Hypersensitive me, making your handicap a strength

by France Missud

To be hypersensitive is to feel stronger, to experience everything intensely, to overreact, to cry a lot. To be hypersensitive is to turn into a wave sensor, a sponge, often needing calm after having lived through days full of encounters, noises, sensations. It is also, sometimes, to saturate. To be hypersensitive is to share emotions, to see that there is something hidden, to analyze a lot, to guess intentions. To be hypersensitive is to feel disturbed and always want to adapt. But being hypersensitive also means putting yourself in the shoes of others, understanding when things are going wrong and trying to help. Being hypersensitive can be so beautiful, it's walking on connection, having kept your child's soul, following your heart, living by feeling, having fun, venturing into unknown universes just out of curiosity.


Testimony :

When I was young, I threw huge tantrums, fell into deep sadness for nothing, and wanted to pick up all the stray cats in the neighborhood to which I felt “connected”. With each of my mother's crises (of bipolarity) it was as if someone were stabbing me. While it seemed to be slipping on my sister, who emotionally handled the mess pretty well, I couldn't bear to see my mother suffer. At nine years old, I discovered first that she was carrying my brother in her belly. I had guessed. As a teenager, when it was good to harass the weakest, I put myself in danger to defend them. In the evening, feeling misunderstood, I scarified myself by writing morbid texts in my diary. At eighteen, in search of something else, I ended up discovering, in the world of the night, people with the same sensitivity as me. At first I thought I had found similar ones. But, even if this new entourage understood me on many points, theirs, sensitivity, was always associated with much heavier pathologies: schizophrenia, paranoia, bipolar disorder... Badly surrounded, I quickly fell into coke and alcohol, life seemed to me either uninteresting or too much to bear. At twenty-three, not recognizing myself either in these hypersensitive psychotics or in more rational people, I ended up believing myself to be alone in the world. So I gave in to calls from the rest of my family to make me normal. I lined up. To suffer less, to be accepted, I repressed my true identity. At the time, nobody was talking about hypersensitivity. I was thought to be bipolar, like my mother. I wanted to prove them wrong. At thirty years old, a few months before a wedding that I was not preparing, my ex, a pure heart, left me to "give me back my freedom". He had it all figured out. I had just spent seven years not feeling alive. Shortly after, immersed by chance in the artistic milieu of the Marais district, I finally found people who understood me and accepted me as I was, but above all with whom I felt safe. Similar ones, real ones. But after four years of happiness and freedom, I still didn't know how to put a word to what we were. It was a psychiatrist, met in the evening after the second confinement, who first gave me this "diagnosis". It was a real shock. What a relief, at thirty-four, to finally understand how it works and be reassured at the same time. I was not crazy, as some members of my family thought, but simply hypersensitive. And yes, no, it's not quite the same. Today, I stopped feeling guilty, I no longer see my hypersensitivity as a handicap but as a strength. No, being unhappy when you are hypersensitive is not inevitable.


"Apologizing for being what you are when you feel that what you are damages

But what we are must love it, accept it and find people that it sublimates"

“If you don't recognize that you are hypersensitive, you feel abnormal and guilty and you multiply the errors. The worst thing you can say to a hypersensitive person is “be zen, calm down. “The hypersensitive has a very precious gift, he knows how to spot what are called “weak signals” and be a precursor. He knows how to think outside the box and has an extraordinary ability to sense what people are experiencing, feeling and expecting”

Hypersensitivity is fashionable

Thanks to the confinement, to the shaking of our model of society, and to all these existential upheavals that this has created in us, the question of its true identity is now in fashion. Many of us have wondered in recent months. Who are we really, deep down? How do we operate? Many articles on hypersensitivity, so little described a few years ago, hatch. More and more people consult, express themselves, dare to talk about their anxieties, their fears and their very particular way of approaching the events of life. And many discover themselves, therefore, like me, to their great relief, hypersensitive and not crazy. Still estimated at 15% of the world population barely twenty years ago (source: Elaine N Aron: These people who are afraid of being afraid: better understanding hypersensitivity) we would be today 25 and 30% (source : Saverio Tomasella).

Yes, the search for your true self is in fashion and so much the better! Let's stop listening to the party poopers, the jealous and the closed-minded, if they want to continue to live in a loveless world where control, judgment and fear reign, it's their choice, not ours. . Let's get to know each other, it makes you happier, more peaceful and more tolerant, I promise you.


What causes hypersensitivity?

