A Guide On How To Help Sensitive Kids Thrive

by | Jul 5, 2020 | Anxiety, Parenthood transitions | 23 comments

Note: As always with my posts on parenting, if you don’t have kids I encourage to read this through two lenses: 1. As a parent to your own inner child and 2. As a springboard to reflect on how your parents were able to attune or not attune to your sensitive nature when you were growing up. 

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As many of you know, I’ve been blessed with the privilege and responsibility of mothering two highly sensitive sons. My sons have been among my greatest teachers, and it’s through listening deeply to their exquisitely high emotions and tracking their symptoms that I’ve received a real-time window into the highly sensitive mind and heart.

These past few months have been challenging in different ways for each of my sons (one is almost sixteen and the other is eleven). Out of respect to respect their privacy, I won’t be sharing details about these challenges, but suffice to say that when I started hearing their same struggles reflected in my clients’ kids, I knew I had to write about it here. As Jung said, when we dig deeply enough into the personal, we hit the collective. As I walk beside my sons and listen to my clients with young kids, I know we’re in the realm of the collective.

Highly sensitive kids are always attuned to the temperature of the world. Even without sharing details of news events (I strongly recommend shielding kids from news in typical times), every child knows that we’re in a pandemic, and most know that we’re in the midst of dismantling the racist systems upon which this country has been built. They might not know that George Floyd was brutally and heartlessly killed by white policemen (and they might know this), but they know that something big is happening on multiple layers. They can feel the crumbling even if they don’t have words for it.

Highly sensitive kids don’t need to know the details; because they’re lightning rods, they tune into the invisible realm, they read the facial expressions of their parents, they sense into the unspoken layers of both a family system and collective. They know that the adults are worried. They know that life as we’ve known it has been uprooted. They know that we’re missing “normal” and that we’re grieving. They take all of this in, and they need our help moving it through along their own inner riverways and pathways so that the grief, fear, and uncertainty don’t stagnate and morph into anxiety.

Here are several ways to help kids process the enormity of their own emotions.

 

1. Develop a Relationship to Your Own Emotions

First off, it’s helpful to have a relationship with our own emotions, which is a cornerstone of what I teach in my work. Of course, this is ongoing inner work, and it’s important for parents to know that even if they struggle to feel their own emotions they can still be a source of support for their kids. We’re always learning in symbiotic relationship: we learn how to love our partners through being loved; we learn how to parent ourselves by parenting our children; we learn how to feel our feelings by offering compassion to others’ feelings.


2. Spend One-On-One Time with Your Child Every Day

Secondly, I encourage you to spend one-on-one time with your child every day. If you have more than one child, this can be difficult, especially if you’ve lost some or all of your childcare during this time. Do the best you can. If you have more than one child, I know how tempting it is to “get stuff done” when one child is napping, but that’s also a prime opportunity to have quality time with your other child.

During special time, put aside all distractions, especially your phone, so that you can give your child undivided and uninterrupted attention. Your full attention is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child, and it’s often in short supply during this era of multiple distractions. We, as parents, have to make an intentional and concerted effort to set aside this time each day otherwise it’s not likely to happen. This could be first thing in a morning or at bedtime. It could be in the lull of the afternoon hours. Time alone with your child is a primary way that they will feel safe and loved. 

 

3. Become Curious About Your Child’s Inner World

This is an excellent time for you to ask specific questions that will invite your child to share their inner world with you. While highly sensitive kids are highly attuned to their emotional world and their body’s responses (bumps, tingles, aches), they might not share this with you without being prompted. Many highly sensitive kids are also highly private, and they need this safe and uninterrupted time where they are actively asked questions to feel safe enough to share what’s happening in their hearts and minds.

Here are some examples of specific questions:

  1. How have you been feeling lately?
  2. Do you ever try to get a “right” feeling inside of you?
  3. Tell me about your [stomachaches, headaches, any other physical symptom that your child has been telling you about].
  4. Have you had any interesting dreams lately? (You don’t have to know anything about dream interpretation in order to listen to your child’s dreams and talk about them together.)
  5. Have I said or done anything that has hurt your feelings or made you feel bad?

Very young children might not have the verbal capacity to respond to questions like these (although they might; don’t underestimate your child’s verbal and emotional intelligence), in which case you might spend your special time engaging in play. Through the play, notice what they’re making their doll or animal say and use these cues as opportunities to travel beside them into their inner realms. Doing art together is also a wonderful way to enter your child’s imagination.

