Sibling to highly sensitive person

If you know me, you know I’m pretty sensitive. I’m sensitive to other peoples’ feelings. I invest a lot of energy in other peoples’ well-being, and it’s really hard to change that and think of my own. I feel like once I think of my own feelings I’ll be condemned or villianized for being selfish. I’ve learned to chill out a bit on that way of thinking, but it’s hard to shake, because that’s scary. It’s hard to be selfish when that’s the very fear itself.

I have a sibling who was very sensitive. And, it always felt it was important we know she had the most sensitive feelings and we had better dance around them otherwise we were bad people. I want to say “I”… and not speak for other people. But, I feel like it was a team effort. Although, perhaps others in my family didn’t get so affected by “the dance” as I did. I’m the oldest sibling. And, it felt like it was my job to be the most responsible in the family, although I also felt like I didn’t quite have the skills to be the most responsible. I had no idea what that entailed.

We’d play games and she’d cry cuz she was slower than us. We’d slow down and she’d be hurt because we let her win. I know that’s typical. Almost anything I’d say was a trigger for her feeling dumb, fat, ugly, a loser, etc. I could’ve become bitter, and I’m sure I came across that way as a kid. But, I never WANTED her to feel bad. But, nothing I did was right. And, it was really unpredictable as to when she’d flip out because her feelings got hurt. I’m sure the same would’ve been said for me. But, I know I always cared. And, I spent a long time feeling bad about the times I hurt her feelings, and wanted to change. I think since I was a kid it’s been my mission to learn how to deliver honesty without hurting people. Or to just even have a sense of humour without hurting people. Of course, that’s an insane and ridiculous amount of pressure I have put on myself.

This is just how I function when I get close to people. I’ll speak and be like, “Oh shit, I just hurt their feelings didn’t I?” or, “Oh fuck… I just triggered something in them. They’re gonna melt down… and they’re gonna blame me. And, I won’t be able to say anything because I know I triggered them, even though I didn’t cause their initial pain.”

And, I usually don’t know what to do. Because I had no-win situations with my sister. I also just felt like a failure for hurting someone. When I was a kid, my solution to deal with this was just to isolate myself. As an adult, the feels that manifested themselves into friendship connections. So, when those moments when I felt like I failed or hurt them, in my reality it was over. I knew it wasn’t, but I didn’t know any other outcome. That’s the hard part about visualization. How can I visualize a better outcome, when I have no idea what a better outcome looks or feels like? I get stuck and if you ask me, “How can you change this to be a better outcome?” I’m just like, “How about it just didn’t happen?” lol.

So, writing is my solution for my feels. I can’t visualize more positive outcomes, yet. So, writing is just me witnessing myself. I know I did my best. I know I cared about her feelings. I know it’s ok to be selfish, because selfishness isn’t inherently evil. Selflessness isn’t the purest manifestation of being human, so I don’t need to sacrifice myself to be considered a good person. My feelings matter. My experience matters.

I recognize that I really want someone to know that I really cared about my sister’s feelings. So, I am just sitting with that right now. (I fell asleep)

It’s hard to know what I actually want. I just know of things I don’t want. And, I think that’s a wonderful place to be. It’s my feeling that people think they knew what they wanted but their desires were rooted in their fear. That’s been my experience of the world. I haven’t witnessed often peoples’ desires rooted in love.

My own needs. Well, I think my needs get filled pretty well by my spouse. And, I think I do have a desire to meet my own needs. I acknowledge that there can be something behind that, but in my need to meet my own needs – I write this blog. I know I have a need to be seen. And, writing a blog lets me be seen by myself.

I know that the idea of sharing this feels icky. That the idea of me sharing this with someone and it being shrugged off bothers me. So, I feel comfortable enough to publish, but not to share. I want this to be seen, but by someone whom it helps them feel some sense of healing, too. Or, they love me and want to understand me so this helps them understand me. And, I think that makes sense.

When I focused on my breathing and sat with my emotion earlier, I fell asleep. I think that’s a positive step for me. I’ve heard that people who fall asleep from meditation are just working through their habit of using sleep as an escape. And, I might’ve used sleep as an escape by staying up super late into the morning and then falling asleep so I didn’t have to spend time with people. And, if I’m working through that, cool. But I like falling  asleep anyway lol.


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