Missed my last post? Read Part 5 of My Highly Sensitive Recovery where I discuss over-stimulation and the phenomenal inner strength of HSPs.
High school was extremely painful for me, despite dating the captain of the basketball team and other such popular girl medallions. I have an acutely fresh memory of high school graduation night. As a classical vocalist in training, I had written beautiful harmony to “The Lord’s Prayer.” I sang it as a duet with one of my dearest friends on a stage before several hundred people (no small feat for an HSP!).
Nonetheless, while all my peers cried their eyes out because they would be leaving all their friends that night, I cried just as hard except for a different reason; RELIEF! I was deeply relieved that this infernal world of cliques and cafeterias and bullying and homework and exams was finally over. It was torture to me on so many levels. And yes, I was severely bullied without reporting it whilst in my middle school years. I am only now beginning to recognize and reconcile the scars and wounds from those trying years.
Due to those tormenting school years, a dysfunctional childhood, and a new spine diagnosis that insisted I stop riding horses, I left home just after my 20th birthday. I could not get away soon enough. I traveled to and lived in Europe, worked for the United Nations, voyaged to many countries, studied and performed as a classical vocalist, and became fluent in several languages.
However, I did not attempt college until I was 32 because I didn’t think I was smart enough (I was often told this while growing up). When I returned to the U.S., I learned that I was able to enjoy learning in class settings. I loved feeling every neuron light up as I digested thousands of delicious bytes of information about the world within and without.
I spent the next 8 years in full time college to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, (and later my state boards as a psychotherapist). I did not finish my education until I was 41 years old.
Looking for more? Continue reading Part 7 of My Highly Sensitive Recovery where I discuss how as HSPs we walk to the beat of our own drummer.