Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm not a pain in the ass; I'm "highly sensitive"

As a girlfriend I pride myself as being low-maintenance, emotionally anyway. I don’t require a lot of attention (I have a shitload of stuff to do on my own) and I don’t need to be reassured of my attractiveness every other minute. If anything, I’m too low-maintenance; I’ve had boyfriends that figured, “Oh, she’s fine” and yeah, I may be fine, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for buying me a birthday present. Please.

It’s more in the physical sense that I’m likely to test someone’s patience. A million little things in the course of a day drive me positively batty and usually it has to do with lighting (so important) and noise. While I can handle a screaming classic rock band in a biker bar no problem, I don’t like noisy restaurants. I’ll often sit in three different places before I find a table I find comfortable. A booth is usually a safe bet, unless it's directly under a fan blowing cold air or speakers playing music that's either too loud or not to my liking.

And speaking of music, I silently seethe--and I mean seethe--if I can hear someone’s i-Pod through their ear buds like at work or on an airplane. Yet go figure--I do my best writing in a crowded Starbucks. (The music in Starbucks is usually pretty good. Except at Christmastime, and don't get me going on that.)

There's no pleasing me, right? I thought I was just a pain in the ass until I found The Highly Sensitive Person website and took their self test. Take it! I scored 21 out of 25. (I have a high tolerance for pain and am pretty competitive.)  If you score a 14, you're highly sensitive.
I actually came across this site a couple of years ago, and it was one of those moments where you're like, Oh, I didn't know they had a name for that.  I felt relieved, in a way.  I'm still a pain in the ass, but calling it "highly sensitive" just makes it sound better. 

Okay, so keep that in mind while I tell you Part 2 of this post.

You know I've been living with my boyfriend, Mike, since the beginning of November, right?  I adore him and love him to no end; I look at him and see sheer perfection. (He's very hot.) But he and his son are into this Call of Duty Black Ops war game for X-box, and I'm not being overly dramatic when I say that fucking game could very well lead to the end of our relationship. I cannot stand violence. I won't watch violent movies or TV shows and all that shooting (even though I know it's only a game) makes me want to cry. 

The house we're in right now is only temporary (thank God) because the way it's set up, there's no place for me to go to escape.  And so I spend a lot of time at Starbuck's.  We'll be moving in a couple of months, but in the meantime, I am going out of my friggin' mind. 

And I think I'm driving Mike nuts, too, with all my bitching.  I can't take it, though.

How about you?  Are you "highly sensitive"? Do you live in a Black Ops house? How do you keep your sanity?


Debbie said...

LINDA! YES! I AM highly sensitive. Noise, disorder, people who live like pigs BUG THE SHIT OUTTA ME. My 26 year old stepdaughter has been living with us for almost three years now. SHE'S A PIG. leaves her laundry in my washer and dryer then takes off for three days to the boyfriend's house. when i wanna do my laundry ... i gotta finsh hers first. AAAARRRRHHHHH. AND i have come to the conclusion that whether i am 'highly sensitive' or just a bitch, in reality, YOU AND I ARE REALLY JUST NORMAL. EVERYONE ELSE IS FUCKED UP. And i mean that IN ALL sincerity.

Mimi said...

Yes, Linda, I am highly sensitive too, to noise. I love a quiet house, whereas my hubby regards tv as bringing "atmosphere". My eldest daughter is like me, the other 2 kids not so. Whenever we get the house to ourselves, tv goes off immediately, and classical music is on.
The problem is probably the nowhere to escape to, but at least there is Starbucks! Give him the coffee bill!

ps I hate violence too

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Debbie: You kill me. And poor you--I have to wonder why anyone 26 years old is still living at home. Even people with Down Syndrome are living independently by that age, for Christsakes.

@ Mimi: When I lived alone, I used to put the TV on a lot, kind of just for company. But atmosphere? Ha!

linda said...

It took me ages to get my head around two things with the male species. Porn and violent computer games. I realise now that males view things differently in regards to those two things.

My son plays Xbox a lot. Black Ops and some f*****g zombie game. He plays with his online criends (computer friends) and has his own little "cave" to play in. I let him do this because he is a well adjusted person who knows the difference between reality and fantasy and the game playing has never had an impact on his behaviour. Some young people just don't - my brother's boys will never have an Xbox at home because they are complete nutters afterwards.

