I Feel It All: What It's Like To Be Super Sensitive On The Inside

by Zara Barrie

Some people are able to seamlessly sift through the days picking and choosing the feelings they want to feel, letting go of the ones they know won't stand to serve them.

I am the opposite of this calm, cool, collected, self-controlled creature.

I feel it all. Every f*cking thing. All of the f*cking time. Nothing is safe.

I walk around the planet like a raw, open wound that anything can seep into and infect. I lack a protective barrier to shield me from the emotional trials and tribulations of others. Anything and everything surreptitiously penetrates my orbit.

I'm hyper-keyed into the vast array of sensitivities, the endless pain, the audacious pleasure and the pent-up anguish of all those who surround me. Strangers. Friends. Family. Passersby on the city street.

I can't help but absorb the energy of every single entity I encounter.

It's both a blessing and a dire f*cking curse. I'm intuitive. I'm a great friend. I'm authentically empathetic. I feel the highs to the highest capacity.

I can also just as easily sink to the bottom of the ocean.

I've attempted to numb the swell of feelings with pills, and reality television shows, and "meaningless sex" and all of the other sorts of things that help us to check out.

I've learned through the art of trial and error that when you're cut from a highly sensitive cloth, nothing works, and life has gotten much better since I've embraced my sensitive ways.

I accept that sharp words attain the uncanny ability to cut into my core. I like that I can feel the electric shockwaves of frenetic energy radiating from the sea of anxious eyes in a crowded subway car.

I love hard and fast and invest my care into strangers quickly.

I've been sensitive as f*ck for as long as I can remember.

Herein lies the tricky part: I don't look sensitive.

I'm not the girl who dutifully wipes her mascara-laden tears in a public setting. I rarely cry in front of people. I take harsh criticism with impressive grace.

I'm an actress and a writer, so I'm forever setting myself up for rejection. I constantly throw myself under the bus and ruthlessly make fun of myself in the most brutal fashion.

My closet is made up of black leather. I have large dark eyes that look like vacant pools of nothingness when I'm daydreaming.

Once, on a casting, the director told me I was "pretty in an evil way." My high school lover used to call me "The Ice Queen."

I have tattoos. I'm loud. I have a wicked smile and a dry sense of humor.

The outside doesn't match the inside. I'm akin to a Cadbury Creme Egg. All one has to do is lightly touch the surface of my skin to find out I'm made up entirely of goo.

People constantly tell me how "strong" and "confident" I come across as -- but they have no idea of the vicious whirlwind that is constantly swirling within me.

While I would never want to change my sensitive ways, there are very specific struggles that exist when you're secretly sensitive:

People think they can say anything to you.

When you don't appear as sensitive as you are, people often think they can turn you into the butt of their most wicked jokes.

They use seemingly unaffected you as their punching bag in their punchlines.

People assume because you don't outwardly express your sensitivity that you don't have feelings at all.

You're often relentlessly teased about pretty intense, sort-of-f*cked-up things because everyone assumes you can "take it."

People forget you're actually a real live human being with feelings, and um, that "joke" about a traumatic event from your past... isn't really funny. At all.

Falling asleep is stressful and hard.

If you're a highly sensitive person, you don't peacefully drift off to sleep at night. Sleep is often the enemy.

For you lie there stewing in all the sensitivities you took in throughout the course of the day.

You can't simply "shake off" all the f*cked up sh*t you saw and heard. Any disturbing images that penetrated your frame of vision are vastly glowing in your brain, taunting you as you try to fall asleep.

You need lots of time alone.

Part of why no one realizes you are so deeply sensitive is because of your impressive social capabilities.

Because sensitive people are so tapped into the energy of others, they are able to deeply connect with almost everyone they meet on an honest, real, raw level.

The sensitive one can read a person's feelings and understand how to make him or her feel comfortable. Sensitive people are often well-liked and socially popular.

You, sensitive girl, soar at the fine art of conversation, however, since you're so present all the time, always actively taking in the emotions of the people you engage with, you're exhausted.

You need time alone to decompress and tend to yourself. It's impossible for you to shut off when you're around people.

You're afraid to get close to people.

The most guarded of people are always the most sensitive people. Why would you make the effort to build such sky-high walls of steel if you had nothing to protect.

When you’re sensitive and allow someone into your space, you know it's for life. Once someone breaks into your world -- it's hard to ever let him or her go.

The pain and life experiences of the people you love become your own.

You understand this about yourself, so you do whatever you can to prevent letting people in. Though, it's a battle you constantly lose.

Movies are an intense experience.

You don't just watch movies; you feel movies. You experience the entire spectrum of emotions with every character in the film and feel it as if it was your own. You often leave a movie exhausted and traumatized.

People don't understand that a "casual" night at the movies -- is an intense, often scary emotional roller coaster ride or you.

Everyone makes it an ordeal when you outwardly express yourself.

Because you don't appear sensitive, and you instead come across as unbreakably tough and inherently strong -- everyone is in complete and utter shock when you express but a semblance of emotion or vulnerability.

They are so used to pouring all of their problems onto empathetic you -- that they don't know how to handle it when you reach out.

People who get close to you are surprised by your sensitivity.

People often fall in love with the idea of a strong, tough girl. They fall in love with the persona, not the real person.

When you start dating someone new and you venture into a deeper relationship that surpasses the trite "talking" phase -- your new partner is often shocked to discover you're not the steal entity he or she thought you were.

Not everyone can handle dating a sensitive person. Because sensitive people can't be bullsh*tted. You are tapped into the truth, all of the time.

The incessant pain, the exhausting empathy, the massive, teeming feelings that overtake your being all of the time -- it's all worth it.

Because you have the rare ability to see the world for the honest, beautiful, f*cked up, REAL place it is.

And no one can ever take the truth away from you.