Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) means I explain sensations to others. A lot. Since I experience sound, taste, touch, smell, and sight-related phenomena at a louder setting than most, everyone who knows me always wants to know just a little more.
Sometimes I try to explain what happens when my skin is maxed out on its ability to feel, but I seem to fall short on it. Many other HSPs agree with me when I use terminology of “static” and “overloaded,” but describing the feeling up-close is… well… hard.
So that’s what I’m trying to do here.
What’s it like to have HSP skin?
Let’s say I start out with skin at “normal 0″—a ground-zero of sorts, where nothing from the day before has upset my nervous system in any way, it was a good night’s sleep, and my skin is well rested and quiet.
More than likely, the process of touching the cold floor, the cold water or hot water to clean up, or cold toilet seat will be the first items of the day to take my resting brain to 90%. (I use percentages to describe to my Husband what amount of my brain is paying attention to the sensation, whatever it may be.) Of course, once I move on to clothing, the 90% will drop down to 10-20%.
Clothing decisions in the morning are always of importance. HSPs fist-bump.
Some days, I really need clothing that will not irritate my skin, i.e. make itself known via “loud” textures in an ever-growing manner. all. day. long. Other days, I’m brave and don’t care. Bring on the areas that are going raw from the stitching. If I’m in rough shape, I’m not so brave, and just about glare at those clothes and pass them over. (God bless my over-soft fluffy hoodies and Lu-La-Rue Leggings of velvety delicate goodness. You rescue my skin organ often!)
From dressing, the day will progress with various surfaces, textures, and people touching my skin. Either my choice or not. And each time, two things will happen:
- The surface/ texture/ person will ping in my brain to some percentage and I’ll be aware of it, especially the surfaces and textures higher than 60%, and
- Every single surface/ texture/ person will take a little (or a lot) from my “HSP Endurance Tank”
As the day winds down, if my HSP Endurance Tank is above, say, a quarter full, I see the day as a win. It’s usually when my tank is in the last fourth of a tank (or empty) that bad things happen.
Meh. Remind me to post about the HSP Endurance Tank sometime. Thanks.
Descriptions of Sensations
Every HSP is different. So this might not be accurate for other HSPs. Even so, here’s a list of some of the sensations my skin and I have gone through. Usually these sensations occur strongest around the back of my arms and torso. When it’s a really rough time, it will be all over, down to my toes. There you go.
Listed from least obnoxious to most.
- tiny debris feeling
- air hurts “buzz”
- water/ wet
- fake burning
- pins and needles
- one, solitary hair moving to tickle
- rash sensation
Beyond this, I believe I’ve given you all I know about my skin.
I’ll let you know. 😉