This is the result when a HSP goes to a crowded fireworks show.

In my ongoing internal battle between what I want to do and what I think I should do (because of a compulsive need to please all living souls), I lose every time. These battles are almost always about some festive situation.

Most times I do what I think is expected of me, so as not to disappoint anyone, thus bringing the world to an end prior to 2012. While I may enjoy myself, there are always consequences: important things are left undone (laundry, clipping my toenails, catching up on TV programs on the DVR–all too risky to postpone), or my wellbeing takes a hit. I become zombie-like and have to point, gesture, or grunt to communicate because words escape me as if they were prisoners in my brain and their escape plan finally succeeded.

On the rare occasion that I decide do what I want to do, I don’t end up doing it. I ruminate about my selfishness and worry about what’s being said about me behind my back. If my back was there, I’d know what was being said. This may sound crazy and paranoid, which is why I usually don’t go with the selfish option.

Case in point. This past holiday weekend was long and filled with social events. I soldiered though most of them well, without any alcohol  or non-prescription drugs. The grand finale of the weekend was the annual fireworks show downtown. My mom loves fireworks. She’s in her late 70s and keeps alluding to the notion that she may not be around much longer. My older sister and her husband were going. Had my younger sister been in the area, she would have gone. How could I not go?

Going to the fireworks meant several things:

  1. I missed my normal bedtime and got home by the time I normally get up for my first nightly visit to the bathroom to pee.
  2. I was Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) in the midst of HSP Hell. The sensory stimulation will probably keep me awake until Thursday.
  3. I had to leave Scrappy at home alone to deal with his bomb-phobia. I expected to come back to find a PTSD pup looking for his next “fix” of doggie-downers before he would crawl out from behind the toilet.
  4. My family was happy, thus so was I.

Was it worth it? As I sit here, fully medicated and quite pleased that my fingers can do the talking (because my mouth is closed for business), I say “yes.”

Hey, Dude, got any more of those doggie-downers? I had some major flashbacks when the bombs started going off.

Scrappy survived, although he looked a bit war-weary. I’m still functionally literate and able to brush my teeth–good to go. Last night, the evening air was beautiful. Listening to the kids ooh and ah was fun. I closed my eyes for most of the show and said to myself, “Lorna, you made it through brain surgery; you can make it through this.” Having had brain surgery gives me the opportunity for some mighty inspirational pep talks.

Mom said the crowds were too much for her, so this was probably her last year of fireworks, although she enjoyed the show. Ah, that was music to my overstimulated ears: one less self-imposed wrestling match.