One last post and then I'll stop the introspection, I promise. I've recently come to the conclusion that I'm what is known as a 'highly sensitive person'. If you want to find out if you are, you can do the test here. If you score over 14 (out of about 22) you are. I score 20.
Now the problem with this is that it might sound fine when said with a sincere American accent. For a Brit, try saying that without either sneering or rolling your eyes. Synonyms aren't much better - highly strung (it's her nerves, mother), tightly wound (HER NERVES, I SAID), over stimulated (fnaaar). It doesn't get better. I'm tending towards 'easily irritated' because that describes me in so many ways.
For those of you who didn't click the link, it basically means that my nervous system is slightly overtuned, with the result that I over-react to stimuli, be they sensory or otherwise. It appears to be a genetic flaw.That means more than one conversation going on at a time, a noisy office, background music, pubs, clubs, barking, the radio on in the background, neighbour noise, stray smells, crowds, fireworks and so on make me feel very unwell indeed. As you can imagine that doesn't make me a bundle of laughs to be with or around. Or as a neighbour, partner, colleague or friend. Equally, it doesn't make the inside of my head a great place to be either most of the time.
I'm curious if anyone else here is too. I came across the concept a few years ago but got derailed when I tried to discuss it with a mental health professional and was told that I was autistic. Now people on the spectrum do share quite a lot of those traits too but it's not the same thing. It's only recently that I've started doing some reading about it and it really feels like me. The books by the woman at the above link actually make me feel understood which is not the case most of the time. I do not however recommend the book by Ted Zeff on the subject which is largely a paeon to camomile tea.