I’ve been told that I’m over-sensitive since I was a child. It is one of the most common ways that people hand wave off the idea that my feelings matter. It is part of the reason I don’t express boundaries all that well.

“I didn’t mean it that way. See these list of circumstances, those mean it is actually ok for me to say what I did. You are too sensitive.”

Yes. I am. That’s why I stop spending time around people. Because I am “too sensitive” and the person doesn’t care very much and I choose to stop getting poked. It isn’t real fun for me. I don’t brush it off. I don’t laugh it off. I stew. I feel it for a long time. I feel disrespected and I don’t get over that feeling easily.

I’m difficult. Other than choosing to believe that my feelings don’t matter that much I don’t see how I can be much else. Yes, I AM over-sensitive compared to other people. Things bother me that don’t bother other people. Maybe that is the result of me having a much shittier than average first 20 years of my life. It leaves a permanent mark. I can’t change my past. I can’t change what I was made. If asking you to be sensitive of my sore spots is too much to ask then I can’t stand near you.

I just can’t. I would rather walk away than ask someone to be respectful over and over and get ignored. I’m really tired of being ignored.

This is part of why I have no idea what my food issues actually are. I have never been important enough to study. No one has ever thought it was worth looking at me to figure out why I have crippling diarrhea most of the time. I have been thoroughly convinced along with everyone else that I’m just a whiner and nothing is wrong with me–shut up. So I’ve lived with the pain for a long time.

“Just eat more Fiber 1 cereal.” From a doctor. Because… I’m just a whiner.

People don’t make jokes about something unless they really think it. I’m all paranoid and shit but I watch peoples behavior. People who “make jokes” about me… their behavior towards me is generally not that warm.

Like if you flip me off during a conversation you are probably going to be snippy and short and pissy at every single thing I say to you no matter how many people pre-read it for me to ensure that I don’t sound like I’m looking for a fight. There are always layers of deniability. “You just took it wrong.”

No, I don’t think I did. I think you meant what you said. All I have to do is look at how you have behaved over the last six months and… it’s accurate. I need to believe people the first time they say something to me “as a joke” and not make them prove it over and over.

Not everyone likes me. People who makes jokes about me probably have some simmering stuff. I need to notice that and pull back. I don’t have a lot of ability to absorb insult right now. I don’t a lot of the time. It causes me large scale problems I don’t recover from very well. Is that all my fault? Irrelevant. I can’t cope. Doesn’t matter whose “fault”. I have to get through my days.

When I feel insulted and disrespected I spend the whole day turning it over and over and over in my mind looking for patterns to connect it with previous actions. Ah, this is supported by A and B and C and D and E and F… maybe I should create some space here.

I feel like If only I weren’t so sensitive everything would be fine. My mom told me that a lot. She said that the only reason things were so bad between us was because I was an over-sensitive whiner.

I’m projecting mom stuff onto a lot of my friends lately. I’m aware of it. It’s not going all that well. If a situation has too many shades of things I dealt with at home then I’m more sensitive than average before I walk in the door. And I’m always more sensitive than average, so having my sensitivity increase is… difficult for most people to evade. Noah has treated staring at me like a hobby for years and he will tell you it is hard to track what I’m sensitive about this week.

In the Impact class this weekend I had to work really hard on pulling my hits if I wanted to be able to knee the suit instructors in the head. Mostly my early strikes/punches sent people flying. Often one hit was enough to end the fight because I hit so hard. The instructors are pretty good at telling, “That would be a knock out hit” because they practice quite a bit. I rarely get multiple hits because I’m scared and furious and I hit really fucking hard the first time. I was told over and over and over throughout my entire childhood, “You never hit first. Hit last. Make sure that motherfucker isn’t getting up.” But the knee to the head is so satisfying that I tried very hard to pull my early hits so I could knee the guy in the head. I did by the end of the class and it was as satisfying and wonderful as I hoped. Yay for making people fly through the air!

I’m very pleased that if I hit someone without a suit that way they would have to go to a hospital.

When people make little “jokes” it feels like the timid little taps people do as they are trying to set up for a satisfying knee to the head. The smaller hits “aren’t that bad” so don’t “whine” about them. Until someone has really taken you down you don’t get to complain about what has happened to you. Geez.

But I don’t especially like getting a knee to the head. So when people start smacking my face I take that as a hint and I back the fuck off.

But then I’m that big meanie who walks away from everyone and I don’t have good “attachment skills” and I’m broken and I can’t keep relationships.

I’ve been kneed in the head a lot of fucking times and I don’t recognize those little “playful” taps as nothing anymore–they are part of a sequence designed to knock me out and I just can’t accept that anymore.

I didn’t do much of anything yesterday. I came home and felt like shit. I didn’t cry all day, which is pretty good for me–only a few hours, but I stared into space a lot. I stewed. I felt shitty and worthless and I was the opposite of productive.

I’m not sure how productive I’m going to be capable of being today, either. “It’s just a joke” only it isn’t. I can see patterns. It matches larger scale behavior and I need to pay attention to that. If I don’t pay attention to what is happening I can’t see the knee before it strikes my face. I don’t like being blindsided.

Am I over-sensitive? Yes. I’ve been hit a lot. I have a lot of sore spots. If that is a problem for you, too damn bad.

I have never found it useful to go through the full list of, “I am feeling paranoid because of A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, and O.” People get very upset when they find out you have been hoarding a list that long. As soon as you get past three things you can never bring any of it up again, because it is “old stuff”. But I’m not over it. I’ve watched the pattern. I can’t talk about it. So I walk away.

Like I do.

It isn’t like this happens with one person. This is what happens with pretty much everyone. I’m not supposed to express my 300 nit picky little issues. It’s annoying. No one wants to hear it. So I develop a long list of problems and can’t talk about those either. So I walk. I don’t know how to have boundaries.

My shrink told me that if you are spending 50% of your time/effort on a relationship trying to change aspects of the relationship or the person then it isn’t a relationship any more. If I have so many little boundaries I would need to enforce that it feels like I would need to change the person… not worth my time.

One thought on “Over-sensitive.

  1. Inflectionpoint

    I’m sorry it is so difficult for you. That sucks.

    I don’t have any good ideas for how to make it better. I wish I did.

    I believe that for many people the little taps are how they reinforce the social power dynamics they’ve “agreed” to, and how they bond, but I’m not able to interact like that. This makes things hard.

    I hope it gets better for you.

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