I'm feeling like this bench. Are you?

I’m feeling like this bench. Are you?

Are you overwhelmed by all this information about highly sensitive people? I am.

Well, at least I’m tired of writing about it. I can’t begin to imagine how Elaine  Aron feels. I wrote two blog posts–this one and that one–and I’ve had it.

Well, I’ve almost had it. I still have a few more things to say. Observations and story or two. Then I’ll be done. For at least a while.

Observations from an HSP about HSPs

1. With the caveat that there are exceptions, we are the best bunch of people to have if you want to get something done. We follow the rules that you give us and we work hard to please you. Of course, we may start to cry or get edgy if you put a lot of pressure on us (like time us or yell at us), but you can rest assured that we will do the very best we can before we drop from the emotional and physical duress.

I'm finally done. I hope you like...

I’m finally done. I hope you like…

2. You can’t hide much from us. If we ask you, “How are you doing?” and you say “Fine,” but you’re not, we’ll know it. The extroverts might pump you for details. The rest of us will just worry ourselves sick over you and hope you’ll share your pain with us.

3. Most of us suffer from low self-esteem. This comes from being told all of our lives that something is terribly wrong with us. “You’re too shy/sensitive/soft/emotional.” “If you don’t toughen up, you’ll never make it in this world.” “It’s not normal/natural to want to be by yourself so much.”

We’re a minority. We’re different. And “different” is often defined as “wrong.”

I have blue eyes, and blue eyes are very rare in the natural world (among animals). They are becoming increasingly rare in humans, especially in America. Only about 1 in 5 Caucasian Americans have blue eyes. So my high sensitivity AND my eye color make me different, but do they make me “wrong” or in need of repair? Now, my dizzy blondeness, that’s another story…

Rare, different. Not wrong.

Rare, different. Not wrong.

The other reason HSPs have low self-esteem is that once HSPs learn that they are HSPs, other people make fun of the whole HSP concept. You know those people teasing us as not HSPs. I supposed these teasers don’t believe that being highly sensitive is a real condition–that we are just making something up, like post traumatic stress syndrome, or something. That’s why Elaine emphasized the scientific studies. In our Western culture, if science says it’s real, it’s real.

Oh, well if he says it's a fact, it must be true.

Oh, well if he says it’s a fact, it must be true.

I find that annoying, but I’m highly sensitive, so what do you expect?

4. I found many of my HSP compatriots to be quite funny. We have learned to use humor to quell stress and deflect rising tensions in social situations.

Speaking of Humor…

I rarely drive farther than the grocery story by myself. Remember, my name means “lost,” and I was aptly named.

Armed with printed driving directions (that I tried to memorize) and my GPS, I headed for the Kripalu Center, some 200+ miles away. I also had fully-charged Lornoid (my super smart droid phone). Oh, and, yes, my usual overnight stuff. I figured I was set. The New and Improved, Published Author, Independent Lorna could do anything…

…except get to Kripalu without incident.

I got lost.

How? Good question!

1. For some reason, Lornoid decided not to talk to my Prius, something she always does around town due to the magic of Bluetooth. So when various people (my sister who I was meeting there and Phil who worries about me because, well, he just does) tried to call, I couldn’t easily push a button on my steering wheel and say a chipper “Hi!” and chat. No, I panicked trying to find the phone in my stupid, behemoth body bag  handbag. Since it’s illegal to hold a cell phone and talk while driving in NY, I figured it was also illegal to wrestle with my handbag to find my phone or try to dial it while it was on the floor (also while driving). This got me a bit flustered  majorly kerdoozled.

2. Anything I had previously memorized–including my name and the fact I had printed directions–vanished.

3. I had to rely on my GPS, who (which?) decided to take me a different way than I thought I remembered I should go. But maybe I wasn’t remembering things correctly, what with Lornoid not speaking to me, and all.

4. Just after I made a turn that seemed really (and by “really,” I mean “REALLY”) wrong, the GPS flashed an error message: “Sorry, temporarily lost signal, please wait.” I thought, “Such a calm message, why didn’t I feel calm?” I kept driving and waiting. I waved the GSP around the car windshield and ceiling. The car swerved. I could tell each time I hit those rumble-strips on the shoulder of the road. Still no signal. I saw a sign that looked familiar, so I took the exit.

5. I was headed back west instead of east.  I was headed back home. It’s an easy mistake to make when you’re flailing around a GPS and crying on your way to a relaxing retreat.

6. I generally drive just under the speed limit to maximize my fuel consumption, but I had that Prius going almost 80 MPH just to make for lost time and trying to find the first exit that would turn me back around.

Maybe next time I go on a solo road trip, I'll get some of these tires for my Prius. My gas mileage may suffer, but if I have to go off road, I will.

Maybe next time I go on a solo road trip, I’ll get some of these tires for my Prius. My gas mileage may suffer, but I’ll get there.

7. Once I finally found the proper direction and exit, regained my composure and memory, I felt sure I could read my printed directions and drive to the center. No such luck. Road construction.

8. Regretfully, mournfully, I plugged in the GPS. True to form, she took me on another wild adventure. This time, I went on a gravel road (not under construction)–I think it was called Creepy Pants Road or some “C” name– and a twisty mountain road that I believe only goats and hikers use.

9. By chance, I saw a large complex way down the side of the mountain I was on. I figured it must be Kripalu. Or a mirage. Either way, I was headed for it.

10. I saw a sharp, but narrow road to my right and took it. Then I followed what looked like a hiking path that lead me to an actual paved driveway. I was there. 40 minutes late and 100 stress levels over where wanted to be.

The utility road I took to get to the Kripalu campus.

The utility road I took to get to the Kripalu campus. That’s my niece. Thank goodness she wasn’t on the path when I was driving down it. There was no room for my car and any other form of life.

Everything was great during the weekend, although my niece and I got lost on our way back from the lake right near the complex.

Other than a fight nearly breaking out between an extroverted and an introverted HSP during the last morning of the retreat, all went well.

Then I had to go home. Guess what? I asked for directions. They gave them to me. Simple. Take three rights and I’ll be on the interstate. Wrong. Someone forgot that there was a left in there somewhere.

After I drove past a cemetery and really wanted just to park there and stay, I took a deep breath, plugged the GPS in and took my chances. I made it home. Obviously. That cemetery had no WiFi connection at all.

Had it been this cemetery, I might still be there...

Had it been this cemetery, I might still be there…