More on “Being in Love with A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP),” with Zanno Jacklin:
I thought back about my relationship with My HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and tried to analyze why it eventually ended. Of course there are many factors unrelated to HSP, but one big factor was is that she felt she wasn’t enough for me and that she was holding me back. I had friends and a job, which meant that I spent time away from home…away from her…talking with other people. She never once said anything about wanting me to drop my friends or to isolate myself with her; she did her very best to hide her feelings, but every time I left, I saw how sad it made her.
Every time I went out the door it was if I abandoned her…never to come back…almost like leaving a puppy.
I was everything to her. She didn’t have any friends; nor did she want any friends. She got all the the attention, love, laughs and socializing that she needed from me.. And she wanted it that way. And in her mind, because I had friends, I didn’t need her. Perhaps “need” is not the right word?
Because I wasn’t as dependent on her as she was on me, she felt as if I was receiving everything that I needed from everyone else…friends, co-workers, acquaintances. I started to see less of my friends and eventually stopped seeing them all together. She never asked this of me; I did it because I loved her and it pained me to see her unhappy. I eventually stopped working and we lived off of our savings, her inheritance, and my unemployment insurance.
At no point did I ever feel resentful toward My HSP for any of this. I did it all because I wanted to; because when it came down to it, I really didn’t need anything or anyone else in my life other than her to be happy. I was content.
This worked well for a while. But sometimes I would say something along the lines of: “I would like to start studying,” and I would notice a sadness wash over her again. Eventually she came to the conclusion that I wasn’t happy and that I needed friends to socialize with, a job and school to go to, and that I needed to travel. These ideas were in her head and there was no way for me to convince her that I was happy just being with her.
She felt that she was holding me back and that if it weren’t for her, I would be a successful student, explorer of the world, have lots of friends and women around me, and this would all make me much happier than she ever could; because all she wanted and all she had to offer was a quiet and isolated life.
I would have given anything to make her understand that a life like that was what I wanted. I thought she knew what I wanted. So many times we talked about living together in quiet solitude and this excited me and made me happy. We made plans on what our house would look like and where it would be located – remote enough for peaceful solitude yet close enough to a town where we could access necessities – and we were going to have a couple of dogs and build a library with a fireplace in the basement. Maybe she thought I said these things just to make her happy and it was what she wanted to hear? But this wasn’t the case.
I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been for her to leave me. I know she didn’t leave me because she didn’t love me; she left me because she loved me so much that the mere idea of her holding me back was killing her inside.
The irony isn’t lost on me: Two people destroying each other, and themselves, trying to please one another.
I do not recommend isolating yourself for anyone; not because I regret doing it for My HSP, but because it’s way too easy to do it for the wrong reasons, or even worse, for the wrong person. Those who have dealt with a sociopath understands this lesson: a sociopath causes your total isolation. But even if your partner isn’t a sociopath, it’s unhealthy to socially isolate yourself. Upon further reflection, the friends I ultimately distanced myself from were not close friends but nonetheless…it is important to socially-circulate whether this be amongst close friends or just mere acquaintances. And to stop working for someone else, is not mentally, emotionally or even physically healthy.
About Zanno Jacklin:
Zanno is a social worker in Sweden who works with families that are suffering from psycho-social issues. He meets a lot of different and interesting personalities through his work but most of his experience and knowledge of HSP personalities, sociopaths and narcissists comes through his own personal experiences and relationships. It was in meeting and becoming involved with an HSP about six years ago that sparked his interest in psychology and has led to his ongoing passion and study of personalities and how they manifest in those around us.
Zanno and the author of My Sociopath: An Empath’s Soul Journey Among Sociopaths met online several months ago and they have been discussing sociopathy and HSP ever since. Zanno is an innovative thinker and writer on the subject of different personality types and in addition, he writes poetry for his own blog dealing with the very confusing and human emotions of love, sorrow, despair and heartache.
For More Information or to Contact Zanno: email@example.com
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