to know it isn’t just me. It is all a work on progress. I have a lot of long overdue breaks to offer myself. But it is great to connect with people who get it like your good self, and recognise how confusing and tiring it can all be. Thank you for sharing so honestly 🙂

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    1. You know, I had heard it in passing over the last year, and like a lot of ‘internet things’ I passed over it. Then…it popped up again after I stressed myself into a surgery. I think I was more accepting of it, because my doctors had brought it up as a way to have a perspective on how I’m always feeling. Like a raw wire a lot of the time (or a sponge, it varies) but not necessarily put off by it or letting it give me anxiety (I have anxiety about other stuff, though 😶). So…we talked. Still talking. Learning and being aware of it helps. I kind of thought I missed out too because I happen to know I’ve always been like this and taken a lot of crap for it through the years. I willingly can admit now as well that it is always going to be a work on progress. Which helps, rather than being a weakness. And yes…confusing and tiring on all counts. I can back you up on that 100%. I get it! Thank you so much for reaching out. I’ve been alone on a lot of this in particular for a while because I *didn’t* want to talk about it…it’s getting better, though😊 – Sam

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  3. HSP can be a bit of an understatement, don’t you think? I have a lot of what you do – a LOT of it, but for me the monicker HSP just isn’t enough of a descriptor. And those people who tell you to pull yourself together, get over it, et al – don’t seem to realise that if you could, you would have done!

    There’s a book about HSP (no, I’m not recommending it!) that I had to put down because the author had had the type set in double spacing and hurt me to read it! 🙂 Cracks me up that sometimes people think they’re helping but instead just make things worse.

    Now I’ll go and read some of your other posts.

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    1. I definitely think it’s an understatement! Now…I’m not exactly chained to a radiator batting at flies (yet) but that can be what it feels like at times for sure!

      Right! I absolutely wouldn’t choose to have the anxiety that comes along with the sensitivities. It being par for the course I have to cope. As much as I try not to put it off on others, it happens and the understanding lacks…most definitely. How nice it would be to just “let it go!” Siiiigh.

      Thank you so much for being here!
      -Sam

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      1. Yep. Right at the moment, I’m battling a headache that is just plain weird (not had one like it before) and am analysing the ‘bits and components’ of it (you’ll know this), the deafening tap (faucet, if you’re American – I’m a Brit) downstairs, creaking floorboards, the keyboard… ouch. Glad to be here… glad to have found your blog! (All through a Like you put on one of my comments on someone else’s blog and it’s VERY rare that I follow through and look at the blog attached to ’em.)

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        1. Oh nice! (Not about the headache though…I just dumped a week long migrained thankfully! Hope yours improves!) I’m delighted this time around (my 3rd page) with the group of people I get to interact with! It’s so much more enjoyable 😊

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