The day I realised I was an HSP… That was a true turning point in my life as a shapeshifter.
I remember it quite clearly, as it was not so long ago.
I remember I was travelling as a backpacker, with my younger sister, and we were staying for two nights at a hostel in La Cumbre, a very small town up north Cordoba’s capital city in Argentina. The second day, we had been coming and going, here and there, getting to know the town and some of the turist attractions (something I don’t exactly appreciate about travelling) so we were quite exhausted, as you can imagine. For that reason we decided we were having dinner pretty early and we were getting into bed as soon as possible.
I had met a dutch guy ,earlier that day, and he was at the table as well having his own meal and looking over his mobilephone. I must admit the I was feeling a bit uncomfortable and nervious as the hostel was small and the table was not too crowded. I really do get nervious when I’m surrounded by people I don’t know, and I was smelling the start of a conversation sooner than later. To make things worse, I had found the dutch gut quite talkative the time we first spoke and, although I easily managed the first encounter I was not feeling ready to continue the chatting. I’m not good at all at having small talks, to be honest.
But, obviously, I wasn’t too long until he made us the fist question. It was quite alright during the first moments as he just wanted to know what we had done that day and what we were planning to do the next one. I was realxing now… He continued by telling us he was trying to rent a house himself over there in La Cumbre for at least three months, and that he was very fond of our country and culture(I couldn’t quite get why he felt that way as I’ve never been to attached to Argentina myself).
As the conversation went on, though, we came to a point were it became more profound. My anxiety was now letting me know she was back. He started to ask us about why we travelled, about our lifestyle… He told us he didn’t feel like he belonged to Holland anymore and that he didn’t really missed anything from his homeland… My sister found that somehow strange and sad but I, on the other hand, was finally starting to relate to his own feelings. At that point, I understood why he cared so much about our country. I really did know now what he meant and how he felt because in one way or another I felt pretty much the same towards New Zealand, for many years.
My nervousness and discomfort was curiously left a side, and, though my sister was not so compenetrated with the conversation, I, on the other hand, was becoming more a more interested in what he had to say.
He eventually revealed he had been diagnosed, when he was still living in Holland, with some kind of mental condition. Something named by the initials HSP or Highly Sensitive People.
My sister and I, at this point, couldn’t possibly know or understand what he meant by being an HSP. Ergo, I asked him to tell me a bit more about it. In the meantime, my sister decided to look the term up on the internet so as to get a more specific explanation.
As he continued his description, I began to feel that he relly needed to talk this over so I tried to listen to him quite attentively. I realised he was craving to be understood and that he regretted being that way. I remember him saying he wished he could be medicated so as not to be worrying anymore, so as not to have to control himself. I thought he was talking about some a real pathology, to be honest.
He really was in emotional pain and I didn’t quite know what to say to him, so we kept silent.
When he finally finished his meal, he excused himself and left the table. As he disappeared through the darkness of the hallway I couldn’t help but see a really sad person who believed to belong to another planet. I could only see a guy who thought he was mentally ill and that there was nothing he could do to make things better. He would continue to struggle all his life and was never going be understood.
He was finally gone, but my introspective moment of analysis was lingering. My sister broke the silence and handed me her mobile phone.
She only said: “I think this is you”.
It was Elain Aaron’s highly sensitive self-test. When I started to read the questions, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Almost every single one of them felt so like me. I decided I was going answer every question with true understanding and awareness, and when I got to the end and counted the positive answers I realised I could totally relate to at least to 24 out of the 27. I was shocked.
I couldn’t just leave my knowledge over this matter there. I was determined to really go through the whole process of getting to know about what HSPs were and, from that day onwards, every time I had some moment for myself, even while travelling, I would sit down to do some research.
I was determined to finally get to know who I really was. Who I had been all these years and wouldn’t truly understand. I wanted to know why I had struggled during high school, why I was still struggling with life, why I always felt so ashamed of my feelings, of my desires, of how life really overwhelmed me. I wanted to know why my whole body ached all the time for being me, for being so different from the rest, including my relatives, my friends…Did I even have any real friends? Why did I get bored so easily? Why couldn’t I stand small talks? Why did it feel so wrong to care so much about everything ? Why was it so difficult to open up and let people in?
It really was a turning point in my life and although I’m still figuring out how to make things better and I’m still trying to find out the answer for all those questions, at least now I’m doing it with a different and healthier perspective. At least now I know there’s more people like me out there and that I just simply need to get to know them.
That Dutch Guy, and I’m truly sorry for not remembering his name, really changed my life. I know he was there to tell me something. I know he was there because he needed to be there. He, withouth even noticing it, showed me the road with the bright light at the end, and not the one with the dark one. I’m truly and most deeply thankful for what he did for me. I will never be able to thank him but I need to say that he really saved me.
By the way, being an HSP is not a mental condition or illness, it’s not a pathology. It’s a trait and as such, it comes with a lot of amazing things as well. It’s about time we HSP should experience those beatiful ones too.
I wish the best to all those HSP out there that have and haven’t realised yet who they truyl are and where all those difficult moments came from.
Talk to soon guys,