TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › was anyone else a "sensitive child"?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

was anyone else a "sensitive child"?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Something captiva wrote in the "facts" thread--about how her pediatrician told her mother not to let her watch t.v. shows about animals because she got hysterical if something happened to the animal--reminded me of a term I used to hear adults use when I was a child. Does anyone else remember when people used to refer to a kid as a "sensitive child", and weirdly make it sound like a condition or a mental frailty? Usually it was used about a child who not only got his or her feelings hurt by things, but one who was very sympathetic to the pain of others. I was called a sensitive child--there were a number of reasons why I guess, but the best example I can think of is that I used to cry during the Wizard of Oz when the witch was melting, because I felt sorry for her. I think I thought she was just misunderstood and could have been rehabilitated if people were nice to her.

Anyway, I haven't heard this term used in a while, and I was wondering if anyone else remembered it or was a "sensitive child" themselves.
post #2 of 29
Hi Stephanie,

Yes, I was a sensitive child. I still refuse to watch those types of tv shows because they are emotionally painful to me, and I just dont need anything additional to promote my ability to 'feel'. Many people, however, are cut off from their emotions and need the outward stimulation of fear, excitement, pain or whatever just to react. I would agree with Captiva's mother's doctor - a sensitive child should not have to watch shows that are designed to address the emotionally desensitized viewer that most people have become today. She doesnt need her emotions sensitized by that degree of stimulation. Being 'sensitive' usually refers to someone who is exceptionally emotionally responsive. It can be a liability in our emotionally desensitized world - or it can be an asset.

I often have tears in my eyes. Walking down the street and seeing something moving - a old couple walking hand in hand, a child playing with a puppy, a mother singing to her little child - all of these can bring tears because it is so easy to enter into the emotion of the moment. I cry all the time watching tv - and not only at the sad bits but also at the happy endings, the poignant confessions, the angry words, the quiet repose or even the humourous 'relief'. It has nothing to do with feeling any particular emotion, but has everything to do with just 'feeling'. I suspect you and Captiva are probably somewhat empathic as well - you pick up on other people's feelings very easily and sometimes even 'wear' those feelings, having no idea at all why you are feeling a certain way:-). It tends to come with the 'territory':-).

I tried to deny this side of myself for many years - it is not especially effective to start crying in a meeting because you feel so passionately about a certain issue (hehehe) - but discovered that when I did I became passive-aggressive. I would 'hold' in and deny my emotional responses and present the 'expected' demeanor until it all exploded out of me - and I had no control of the when or the how - I would be just as surprised by the intensity of the explosion as everyone else - and I couldn't do a thing to stop it.

Instead of trying to deny it, I looked instead to see if my super sensitivity provided me with any advantages and discovered that many of my strengths and abilities have their roots in that same emotional sensitivity. Instead of denying it, I found instead ways to channel it. I don't apologize anymore if I start to cry in pubic - (I am terrible at weddings!) and if anyone else has a problem with it, I recognize that it is their problem, smile at them (through my tears, heheh) and if necessary try to find a creative way to help them feel less uncomfortable. Our society is so focused on 'thinking and doing' that emotions are often viewed as something weak and demeaning. I believe, however, that most people are uncomfortable with other people's emotions because they are often uncomfortable or afraid of their own emotions. They are 'afraid' and thus, sensitive children are viewed as being somewhat dangerous, flawed or unstable. Society decides that they 'feel too much' rather than look at the opposite view - that 'society feels too little'.

Since I 'accepted' myself as I am -emotional sensitivies and all - I find myself a much happier, peaceful and emotionally balanced individual. The secret isn't in avoiding or controlling my sensitivityes but rather directing them into proper channels. Like a mighty river, emotional sensitivity - when damed - will eventually overflow with devastating results; when let flow into pre-determined channels they become an incredibly powerful resource.

Kathryn
post #3 of 29
Both my brother and I were considered "sensitive" children. My brother still will not watch the news because it upsets him too much.

I have become "better" about keeping my emotions in check, but I know exactly what you mean. I distinctly remember being yelled at in school because I was crying after my grandparents left after a visit. My mom also told me that I was completely traumatized by the movie Bambi. When Bambi's mother died, I was inconsolable.