 

4. Be Aware of How Anxiety Commonly Manifests for Kids

As with adults, anxiety in children doesn’t always look, sound, or feel like anxiety.

This is how anxiety can manifest in children:

  • Frequent stomachaches
  • Frequent urination
  • Sleep challenges
  • Separation anxiety
  • Ruminating, particularly about death
  • Compulsions
  • Social anxiety
  • Prone to perfection
  • Angry outbursts

It’s essential to remember that underlying all of these symptoms is anxiety. For example, highly sensitive kids are also highly attuned to their body’s sensations, which means they might notice the slightest amount of urine in their bladder and feel worried about losing control or not having access to the bathroom and so they go the bathroom more frequently. If adults aren’t attuned to these more subtle cues they might miss them altogether. Frequent urination is also a common symptom of health anxiety where the child worries that something is “wrong” so becomes hyper-focused on a perceived symptom.

 

5. Limit Screentime

I realize that iPads are doubling as nannies right now, and that’s okay, but as highly sensitive kids are more porous than a typically wired child, you must be exceptionally mindful of the content that they’re watching. There are a few excellent shows for younger kids (Octonauts and Puffin Rock were big favorites for my boys), but many seemingly innocent shows, especially films, contain messages and images that are disturbing for HSCs.

Anything violent or unkind will register in their morally sensitive heart as unbearable, and they simply don’t have the maturity to process much of the pain of life. One of our most urgent tasks as parents of highly sensitive kids is to protect their innocence, which, these days, means limiting and highly monitoring what they ingest through screens.

It’s not only the content of screens we have to be aware of, it’s also the pace. Everything moves very quickly these days, and this is reflected in the media. The cuts of films is faster than the soul can process, especially for young people and especially for highly sensitive young people. If you’ve wondered whey your child seems dysregulated after watching innocent screen content, this could be why.

 

6. Be Mindful of the Conversations that Your Kids Overhear 

Likewise, highly sensitive kids often have otherworldly hearing and they pay attention to everything you’re saying and discussing. You might not think they’re listening when you’re talking to your partner or a friend about the latest political atrocities, but if they’re within earshot assume that they are.

 

7. Communicate to Your Child that They are Unconditionally Loved and Deeply Safe

As highly sensitive kids have a highly attuned sense of “right” and “wrong”, they often assign this to their own sense of self regarding their “goodness” or “badness.” In an attempt to “be good” or convince themselves that they’re not bad, stupid, wrong, or silly, they might develop habits (compulsions) in an attempt to feel good or right. Some kids obsess about writing their numbers or letters perfectly. Others obsess about their health. In some way, these obsessions and the accompanying compulsions are attempts to feel right about themselves. Therefore, what these kids need are daily reflections from the adults around them that affirm their innate goodness. The MP3 at the end of this post is one way to infuse our children with the sense of their fundamental goodness and “rightness”. (I wouldn’t normally use this word in reference to our fundamental nature but in this context it makes sense).

It’s also important that you, as their parent, make a pointed effort to let your child know through words and actions that they’re intrinsically and unconditionally loved – that your love for them is not dependent on anything external (grades, looks, achievements, behavior). As Brené Brown talks about in The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting, in order to raise shame-resilient children it’s important that we comment on a child’s behavior rather than their personhood. This sounds like, “I really didn’t like that you ___________,” while also reflecting that while you don’t like the behavior, your love for your child is not altered in any way. We can do “bad” things but that doesn’t mean we’re bad people, and children need to know this.

Still, there are going to be times when your or someone else’s behavior slips through the cracks of your attention. There’s no such thing as perfect parenting, which means we’re inevitably going to say or do something that triggers a shame response in our child. My husband and I have done this plenty of times with both of our kids, and sometimes it’s taken us years to follow the breadcrumbs of a current anxiety symptoms back through the years until we arrive at its source and can offer some repair.

 

8. Practice Attuned and Gentle Parenting (and Forgive Yourself When You Blow It)

Highly sensitive children require a more attuned and gentle parenting style than a typically wired child in order to thrive. This means that we have to be exceptionally mindful of scolding or criticizing our children. When a child accidentally loses or breaks an item and we say things in moments of frustration like, “Use your brain!” or “What’s wrong with you?” we tap directly into their already active shame track.

