Kitten on a desk


It’s a Sunday night. It’s late. I can’t sleep. I’m physically tired from a pretty busy day, but my brain is wired. I lie in bed watching repeats of Buffy, and as the Mayor of Sunnydale ascends I struggle to keep my eyes open, but sleep still eludes me.

At first I couldn’t work out why. But then I dutifully followed the advice of people who know about these things, and got out of bed rather than staying there, being frustrated from not being able to sleep. And then it came to me with absolute clarity. Something that had been in the back of my mind for a little while, stewing away.

It’s this: I’m struggling with the human race. Well, not the entire human race. I’ve always said that I believe the majority of people are good, with integrity, morals, compassion and understanding, but that the ones that aren’t like that tend to be a lot louder. That’s who Im struggling with.

They’re being really loud at the moment. There’s two things that particularly bother me lately. Climate change denialists and those who can’t/won’t understand why Indigenous Australians and us allies want to change the date of Australia Day.

This post isn’t about me trying to convince others of my point of view. So please, don’t try to convince me of an alternative point of view either. I just need to tell my story, to get it out and possibly to help someone else who is struggling with the stuff that triggers us when it seems to be all around us.

I’m a HSP—a Highly Sensitive Person. If you want to know more about HSPs, read anything by Elaine Aron. If you are a HSP yourself, I highly recommend Ted Zeff’s book, ’The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide’. In a nutshell, this means my nervous system is built differently to that of a non-HSP. It’s not just me being precious. I feel certain things very deeply. For example, I can’t watch ‘FAIL’ videos where people have painful accidents, as my body actually feels the impact of their body against hard concrete, river banks, etc. It can be a really bizarre thing and different HSPs are affected in different ways.

When it comes to seeing people ranting without educating themselves, and abusing others without any sign of compassion or understanding, I feel it deeply. It’s like a heaviness in my body. My brain buzzes, but I don’t have the energy or focus to do anything productive. It’s actually surprising that I can sit here and write this when I feel the way I feel, but it’s probably because writing helps me process everything I’m feeling and will hopefully make me feel a little lighter—just enough to be able to sleep would be amazing.

I don’t really watch the news or read it online. Most of what I see comes from social media. I’d like to take time away from social media completely, but unfortunately I need it to do work for my clients. I have my social media set up in a way that I avoid seeing stuff that’s hard for me to see, but it sometimes still creeps in. I’ll spend some time tightening it up even more so that I can use it as I need without seeing the stuff that upsets me.

In the meantime, I urge everyone to be kind to others, even when you have differing views. Try to learn from others. Above all, please go gently. Some of us really struggle with the harshness of the world around us.

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I’ve woken up this morning to the news about Kobe Bryant before I could even post this from last night. Again, feeling the weight of all this. Feeling at a loose end. Found myself scrolling social media again to read the news but that just made me more upset about it. Going to hang out with our kitten, pick up the other kitten, and just take time today to be grateful for all that I have.

Images shows a black and white kitten asleep on a desk.

2 thoughts on “HSP”

  1. I can relate to a degree of being a HSP Karen. I love reading your blogs, ingughtful, heartfelt and honest. Anna x

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