top of page

Being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) Makes Me Awesome and Annoying

I think about Holocaust victims Anne Frank and her family nearly every day.

I don’t totally understand why.

Aside from that I’ve come to understand I am an “HSP” —Highly Sensitive Person. Did you know such a title exists?

Yes, it seems like there is a label and category for every type of person today, but educating myself on how I’m wired has helped me understand myself more. Knowing the reasoning when I was younger would have helped me make sense of the weight of emotions I’ve always wrestled with.

I am a curious person, so the other day I was asking my husband if he ever feels so hopeless and sad by the pain of others.

He furrowed his brow. “Not really”, he replied. “I’m not proud of that, but I don’t think most people feel it like you do.”

I continued, “So you never think of Anne Frank and how she was stuck in that apartment for like 2 years with her family with no privacy, freedom or fresh air only to be ratted out by a neighbor after living in constant fear?”

He exhaled, “Wow. No. I don’t think of that on a daily basis.”

I added, “Then you probably never think about how terrible it must have been on the Titanic, especially for the parents to see their kids suffer.”

These are recurring thoughts for me. I think of past events that have nothing to do with me, but I feel as though they are sewn into me.

I think of those who are currently suffering.

Kids who are being abused.

Moms who are struggling to feed their kids.

It literally hurts my innards. Probably most of all because I can’t fix it all, and I have to make peace that it all exists while I type this in my mom-van at a McDonald’s parking lot using their free wifi while I wait for my daughter to finish her cross country practice.

The imbalanced scales gnaw at my sanity.

I came across the definition of an HSP a couple of years ago and my eyes widened that there exists a psychological label for people like me who feel things so deeply it can pull them down. Seeing my type of brain being defined as different from the norm was validating.

I always sensed I feel the enormity of life more than most people. I guess it was just nice to know that’s okay.

I’ve never had a boyfriend NOT tell me I’m too sensitive. I always tried to change it and blamed myself for letting feelings land too intensely in me and letting thoughts simmer too long.

A powerful poem or song can take my breath away. Hell, a commercial with a puppy can also do that. Things thoroughly move me and find a way to take root in my brain as an HSP.

There is truly never a day that goes by where my thoughts don’t slip away to painful or powerful things in my life, but mostly other people’s lives. People I’ve never even met or who are long gone.

It’s like empathy on cocaine.