If at all possible, our work as parents is to recognize that HSCs are wired differently than other kids, and even if 99% of our communication is loving, they’re likely to latch onto the one unkind thing we said that week to support the belief that there’s something wrong with them. No child wants to be yelled at or scolded, but a highly sensitive one is more likely to introject messages of shame until they become woven into their inner fabric.

Again, it’s not possible to parent without scolding, criticizing, raising your voice, yelling, and shaming. If we were better supported as parents and were raising our children in community, we likely wouldn’t be pushed to the edge as frequently as we might be. We do the very best we can, and then we make repairs when we mess up. This is why it’s essential to invite your child to talk about any times that you’ve hurt their feelings, either through direct scolding/shaming or inadvertently.

An additional layer to be aware of in terms of gentle parenting is that highly sensitive kids often interpret innocent behavior or words through a filter that leads to shame. For example, you might be laughing in delight at your child’s cute behavior and they may think that you’re laughing at them. This has happened in our own home many times and I’ve heard it from clients as well. We can’t possibly know how our children are going to interpret and sometimes mis-interpret our words and actions, but we can give them opportunities to talk about it.

This topic always brings to mind this quote from from Pearl S. Buck on high sensitivity (except I would like to delete the word “abnormally”!):

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.

 

 

9. Trust Your Child’s Experience

Along the lines of the above quote, if your child says it hurts, it probably does. It’s tempting as parents to assume that our child is being dramatic around physical and emotional pain when their expression seems out of proportion to what’s happening, but that’s not often the case with a highly sensitive child. Because of their highly sensitized nervous system, they experience physical and emotional pain with greater intensity than a typically wired child, just as the above quote describes. When we invalidate their pain by showing skepticism, we invalidate their experience. At the core, we all need to feel seen and heard regardless of our level of sensitivity. Even if you can’t imagine that your child is really feeling what they’re saying they’re feeling, trust it anyway.

This isn’t to say that highly sensitive children never exaggerate their responses. But when they do it’s often because they’re not receiving the attention and a two minute that they are needing. We have found, however, that most times our kids’ responses are accurately reflecting their experience and that it’s best to assume that they’re not being overdramatic.

 

10. Discover Your Child’s Nervous System Regulators

Our two sons have completely different ways of regulating. Our older son regulates through connecting to the air (thus becoming a pilot) while our younger son regulates through water (he loves the creek that runs in the back of our property). They both need plenty of downtime but are also filled up by meaningful social connections. One son is regulated through touch. The other is regulated through gazing at the night sky together. Petting our cat regulates both of them, and they both need time moving their body each day.

Every child, every person, has their own ways of regulating. The following are some ideas that may work for you, but the most important element, as always, is to listen to and watch your child closely for they will let you know what calms their nervous system:

  1. Light touch
  2. Deep pressure massage
  3. Essential oils, especially lavender
  4. Natural bodies of water or baths
  5. Nature
  6. Exercise
  7. Silence
  8. Conversation
  9. Music
  10. Dance
  11. Prayer
  12. Meaningful rituals, especially ones that come from your lineage
  13. Magnesium
  14. Regular protein and low sugar to regulate blood sugar
  15. Meditation /Guided visualization
  16. Connecting to their passion and purpose (this looks like attuning to and supporting their interests)

 

At the very core of anxiety is the need to feel safe and loved. This is true for adults as well as children. Kids need to have a felt experience of dwelling in their own goodness. In the absence of feeling safe, good, and loved, highly sensitive kids, like adults, attempt to find perfection and anchors outwardly through their obsessions and compulsions. The more you talk about these with your kids, the more they will reduce. And the more you help your child feel safe and loved both through your attuned parenting and by helping them find their inner spaces of safety and self-love, the less anxious they will feel.

To this end, and upon request from several parents, I’ve created an MP3 for kids to help them find ground and safety amidst their own anxiety. If you’re a parent, I encourage you to listen to this with your child or children every day if possible. And if you’re not a parent, I encourage you to listen as you imagine your inner child taking in these words. This is how we reparent ourselves, growing our own inner wise parent as we imagine holding our young self through their fear, grief, and anxiety. And this is how we help our highly sensitive children grow their own inner ally and wise parent, rooting them into a deep sense of their own goodness, safety, protection, and wisdom.

