Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

Highly Sensitive


Touch lamp

I’ve been writing about my mother lately (maybe for a Chicken Soup story) and found this post by Trini Lind about highly sensitive people which made me realize that my mother was a HSP, too! It helps me appreciate her more, even though she’s no longer in this world.

“Overly sensitive,” was the phrase back when I was a kid. I fought against my sensitivity my whole life. I didn’t’ want to be like my mother who had nervous breakdowns and migraines. I loved my mother, but I wanted to be strong like my father. Since I couldn’t fix my mom, I watched Star Trek and developed a huge crush on Mr. Spock. Calm, cool, logical Spock. Someone had to stay calm. So I suppressed. I did well in school, drew pictures, and made up stories in my head. And I watched a lot of Star Trek.

Somehow, I managed to become tough enough as an adult to work as an addictions counselor for 30 years, with only occasional meltdowns on my kitchen floor after a hard day.  With all the counseling skills I applied to myself, I guess I became a moderately sensitive person – on the outside at least.

As a retiree, I have begun to embrace my sensitive nature.  I love staying home with the dogs, writing, doing a little painting. At home, I have plenty of time to recover from the times I do go out and interact with people and plenty of time to think about my parents.

Now that I understand more, I wish I’d been nicer to Mom. I wasn’t mean to her. But she tended to bring out my logical side which might been cold sometimes.

I finally painted over the hearts that mysteriously appeared on her bedroom ceiling after she died in 2008. I try to go to my deceased parents’ house at least once a week to sort through their things. There’s a Tiffany style touch lamp on my mom’s old nightstand. On two separate visits in the past month, I was sure that lamp was off before I left the house.  But when I returned on the following weeks, the  lamp was on. Maybe touch lamps are highly sensitive, too. But I have to wonder.  Was that you, Mom?

On my last visit, I unplugged the lamp. If it’s on again when I go back, I’ll know something’s up.

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

30 thoughts on “Highly Sensitive

  1. Lovely post! 💖. It is interesting what we discover about our parents when we are old enough to reflect on them as human beings not just mom and dad. I think it can also help us to forgive them for whatever mistakes they did in our childhood. Temperament and circumstance don’t always match, and then the outcome can be quite devastating. 😊. Let me know what happens with that lamp! 👍🏻😀

  2. A sensitive piece of work. I do hope the lamp doesn’t have a life of its own

  3. If the lamp is on, you have some serious writing to do.

    It’s interesting how we sort through the stuff they were as well as the stuff they had.

  4. JoAnna, this is a lovely post. I feel that everything is an energy, so when we have a loving connection with someone, that energy is still vibrant. Your loving bond with your Mum is still felt. It takes courage to sift through a life and especially, the material things from someone close. You are sifting too. ❤ Xx

  5. mysterious eternal
    yearning for light 🙂

  6. What a beautiful post! If that lamp is on when you get back, please, please, please write about it. I, too, have a great love for Spock. I’ve been watching Star Trek these days and I swoon every time his cold, logical self graces a scene. 🙂

  7. JoAnna, your post is so warm and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with being sensitive
    and it doesn’t mean you are weak. You might need to have some sort of protective facade
    out in working life but why should sensitivity be wrong?

    It is very intriguing about your mother’s lamp. Please do tell if it happens again.
    I have experienced similar things and have come to feel the boundaries seem fluid. 🌾🦋 .


    • I’m finally starting to believe that sensitivity is okay, and possibly even a gift that softens the boundaries that are safe to soften. Thanks for your support, Miriam. ❤

  8. Very sweet post ❤ Loved the bit about the lamp.

    I am HSP too. I think we always run the risk of running too hot or too cold. Could be me, but for most of the world, I need my armor.

    • I completely understand the need for armor out in the world. Hopefully I’m becoming more mindful of when it’s okay to take off the armor. Thank you, Joey. I appreciate how you get this.

  9. Really nice post JoAnna. I think it’s wonderful when we can begin to see our parents differently. Maybe it’s just our own experiences coming together as we grow older. But it’s a good thing when our compassion and understanding grow. Big hugs to you. 😊

  10. JoAnna, this is a very lovely post. I LOVE it. Please keep writing about the lamp part. I would love to know what was the logical reason behind it. I believe in energy and everything associated with it. Wishing you a fabulous weekend. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  12. Reblogged this on Loving Me, Too and commented:

    Coming to understand the value of sensitivity.

  13. A lovely post, JoAnna. I’m going to keep your comment in mind when I come across someone’s very logical side — that it may seem cold but most likely isn’t. Thank you for sharing this.

  14. Pingback: SOCS: Bad Bones, Good Bones, and Boneheads | Anything is Possible!

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