I learned I was a Highly Sensitive Person in August 2018. I’ll never forget that moment. My entire life, I was frustrated with who I was because I thought that I was difficult – difficult for others to deal with and difficult for myself to understand and deal with. I felt like something was always wrong with me because I reacted, thought, and felt so deeply and so strongly about so many things and it confused and frustrated me why others didn’t empathize with me, validate me intense emotions and reactions, understand them, or quite frankly, feel and react the same way I did.
It wasn’t until I was venting to one of my friends about how frustrated I was with myself that I literally could not keep a job, any job, in any field, in any career path, that didn’t make me completely and utterly miserable and depressed. At this time, John and I had just moved to Denver for his job and I had finally quit my 3-year hellacious, corporate career 6 months earlier without anything lined up in Denver. Out of financial desperation, I broke my promise to myself that I would never, ever work a traditional job again because they didn’t align with me in any way and made me miserable, I took a desk job at a staffing agency. The second I started working there, I absolutely hated it. I knew I would. I should’ve listened to myself and protected my peace. I should’ve honored my boundaries. So within two weeks, I had a breakdown and quit. I was so mad at myself for not being able to cope with the world like everybody else.
“Why am I so difficult!? I’m crazy!”, I said to my friend.
And then she said the words that would change my life forever: “you’re not crazy, you’re just ‘highly sensitive’”.
When she said those words: highly sensitive, they immediately resonated with me. STRONGLY. They sounded familiar but I couldn’t pinpoint why…
Since my B.A. is in psychology, I thought I must’ve learned it in school. But after much thought and perusing of my old textbooks, I realized my classes weren’t the origin of my familiarity with this term.