Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sensitive Person

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Heart Condition and this post has me thinking. Like Erika I too read the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time...about a boy with Autism. I loved how the story was written from the boy's view. It explains so well how a person with Autism feels and why they act and react the way they do. Actually, I could relate to some of the ways the boy felt. Hmmmm...I began to wonder if I could be on the Autism spectrum. Seriously. I did go online and take a quiz to see how I'd score. Okay, so I wasn't considered Autistic...but still I can relate...even if in a small way.

Now, back to Erika's post. She felt the same way after reading that book. Then she goes on to say how she discovered that she is not Autistic but instead considered A Highly Sensitive Person. Of course I went right away and took that quiz. Well, you guessed it. I too am A Highly Sensitive Person. No surprise to me.

Let me give an example of how I am Sensitive.

Smell-Basically I have a dog's sense of smell. I can smell dirty hair and BO from 10 feet away. And if there is a pile of doggy poo within a block I'm on full alert. Ewwww. Not such a gift. I cannot stand perfume or most artificial scents. They make me sick. The mall gives me a big head ache because it's too smelly. I hate air freshener.

Sight-I don't have any kind of super human sight but I do have eyes sensitive to the sun. I wear my dark sunglasses all the time....rain or shine. I'm also affected by dark. I don't like a dark gloomy room. I like things well lit. I like natural light. I cannot stand fluorescent light.

Touch-I'm extremely aware of how things feel. I HATE scratchy things. NO wool, NO polyester, NO tags, NO itchy seams, NO tight socks, etc. Seriously, my skin gets all red and I can't stand it. I love soft cotton clothing that is well made. Temperature. I notice too cold, too hot, to damp, too dry. All of it.

Hearing-Once ears. My MIL has joked that I would be the person in a village to stand guard because I'd hear the enemy coming...or maybe I'd smell them first. Noise really bugs me. Too loud, too high pitch, too much noise. I get all overwhelmed and implode. Just ask my hubby and kids. ;) Seriously, noise just does me in. I can put the dishes away but if Cam does it I have to leave so I don't wince from the clanking of plates. Ugh! Bells ringing, alarms dinging...good thing Cam is the nurse and not me. His ICU is a nightmare of pinging, binging, bonging noise. Sometimes when he is on the phone with me I cannot stand the beeps in the background. Kid noise is different...most of the time. I do have my limit.

Taste-For me it's not just about how it tastes. Yes, I love food....good food that is. But, it's also the texture. If it's not right...according to ruins the taste too.

Feelings. I wouldn't say that I am super sensitive in regards to my feelings. Just don't ask Cam...he might have a different view...especially if it's the PMS time. ;) But, I don't get offended too easily. I do however take things to heart. Things that are heartbreaking. I have a hard time letting go of things I've read or seen. I take care to not watch or read certain things that I know will haunt me. If there is a headline in the paper about a child being abused...I skip it. It just makes me so sad. I am very passionate about certain orphans and AIDS and world hunger. I think about those things a lot...I think about what I can do. Putting action to my thoughts helps.

Putting it all together. Cam and I have joked many times about this. When I walk into a new situation I immediately take in ALL of the senses. Is it hot, cold, bright, dark, loud, quiet, messy, clean, how does it smell, how does it all feel. I can give him a list of all of this within about 30 seconds. He is mystified.
And...I should add that when I get overloaded, when I'm "done", "I've had it", there is little I can do to hold it all in. Not pretty.

So, I'm going to the library to get the books written about being Highly Sensitive. There is also one for kids who are Sensitive. I know for sure we have at least one of these types. I'll report back after reading the books. Very interesting.


  1. okay, you're right. we are twins.
    and because i feel super close to you right now, i am going to tell you one of my hsp secrets... i don't wear underwear because i can't stand the feeling of it. i know, i know.

  2. As I was reading your post I was thinkihg "Wow! Becky really IS sensitive". Just out of curiosity I took the quiz and I answered yes to 20 of the questions! So now I know I'm not crazy, just "highly sensitive". My husband is not surprised. :-)

  3. I'll be curious to hear what you find out in your readings! Also, just had to say how crazy it is that we have a drumset just like the one in your picture! ;)



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