Thursday, January 15, 2015

Long Blue Line | Chapter 1

Well...reading that that was awkward...if your wondering why I'm reading this story... (see chapter 1 excerpt from Long Blue Line below

I can't help but wonder how many other people out there were also highly sensitive kids. My sister recently finished reading a book on this topic, called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

She actually gave me her copy when she was finished, explaining that it reminded her of myself, almost exactly. I'm not surprised. Apparently, highly sensitive kids also have a brilliant side, if nurtured and understood.

So, when psychology refers to the highly sensitive child, what exactly are they talking about?

Here are some facts that I found to be interesting, and definitely relatable:

  • Highly Sensitive Child, or HSC, is one out of 15-20% of children who are born with an extremely reactive nervous system.
  • Loud noises, sudden changes, or the intense emotions of others can cause the HSC to become easily overwhelmed. 
  • The HSC can have any sort of temperament. There isn't a particular behavior linked to the HSC. Simply put, they're all sensitive to their physical and emotional environment. 
  • The highly sensitive child thinks before they act, sensing potential danger and assessing possible consequences of their actions.
From personal experience, I can say with certainty that having the trait of being highly sensitive as a child and as an adult has been entirely misunderstood by society, and even looked down on. This trait is not generally understood or viewed as a positive trait. This leaves a communication gap between children and their parents, teachers and peers. The HSC is often times a very talented person, who simply needs to be handled and approached with extra care while growing into adulthood. If the parents and teachers are unable to grasp that the child is highly sensitive, it's common for them to become anxious or even ashamed of every small failure.

Is your child highly sensitive? Or, were you highly sensitivee as a child?
I found this questionnaire that can help you recognize the signs to look for.

From this website, I'll share the authors thoughts as I close. And please, please don't allow your highly sensitive child to become a misunderstood label.

Peace and Love,
Lizzy McNew

True Story

Chapter 1 (Excerpt)

My scrawny little 13-year-old body was pumping with adrenaline. I peered over my shoulder and through my nerdy glasses to make sure that no one else in the class had noticed my shaky reaction. My G-rated literature days were over. I had never read anything so intense. It was like a first date - so nerve wracking but incredibly thrilling.
After losing my literature virginity, I started spending all of my free time cozied up in my little twin-sized bed obsessing over these novels. The characters were all young, beautiful girls in their teens. They all had a disadvantaged upbringing and faced horrible tragedy. Most importantly, they all ended up living in some immaculate mansion with a rich, distant relative that they never knew existed.
My young mind was incredibly influenced by these books. These stories started to create their own lives, building into my subconscious. I was suddenly and completely infatuated with tragedy as well as thinking up various ways of becoming rich like the girls in the novels. At the age of thirteen, I was going through the obituaries in the local newspaper hoping to find a rich relative that would leave me their estate. I also put together a flip -book of the future mansion I wanted to own in Palm Springs.
If I wasn’t romanticizing about death or tragedy, it was money I was thinking about or sometimes boys. The thought of boys would take over about a year later. To say I was a little mixed up would be an understatement.
I was always a sensitive kid. The most minor things would severely upset me, especially unexpected loud noises. I’ve been told that the vacuum, toilet flushing, and the blinds being pulled up would put me into a panic when I was a baby. On a night back in 1990, my mother was driving us all home from a weekend visit with my Grandma and Grandpa. First, I was already extremely upset over the fact that I had to leave them. They spoiled my twin and me rotten. Our older sister didn’t mind leaving as much as we did. She was a teenager and had more important affairs to attend to. My mom must have bribed me with candy of some sort for the four-hour drive home we had ahead of us. The candy was fantastic. The aftermath, however, was disastrous. It left me sticky. Even worse, the napkin my mom threw to me in the back seat was DRY. Little pieces of this napkin broke off as I tried with everything in my soul to get my hands clean. I was bawling my little eyes out.
 Not only was I sensitive, I was also very imaginative and compulsive. Let’s go back to my very firsts
My First Crush: We all have a first crush. I was only five years old. Seeing him gracefully fly around on his magic carpet, bravely leap from building to building, was all it took to have me completely in love. I had dreams of flying over the city every night. When I woke and realized that the only Aladdin I had with me was a Barbie doll, it practically broke my heart. I just knew that he would return one day to marry me.
My First Drink: 
Most all of us experiment with the beverage that so many adults elegantly held in their glasses. They refused to share a taste as they rambled on forever appearing to completely adore life and everything about it. Eventually, I got curious! My mom wasn’t much of a drinker, luckily. But other parents were. My best childhood friend, Holly, was just as curious and excited to sample our first drink. I brought a “water bottle” over to her house that night. It was the perfect night for this trial. Her dad was busy working late, and the only company sharing the space was her brothers. The vodka in the water bottle ruined our attempts to be discreet. We were dizzy in the hallway and giggling about how stupid we felt. Holly lectured each and every brother, three total, about the negative consequences of alcohol. They had expressions of fear in their eyes as if she’d gone completely mad. It was epic.
My First Time: 
How I cringe! I mainly cringe because I was just so young. He was my first boyfriend, and his name was Andy. Even though we were just kids, I still believe to this day that we were truly in love. Clearly, we wanted to move much more quickly than we were really ready for, physically and emotionally. We were together constantly for about a year. He lived with his grandparents, and his grandfather picked up a job out of town about four hours away. Eventually, he had to move. On moving day, my mom dropped me off at his house to help him and his grandparents pack. Another friend of ours, Jesse, was there too. The few hours I spent watching him pack his life away was utter heartache and torture. I had a lump in my throat and it took everything that I had in my soul not to break down and cry. I was too embarrassed at that age to show emotion, and for Andy, it had so much depth to it. We were both each other’s firsts - first in everything in the romance department. When my mom returned to pick me up, Andy pulled one of his childhood stuffed animals out from a box about ready to be taped shut. He then doused the bear with his cologne that I loved. Standing in front of his empty garage, with my mom and twin waiting to take me shopping down the hill with them, I had to make the goodbye as fast as possible before I broke down in front of everyone. Andy and I gave each other our last ever hug and a quick kiss with definite plans to be together again. For the next week I cried myself to sleep hugging and smelling the stuffed bear which was all that I would ever have left of my first true love. It took me about three months to realize that we couldn’t be together. We were too young, and having to wait for four years is a long time to a teenager.

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