Their Pain Is Not Your Pain: 5 Tips for Highly Sensitive People


highly-sensitive-people“You,” he said, “are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.”

That quote comes from Emilie Autumn’s psychological thriller novel, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.

I used it a few months ago in a post to describe Robin Williams and why, I think, he was in so much pain.

But I also think it’s true for me, and why I am in pain so much of the time.

Ten years ago, after reading Dr. Elaine Aron’s research on the highly sensitive person, I realized that I emerged from my mother’s womb without the extra layer of skin, the protective coat, most people are born with. Therefore I not only can intuit the emotions of someone else, but I feel them on a very deep level.

If someone I love is in pain, I am in pain as well. And this is especially the case with my sisters and my mom. All boundaries that I pretend to put up for friends in turmoil come crumbling down when it’s my sister who can’t eat because she’s so anxious.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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2 Responses
  1. frank hulse

    Knowing that one is HSP is sometimes a startling revelation – and knowing that one is not alone in being HSP is even more startling. If you combine being HSP with almost any other illness, you end up in a heckuva dilemma. Because you are always robbing Peter to pay Paul. Sort of like Sisyphus I think.

  2. Kathy Rothermel

    I think that overcoming the pain of a loved one is the biggest challenge there is. I have found that simply praying to every angel to help the loved one is powerful. Also, I believe that when we feel good we benefit the whole world and that includes our suffering loved one. And, I have learned to reinforce this idea as true in my life, that everything always works out, and that it works out even better than expected. I have instilled in my children this motto, that everything does work out better than expected. It is an act of bravery to trust life.