PEOPLE LIKE YOU VI


In November 2018, I started a project, where I collect stories from emotionally intense people from around the world.

I am overwhelmed by your generosity and feel incredibly moved by your courage to be vulnerable, the poignancy in your stories, and the poetic beauty in your words. This is a continuation from page one of this project.

Life can be a precarious and lonely journey, and I am glad we can find each other in this space.

I hope you will land on some resonance and encouragement in the stories and recommendations from your fellow travellers of life.

To contribute, please click here.

With love,

Imi

(The images alongside the stories are added by me, unless stated otherwise or are a part of your offerings.)



DESTINI, 27, OHIO

Being raised by parents who were dysfunctional contributed to me often times feeling neglected and misunderstood.’


My Name: Destini

Who am I: 

I am a twenty-seven year old female from the small town of Cambridge, Ohio. My father and mother were sixteen when I was born and my childhood was chaotic. I was exposed to traumatic things from an early age. I raise four children ages 1-8 with my husband. From the time I was born to where I am currently I have moved to many states and have attended eleven schools from grade school to high school. Cambridge, Ohio will always be my home mostly because my grandparents raised me and my two brothers there every summer. I most enjoy walking outside. Trail walking is one of the good memories I have from my childhood and being outside brings me a sense of peace. I am a stay at home mother going to school for a psychology degree. People matter to me. My children having a healthy, nurturing home environment matters most because I believe that to changing the world starts by loving your family. People feeling loved, heard, and cared for matters to me. I think that one of the reasons it matters so much is because I know the hurt of feeling unloved, not heard, and not cared for.

My story: 

Many days I feel misunderstood. At times I get the impression that people think I am not being my genuine self because I am sensitive and intense. I have found relationships with others to be difficult to maintain and within my own marriage I worked relentlessly early on to communicate effectively with my husband. As long as I can remember I have been sensitive and intense. Being raised by parents who were dysfunctional contributed to me often times feeling neglected and misunderstood. I do think now that being sensitive and intense is a beautiful thing and it helps me to love others.

My inspirations: 

Memoirs from authors who have had a dysfunctional upbringing have helped me, such as Flesh Wounds, The Glass Castle, and Wherever You Go, There They Are. I have attended ACA, adult children of alcoholics and dysfunction, for two years and those meetings have helped and inspired me.

People who have influenced me: 

Guidance counselors, teachers, social workers, and parents of childhood friends have played a huge role in shaping who I am today as a person, woman, and mother. My siblings have supported my emotions and me as a person since I can remember.

Some written words: 

"Wherever you go, be all there." "You are not the sum of your past mistakes." "In the end it will all be okay. If it is not okay then it is not the end."

A life advice: 

Feel your feelings in full, let them pass over you and repeat this constantly. Don't cling, don't get attached, just feel fully and hand it over.

In my own words: You matter. Other people matter. But, you matter too.





***



ANON, 15

I want to change people through expressing myself in the hope they could see what the other possibilities are out there, instead of following everyone else and worshipping celebrities.’

My Name: Anon

Who am I: 

Im 15, I’m kind of uncomfortable saying stuff about myself in the fear that someone’s going to find this and expose my emotional side, i dont express it much. I am so emotionally involved in the most mundane things that people usually brush off. I don’t feel like anyone can match the way I love certain things such as music. I love and hate extremely hard. When I’m bored I retreat into my fantasy world through music because it’s better and more interesting than reality. I have a number of them actually, depending on which mood I’m in. I hate crowds but love the feeling of a concert. I feel like a paradox. I don’t even get myself, and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to either, but I hope to get there someday.

My story:

 As a child, I used to read, write, draw and watch movies profusely. Reading books inspired me to draw pictures and write my own, for which I had a talent for, because my mind could never stay inside the book. I gradually stopped reading as I got into my teen years and instead went into my fantasy world inside my room while listening to music. I’ve always loved music and whenever I express this love for something to someone, they get it but not at the level I do, and I know this. Whenever I hear a song from my childhood, it brings back memories and feelings, and I end up getting sad and nostalgic for some reason. I’ve always wanted to make music and change the world as I thought most mainstream music was boring. I want the world to see me but I don’t know how. I want to change people through expressing myself in the hope they could see what the other possibilities are out there, instead of following everyone else and worshipping celebrities. I hate being a part of the crowd and I want to be the leader of a change in culture.

My inspirations:

Pretty much all music inspires me. I have a few movies that inspire me, mainly ones from my childhood that have special memories attached to them. I wanted to become an animator at one point because I loved Pixar movies and I still do, this is what inspired me to draw, make art etc.

People who have influenced me:

Anyone who advocates for the environment. This is another thing I’m passionate about. I H A T E corporate greed, and the fact companies think they have the right to destroy anything for the sake of money. It makes me incredibly angry. I’m not going to get myself started because I know I’ll go off on a tangent and talk about it until my teeth rot so I’ll stop myself.

