I’m wondering what can be done to make the world a gentler place. We’re so overstimulated. We need so much noise and light and action all the time. Our children need it at such a young age, too. Nobody is comfortable in their own skin just being and not doing.

I’m just pondering shit.

I am still numb from the week I had. A horrific crime took place in my college town. It’s in the paper, it’s not a secret. A single mother met a sociopath online and when she began to want to get away from him, he stalked her and brutally murdered her and then killed himself. Leaving behind a boy with no other family.

I read one of the early police reports and it reads like a horror novel. I read in the newspaper that this man purposefully targeted women in the caring professions and he was a ticking time bomb. He mirror them and then turned on them. I don’t need to read any more.

The day before the murder I was laughing at an Ellen DeGeneres Halloween haunted house video. The day after the murder I didn’t see the humor in it and had to turn it off. I’ll never look at Halloween the same again. Why do we want to frighten ourselves?

I’m tired of zombies and find them as a Halloween idea unimaginative. I see huge groups doing the Thriller dance and nobody even recalls that Michael Jackson was a child sexual abuser, pure and simple. Isn’t there someone or something else we can emulate? Someone else we can dance to?

I would not want to have young children these days. I don’t know how a family can even eat dinner with every member on their phones, texting and Facebooking, and being afraid of missing something.

I do wish Fred Rogers were alive because I need more of his wisdom and sweetness. I watched a documentary about him and absolutely no one had anything negative to say about him. He was himself and he really, honestly cared about children. And he was a man of God, a Presbyterian minister but he never pushed his faith on anyone. He pushed goodness and kindness on everyone.

I’ve know since I was very young that I was “over sensitive” and just considered it a negative trait that embarrassed me. As an adult, while I find it trying, I feel I’m embarking on a journey to discover how to live life this way. Late, I know, but better late than never. I want to accept it, embrace it, and learn to thrive with it.

A few months before his death in 2003, Fred Rogers recorded this video message for those who grew up watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” This message was one of the last things he recorded in the WQED studio, according to the Fred Rogers Company.


7 responses to “Oversensitive

  1. ML, making the world a gentler place begins within and works its way out locally. I am no longer a fan of calling people oversensitive because in my opinion, it puts more blame on someone who is already feeling bad. You personally have been treated poorly by others and been exposed to horror no one wants to know about. You are sensitive because you care. I think this label is horrible because if you are not sensitive (and what really is OVER sensitive?) then you are indifferent. Isn’t it better to feel things instead of being indifferent or callous? If you are being treated poorly and then called oversensitive isn’t that just another way to invalidate your feelings after having been hurt?
    I agree that as a cohort statistic, society is too over stimmed by electronics and there is not enough action. I am guilty of this right now with the TV running and being awake after 1:00AM on the internet. I do challenge myself to abstinence by going unplugged when I camp and it is so much more relaxing.
    My plan for being a gentle person is to move myself to coastal Maine and practice what I preach about being gentle. I want to have love for everyone but also have concrete boundaries especially in my inner circle of peers. That inner circle should also be periodically reviewed so as to ensure I am surrounding myself with gentle people.
    My Vermont friend who is between our ages and happily single wants to start an intentional community comprised of single mature women helping each other. Her goal one way or another is to make a community of women who support each other and ensure that in later days they do not have to worry about housing or the details of managing life as a single older person. It is really awesome. Currently the women of this group are living in their own houses but are very active in helping each other. I am about 200 miles away now but I also contribute as well as reap the benefits of this intentional fellowship. Even though my heart is in Maine, I want to somehow be part of this group even if it is only portions of the year in Vermont. My friend calls this group “Crone Commune”.
    So these are some ideas on making your environment a kinder place.

    • ENM, I’m awed at your journey of good self care. I have all the bad excuses for why I can’t care for myself more and they don’t hold up. You’re an inspiration to me.

      I love the idea of women looking after women. I also love the idea of intergenerational planned communities where all members are honored for what they have to offer.

      I do fear being “stuck” in a home with my mother at some point which doesn’t thrill me at all. I need a kitchen I can create in and a place to paint, and the ability to play my music loud if I want to. I won’t have any of that if I end up sharing a home with her.

      Keep your eye and heart on your dream of living in Maine. I think you’re lucky your vision of what you want is so clear in your mind.

      Happy All Saints Day!


  2. Being highly sensitive is tough. I know. It’s not a bad thing, we’re just different as people are in so many ways. Accepting and learning to work with and around it makes life so much better. I am really sad that I passed this on to my children.

    • Cynthia, I’m sorry that it makes you sad that you feel you past on your sensitivity to your kids. Is it too late to help them learn to embrace it? If you and I had parents who understood we were different and even made us feel we were unique for it, we would probably be different people today. I wish we had been made to feel special for being that way, rather than made to feel weird and less than.


  3. Over sensitive because you like to support good feelings? That’s crazy. Have you seen Harry Potter? I think the 3rd or 4th movie… The prisoner of Azkaban. There is an entity called a ‘dementor’ who takes your worst feelings and make them much worse, turns your feelings on you as a weapon. Harry, having had more Terrible things in his past, is far worse in their presence than others. Again- you are incredibly empathetic. You take on every woe and hurt as if it were your own. But it also turns dark feelings- zombies, horror stories, etc… Into things which trigger your natural empathy. That’s not over sensitive. That’s an unfortunate side effect of something incredibly rare and beautiful about you. There’s a zillion non emotional folks out there who just as emphatically don’t like romances or arty beautiful films, don’t give spontaneous irrational romantic presents to their others… Because
    It’s not their thing. Congratulations, your non liked things are scary and dark. I would take your aversion to icky stuff any day.

    • Alex, I LOVE HARRY POTTER! The highlight of my last year of living in London was going to the studio tour and I’d go again in a heartbeat! Dementors are super scary!

      In my family when people talk about movies they love I always have to ask, “But can I handle it?” And the answer is often, no. If a movie has slavery, torture, rape, extreme bullying, execution scenes, and on and on and on, there’s no way I can sit there for it. My fight or flight response has me up and out of there in an instant.

      Thanks so much for you encouragement.


  4. That’s not broken. You’re awesome. Also- go swim. 😉

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