Seeing myself here!

by Amara
(Singapore)


How strange. So I came to this sight bc my friends son was diagnosed with SPD and when she started talking about his symptoms I thought, huh, that sounds a lot like my son. Well after reading most everything on this site and others I have determined that my son falls rather into the Highly Sensitive Child category. Yes we have the socks and the clothing label issues. Everything must be comfortable. He loves nothing more that to spin and never gets dizzy. He would melt down in tears when he was thirsty or hungry or hot, especially thirsty, until the age of 5. Now 6, he has learned to wait a bit longer. Born slightly premature, with no complications, he was so sensitive as a baby even my hair would upset him if it touched his skin. Couldn't take baths or sun light, etc. Needed lots of patting and constant touch. Yet he has never thrown tantrums or gotten very angry. Is very verbal and talks to others quite well but is noticeable shy.


Oh yes was OBSESSED with elevators! From age 1 to 4... we lost count at around 59 of them :) He did a year of private school Kindergarten and although it caused him a lot of anxiety at first, teeth grinding, (he always wanted to be the best at everything); the teachers always said he was a model student with an unusually long attention span (and personal space issues.) He could never do PE bc he got too thirsty and his feet would sweat and drive him crazy. He is weirdly good at golf (in flip flops.) So if he does have any SPD I would say it's not enough to disrupt any of our lives much. Now I home school him for other reasons (un-vaccinated children are not allowed in schools here.) And he does best in small groups. Plus private schools are crazy expensive here.

HOWEVER what was so strange was I realized I have all these things and more! As a child I was misdiagnosed with epilepsy bc I would fall into silent stupors. Was afraid of all kinds of bizar things, wood, corners, furniture, beds, people, heights, crows... I played in the dark in my closet alone. I tapped my face repeatedly... hummed and rocked...my hand shook uncontrollably.. the list goes on. No one knew what was going on and I hid it very well. The truth is I had no help until I happened upon an art therapist who was my neighbor as a teen. She helped me draw and dialogue my feelings out until something changed in me and I was able to let much of it go. My parents thought I had multiple personalities or was just very dramatic or epileptic or possessed. I had EKG's and back then a top neurologist in Oregon said it was either peti mal seizures or acid flashbacks bc I had taken drugs. They wanted to institutionalize me. Can you imagine? At least your children are going to get help. They will not be left in the dark like me.

The good news is that I grew up ok. I had a career as an actress in Hollywood for 12 years making TV shows and small films. I became a Yoga teacher and taught adults and children for 7 years and now I am a happy mom and work as an educational trainer and manager for an upcoming chain of infant to grade 6 childcare development centers in Asia. I never let my symptoms stop me. Maybe bc there were no labels back then. Maybe I was just determined. I did suffer depression in my teens. I was self abusive in my 20's. Then I found a spiritual path in Yoga and meditation and was truly transformed. I still have unexplained fears. I have had nightmares every week of my life since the age of 6. I'm use to them. I cant stand the sensation of wind on my skin. I wear lots of leggings. But I am a great mom. I understand my son and I do not scream at him "Yo are so sensitive!" like my mom did. We accept him and help others accept his shyness and tears over small things and his inability to wear "proper"shoes and all his other quirks. He would cry uncontrollably over thirst or too much "going places" as a child and I would say lovingly "pull yourself together, you can do it! I know you can. Breath, breath, that's it breath and drink the water." Then he did learn to pull himself together and it's been 2 years since we had to talk him through a thirsty, hot or hungry panic attack. Sensitive people, SPD people make great teachers, healers, councilers, artist, writers and
parents.

I now realize, I am one of them and I have known others. I like them and they like me. We are fun to be around, given the chance. If anyone has any additional insights I'd love to hear. Otherwise, Breathe in Love, and I wish you all the best on your journeys...

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