Some written words: The song Magick by the Preatures

A life advice: What you become inwardly is what changes outwardly.

In your own words: This is still me.

*

Venusrose

‘Listen to your body. Your intuition is powerful don't dismiss it. Because other people can't see what you see. Or feel what you feel. Be yourself.’

My Name: Venusrose

Who am I: 

I was born in JHB South Africa. My parents come from diverse backgrounds.Bali,Australia, Afrikaans and Dutch. I relate too being Balinese because it is the most exotic and also totally unrecognized in my toxic family. I am an artist I love too heal and empower people through creativity. What matters to me..... Hard too say. 
Truth... I guess, feeling safe in my world. Wow so much in that question.... Could write a whole book.

My story: 

Alone....... Isolated........Rejected........ Unsupported. Hey I think my family of origin are abusive too. The world is very harsh

My inspirations: 

When I have read real life storeys about people who have survived terrible situations like the holocaust. Walking over snowy mountains too escape there persecutors. Surviving too tell the tale. I think gee, my issues compared to that. Thank God I'm alive. Better different days will come. I can do it. Moses left in the bullrushes. The abandoned child who Survived and became strong and wise.

People who have influenced me: 

I teach crafts to homeless men in South Africa its a rough bunch. The woman who hires me to do this work has shown me that everyone deserves love and support unconditionally.
Historical role models, Heroes not sure that exists in my world....... Everyone is human, everyone is fallible...

Some written words: 

Love is the most powerful energy in the universe capable of affecting and connecting with others faster than the speed of light.
However love is a verb Erich From describes love as
Knowledge Care Responsibility and Respect 
Too Care for something or someone we must know what it needs. Too care we must take responsibility and too respect actually means too understand and accept.

A life advice: 

To love yourself. 
Not to take stuff personally when people treat you badly it’s because of their own stuff.

In my own words: 

Try to find a good friend or person that understands you that you can confide in.
Most important stay away from toxic people they can and will destroy you. 
Hang out with people who share similar values. 
Make good decisions. 
Never make emotional decisions 
Walk away when you feel overwhelmed don't lash out. 
Try too strategise when dealing with people don't just shoot from the hip. 
Being too honest and straightforward is not always wise. 
Your life will depend on the choices you make. 
Listen to your body. Your intuition is powerful don't dismiss it. Because other people can't see what you see. Or feel what you feel. Be yourself.
Try.


TRENDY, 59, OHIO

‘I think that my sensitivity makes me more receptive to the metaphors about life that The Creator gives us in nature.

My Name: Just call me Trendy

Who am I: 

I am from the foothills of the Appalachians in Southeastern Ohio. It feels quite unbelievable but I am 59 years old ( : My geographical footprint? We are all too immersed in this throw away mentality of our society but my husband and I try to leave seeds in our trail and have tended our little acres to raise honeybees, heirloom and native plants. For years we were very involved in our local farm market where we sold our honey, honey products, jams, flowers, organically grown berries and produce. We don't believe in using poisons on this good earth and I have articles about that published online at homestead.org under my byline trendle ellwood

I most enjoy being in the forest near a stream, writing, photographing nature, growing flowers, For years I taught field biology at a local home school group that one of my children was attending. Now I make a living by bottling honey, growing a garden, raising chickens, bartering for venison, writing a column for the local newspaper, freelance writing, photographing and cutting corners ( : I am very involved in the lives of my grandchildren and plan activities and life lessons with them. 
What matters the most to me is giving them a good start in life, teaching them to love and respect nature, ( planning nature day with the Grands and their friends this summer)
Spirituality matters to me and nature, to me they are one and same. I think that my sensitivity makes me more receptive to the metaphors about life that The Creator gives us in nature. My sensitivity causes me to look and feel and commune with the nature around me. When I go to the forest I can FEEL the forest welcoming me home. When I walk past the plants in my garden I can feel them desiring my admiration. When the tree trimmers come through the yard I can feel the distress of the trees and the birds. When my husband is pointing out a wildflower in the woods and I think he is handling it too roughly I hurt for the flower.

My story: 

Most people don't get me, this is exactly why I found your website this morning because of this knowing that most people don't understand my sensitivity. II always feel like the troubling one. For instance, since we were dissatisfied with netting my husband spent time, money and thought on a way to keep the birds from eating the black raspberries, pie tins hung on strings all around the bushes that clatter and clang. 
I was upstairs in the house and could hear all this noise and I wondered what he was doing, recycling metal, cans? I told him that I could hear how it would work. Sigh. I couldn't sleep all night, he had no problem.
So I feel like the problem! I have had issues with noise often in my life and people tell me to wear ear plugs.
I hate ear plugs! I need to hear, I just need my world to be less noisy. Sigh....... 
I took an online quiz that popped up on facebook one day asking if you are hyper sensitive to noise. I just has to laugh when my results said that I am Severely Sensitive. Severe, yes it feels severe at times and this seems to be increasing, not sure if it is age or what. I have to find ways to cope. " Adapt, flee or perish," that is what they teach are nature's choices when faced with challenges. I wish I was a bird so I could flee easily and fly away ( :

My inspirations: 

I think all the information on the internet these days about empaths and being highly sensitive has helped me to know that I am not the only one and I am not going crazy that I am this way inherited yes and from PTSD yes for me I believe, both. I have so enjoyed and gleamed a deeper understanding of this issue that has seemed to always plagued me through reading the wonderful articles shared on this site.

