HSP, CSA and Me

I am a highly sensitive person (HSP) and had the unfortunate experience of early childhood sexual abuse (CSA). I do not want to be understood as saying my sexual abuse experiences were better or worse than someone else; comparing is pointless. My abuse started during my first week of life outside the womb and these experiences were profoundly intensified by my high sensitivity.

Within a diameter of 60 feet around me, I am highly aware of all physical movement, energetic intentions and presence. Thus every single time my abuser approached me, I could sense his feelings, thoughts and intentions before he actually started. Yet, as a newborn there was nothing that I could do to escape or protect myself.

I am easily overwhelmed by being in a crowd of people or being in a large store with many different items, signs and tags. Some people may feel uncomfortable while in my presence as they sense my focused attention on them. When in fact, I am not staring or paying specific attention to them but am just present as myself. And by being present, I am often know what individuals are thinking, feeling or otherwise experiencing. Other examples include my acute sensitivity to any concentrated chemicals, like pharmaceuticals, cleaning agents, perfumes;  artificial lighting, high frequency or loud sounds.

What is a HSP?

Richard J O’Neill, HubPages Author, states “Highly sensitive people are a very intriguing group of people indeed, not only for their extreme sensitivity to almost ‘everything’ but also for their unique abilities such as heightened intuition, powerful senses and an almost psychic level of empathy with people they interact with.”

At the bottom of this post is a widget for a 14-question quiz from Richard J O’Neill that can help you determine what level of HSP, you are. I am a Type E with a sensitivity level of 5.

The wikipedia (at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highly_sensitive_person), uses the acronym DOES to illustrate the characteristics of a HSP as:

Depth (and more thoroughly) of sensory processing

Over arousal

Emotional reactivity and high empathy

Sensitivity to subtle stimuli


As a Projector type, and a student, of the Human Design System I suspect many HSP are also Projectors. Projectors like HSP, are about 20% of the world’s population. As a minority of the world population, Projectors are often unrecognized for their unique characteristics and thus pushed into becoming what they are not. Projectors are a non-energy type, so they need to ‘plug-in’ to other people’s energy to have energy and are designed to recognize others’ potential and process information deeply. For more information about the Human Design System, please go to http://www.ihdschool.com.




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A highly functioning, highly sensitive person with DID and CPTSD from early childhood sexual and physical abuse. I am self-employed and a knitter.

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