YOUR STORIES: #1 A sensitive soul wants to leave a job that makes her unhappy

 

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Anyone who knows me either in the flesh or digitally will have heard me bemoan adjusting to returning to my work as an FE lecturer after the holidays….every cell in my body protests about being trapped in a ‘sick’ building, forcing my body into routines it does not want and working with students I have never been trained to deal with. But rather than whinge about my work environment I wanted to share a moment I had today with my work colleagues.

This particular morning I was talking to my good friend who teaches in the same department, and I am familiar with his young family and the varied and hilarious stories of his three very different children. Now the middle child I have always recognised as being a Highly Sensitive Person profile, and this morning I showed my friend the Elaine Aaron website link about parenting an HSP child.

Sure enough after he ran through the test he agreed it was very like his daughter. We ended up talking about being HSP and I explained how although I was not the shy, retiring type I was definitely HSP (which makes my working environment a daily challenge).

We went to lunch and all the staff (who I get on with pretty well) from our small department sat around a table and chatted as we usually do. All well and good until, horror of horrors my friend mentioned the term HSP to all the other people on the table. That was when I wanted a hole to swallow me up, as suddenly everyone focused on my friend, who looked at me and said “ask her…. she’s one”.

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In that moment I went through a whole range of emotions…fear of having to admit and explain to my all male colleagues what HSP meant, fear of being thought of as ‘too sensitive’ and not tough enough to survive at work, (but probably true) fear that they would see through my carefully formed and partially effective protective façade or say “that’s rubbish, you are too confident to be like that”, or even worse “that’s a load of pseudo scientific claptrap”.

Basically it was a huge gut deep fear that I had been unmasked and found wanting. I managed to burble out some mish mash explanation about what an HSP is about and then changed the subject brushing it off lightly and making a joke of it.

This left me very thoughtful through the afternoon, and holding onto a sense of having ‘sold out’ on myself. Why was I so frightened to have to acknowledge that I was ‘sensitive’? Why do I always feel slightly embarrassed and uncomfortable when talking about it even to my partner (who is not HSP) or anyone else who does not share the same sort of responses?

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And then I started feeling angry about how people’s sensitivities are rarely considered in the work place. Our productivity and well-being would increase massively if only more work places would foster an awareness and support of HSP workers. So many of us are stuck, scared to move from our work traps and strike out alone.

Every day I want to weep, not just for myself but for every other person whose soul shrinks a little bit more every time they walk through the doors of a crippling, bill paying job that sits on their shoulders like a badly made coat.

And the solution? I am continually making plans and projections, but still find the thought of leaving the financial security of my well paid job terrifying. But every day as I leave behind the crisp freshness of an early autumn morning, my heart breaks a bit more and my yearnings to connect with nature and my inner creativity, calls louder.

At the moment I am still struggling and the fantasy scenarios for my future remain just that, fantasy.

G

 

Can you relate to this story from our sister? How can we help her? Please leave your thoughts, helpful comments, advice and love in the comments below. ♥
 
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5 thoughts on “YOUR STORIES: #1 A sensitive soul wants to leave a job that makes her unhappy”

  1. Dear G,
    I found out about HSP later in life. Your story resonated with me on a few levels, I’ve never really worked outside the home but like you I’m focusing on a fantasy, actually many fantasies. One of them is going into schools or corporations and educating others. I know that in sharing HSP with others, they believe it is a weakness. My life has taken a total reversal of what it was and what I thought I should be doing and think it would be so rewarding to create a career out of sharing our strengths, gifts and talents with the general population. I BELIEVE it’s our time to start being noticed.
    Sending you Love and Support
    Lila

  2. Dear G, your story brought flowing tears to eyes & sadness in my heart.You are already courageous for allowing yourself to be witnessed in your beautiful vulnerable self. Thankyou and I honour your bravery. It allowed me to connect to you and I can relate on so many levels. I too am a HSP with a 7 yr old HSC needing to return back to somekind of work, but not wanting the old but too scared for the new! I have read the very same book by Elaine Arron. She quotes” one of the biggest tasks for HSP is to live courageously with full awareness of the unpleadsant possibilities in life’. I am trying to view the world differently,I am taking baby steps, drawing again, singing again. Doing more of the things that make my heart lite up. Seeking & Surrounding myself with people who encourage me, accept me and I feel safe with. By dipping my toe in gradually the fear isn’t as strong and the whisper of TRUST gets louder. You are not alone but you are more than ENOUGH.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us ‘G’. I saw a quote by Iyanla Vanzant today that feels appropriate: “Have the courage to do what you need to do before you are FORCED to do it.”. We are here for you to help you find the courage when you are ready.

    I also want to put a book on your radar called ‘Quiet – The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’ by Susan Cain. You may not be an introvert (not all HSPs are) but I know this book speaks about the workplace as well as daily life so felt nudged to mention it. If it’s not for you then maybe it will be helpful for one of our sisters reading this post.

    Thanks again for sharing your story with us ‘G’.

    Lots of love,
    Kimberley ♥

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