Download MP3

You can also do a shortened version of this visualization by teaching your child the following affirmation:

My body is healthy and strong (place your hand or your child’s hand on their belly – ask permission first)

My heart is happy and calm (place a hand on their heart)

My mind is smart and wise (place a hand on their head)

My soul is filled with light and goodness (scan above their body from head to toe with your hands)

And all is well. 

Final Note: By no means do I possess the ultimate roadmap for how to parent highly sensitive children, nor do I believe one actually exists. For just as there’s no formula for life, there’s no definitive formula for raising kids. My husband and I mess up a lot and we’re always learning about more effective ways to parent our sons.

What I can share, however, is that the longer you parent with attunement, the easier it gets. In the earlier days of parenting our firstborn son, I often longed for a wise elder to show me the way. Eventually, I learned to trust both myself and my son to teach me our way. When we listen closely and are willing to learn from our mistakes, we discover a built-in treasure map that is contained inside the soul of each exquisitely beautiful child. Keep listening, keep falling, keep pausing, keep course correcting, and above all, keep connecting, and you, too, will find your way together.

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Further Reading:

The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron

In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness by Chris Mercogliano

Differently Wired by Debbie Reber

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23 Comments

  1. Can I come through this screen and hug you for your beautiful words, please? The more I grow my inner parent, the more excited I get to become a parent. Which actually shows growth because I used to be terrified of it. And even though I know I’ll be faced with challenges of doing the “right” thing and other anxiety topics in motherhood, I know there’s always a gem and lesson to learn along the way. I wouldn’t haven’t known that or had this outlook if it weren’t for coming out on the other side of relationship anxiety either. 😉 So another thank you to your beautiful soul, work and dedication to serving other humans and our delicate souls. I love you, Sheryl!!

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    • Giving you a huge hug right back! Thank you for your beautiful words, Jessica, and I’m so glad that the post was helpful.

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    • I resonate with everything you have stated.

      I feel so blessed and joyful that I have found Sheryl’s work on my own inner parent and parenting journey to highly senstive and strong-willed girls.

      We need all the support possible ♡

      Thank you for work Sheryl

      Reply
  2. Just what I needed to read at this moment. Thank you so much for these suggestions and reminders! Looking forward to trying out the recording with my two highly sensitive boys. ❤️

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    • Please let me know how they respond. x

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  3. Sheryl, thank you for your work. I have shared this with my loved ones who have highly sensitive kids and feel they will benefit from this, as my own inner child did right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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    • That’s so good to hear, Darlene. Thank you.

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  4. Dear Sheryl,

    What a lovely post. I’d have been heartened to read this when my two girls were growing up. They are 27 and 22 🙂 I think it’s my inner child that needs your words now!

    I have read The Middle Passage and there is no doubt in my mind that I am going through this. Many parts of my life have ended or changed suddenly and I don’t feel optimistic for the future. It is terrifying!

    I had some knowledge of Jung as I studied psychology at an undergrad level and the midlife narrative in the book certainly resonates with me. Reading it made me uneasy at times as the author makes clear that not everyone will transition successfully. I certainly feel stuck at the moment – often paralysed by grief and fear – but I know there is no way back. I have no interest in extending the first adulthood as I’m too tired, although I miss aspects of it very much.

    I’m more plagued by intrusive thoughts than I have been for years. I couldn’t even switch off when my older daughter and partner came for a garden visit today. I’m ashamed to admit that I was relieved when they were gone. For the rest of the evening I was aghast but, once in bed, I cried so hard over my little girls being all grown up. The intrusive thoughts are nothing to do with my kids so I was shocked at this outpouring. I console myself that i feel this way because I loved being a mum so much.

    Have a lovely week.

    DawnyMim x

    Reply
    • I’m curious if the intrusive thoughts abated at all after your big cry. As I talk about in The Wisdom of Anxiety, intrusive thoughts are often placeholders for grief, and when we allow ourselves to drop down into the grief, the thoughts often quiet down.

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      • Yes. I feel better for now at least. The thoughts are classic relationship anxiety – I’m afraid I don’t love my husband because I once loved someone else and other similar fears. Yet, the sadness is also about my girls being grown up.

        You also write about. transitions bringing up pain from a previous change. And this feels very true for me. My old relationship finished shortly before I left college and I struggled to leave that part of life behind. I feel exactly the same again with my empty nest and no longer working in my career. Exactly as you say, the intrusive thoughts come back as part of the grief.

