Learning About Myself by Learning About my Child

I’ve written on this topic before. But things have been bubbling up for me over the past two months so I’ve deemed it worthy to bring it up again. Now that I’m back in school I’ve noticed that I have been very on edge since classes began. As an intelligent human being, I’ve been trying to trouble shoot the edginess, but as far as I’ve gotten is: Gee, I sure am noticing how tightly wound I am! Funny enough one of my courses is touching on my condition which my eight year old shares with me: high sensitivity.

When my mom first told me that I might be a “highly sensitive person” I probably said something along the lines of a very rude version of: hmm thanks for taking the time to care about me, mom, but I really don’t think I am a cry-baby. Then she gave me a book and I realized that highly sensitive doesn’t mean cry-baby. It means you sense things. With heightened intensity.

The hubs and I have had plenty of arguments about the volume of the T.V. I like it at a pleasant volume which requires turning it down a notch or two during the commercials and then back up when the show comes back on. Ah, that makes a nice consistent volume. The jacked up commercial volume kinda makes me want to jump off a cliff. A few weeks ago I kept noticing a smell in the kitchen and tried to figure out where it was coming from. It was not rotten; instead a “chemically flowery” smell—the worst! I realized when I opened the silverware drawer, that the smell of the scented trash bags wafted up from the bottom cabinet to my nose. Whoever invented scented trash bags is never going to be my friend. Just ew. And last weekend I noticed a different soapy smell in the kitchen again. It couldn’t be those dreaded trash bags because I exiled them to the laundry room cabinets far, far away. Instead the cleaning lady had replaced our regular Comet cleaner with Lavender scented Comet cleaner. Ah-ha! And again, ew.

Of course Chris thinks I’m a total weirdo that I smell and hear things that he does not but he is somewhat acclimated to my running list of Things My Super Sniffer Does Not Like (there is an entire section dedicated to restaurants that use the same powerful soap that overtakes any aroma of food and therefore I’ve quit dining there.) But we also have the occasional fight that he can’t understand because I can sense him being upset with me and doesn’t say anything about it. I prod and in return “But I didn’t say anything!” Duh. Your body did though. So out with it! And although he “accepts” my idiosyncrasies most of the time, there are times I know he’d like to fix me. Once we took the highly sensitive person test together (http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/) (He checked maybe three boxes and I checked fourteen out of seventeen.) Afterwards he retorted, “ok, well now what do you do about it?!” That’s the tricky part.

In one of my educational psychology courses we are studying different types of students which got me thinking about Sammy. She has a lot of similar characteristics as me. The other day I tried to convey something I know is a personal need and consider it something that Sammy needs too- downtime. Chris argued that shooting baskets is downtime. Well, yes for some people! But if I continue to do too much in a day and in a week my nerves get so shot that inside my body are not muscles and bones, but rather nerves that are striking bolts of lightning in an epic storm. It is not just an idea of being mentally annoyed at something; it’s a physical feeling with a physical reaction- for me usually it’s yelling. Sammy too. This is why I probably usually look like the meanest mom or the strictest Sunday School teacher. Because when I see seven kids playing with large sticks my perception is this: Step One) Yikes. Kids with sticks. Step Two) I look at other adults to see their reactions. No one is making any facial expressions that indicate concern. Step Three) Oh my god, I have to say something. Someone is going to get hurt. Step Four) THIS FEELS LIKE AN EMERGENCY! SAMMY WE ARE LEAVING N-O-W!!!! I hate feeling like the crazy mean lady. My only consolation is that somehow this must be some primitive protective characteristic—listen! The neighboring tribe is getting much louder! They must be claiming this as their territory. We better evacuate and concede this land to them for our own survival!

So what do I do to calm my edgy ass down? Well, today I took a relaxing bath. That helped. Mostly because it gave me quiet time to think all alone. I think everyone needs that. But if some people have iron deficiencies, I must certainly have alone time deficiencies. And I take time to journal. Lol, no I don’t. I miss journaling in my bed before bedtime but I haven’t done that in years. I surely do like my blog though! J And I went on Amazon today and looked at noise cancelling headphones that I’m requesting for my birthday! If those are on your wish list too to combat inner electric storms, maybe you are a non-cry-baby sensitive person, too!