From a scientific point of view, more readily accepted in the West, and even if there are not many purely biological studies on the subject, hypersensitivity would be explained by a mixture of genetic AND environmental factors. I would therefore have inherited the annoying gene from my mother and not my sister, who was born of the same parents. But, if I had been adopted, if I hadn't been brought up by this mother, unsuited to the job, would I have developed such great hypersensitivity? I'm not sure. And, if I had experienced more trauma, would I have turned bipolar? Experts don't have many answers on this. Yet, although they don't really know how to explain it, many don't hesitate to put us down. In 2021, some even consider it, still, as a pathology and call for its treatment... (https://e-psychiatrie.fr/situations-ou-appelle-a-laide/hypersensibilite-hyperemotivite/). We also find a plethora of articles explaining to us that hypersensitivity does not exist and that we are just whiners. ( https://www.letemps.ch/societe/hypersensibles-amongst many examples.) In France, we are often seen as weaklings, finders of excuses, visionaries.

But then what to do with all these resemblances that we notice when we find ourselves between us? And who are they to speak for us?

From a spiritual point of view, more prevalent in the rest of the world, hypersensitivity would be our normal state. In some Asian or Latin American countries it is accepted, even encouraged. According to their philosophy, fetuses would all develop hypersensitive and environmental factors, family factors, trauma, would make us reject it or not. The great sages call to find it. You will have guessed that I lean more towards that side of the theory.


Why is it so hard to be hypersensitive in our society?

To be born hypersensitive in our rational and unspiritual Western society is therefore rather considered a handicap. When we can be ourselves, we are children. We laugh, we laugh, we have fun, we are happy with nothing, optimistic, naive, kind, playful, excited. And that really annoys the three-quarters of the population that doesn't work like us. We even annoy too, the hypersensitive having rejected their true nature. Ah, no, we are not very well surrounded, we can say that. For them, we are always too much or not enough. In this society of judgment, of performance, it is very difficult to have heightened sensitivity. The hypersensitive does not understand what is being reproached to him, he feels hurt, unloved and lowers himself to be accepted. Many hypersensitive people, by dint of devaluing themselves, end up having very low self-esteem and fall into depression, addictions or even suicidal behavior. Yet the world needs our hypersensitivity as much, if not more, than their rationality.

Make your hypersensitivity a strength

But, if we can thank the rational population for having built our cities and directed our societies, we can thank the sensitive population for having known how to appease the debates, heal the wounds and create art and philosophy. What would a world be without music, without books, without beauty? All this we owe to the hypersensitive.

When the hypersensitive is born into a family where he feels accepted, when the teaching body knows how to highlight his abilities, when he manages to accept himself, the hypersensitive can change the world, make it evolve. The great currents of thought of Ancient Greece or the 17th century prove it. Philosophy has made it possible to make life better, to change mentalities, to protect minorities.

Endowed with a strong capacity for empathy, the hypersensitive want to share, defend injustices, love. If he feels confident, secure, he will write, invent, debate to get things done, to try to make himself understood, to spread his ideas. And he will always encourage others to speak up to free themselves. The different look he has on the beauty of nature, of the human being, pushes him to travel, meet, create, music, art, love, to help his neighbour, the make you happier. In addition to the artistic professions therefore, it is often found in those of health, or in humanitarian work. Live fully, share, help, create, this is how the hypersensitive flourishes. And if he manages to surround himself with people who understand and accept him and to take a step back with those said to be "more rational", not to be eaten up by judgment, narcissistic perverts or hopeless cases, he will get there. By expressing all his energy wisely, the hypersensitive will create a world, his world, that of his entourage, more beautiful, fairer, more peaceful.

“This is what makes us throb in the loving, friendly relationship with our children. That's what makes watching a good film, a painting, a piece of music, a sunset, a beautiful landscape, one can be transported. It's what gives salt to life, flavor to existence... yes, it's a real treasure! And it makes us smart. And unique too. It is a great asset for happiness, for joy, for conviviality and sharing because we do not seek happiness for ourselves, by navel-gazing, but really a shared joy, a kind of sense of celebration, d a sparkling life. A kind of daily enchantment. (Saverio Tomasella)

A few tips to better manage your hypersensitivity

- stop believing that it is a weakness: hypersensitivity is an asset. It allows us to see more things, to better understand our neighbor and the world in general.

- no longer wanting to control their emotions, not fighting against their true nature, letting go, letting their emotions express themselves as they come

- accept yourself, learn to love yourself, want to do yourself good

- take time for yourself, rest, allow yourself moments of calm, listen to your body

- trust your instincts: if you don't feel a person, a room, a job, a situation: flee, far away. On the contrary, surround yourself with caring people, in sharing, with whom the relationship will be balanced: you don't give more than what you receive

- Think of yourself first. Stop trying to save the whole world

If this article has allowed you to recognize yourself, then I say welcome misfits, freaks, atypical people, no, you are not alone, and above all: long live love and freedom!

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