For all those who read my (very long) first post on this website, about HSP. High Sensitivity is a personality trait that’s been coined in the mid 90’s by Dr. Elaine Aron. She’s a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) herself and a Doctor in clinical psychology. She and her husband Arthur, who is in the medical field as well, performed research supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Brain Imaging Center in 2013. They concluded, based on fMRI brain scans, that there are very clear differences in the working of the central nervous system of people with the sensory processing sensitivity trait (the scientific name for HSP), and those who don’t possess the trait.
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Aron’s website: “If you find you are highly sensitive, or your child is, I’d like you to know the following. Your trait is normal. It is found in 15 to 20% of the population–too many to be a disorder, but not enough to be well understood by the majority of those around you. It is innate. In fact, biologists have found it in over 100 species (and probably there are many more) from fruit flies, birds, and fish to dogs, cats, horses, and primates. This trait reflects a certain type of survival strategy, being observant before acting. The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) actually work a little differently than others’. You are more aware than others of subtleties. This is mainly because your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. So even if you wear glasses, for example, you see more than others by noticing more. You are also more easily overwhelmed. If you notice everything, you are naturally going to be overstimulated when things are too intense, complex, chaotic, or novel for a long time. This trait is not a new discovery, but it has been misunderstood. Because HSPs prefer to look before entering new situations, they are often called “shy.” But shyness is learned, not innate. In fact, 30% of HSPs are extroverts, although the trait is often mislabeled as introversion. It has also been called inhibitedness, fearfulness, or neuroticism. Some HSPs behave in these ways, but it is not innate to do so and not the basic trait. Sensitivity is valued differently in different cultures. In cultures where it is not valued, HSPs tend to have low self-esteem. They are told “don’t be so sensitive” so that they feel abnormal.”
Some people wonder, is “high sensitivity” just a very mild form of autism or Asperger’s? The answer is no. Elaine Aron says “Sensory processing sensitivity is a personality trait found in up to 20% of the population therefore it is too high of a percentage to be a disorder or a condition. It is simply a misunderstood personality trait. On top of that it is found in over a hundred species of animals, it is innate and serves a purpose. Variety in personality is a good quality for any species to guarantee the survival of the species. This has just not been thoroughly researched.”
I’m an almost 32 year old adult and I’ve learned to cope with my sensitivities. I grew up not knowing and learned about HSP when I was already in my late teens and now have a highly sensitive almost 4 year old who just started school. I still vividly remember my first day of school. I remember the large windows in the room and my mom walking away through the door and me crawling under the table and crying. My daughter had her first day of school 3 days ago. Luckily she didn’t cry. She seemed stunned more than anything, but she also seemed fine and saw me leave and waved at me. But each afternoon when picking her up she was wired up, clearly overstimulated and could not take any more stimuli. She put her fingers in her ears and was screaming that there was too much noise and that she wanted to leave. She has been getting a lot of new impressions, a lot of noises, non stop for hours in a row. For a non-HSP kid this is already a big event, starting school. But for these fine tuned ultra sensitive kids it’s even bigger. We are lucky enough to have found alternative education for my preschooler, she is going to what is called a “leefschool” in Dutch, which literally translated means a school to live, a familiar environment comparable to the home environment, something comparable to the American type of one-room schoolhouse/Montessori. Her school pays attention to high sensitivity, there are multiple teachers per group and instead of one tiny cramped classroom for way too many children, they offer a large house type of building with multiple rooms for the kids where they can play in silence in a corner if they would feel like it, there is even a dark cuddle area with pillows and stuffed animals and dim lights for those kids who feel the need to rest on their own. This school is the school I would have loved to go as a tiny human. And still my 3 year old is completely overwhelmed and overstimulated. She has a blast and absorbs all the stimuli, but she is wired, frazzled and completely overstimulated.
For weeks now I’ve been at a loss about what to do, I graduated as a kindergarten teacher over a decade ago and after working in the school system and being frustrated with it I quit and vowed to do something, some day for kids who simply don’t fit into this system. Those kids whose central nervous system simply processes so much more subtle information, those kids who tap into other dimensions and see things that others don’t see, those kids who absorb energies like sponges and who talk to fairies in the forest. Kids who love to play but who want to hit the mute button when it gets too loud. Kids who read subtle facial expressions and body language like others read the newspaper.
If you’ve read my previous blogpost and the post before that (which I highly recommend you do) you’ll read a little bit about soul purpose and being “in the vortex” and signs from source (god, the universe, spirit, creator, whatever you want to call it). When you’re here on a mission, you know it, you feel it, you’re here in service of others and the frustration is big when you’re here on a mission and have no idea what that mission entails. The universe communicates with us through various ways (see previous post about number synchronicity!) I’ve always known my mission had something to do with working with children. I excitedly got my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education over a decade ago, and was planning to dedicate my life to assisting old souls in young bodies and how to navigate this earth. Soon unfortunately I realized that what I wanted to do, was something I was unable to do within the existing educational system, and that’s when the first bout of “life-purpose-frustration” hit. I left the educational system. Fast forward to +10 years and I now have a preschooler and another bout of “life-purpose frustration”.
But after yet another incident where my child reacted differently than what is considered the norm, I’m seeing that she’s a divine messenger. Here I am, thinking I made a good choice choosing this school for her, which in all honesty is probably the best thing a highly sensitive child is able to get when it comes to education at this point in time, that meets HSP needs. But after still being wired and overwhelmed, after a 2 hour drawn out cry session before finally falling asleep, which was the result of over-stimulation and not having the coping skills as a young 3 year old to handle these new life events, both mom in tears and kid in tears, I am beginning to gain more clarity. Source has been consistently providing me with signs and I am willing to follow them and more and more they are guiding me towards fully diving into what my soul has been calling me to do for over a decade now, which is assisting old souls in young bodies on how to navigate this earth. But I’m gonna have to do it my own way, outside of the educational system. The idea of writing children’s books has been with me for almost half a decade now. Over the last 5 years I’ve started many times and stopped. There are little brainstorm mind-maps scribbled down from years ago when I got the idea and started writing things down and then stopped. But source has been consistent in its signs, and my own highly sensitive crying from 7pm till 9pm – overstimulated – unable to wind down preschooler might be the biggest one yet. Books geared specifically towards highly sensitives, crystal children, indigos, multidimensionally aware children, all those babies who came into this earth aware and awakened, activated and remembering their divine origin, the empaths, those children who still remember source and carry the divine spark of love inside of them and for who it is a very rough ride to suddenly descend into 3rd density and have to adjust their experience to this reality. For those kids, and their parents I will write stories based on my experience as a highly sensitive mother, former highly sensitive child, my daughter’s experiences, and my highly sensitive beloved who can offer a male perspective on high sensitivity. I’m lucky enough to have found my dear beloved, who can draw just about anything out of thin air, with whom I was meant to join creative forces. He sketched out a dragon figure hand puppet, which I ended up crocheting and bringing to life and it’s already proven to be a very successful way to communicate with my daughter who seems way more responsive to the dragon than to adults sometimes when overstimulated. What these books will look like, is still a mystery to me, but source will reveal it to me step by step, as has been the case for months now. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s to not question the divine plan because it is always way better than what you had in mind yourself.
Are you a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), empath, do you have a highly sensitive child? What have been your experiences?