I don't see that there is anything wrong with being sensitive. If more people thought a bit harder about the plight of others, the world would be a nicer place to be.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Kathryn, I think you're right--that people are uncomfortable with others' emotions because they are uncomfortable with their own. I know it was bewildering for my mother to be faced with my unexpected emotional outbursts when I was a child, especially since she is someone who doesn't show very many of her own feelings. She spent a lot of time telling me, "Stefanie, you can't get so upset about everything," but I think it was because it was distressing for her to see her child like that. Recently, though, she told me that the thing she loves most about me is that I have a big heart--and that makes HER cry.
post #5 of 29
Kathryn post pretty much says it all. I can't even watch the animal planet on TV and things like that. Seems wierd tho I seem to be much more sensertive when it comes to Animals then People and I get upset over it.
post #6 of 29
I've been told that I have an enormous capacity for love... I'm not sure what that counts for, but I know that it makes me cry. I've always had a capacity for love that seems to be beyond certainly my parent's understanding. Whaddya reckon to that?
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rita
Kathryn post pretty much says it all. I can't even watch the animal planet on TV and things like that. Seems wierd tho I seem to be much more sensertive when it comes to Animals then People and I get upset over it.
I'm the same way, but it doesn't seem weird to me, I think it's that people harm themselves, each other, and animals, while the animals have to take it from the people. I sometimes find it very difficult to feel bad for a person who brought the pain and suffering on themselves~
post #8 of 29
i always used to get upset at those animal shows with the lions chasing the gazelles etc. i always thought that rather than stand there and film it them camera crew should throw the lion a steak whilst the wildebeast made a run for it.
post #9 of 29
I was a sensitive child and now am a sensitive grownup! I cry if a fake dog on a movie gets kicked. My boyfriend says "That's not real!" and I cry and say that it could be and people do kick their dogs, and that they are promoting the kicking of dogs.

My feelings are hurt very easily too, but its never animals that hurt me. So I think that is why I surround myself with pets. I am careful with how I talk to people and how I treat them, just like I wish they would do with me! The Golden Rule is something I live by and always have.

I had to force myself to go to the animal shelter the first few times. I thought that it hurt too much to go in. The first time I volunteered there I went home bawling after 3 hours. Well, I learned that in order to help the animals, I have to put my feelings aside. It hurts, but I am glad I can help them.

I also had to force myself to watch Animal Precinct and other animal cop shows. I forced myself because I had to face the truth, I couldn't just not watch it and pretend that animal neglect and abuse did not exist. Those animals live through that, the least I can do is watch it and learn something from the animals suffering.
post #10 of 29
I wasn't particularly sensitive to animals.. But I was one of those kids that would cry over the witch.. I was definately a staunch advocate of everyone having a good side and if not than there was a reason, like their mom didn't love them enough or something. It used to annoy the hell out of people. I was the one that was like 'the boogieman is misunderstood, he just needs a friend..'
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annabelle33
I wasn't particularly sensitive to animals.. But I was one of those kids that would cry over the witch.. I was definately a staunch advocate of everyone having a good side and if not than there was a reason, like their mom didn't love them enough or something. It used to annoy the hell out of people. I was the one that was like 'the boogieman is misunderstood, he just needs a friend..'
That was totally me. I was always the one who ended up being friends with the kid everyone else picked on. I was sensitive about animals too though. And believe it or not, plants. The plant thing was my mother's fault though. When I was very young, she taught me not to pull the new buds off the bushes by saying it hurt the bush. If I pulled a bud or leaf off a plant she said "Ow!" Then, when I was about seven or eight, she and I were walking home from somewhere and we saw the city people cutting branches off a large tree and I FREAKED OUT. When we got home I actually hid under my bed, the only time I ever did that, because it was simply so traumatic for me. I believed that if pulling off a little bud was painful then cutting off a great big thick tree branch must be the tree equivalent of someone cutting off my arm. It still kind of upsets me when I think about it--I mean, obviously I know now that the tree didn't feel it, but I can still remember how I felt as a child.

