Life After Death

Thanks to my readers who have sent their comfort. It does help.

After the past two weeks of constant intensity, I’m feeling a little numb. I think I reached my limit, and my emotions automatically shut off to give me some rest. I’ve been cleaning the house, catching up on neglected work, donating the leftover medications to the animal shelter.

I can’t really get away from it, of course. The house is too quiet, and wherever I look, there are signs of the life with three cats I used to live. Winter came while I wasn’t looking. The cold lurks in corners, ready to envelop me the moment the heater ticks off.
A sunset over a frozen lake
The surviving cat has never been alone in the house in her entire life. The first time I left her, after… she ran and hid when I came home. She came out when she realized it was me. It was someone coming in the door that had frightened her. The last person who came to the house was the vet who euthanized her sister.

I always wondered how the cat dynamics would change when there were only two, but it never occurred to me I might lose two at the same time.

Mom and daughter will be cremated together. It wouldn’t surprise me if my emotions come back when the ashes are returned to me in a couple of weeks. I’m grounded in the physical realm – cremation has always seemed more final to me than death, as if, as long as the body which was the vehicle of our connection still exists, that connection is not really broken.

In the end, one cat died “naturally,” and I had the other euthanized when every breath became a struggle. Neither of these was a “good” death. Maybe there is no such thing.

Working Title

I haven’t written much about my short-lived summer job. I meant to, but it got shuttled to the back burner by the premiere of Sensitive: The Untold Story, and other more time-sensitive topics, and by the time that was over, it was old news.

Two Roads Diverged

A sign that reads "You don't have to be crazy to work here. We'll train you."I felt a certain empathy for my boss and her issues, but eventually concluded they were impacting my life to an unacceptable degree. I was so proud of myself for figuring out that I needed to make a change before the need became urgent. This time, I’ll find another job first, I thought.

However, she must’ve sensed it, because she blew up out of nowhere over something trivial, and abruptly I was out of a job without a replacement income. The time since has been nerve-wracking. Each month, it has been a miracle that I managed to pay my rent. I’m pretty pissed at her. I was a good employee, and I deserved better.

Then I learned that she was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness two weeks after I left. I was shocked and saddened, of course, and I hope she survives. But I can see how very much that is a part of her path, and I can also see that I don’t need to go down that path with her, which would’ve been a lot harder to avoid if I was still working for her. Interesting timing, isn’t it? Continue reading

Update on HSP documentary livestream

An email I received from Elaine Aron’s e-list this morning announces that the streaming option for Sensitive: The Untold Story, will not jump from $20 to $30 today as previously announced, but will remain at $20 through the premiere date of the film. Go to the movie website and click “watch on livestream” to buy your virtual ticket.

The film premieres in San Francisco on Thursday, September 10th. It’s sold out, but you can stream the premiere in real time and for 48 hours afterwards for the above-mentioned $20. The film’s producers want to keep the film affordable for international viewers, especially since the DVD will not be immediately available.

I kinda wish I’d known about the streaming option when I bought my ticket, but it hadn’t been announced yet. The venue for the premiere is scenic (see above photo of the Golden Gate from the Legion of Honor grounds, which used to head this blog), but not so easy to get to and from. Well, I guess it’ll be a great opportunity to compare a roomful of HSPs to a busfull – and a trainfull, and another busfull – of everybody!

I confess I’m a little anxious about the film, as my attempts to discuss high sensory processing sensitivity with people in my own life have met with mixed results. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this documentary will make that easier, not harder.

Speaking of which, if you have a minute, I’d really appreciate your responses to the poll at the end of my previous post.

Highly Sensitive Movie, and a poll

Movie poster for Sensitive - The MovieThe Sept. 10th San Francisco premiere of the new documentary on high sensory processing sensitivity is sold out. Apparently distributors have balked (as distributors will) at releasing the DVD before Sensitive: The Untold Story has finished its theatrical run, but there will be a livestream during and for 48 hours after the premiere, which will allow you to stream it as many times as you want within that 48 hour period. The livestream is currently $20, going up to $30 on Sept 7th. You can join Elaine Aron’s email list for HSP-related news here. Hopefully we will soon hear something about other cities where the film will be shown.

I was discussing HSPS with a friend recently. I have always felt “highly sensitive person” was a problematic, if accurate, label, and proposed my own, “deep engager.” This seems equally descriptive but more neutral to me. My friend disagreed. Continue reading

24 Hours Later – Decisions, Decisions

I didn’t sign up for the freelance blogging course I mentioned in my previous post after all. I really meant to. My checkbook is still sitting on my desk. I started the purchase process several times, but soot kept happening. Cats to feed. Emails to answer. Internet burps.

The sun, with hot spots and solar flares bubling up from the surfaceAfter two days of this, I checked my ephemeris to make sure it wasn’t all down to the mercury retrograde (nope – it’s direct again). Could it be the solar flares? Probably not. If I was finding this many reasons not to do something that would take 5 minutes, I obviously had doubts about my plan. But were they valid doubts, or the undermining kind?
Continue reading

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

I took a hike to the top of a 6,000-foot ridge one summer. It had a great view of the 14,000-foot extinct volcano 20 miles away. Hailing from a state where the elevation tops off at 1,000 feet, experience had to teach me the counter-intuitive fact that a mountain looks bigger the higher you get.
Continue reading

The Up Side of Reactivity

About 10 years ago I worked for a recruiter who stratified job candidates into “rockstars” and “b-players.” As I processed their resumés, I soon learned that distinction was more about appearances than skills.

But a polished persona wasn’t the only unwritten qualification. It was my responsibility to send out postcards to applicants’ references, asking them to rate their ex-employee on a laundry list of characteristics. “Stress resilience” was on that list. The moment I read it, I knew I’d found words for just what it was that I didn’t have much of.

Fast-forward 9 years, which I spent trying (not very successfully) to hide that “deficit” from bosses. Then I discovered I was an HSP. Continue reading