        At least I think that’s what it is about – plus menopause I guess!

        Reply
  5. “There is no roadmap for life.” More important words never spoken.

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  6. Thank you so much Sheryl. ❤️ This is such a gift, as I’ve been working to add time with myself to my day (instead of “being productive” all the time), and I wasn’t sure what to do in that time. This gives me great ideas for how to be with my inner child in that intentional time. Also so much of this resonates so much, and I feel seen and normalized. Thank you. ❤️

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    • That’s wonderful to hear, Jamie. I love that you read the post through the eyes of how to lovingly parent your inner child and give her the time she needs to BE and be seen.

      Reply
  7. This is so helpful! Thank you as always for sharing such beautiful insights into what it means to be human and a sensitive soul. You are our wise elder ❤️

    Reply
  8. Hi Sheryl. Thank you for all the work you do. I really wish I discovered you sooner. I’m so sorry this is not regarding this topic, although this post was a beautiful read. I’m just really hoping for some guidance.
    I wanted to ask something that concerns me and that is that I don’t feel the core connection you speak of with my partner.
    I’m not feeling especially anxious, although I do from time to time. However, I do ruminate a lot and the connection question (as well as the past) is my biggest concern regarding our relationship.
    The reason I’m afraid is because I feel we’ve had a difficult relationship, me and my partner. When we met I fell very hard for him. But he had his own trauma he needed to work though and I was never able to recognize that this was about him, and NOT about me. He broke up with me when we were 3 months into the relationship, due to what now I understand was, relationship anxiety. I was really shattered and when he realized that the break up was not what he wanted, I made sure he knew that this is something I would not be able to go through again, and the relationship was stable from then on. However, his doubts obviously didn’t disappear and my intense need for certainty only made him feel suffocated and me not loved. So, I took everything to heart and saw myself as a victim and suffered a lot. I feel like I could not express my authentic self because of fear of being rejected. I felt ashamed of who I was, my family, my history, me. I feel like I don’t know who I was and who I am now because throughout the relationship I was driven by the fear (I don’t think this was because of his anxiety, I think I always was like this, I was so insecure, I needed to be perfect to be loved, and I wasn’t).
    Few years forward, my partner seems to have worked quite a lot on himself and I feel his heart is completely opened for me. Our relationship is not perfect of course, we still have things to work through and he can be annoying. I get especially annoyed when he is indecisive, something that was always an issue in the past because of his doubts. I feel like his self improvement has been gradual but I grew quite impatient a year ago when I was on a trip for a 2.5 weeks and didn’t really miss him. I noticed that a lot of the time my inner dialogue regarding him was negative and I felt annoyed (even though significant improvements were already made). My colleagues talked about their partners and how their partners wanted future with them I felt like I couldn’t say the same. My partner never disclosed this and I always felt less because of that. I think I told him I wanted future with him on the third date and this really freaked him out. But he always told me how things were getting better and better and how we were getting there. Me not missing him was my hint that something was wrong and that our connection has degraded (or maybe was never really there?). So, when I came back, I told him about my pain and he took it, and since then he has been showing me his love and commitment every day. He wants a future and is ready to do anything for me. He is a really honest guy, so I know him saying that comes from the heart and not from his fear. He never became clingy when I told him my doubts and needs, he just started showing his love though actions. I really pushed for a move in in the past, so now we live together. He is doing bigger and nicer things as time goes by, practically everything I always longed for. I opened up to him about my past, issues in my childhood and teenage years, insecurities, fears and everything I’ve never really shared with anyone. He was extremely loving and compassionate, held me and gave me hugs.
    The issue is, this seems to never be enough. There is always something MORE I need to feel connected. I don’t know what is this. I always hoped that once he gives me what I want I will feel the connection again. But this is just not happening. I find myself imagining how I would feel loved in a different relationship and when I go outside I look at people and try to find someone I like. This disturbs me because all I want is to be finally happy with him. While I was always praying to the universe that he would want to marry me and we would end up together, now I’m terrified of the thought and get this sinking feeling in my stomach. It’s like I can’t let go of the past hurts. I always blame him for every hurt I’ve felt. He understands this, but also pointed out that he tried to satisfy my needs the best he could, but he had to draw a line somewhere or he would loose himself. He is a strong believer that happiness and love starts with yourself and through the years he had been supportive in me doing things I really love for myself. However, I took this as “he doesn’t like me and wants to be alone”, even though he would say that he is here I can concentrate on myself and not worry about the relationship.
    So while I understand that I need to work on myself to be able to feel connected, I worry that if this core connection is not there, it is not possible to create it. I constantly get these thoughts looking at my friends in relationships that work well from the beginning and feel like mine is inferior to theirs and they must feel more in love and happy and have better future. And I feel like giving up and finding someone that will do that for me, even though right now I have the security I longed for. And when I manage to feel better about us, I think if maybe we’re not a good match after all.
    I was always the pursuer in the relationship and I feel like I don’t even know what love feels like. The same thing happened in my previous long term relationship, but when I got to this point I broke up. I like my partner too much to do it now, but this pain is killing me.
    I would really appreciate and would love to know your view on this. What is wrong with me Sheryl? I can’t take this pain anymore. Please give me some guidance. Thank you <3

