Saturday, 11 July 2015

Sensitive



 
A Happy Place

I am a very sensitive person.  I am sensitive to bright or flickering light, sensitive to heat and cold, my body overreacting to both.  I have sensitive skin which is not much of a treat and sensitive digestion which is even less so.  Loud noises, especially sudden ones, trigger my fight or flight instinct.  I am sensitive to smells, and many that don't bother other people make me feel ill, nauseated, or give me a headache.  I am sensitive emotionally too.  Very.  I absorb all the emotion in a room, sense the moods of other people or at least pick up some sort of strong signal though I may misinterpret it.  I am overly sensitive to criticism.  Conversely I seem to have a high pain tolerance and like a scene from Monty Python, you could chop off my arm and I would say oh, it's only a flesh wound.

I am also very sensitive to colour.  You knew I would get around to colour, didn't you?  The colour of my environment matters to me and can be too bright, to dark, to warm or too cool for my comfort level, particularly walls and floors.  I struggle with that currently as I do not like the colour of the walls in my living room but do not have the energy, nor the money at the moment, to change them.  Most people give me the weird side eye if I say this.  Why can't you just live with it, or decorate to accommodate it? The ask me.  I've tried that strategy.  It makes me anxious.  Just try explaining to someone that your walls are making you anxious!

Colour is a very complex thing for me.  I don't have a favourite, rather I have favourite shades of all colours.  I have preferences.  With some colours there is a greater number of shade preferences and a quantitative person might say, aha!  You like 43 shades of blue but only two shades of yellow and seven shades of red so clearly blue is your favourite.  I could never make such a pronouncement.  My favourite colour or shade of colour depends on the day, it depends on the object that it is coloured.  I might like a particular shade even more when it is in combination with others.  I might feel more passionately about those two shades of yellow than I do about 45 of the blue shades.

Speaking of yellow, a friend who has synesthesia once told me that for him I am yellow.  Another friend said I was his sunshine.  And according to a random online quiz my personality is yellow.  Perhaps my aura is yellow; I've never had that confirmed but it's a good thing I do like at least two shades of yellow.

By the way, I am using the term 'shade' a bit generically here.  Technically a shade is black added to a colour.  A tone is grey added to it and a tint is white added to it.  In the English language we tend to favour the term shade to describe variety in colours.  I personally tend to prefer shade because I literally do prefer tones and shades of most colours.

I also love the colour brown which tends to make people give me that weird side eye again.  Or respond with 'brown is the colour of dirt' or more vulgar suggestions.  I happen to quite like dirt actually, or soil really. And chocolate, and beautiful brown eyes and skin.  I like my brown hair. There are shades and tones of brown which truly move me, which create that little moment where my heart skips a beat and an 'ahh' catches in my throat and I feel I am home.  Yes, brown.  Do I sound defensive?  That's because I am sensitive to all the brown scorn out there.

Well, how long did you think I could go without talking about colour once again?


There may or may not be an outfit post with this.  I am lying in bed feeling exhausted.  I haven't yet found the energy to get up shower, dress or eat though I am quite hungry.  I have a coffee date with my parents, which of course I want to attend but it is going to require running on adrenaline.  You might think that on such a day I'd want to dress in an energising colour but I know I will choose something that feels secure, calm and safe.  It's too dangerous to misrepresent myself.

Six hours later......

It's at least ten degrees cooler than it has been in a long time and it's raining.  Given our drought and wildfires this is good.  I haven't closed my windows at all in about two and a half months but I closed them today.  As I suspected it is a brown day.  Dress, cardi and shoes are all second hand.  Purple silk flower self made from a second hand blouse that shrunk.  Hair, influenced by mushrooms and styled by rain.

