My daughter was coming over from her studies at Middelburg. A three hour train ride.
I had had a very busy day:
- My first meeting with the psychologist form the transgender unit at the hospital.
- Then a meeting with my aunt and uncle, who hadn’t seen me me as a woman yet.
Both went very well.
- Then picking up my other daughter . . .
(who also spends this weekend with me: Bliss!!)
- Paying a short visit to a friend . .
- Driving home in the dark, in the rain . .
By now I was pretty overstimulated. I found out that I actually hate driving in the dark. So I was glad to be home.
A message form my Middelburg daughter: “train delay! Gonna miss the bus. “
So there I went, back in the night, back in the rain, and NO IDEA where to park my car at the station for a quick pick up.
I parked my car, where it wasn’t allowed. Angry honking cars passed me by. And I waited. Completely frustrated, overwhelmed and all worked up.
So I texted this:
Pick up your Phone.
I am standig where it’s not allowed. Answer!!
Go past the busses, and walk out the station.
Leave Busses on your right hand side.
And there she finally was.
There and then I realized something.
My old reaction would have been hating myself, and feeling guilty, and ashamed, because of being so nasty. And of course, because of that I would have been even more unpleasant.
Let’s take this apart.
The hating myself bit is mostly about the shame thing.
Shame is feeling you have trespassed on a group value, combined with the fear of being cast out.
Guilt is knowing you have trespassed on a value you want to honour.
Shame is thinking: “I’m such a lousy father¹. What will she think of me?”
Guilt is thinking: “Hm. I probably made her feel bad about needing to be picked up. I’m gonna make up to her for that.
My old reaction would be walowing in shame.
I really did some work on these things the past year. Not only my transition, but also the high-level course on high sensitivity I’m taking.
So instead of shame I just felt some guilt.
And I could take that.
Because I could see it was the price a paid for this day. It was the price I paid for being highly sensitive.
Being highly sensitive is for better and for worse.
And now I could feel passion for my worse. I could feel passion for my nasty me.
So when my daughter stepped into the car, I said I was sorry, and I explained how I was overstimulated. And then we talked how this affected us both. And how it was part of our package of awesomeness.
On the way home I cried because I felt so connected with the wonderful woman sitting beside me.
Dear highly sensitive entrepeurs.
You’re brave and brilliant.
For better AND for worse.
Have compassion for your guilt.
There is your mission and there are your loved ones.
They will collide.
And both will survive the collision.
If you are able to avoid stepping into shame.
(If shame holds you back, contact me. There is some work to be done)
For the close reader:
Being worked up because of honking cars, was me feeling shame.
Hey, I’m no wonderwoman, who ditches all her shame with a flick of her hand.
¹ Yes I’m a woman. But I will also always be a father