    Reply
    • Hi N,

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. I just want you to know that I relate to your point: “ It’s like I can’t let go of the past hurts.”

      I have a real problem with this and although I have had lots of therapy over the years, only medication ever really keeps the old pain at bay.

      I’m 52 and still struggle with unresolved pain and I have been married 28 years! I’m really looking forward to Sheryl’s reply to this.

      Dxx

      Reply
  9. Is it Normal to still feel anger at my mother for not treating me in these ways as a child? Even after years of therapy, I feel a deep sense of longing for a wise mother figure and it’s so painful at times. I understand why she behaved in these ways but sometimes I struggle to accept I dont have and never will have her support xx

    Reply
    • Yes it’s quite common. Embedded inside the anger is likely grief, and when you can move toward the grief and disappointment and let it move through you, eventually you will arrive at acceptance and be able to grow relationships with “other mothers” (non-human, often in the natural world) to support you through this life.

      Reply
  10. It’s really interesting to relearn myself in a lot of ways. I always knew I was prone to worry (I’m a Cancer, so it’s been a conversation my whole life), and I was sick as a baby and never fully healthy until the year I turned 13. But I’m only discovering in recent months that I was the highly sensitive child/am a highly sensitive person, and I think it’s been handled in a mix of ways.

    When I was eight, my family stayed in this house that turned out to have a septic leak in the backyard, and I became very anxious throughout that year. Before we knew about the leak, I would do things like Purell every 15 seconds (I counted), I wouldn’t eat any food that I touched, and I came up with an unfounded fear of bombs and poison (we were watching a lot of Monk at the time, too). My family didn’t totally understand why I was doing all that stuff, and I didn’t either really, but sometimes they were a little impatient. It wasn’t until we discovered the leak that it started to make sense, but it was still months later that the fear finally subsided.

    Now I’m dealing with intrusive thoughts that are terrifying me, and a weird sensation that I feel like I’m carrying around bad energy. The energy thing is something that was really bad last year around February/March, and has been up and down since then, and it’s a little perplexing. I have to think it’s related to my thoughts, and in turn to my anxiety.

    Anyway, thank you for the opportunity to learn how to respond to myself in the present and how to heal my inner child from the past.

    Reply
  11. On the subject of high sensitivity, I was reminded of a question as I looked over my journal entries. My entire life I’ve had a really intense emotional reaction to the phrases “I don’t need you”, “I don’t need anybody”, and “You don’t need me” (the last if said in a certain way), and I’ve always wondered why. It’s especially strong if it’s a kid saying it, or if the person is crying as they’re saying it. The examples I can think of are in the first Land Before Time and An American Tale movies; Cera says it in LBT, and I don’t remember the circumstances, and Fivel says it when he’s separated from his family and he’s found a place where orphan mice are sleeping, and they’re making fun of him or something. It’s been so long since I’ve seen either movie, because I stopped watching them because they made me too sad. Years later when I saw Zootopia, Nick the fox was telling a story of a similar experience to Fivel’s, where he said one of those things. I burst into tears when I saw it, and I haven’t watched Zootopia since. I’ve always wondered what it is about it? The prevailing emotions are sadness and loneliness, although anger may play a part in it, too.

    Reply
  12. I notice in your parenting posts you say that you and your husband mess up a lot. I would be really interested in a post about what that looks like, and how you repair. I’m interested from your position as a conscious, present parent.

    Reply

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