I can’t watch scary movies.
Or videos of kids or animals that get hurt.
I can’t listen to stories or see pictures of those either.
Because I feel everything.
I see everything.
It only takes a mention of a “trigger word” for me to have a full-fledged movie running through my head of what I imagine happened. And I’ll live with that pain until I can fully take my mind off of it, and forget about it. Which is really really hard to do.
Have you ever tried to not think about something? Someone?
One of the more safe examples I can give you without causing myself too much pain and anxiety, because I’ve talked about it enough and know I did my best… was the day that Justin almost drowned.
We were at the beach, and Justin still didn’t (doesn’t) understand danger, drowning and knowing when to stop going out too far into the water before he doesn’t touch anymore.
I was 7-8 months pregnant with Jaxson and told my (then) husband to keep an eye on him.
Long story short, he ended up going down the beach pretty far so it was hard to tell how far out he was, and he ended up to the point he couldn’t touch.
I got to him in time, swore I was going to die trying to bring him back in, to the point where “I” could touch.
I did though, and I’ve never let them farther than 10-20 feet away from me at the beach again.
But weeks after that incident… every time I closed my eyes, I would see Justin’s face. Crying out to me to help him. Justin is nonverbal and couldn’t scream for help, but he was screaming for help in his own language. His face twisted in fear. When I reached him he clung to me for safety. Pulling me under.
My heart still pounds in my chest, my eyes well up with tears thinking about it and writing this out.
It was one of my worst nightmares coming to life.
One of my children dying… let alone right there in my arms.
I would close my eyes to go to sleep, and cry.
Sobbing into my pillow because I couldn’t get that image out of my head.
Resenting their father because he was the one supposed to be watching him.
If I hadn’t run to get Justin, when he said he was fine, he’d be dead.
And he’s sleeping soundly… no cause for worry or care or concern.
While I lay there, reliving my worst nightmare.
Night after night, day after day… Every time I closed my eyes. Or allowed my brain to rest.
Because for someone with an overactive imagination… you recreate it over and over in your head with perfect detail.
I have(had) friends on facebook who posted things I couldn’t deal with, and unfriended them.
Or they would be laughing about someone they didn’t know that was shared in their newsfeed… I’d look at those pictures or videos of people and also without knowing the backstory… and ask myself do those people KNOW they’re being recorded? Allowed this picture to be shared? How would they feel if they saw the things people were saying about them? I’d defend those people in the pictures or videos, and lose friends because I needed to “lighten up”.
Instead of understanding that I truly felt PAIN because of their words. Like it was happening to me.
And even more pain when they were being mean to me over something I can’t control feeling.
I’ve lost a lot of friends because of things like that.
Either because I learned to not defend people, and just block the ones who are hurting me… or by defending someone and leaving because people were mad at me for speaking up.
I can see things in a dark house that give me anxiety and fear because of scary movies I watched when I was little.
As soon as someone says “rape”, my brain is flooded with images of women being hurt. From watching shows like SVU or Criminal Minds who show and tell too much information.
Eventually, I learned to stop watching things like that.
As interesting as the shows are, the brief moments where people or children are hurt, stick with me.
It’s not a pretty place to be… inside my head when I’m quiet and still.
So why am I telling you this?
Why should you care?
Because there are a lot of little kids out there, who were like me.
Who are sensitive and have overactive imaginations…
Who will carry those images they see on TV, in movies, in magazines, in books to their grave.
Reliving them when a word is brought up.
Does your child cry or get upset when another person/character is upset, crying, hurt or being picked on? Because that’s a sign you might have a sensitive child with an overactive imagination.
Keep those children safe.
(All children, honestly… but specifically those.)
From the world and from themselves.
Don’t show them scary movies, don’t let them watch shows and tv that isn’t age appropriate. Watch movies before you show them.
Because I can tell you from experience, you don’t want your sensitive child with an overactive imagination to have images like I do in my head.
That keep me awake at night…
Only being able to fall asleep without them by watching TV until I pass out.
Maybe had my Mom known, or understood what was happening to me…
that I wouldn’t be afraid of the dark at 28.
Seeing monsters in my room that aren’t really there… but are in my head.
Maybe had I known much earlier on in life what was really going on with me, I could have protected myself from the images I’ve got stuck in my head.
Tyler is my overly sensitive child.
And I will protect him for as long as I possibly can.
Because in this case, I don’t want him to be anything like me. ❤