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I Discovered that I am Highly Sensitive

I am sure many of you HSPs can relate when I say that I have always known I was sensitive. Not only was I told it in several different ways from others (“you are too sensitive,” “you take things too personally,” “stop overreacting”), but I also always felt a bit too fragile for this world. This lead to quite a bit of confusion, low self-esteem, and also suicidal ideation since I did not know why I seemed to feel so much all of the time. I also didn't really have any clear answers of how to cope. It was when I started dipping my toes into somatic work (body psychotherapy) that I became increasingly aware of how much I had not been present in my body, for most of my life. I was in my head a lot, and I can see now that I was always harbouring a low level of dissociation. The dissociation was strong enough that I was able to distance myself from the intense sensations going on, but also weak enough that I was still able to appear like a functioning human on the outside. I always felt this constant buzzing and stress though, one that expressed itself in my physical body as various ailments and mannerisms. What I did not know at the time is that High Sensitivity is an actual researched temperament, one that about 30% of the population experience. Once I learned more about being highly sensitive, I felt a lot more validated in what I had been experiencing on the inside since birth. It was as if someone was finally explaining to my inner child, in perfect language, what exactly she had experienced all these years. Memories literally started flashing before my eyes, all starting to make much more sense as to why I responded in certain ways throughout my life. I remember stating to my therapist, “I feel like my nervous system is finally able to take a break for the first time ever.” I do believe that things happen in the timing they are meant to, but I also wish I knew about this a lot earlier in my life. Because of how much this discovery has helped me on my journey, I chose to specialize in helping others who experience this trait as well. I really feel like I got my life back in a way. It is as if I now know the language of my body, so acknowledging and helping it through day to day feels much easier. I am less anxious and exhausted, and my self-esteem has most certainly increased.

I truly thank Elaine Aaron and others for their research on this trait, my highly sensitive clients who help me create new tools and ways of working with highly sensitive individuals every single day, and also to my inner child, for having the courage to shine after so many years. It has truly been a blessing to be on this journey!


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