18 comments:

  1. I am sensitive to smells also, and light and loud sounds! I struggled a lot in Indonesia because a) incense being burned ALL the time b) LOUD music. If I didn't quite 'get' what my music professor was showing me, he'd just play it louder, which when you are being played at on BRONZE which is highly resonant, is very painful!
    Brown is nice, I won't diss it (except for the diahhorea brown car that a boy called Ross's dad had when I was at Primary school- it really was a 'What HAVE you been eating?' shade of poo)- my friend Pete called me 'Symphony in Brown' once, when I rocked up to Uni in brown loose trousers, brown chenille cardigan, brown shoes and a black top! You look delightful in your shades of brown. Brown is the colour of nature- what is there not to love about that!x

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    1. LOL-well on a scatalogical note I refer to my living room walls as baby poo brown. There is a disturbing yellow-green undertone. What you said about your music prof reminds me of what people do when speaking to someone who speaks a different language. We all know that shouting English makes it more understandable, right? Incense-some I like and some I don't. I think it's a very personal thing like perfume. I burn ones I like at home but would not burn any if other people were around. I can't go into those shops that sell the highly scented bath and beauty products-even the ones that claim to be all natural. Lush, Crabtree and Evelyn sometimes even The Body Shop, or stores that sell a large number of artificially scented candles. I also can't go into the stores playing loud music. I take ear plugs with me to some live performances at cafes. That brings the volume down to something comfortable. It's amazing I am not a cranky person!
      It sounds like I would love your symphony in brown outfit.
      xoxo

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  2. Every time I go to the drs she uses the word sensitive to describe some aspect of me! I'm sure that is why I struggle to function in the world.
    You are sensitive to the scientifically proven effect of colours! No mystery to me.
    I don't have a favourite either! I always talk about tones and colour combinations if asked :-)
    I have to run on adrenalin today to meet a friend who has come over from NZ to see me. I've been waiting all year for this and I'm in pain with minimal sleep under my belt. Argh! Grrr!
    Hairstyle influenced by mushrooms...gorgeous, adorable, and the next big thing! Love you! Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. I had a doctor once who described me as a strong character with a sensitive physiognomy. It's probably a bit of a tricky mix. LOL. I am sending you strength and stamina and pain numbing vibes in a lovely shade of sea green.

      I hope you survive and enjoy your time with your friend. I do know what it is like to have to rely on that adrenaline and what it will take for you to recover afterwards. Let others take care of you. You are loved and you deserve it. xoxoxo

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  3. Lovely outfit, Shawna, the shorter length is great on you.
    I think I am the polar opposite of you - I am rarely bothered by smells, noise, or light, my colour preferences tend to the brighter shades, and while I am perfectly able to pick up on the prevailing atmosphere of a situation, I don't take it on personally. As for criticism - well, I always say you need to consider the source!
    I sound hard-faced, I know, but I prefer to differentiate - not all stimuli are of equal importance, and I give my attention and energy to those which matter to me, while ignoring those of less significance. Of course, that's a personal position, and not intended as an instruction for anyone else to follow, we all make our own individual way as best we can! xxx

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    1. Yes, I do notice how different we are! I would say I do not choose to be this way but rather am making my way through life as best I can given that I am this way. I would hazard a guess that I am putting just as much effort as you are into not letting things bother me but with different results. A sort of related topic that always fascinates me is the idea that we probably don't all see, hear or smell exactly the same things just as we know we dont' all taste exactly the same way. It's difficult to word that without suggesting that some of us are delicious and some of us not. xoxoxo

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  4. I've always found it impossible to name a favourite colour … I like so many.
    And I totally get how the colour of your walls makes you anxious … if I'm unhappy with something in my home it totally effects me … the depth of the effect depending on my general mood at the time. Our homes are our little nests and we want to love them :0)
    xx

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    1. Colour I don't like affects me more than anything else in my home but of course I cannot afford to change everything that is not to my taste. I don't have the money for that. The wall colour is a big deal though and must be changed. I am hoping to get it done this summer. xoxo

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  5. Yes, colour. I have always been stymied by women who choose bridesmaid dresses in their FAVOURITE colour. What? That's impossible, I think. I like every colour in varying degrees, depending on the day, and rainbow dresses, a compromise, on certain days would make me feel the colour of your living room walls or Ross's dad's car.
    Question: If there were a miracle cream that you could put on that would desensitize you, would you use it? I dislike cream on my skin - I feel like I'm pasting down all those dry bits that need to fly away.