As an adult I really do worry a lot about people's and animals' feelings (and yes, I do believe, very strongly, that animals have emotions), and I still find it hard to believe that even the "worst" person doesn't have something good in them.
post #12 of 29
I was. Not to extremes, but I remember in school we were watching this movie. In the movie, this kid didn't have a home, and he found this kitten. This kitten and him were eating tuna out of a can together. I remember him gettin chased or something, and fell, or the kitten ran away, or something. The kitten ran into a busy street, and... well we all know what happens. I was in kindergarden at the time. I was so mad that they showed us that movie, because I didn't understand what it was about and they killed a kitten. I cried so hard over that, and it's been with me ever since. I remember telling my mom about the movie, and she told me 'it's just a movie, it wasn't real, you shouldn't be so upset' it just bothered me.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn41
I tried to deny this side of myself for many years - it is not especially effective to start crying in a meeting because you feel so passionately about a certain issue (hehehe)
I was never referred to a sensitive child when I was younger, however I do have the above problem a lot. It's really frustrating when you're trying to talk to your boss about an unjust situation... and you start crying. Especially when you're not sad, you're MAD or frustrated... you know? Does that count as being sensitive?

I too tried to hide any sensitive side of me... would tell people "I don't cry" and I didn't, for many years until high school (didn't even cry at my grandfather's funeral because my dad didn't, though my mother and brother were bawling their eyes out). Even earlier this year I decided I was done with crying... now my eyes tear up whenever I see a badly abused pet on Animal Planet... and I think I'm okay with it.
post #14 of 29
I was never referred to as a sensitive child, but boy do I recognize the picture!! Anything with any emotional impact is a guarantee of waterworks. Someone recommends a book or a movie with anything remotely likely to touch the emotions and they'll also warn me to take my kleenex box. And I'm absolutely a mess at goodbyes!

Oh, well!
post #15 of 29
I was chatting this evening and realised that actually I was a sensitive child! I juat had to share the fact that I even cried at 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' when they were putting the squeeky shoes in the vat of acid....it still makes me so sad now!

I was actually really sensitive, I would feel very hurt if someone was even mean to someone in my school, even if I didn't know them....

All good though, I think it makes us all understanding and very emotionally tuned in! (I like to think so anyway!) And Bambi....let's not go into that!
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
I never saw Bambi. I think my mother figured it would just send me over the edge...


Overall I am glad I retained this part of my personality into adulthood. If you are sympathetic, it naturally makes you try to treat people kindly, and treating people kindly is better for everyone, you and them. I do wish, though, that I didn't cry over every little thing. Don't even get me started on Hallmark commercials!
post #17 of 29


Well, it appears that I'm on the "couch" today.

What's really wierd, I only reacted that way to animal shows. Now, as an adult, I really am unable to watch violence on TV. I just can't stand it. It disturbs me. So, I didn't know I was a "sensitive child" but it makes sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn41
I tried to deny this side of myself for many years - it is not especially effective to start crying in a meeting because you feel so passionately about a certain issue (hehehe)


