Me and my Highly Sensitive Child

Possum is 6 years and 1 month

As you know, possum and I both have big problems with anxiety.  Not a bit shy, but really functionally damaging anxiety.

Possum is on the waiting list for the Emotional Health Clinic at one of the local universities, one that is a leading researcher into childhood anxiety.  It seems like forever since I managed to take action on this one, waiting for his name to come up.  Maybe it is a little bit of time for me to find some headspace of my own, as well as find out more about his situation.

One thing that I am looking into is “The Highly Sensitive Child” (and “The Highly Sensitive Person” for me…).  It was recommended to me by my psychologist.  I haven’t read the whole book about the HSC (an acronym with which I struggle, so ingrained in me is its use for the coming-of-age, trial-by-fire in these here parts- the Higher School Certificate).  I did read the age relevant bits and some other selected bits.  I had to rush as Possum’s teacher wanted to borrow it for the school holidays, which start today.


It is so good.  It is so true.  I cried.  How I wish that someone had read this when I was a child.

According to Arons, approximately 15-20% of all species are classified as highly sensitive.  Reading this book it is obvious to me that not only do Possum and I both fit into the more rare highly-sensitive with anxiety and/or depression, but we are at the highly sensitive end of the highly sensitive spectrum.

Now his teacher is lovely.  She has heaps of experience.  She says that she has never had such an anxious child in her classroom and is beside herself trying to find out what to do.

It is hard for me to explain that her classroom is overwhelming and I am only not completely intimidated by her vivacious personality because I have done 20 years of therapy.  Really, she is lovely and friendly, loves her kids, loves to inspire and really does.  She helps kids work at their level, but helps them to keep moving up, not get stuck.  But the room is bright, there is “literary overload” (stuff written on the walls) and lots of action.  Fantastic for most….

Actually, I think the room is much more soothing now that they have started doing big displays of their work on the walls.  They are doing a thing about bugs at the moment and all the kids made these cute little insects.  There is a single large sheet of coloured paper down one panel and all the bugs are buzzing in front of it.  So much better than all the posters and things with writing.  For me, anyway, and I assume for Possum, too.

I will be interested to see if she finds the book helpful.  I hope so.

Another book that I had previously started, and have picked up again is, “Raising Your Spirited Child“.  I am pretty sure that I have at least two of those.

Next I need to look into “The Highly Sensitive Person”.  To be honest, I am a bit scared.  What will I find?  What will it make me do?  Will it provide comfort and safety in this dangerous world, or will it leave me feeling more vulnerable and exposed?


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