I don't like violence at all but I have accepted that my son just sees the Xbox stuff for what it is - a game. He still feels for people living in war torn places, still abhors the idea that one person would hurt another and is very caring.

At least we have a separate room where he can play. When it was in the main room it annoyed me no end. I actually gave up my lovely spare room for HIM.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Linda, you make a good point. At first I wondered what the hell all that violence would do to a young kid, but I do believe some kids are able to keep it in perspective. Like your son, Mike's son is an amazing kid so there's no damage done in that way. Just to my nerves.

Fortunately, I'm spared the porn.

gayle said...

I work with first graders so when I get home I like quiet! I scored 17 on the quiz.

Anonymous said...

I'm extremely low maintenance, so not much bothers me. But when it does, I can always leave the house and go out with your sister!


Vegas Linda Lou said...

Gayle, I bet you do like quiet! You're a saint.

Caz Wilson said...

Ok I'm definately the odd apple in the barrel. I scored like 4 on that quiz but despite being an only child, there was rarely silence in the house, my mum always had the TV or radio on in the kitchen and I'm the same.

Having said that, Call of Duty can be really irritating if it's all the time and if it's loud, so I totally get it!


Bar L. said...

I scored 22! But no surprise there.

Do me a favor, clone Mike and send me the copy....

Tara said...

I'm not highly sensitive, but I live in a Black Ops house and it drives me insane. I make them turn the sound off or I escape to my bedroom. Right now it's sort of peaceful though since they're grounded from all electronics....

Mandy said...

Ugh, my husband loves that Black Ops shit too. But thankfully he has lately resorted to playing another game on his computer instead with headphones on so I don't have to hear it! I will say this though, and I know (from Bastard Husband) that you'll appreciate it - a noisy game at home is better than a man who would rather be drinking at the bar!!

I too love Starbucks and do a lot of thinking and writing there. In fact, I wrote most of my cookbook there between Sept and Nov. Love that place and their music is nice too.

Hope the new year is treating you well Linda! Lots of love!


Anonymous said...

I scored a 19 but that doesn't surpise me since I have a sensory disorder anyway (I've never told anyone outside of family until now!). Types of clothing, noise and food (missing a meal) are very disruptive to me. HA Maybe that's why I'm fat? But one thing I can't stand is the noise coming from the iPOD. OMG that kills me. I can handle loud movies and music, ONLY when I am not sleeping. I sound like a nut!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Jazzy: A 4??? Really?

@ Barbara: I'm almost to the point where I can just send you the original.

@ Tara: I WISH there was someplace to escape to!

@ Mandy: Good point. At least I know where he is and what he's doing.

@ Danica: Don't worry about sounding like a nut. You're in good company.

Mandy said...

EEK! I'm a 23...and the test didn't even ask if I sleep best with the head of the bed to the north. If it is to the south, I literally feel like I'm spinning--and thats without drinking!! This is very awkward when visiting my mother in law, who clearly arranges her guest room poorly.

Mandy (not the cookbook author ;) )

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Oh, Mandy! Thanks for commenting--I almost feel normal. Maybe you have some kind of magnetic sensor in your brain that attracts you to the North Pole. You're awesome!

The Vegas Flea said...

Hi Linda....catching up on all your old posts.

Black Ops is just plain brutal and shocking. I remember playing Space Invaders for christ's sake...then I get a new computer a while back (new-used) and the guy tells me Black Ops is on it.

He then proceeds to show me the jaw dropped. The graphic violence is unreal. Too much for me even. ( be honest, tattooed biker guys are generally sensitive, softies anyway..sshhh..don't tell anybody).

Anonymous said...

I think it is unfair to stereotype all males as liking violent games like Black ops. I'm a highly sensitive GUY (just as many males as females are highly sensitive, but the culture is biased against this). I do play computer games, but tend to play RTS (real time strategy) which is more tactical like a game of chess with fancy graphics. I find Black ops deplorable. There is a scene which put me off the game where the so called "heroes" feed an enemy agent glass in order to get him to talk! Awful stuff and made me feel sick quite frankly. There are women who like this game though. I feel gender stereotyping is unhelpful.

I enjoyed the article though.