I was never referred to a sensitive child when I was younger, however I do have the above problem a lot. It's really frustrating when you're trying to talk to your boss about an unjust situation... and you start crying. Especially when you're not sad, you're MAD or frustrated... you know? Does that count as being sensitive?
OH, the unjust situations. See, this is what I have a real problem with now. I have tried my best to ignore the overwhelming feeling to protect and defend when I feel someone is not treated fairly and get way too radical about it. I too cry when I'm frustrated at work. My staff is unfortunately used to seeing me with the red eyes and know that I have been in another discussion with my superior. Every year my corporation does employee surveys. I met with HR to discuss the results of my survey. The one thing I really need to work on? I was told my staff thought I was "too fair". Oh brother! I give up!!!!
post #18 of 29
Oh yes, it actually caused a mental health issue for me as I grew up. One that I had to work very hard to recover from. I still have very sensitive reactions to a lot of stuff, but animals and children are my weak spot. I can handle really gory images of adult humans and even help them out, but when it comes to animals or children I get weepy and freeze up. I also had nightmares from the Sleestax (sp?) in Land of the Lost but had no problem with Vincent Price movies, weird, eh? I did have horrible nightmares when I was in high school from all the nuclear disaster films that were shown on TV in the early 80s. My parents finally forbid me from watching them. Now I do okay though.
post #19 of 29
I was and still am very sensitive. I cry at the least little thing. My classes KNOW that when we read a story and there is the tiniest thing, I might start crying. Today we read a story about a little wolf whose mama was killed fighting to protect him and his sister. Now his sister has found a man to take care of her, so the little wolf is alone in the world. I cried for 10 minutes.
I can't help it.
I cried for 2 hours during the movie "The Passion" and cried for days afterwards.
post #20 of 29
I was crying with bambi too!
post #21 of 29
Someone mentioned crying when angry. I cry all the time when I get angry and it's soooooo frustrating that I get even madder and cry even more. It's a vicious circle! And it's even more frustrating when I'm with someone who doesn't cry when they get angry. There was one time a customer made me cry because they made me so mad. It was so embarrassing because I had to have my boss take over. Nothing like looking like an idiot.
post #22 of 29
Don't worry you're not the only one! I wish we could learn how to control our frustration or anger and not let them turn in tears... whenever that happens I always just want to say, I'm not upset, I'm not really crying, I'm just so darn irritated right now!!
post #23 of 29
I was a horribly sensitive child. I cried if the bus missed my driveway and dropped me off in the ditch. I couldn't watch the national geographic shows on tv because the lions chasing down the zebras made me hysterical. I was always upset as a child over anything and everything.

My aunt and uncle had to take my cousin to the ER when she was in 2nd grade (she's almost 15 now) because she had a severe anxiety attack over learning about Abraham Lincoln's assassination. She couldn't understand why anyone would kill such a good man.

My youngest son is overly sensitive as well. All you have to do is look at him cross eyed and he starts screaming like he's just been skinned alive. The other day a tooth came off his jacket zipper and the world might as well have ended right then and there! I hope it's just a phase..somebody tell me its just a phase!
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Sorry Captiva, I didn't mean to put you in the spotlight. I could just relate was all.

Oh, and that crying when angry thing some of you talked about--yeah, that's me too. It's frustrating, because it's hard to get people to take me seriously when I'm doing that. And not only that, sometimes people think I'm doing it on purpose to be manipulative. But I'm not. That's just what I do. I really can't help it. It was really difficult back when I was practicing law, which is a super stressful environment and someone is always yelling at someone. I used to have to hide in my office with my door closed a lot and if someone came and started knocking, I had to pretend like I was having allergies or something. Definitely wasn't the field for me.
post #25 of 29
Oh, Stephanie. I hope you don't think I cared. I really don't! I was amused. I'm a pretty open person. It's interesting to see that there were/are a lot of us out there. Yes. I hate the whole work thing. I have so many things that I want to talk about and express but usually by that time, I'm a blubbering idiot. Since he's a man, he just stands there like .

Yeah, I've done the sneezing or yawning trick when I'm starting to tear up.
post #26 of 29
Does crying buckets during the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Mr. Magoo's version of A Christmas carol) count? How about the death of a cartoon character? (Optimus Prime in the Transformer Movie. I was the only unescorted adult in the theater. )

I must admit being over sensitive lots of times. Haven't been able to watch a TV report about a local overcrowded humane society because I've been afraid the images would depress me.

And crying when frustrated? Been there. Many times. Lots of tissues.
post #27 of 29
Forgot to mention I rarely go to Crossing the Bridge because I know I will bawl buckets. Barely made it through my repost about our kitten Alexander.
post #28 of 29
I never go to that forum because I know I wouldn't even make it through one posting, let alone a thread. My Mom gave me a book of short writings on cats and I cried all the way through the memorial chapter. I still cry about the cats I've lost in the past.

For the longest time I hid all my emotions. It took a long time for me to learn to show them again. When I was successful at hiding my emotions I didn't even cry at Steel Magnolias. Now I cry during commercials. I don't know which is better.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTMom
I never go to that forum because I know I wouldn't even make it through one posting, let alone a thread. My Mom gave me a book of short writings on cats and I cried all the way through the memorial chapter. I still cry about the cats I've lost in the past
I know the feeling! I have been into that forum once, but I felt so upset for the rest of the day and was remembering all the other people and animals that I have lost
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › was anyone else a "sensitive child"?