People who have influenced me:

 I think my Dad's DNA influenced me as he was a highly sensitive person. I have never quite figured him out as he was very sensitive for himself but he did not have empathy. My dad was also the cause of my PTSD because of his actions. 
Influence of the positive kind has come to me through women I have known, Helen Horn from Quaker group was role model to me as was Joyce Noblet who I worked for at the age of 16 at Joyces's Cafe, both were strong, capable, caring, dynamic women.

Some written words: 

"Love will guide us, peace has tried us,

Hope inside us, will lead the way

On the road from greed to giving.

Love will guide us through the hard night.

If you cannot speak like angels,

If you cannot speak before thousands,

You can give from deep within you.

You can change the world with your love.

Sally Rogers

A life advice: 

"Take deep breaths." "Meditate" I am very thankful for Quaker meeting where 45 minutes are allotted to sitting and waiting. The discipline of holding still and listening is very nourishing for me. Also their forums where there is a customary pause between each utterance I find to be very calming in this world where most people talk over each other.

In my own words: 

Ah Honey you are not alone. I know you feel alone. I know you are looking around at people and wondering why they don't even notice SO many things! Why doesn't that loud noise bother them? How can they just act like they don't even hear it? Those bright lights flashing at the concert, they hurt your eyes! Or wait, nobody else is complaining. They all act like they are enjoying it? It makes no sense this world where everyone else needs so much stimulus but we just want to find someplace quiet with some fresh air. 
Sometimes it cracks people up when they walk into the room and you jump out of your skin because they startled you, but it isn't funny to you, it is painful. Your friends watch movies with violence, hyper-action scenes and gore, not for you. If you watch something like that you will think about it and dream about it for weeks trying to process it as if it was real. 
You my dear are a sensitive soul and that doesn't mean you are defected. It means that you take in more things than the average person at any one given moment. You are a deeper processor and can easily get over stimulated. You can more easily be irritated but you are also extra sensitive to the beauty and the love in the world. An act of kindness can bring a tear to your eye, a flower blooming in the crack of a sidewalk can fascinate you, In other words you have a gift or a curse, depends on how you channel it. Picture it as a magic wand, a wand can be used for good or for bad, your choice. You must learn how to work with your wand, instruct your wand, discipline your wand and my dear, if you do, you can weave magic! ( : Find time to be alone, to just be out in nature feeling the breeze and watching it make the leaves dance and just watch the shadows that the sun makes. If you can sit near a stream so that you can hear the tinkling sound. Nature is especially healing for us sensitives.

*

Loesje, 38, Amsterdam.

‘You are a unique human being, there is no other like you’

My Name: Loesje

Who am I: I am from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 
I am 38 years old, i am married to my first love for 15 years now, and we have 3 amazing kids. i see myself in my oldest son, he seems to be highly sensitive. i love to see him carry this witch such confidence and i am proud of him!

My story: 

Unfortunately i just have been diagnosed with C-ptsd. my psychologist helped me understand my trauma's which i had buried very well.

I was a sensitive child with a mother who physically and verbally abused me and my siblings. it was very hard for us to grow up in this way. the moment i was able to leave it was like i forgot everything and we never spoke of it again. 

although married with the kindest man, and being blessed with my lovely kids. i always was feeling a numbness, a sadness i couldn’t place. but also i couldn’t experience real joy. thinking back with what i know now, i am in a grieving state at the moment. trying to reconnect with my inner self

seeing my son growing up with the freedom and trust to be himself i see the potential that is missed out of. my goal is to reach my inner child and grow up all over again.

i used to be ashamed for my intens emotions, but now i am trying to embrace them!

My inspirations: 

I love to read and listen music. i don’t have a genre, everything that touches my soul i love experiencing

i read a lot op articles and blogs. i was feeling a little bit lost for days and i typed in google : "why do i feel empty inside?"

in the search i saw your article posted in Psychologytoday. it hit me in the face... al those therapy hours, all my thinking and rethinking.. and here it was.. my life story! i am so grateful for your article, it helped me so much to understand what is going on with me, it allows me to understand it and to address it.

thank you!

Some written words: show kindness

p.s.
Sorry for my bad grammar, also i am typing this on a very small screen :) that doesn’t work either for a correct spelling check!

In my own words: what i say to my son; 

You are a unique human being, there is no other like you ( meaning that everybody is unique) so don’t confirm to another, but confirm to yourself, being true to your self will make you a better person. 

give kindness to everyone and everything around you, your smile can make a difference