I don't know about Finn (some of the questions really do require a child with some sort of language communication), but Mr. F. and I scored quite high (22 and 17 respectively).
These statements pretty much define my life:
- I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
- I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
- I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me.
- Being very hungry creates a strong reaction in me, disrupting my concentration or mood.
- Changes in my life shake me up.
- I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once.
- When I must compete or be observed while performing a task, I become so nervous or shaky that I do much worse than I would otherwise.
- I make it a high priority to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations.
In some sense, this is highly illuminating. I wouldn't have necessarily labeled myself as "highly-sensitive" nor would I picked the above attributes as key points to being highly sensitive.
I still am sort of surprised to find that other people do not get bothered by busy agendas when I actively strive to make my life as stress-free as humanly possible. For example, I follow a blog of a woman I knew in graduate school who is currently renovating her first house. Reading about all the work she does in the course of a night or a weekend stresses me out. I think, "where does she find the time and energy? I don't think I could undertake such a large endeavor." I mean, I probably could undertake something large like that.....but I would have to seriously talk myself into it. And then I would have to map out in my mind how it would go and how I would cope, etc.
I have a hard time volunteering at church for the same reason. People sign up left and right while I am mentally going through all the implications of what said service means: "I could bring dinner, but that means I would have to cook double of what we are having, and do I have enough ingredients? Or will I have to make another trip to the store? And would they even like what we are having? Not everyone is as fascinated by beans as we are. And then I have to cook while Finn is at his craziest. I guess I could wear him in the Ergo and hope for the best. But then I need to go to the store and buy plastic containers to bring the food in, because we have discarded all of ours, and I don't want them or us worrying about returning them. etc. etc." Seriously. This is my whole mental process. And by the end of it, I am so overwhelmed that I just forgo. Or, the opportunity has passed once I have convinced myself that it would be manageable. I guess other people don't have this problem, and it blows my mind.
The same goes for traveling. I have not visited my sisters since having Finn. And it isn't because I don't want to. I do! The problem is having a child that doesn't sleep well and who, like his parents, is a highly-sensitive person and so doesn't deal well with change. I start thinking about where everyone is going to sleep and the logistics of nursing Finn at night without the normal familiar set-up of rocking chair right next to crib and the potential horrible aftermath of trying to get him to sleep in a foreign environment...... and my brain overloads and I want to crawl in my bed and hibernate until I recover.
I used to think that I was just lazier than the average person. It is somewhat comforting to know that I just over think and stress about a situation more than just the average person. But only somewhat.