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    1. I am quite sensitive to the textures of cream and so if I have to use one there are only particularly textures I can use and of course, unscented or a scent I am okay with. I don't like makeup on my face usually either because of the sensation. As for bridesmaid's dresses I think it looks awesome when each one is wearing a different colour. xo

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  6. delicious chocolat outfit :-)
    (bonus points for 2.hand!)
    hubby says i´m a seismograph. and i have a very fine nose and fine ears. and i´m very sensitive with pain - but on the other side i can handle it if i don´t have to do much more. hot or cold weather don´t bother me much - but stormy one. and wet conditions bring pain in my knees....
    and of cause colors - i would not live that long with a wall color that i find plain ugly - i would move heaven&hell to change it!
    love your atelier corner!!!!
    hugs! xxxxxx

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    1. I haven't the strength to lift either heaven or hell nor enough money to buy them off. ;-) But I'm working on it. I have a plan and hope to deal with the living room walls later this summer with my son's help. xoxo

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    2. aww your lovely son! can´t wait to see what you both will doing with the living room walls!! xxxx

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  7. Oh Shawna I absolutely understand how walls can make a person anxious. I don't feel comfortable and at ease if things aren't "right", translation - how I like them :D We have this light that's in our living room and if it's turned on I go crazeeeeeee, even if it doesn't have anything to do with our room, I can still see it shining and it's too freaking bright! Also I always make the boyfriend close the door to our room, it makes me feel cozy, but he always forgets and it's a serious issue lemme tell you! :D
    I think of you as sunshine too, a bright and intelligent sun beam! And my favorite color is yellow, which explain why I like you so damn much! Still javen't decided if emotional sensitivity is more good or more bad, I'm training to be less sensitive to people's bullshit :D
    Brown looks smashing on you and not many people can pull it off! And only you can look hot with mushroom hair! :D

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    1. You are such a sweetie. Can you get a dimmer bulb for you annoying light? Or paint the shade? I think emotional sensitivity is good but difficult. I think sensitive people have much to bring to the world, we are the artists, we feel empathy, I am always attracted to sensitive people. But for our own sakes and perhaps for those who live with us, we do have to try not to get so easily hurt. I think it is a constant work in progress really. I know that I was born this way (damn now I am thinking of Lady GaGa) from descriptions my mum tells of my infancy and childhood, and I know that as I go through life I learn that I can cope with things, I learn strategies. But I cannot imagine not feeling what I feel, not sensing what I sense. I do not want to be numb or blind or deaf but sometimes I need to find ways to dim the stimuli. Blah blah blah blah...I talk too much. xoxoxoxo

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  8. Lovely brown outfit and mushroom hair! Styled by rain - so beautifully said!

    I relate to many, many things you are talking about here. I have a theory which I will discuss with you via email when I have a bit more energy - I really don't feel quite myself now, being not able to sleep as many hours as I need.

    Someone with the ability to see people (and words) in color told me that I am a shade of red (as well as my name), and back then it seemed lovely, but strange, but now I get it. I also don't have just one favorite color, but rather shades/tones of colors.The same way, not a favorite writer, but favorite poems or stories. Writers mostly fascinate me as people (it's still more important to me who they are as human beings, rather than an amount of talent or skills they display).

    It's so much better when the temps dropped here to their "normal" level, isn't it? I just adore our mild climate. I have not heard anyone complaining about gray days after the weeks of heat yet. :)

    Much love xxxxx

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  9. It is really like you have been describing myself!!! For the past few days, I've had this horrrible headache and the smells, noises and people are making it worse. I wish there was a hole I could hide in!

    I love brown too and no wonder...chocolade, cakes, coffee....most of things I like are brown. My skin gets brown in the Summer and that's probably the reason why my skin is my fav thing about myself despite the fact I still struggle with acne and sensitive skin.

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    1. I think we are quite alike in many ways. When my son was very small-around five- he asked me my favourite colour. I said brown. There was a pause and then he spoke in a tone of shock. "Brown! That's not a colour of the rainbow."

      My skin only achieves pale beige. Though when I was younger it tanned. I only get a bit of hormonal period week pimples now but I get hives that look like mosquito bites and they pop up almost daily (after 4pm) on my upper chest, neck and jawline. Ah the joys of sensitive skin. xoxo

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