Bigotry, Columbine, Concern, Empathy, Hatred, High School, Highly Sensitive Person, HSP, Mean, Racism, Shootings
“They’re more emotionally reactive. People who are highly sensitive will react more in a situation. For instance, they will have more empathy and feel more concern for a friend’s problems, according to Aron. They may also have more concern about how another person may be reacting in the face of a negative event.” (See Original Article Here.)
I’m not really sure what is meant by “react more”, but I can definitely relate to having “more empathy” and feeling “more concern”.
In fact, I often feel more for someone’s concern than they do.
For the most part, I just became invisible in high school.
I was an independent.
But, a highly sensitive independent.
As someone who walked the halls practically invisible, I observed.
I observed the groups, the cliques, the fights, the horrible words spoken about and sometimes to other students…and felt it all.
When someone is being hurt around me, it always feels as if it is happening to me-to my own flesh. No, worse than that, it’s as if it is happening to the most important person in the world to me-and I can’t reconcile it.
As if all the mean words and heartless acts done to poor souls in high school weren’t enough, I remember a cold morning in my first period History class that tipped me over the breaking-point.
It was the day after the Columbine shooting.
We had a substitute teacher. The students in class were shaken and wanted to talk about these current events. But, the shallow things that were being said had my teeth on edge. As if watching the news wasn’t enough to deeply impact me and set me at unrest, I had also been experiencing nightmares about being in school and watching as friends, classmates, teachers and family members were gunned-down.
And then one of my classmates said the coldest, least sensitive thing I’d ever heard anyone say.
She said: “I could see ‘Brandon’ bringing a gun to school and shooting us all.
He seems like the type of person who would do that.”
(The name has been changed for obvious reasons)
Even now it makes my blood boil and my hands shake.
I don’t know how I managed to keep it together, but I manageto raised my hand and somewhat calmly, asked my teacher if I could be excused to go and work in the Library.
As substitute teachers go, this one did something amazing that day – he let me go.
Unfortunately, the damage had been done. I tried to talk to a few people about what had happened, but no one seemed to think it was important or understand how much it had affected me. I don’t get how someone could say something so judgmental, so damning.
There wasn’t enough space in my mind for everything that was going on.
There still isn’t.
I still have zero capacity to understand hatred, racism, bigotry or even someone just being impatient or mean at a checkout in the grocery store. I can’t understand why it’s so difficult for people to be nice to one another.When these kinds of negative things come across my path I feel like I’m suddenly a robot that was only ever programmed to encounter positivity and all I can hear is “cannot compute-cannot compute”.
I can’t understand why everyone, as it says in the iconic words of that high school movie, can’t understand that “we’re all in this together”.