I am emotionally sensitive. In everything I say and do, I am more sensitive than others. It’s not something I developed or brought on myself. It is the way my brain works and has always worked. I can’t switch it on and off and I can’t drown it out. It is who I am and it’s who I am always going to be. There are so many bad sides to it but there are also many good.
Today, I had yet another assessment at the mental health unit of my local hospital. One that was more in-depth, and it was easier to open up in. Now, remember I said I’m emotionally sensitive? Well, every time I talk about things and situations that make me uncomfortable, things that I bottled up for a perfectly valid reasons and things that scare me so much I don’t sleep at night, are emotionally exhausting. I come home and just want to sleep because I can’t physically cope with bringing up things I buried. It’s so emotionally draining, to talk about things that I’ve carried around with me for years, things that I could have done better and situations I could have handled differently. I bury things because it’s easier than dealing with the tidal wave of emotions that come with it that stick around for days. Unlike a normal person, their hiccups would be like a single note on a soundwave chart where as mine are like echoes, huge to begin with and take a while to fade out.
Every day people ask me how I am, most of the time I say I’m fine, which is a lie. I’m not fine and right now I’m far from it. I have so much going on that I feel like I’m drowning. Drowning with no water, no ability to call for help, no air. Just this giant void. Just this giant void of emotions that I can’t physically control. I have anxiety sucking the life out of me and depression keeping it dark so I can’t see what’s slowly destroying me. I look in the mirror and I don’t know who is looking back at me. I don’t recognise myself. I see pain and sorrow, I see heartache and despair. I can’t be the person expected of me because I lost who I was a long time ago and it’s only now that I’m starting to put myself back.
She sat opposite me and told me that my mental health was complex, that there was more that one thing preventing me from being well again. I mean I have always known I’m not like other people, I just didn’t realise how different I am. She told me how although I have symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I have other things such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Grief, and Post-Natal Depression that mean she doesn’t want to say for definite. But she is sure that I have Severe Anxiety and Post-Natal Depression. She is sure that I’m emotionally sensitive which that paired with many invalidating environments means that I’m at a biological disadvantage for BPD.
So yes, I’m emotionally sensitive. I always have been. I wouldn’t change it. Even though I may “overreact” to things, have a more intense reaction to situations and it may take me longer to get back to a neutral level, it’s not because I don’t want to, it’s because I physically can’t. It’s because a normal person can get over situations and be fine, I can’t. She told me how even though I may not be able to control myself “losing it”, I over analyse it afterwards. My brain is always working to find a logical answer. When the truth is, there isn’t always one.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, I let people get close to me and I keep them around out of fear. That same fear that can drive people away. I love more intensely because I’m emotionally sensitive. I am way too connected to how I feel and usually I let it control me. I have people do me wrong and I look for logical answers as to why they acted that way. I can pinpoint every single problem I have in my brain and most of them could be solved so easily by shutting everyone out. Because I carry everyone’s baggage as well as my own. I look for the best even when I’m surrounded by the worst. I will look for the good in people long before I listen to the bad. Sometimes, it takes years.
But do you know why I’m glad I’m emotionally sensitive? Because it means that I can feel so much more, despite it only ever being black and white, the good is far greater than the weight of the bad. That’s why I’m still fighting. Because, I get to experience the very best on a good day; the very best of everyone around me being in a good place, the best of everyone’s emotions around me and knowing that they are in a better place. There are days where I spend it picking up everyone else and listening to their problems. Sure, that means worrying for them and caring for them, but it also means that they have a place in my ever-growing heart. It means that I don’t stop loving people even when I should because I love them for what they did. It means that when I fall in love, I get hurt but I get the very best. It makes me more creative and I love that part of my personality.
It’s hard for me to just say how I feel straight off the bat because I know so many people would take what I say personally and like an attack and it’s not like that. It’s not that I mean it that way, its just my brain doesn’t sensor what I have to say and how I should say it. Half the time I know what I want to say but I don’t want to offend people because every time I hurt someone’s feelings, I punish myself. Every argument, every disagreement, every simple case of overreacting in your eyes and I will punish myself for not being able to have control like everyone else and it’s not my fault. I didn’t ask to be sensitive and its more draining for me than it could ever be for you.
I love to talk about anything and everything if its not myself. I would much rather discuss different types of Ash with Sherlock than talk about myself. But I can write. And I’ve always written. So, my writing will help me through this.
I got some help today on how those can around me can help when I’ve been triggered, and I figured I could share it with you. Because there’s a few people that I care about deeply who don’t understand and maybe this could help. It was given to me as part of an information pack for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD)/ BPD.
- Listen and try to understand us. Part of the reason we lash out is because we feel misunderstood and ignored.
- Find out their triggers because there are certain situations or conversations that will set off a spiral of emotions and thoughts, support them as much as you can. The hardest part is reality hitting us afterwards. It’s hard to understand why we reacted in a certain way but that is where communication is for important.
- Be patient and avoid arguments and difficult situations because we see in black and white and the black is far darker than you could imagine.
- Try not to judge us. Even when you don’t understand why we feel or behave the way we do, its so much harder to control than you think.
- Stay calm and consistent.
- Help keep them safe.
The next steps for me are; to see a psychotherapist, to see a grief counsellor, to see a dietician and to attend therapy for the indefinite future. It’s gonna take a while to get them all but at least there’s some hope. I have to see a specialist to talk about rape and how I was sexually abused at 13 and how that’s shaped a lot of what I don’t do today. I must talk about situations like my earliest childhood memory and my biggest fears. If you knew either, you’d know they paint people in some bad lights but things that I still carry with me to this day. I have to talk about how I feel everything, and the only escape comes from the words written on my pages.
I may not be okay right now, but I will be. I may have days where I am at the bottom of the ocean, lost and forgotten but I also have days where nothing could touch me because I’m no longer on the planet. You can get far higher with no limitation than you can going south and burning in the earths core. But you need to seek help. I mean yes, I am down but I know that one day, after intensive therapy I will be able to cope. And I promise, I will keep you all up to date on my journey.