The Sensitive Storm

Beneath the surface, a storm brews.

Category: Food

Since My Last Post (in pictures)


Things have been looking up. I’ve been looking up, too. For answers.


I spent some time hanging out with Toto. Toto spent some time hanging out on me.


I was “hired” and “fired” from the school board. Again. There went that dream.


I met Katie! She is a missionary in Spain. Funny. Ron went to Spain a few days after I met Katie. He was gone a few weeks. His family lives there.


That was really far. No me gusta.


I drew this. I gave it to my grandma for her birthday. I’m not sure about all the colors but other people seem to like it.


I caught this fish. And no, I’m not pregnant. That’s the wind in my shirt. Geesh.


A lovely lady named Margaret made us dinner. It was delicious. Also, I discovered this seasoning.


You need it in your life.


I saw Jenn. I love this lady!


I drew this. It’s not like anything I’ve ever done. This isn’t the finished photo. Lemme look for that…


So odd. Reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright. Except, not.


I found this feather at the beach. it’s 14″ long.


That same night ^ would’ve been my dad’s birthday. So, we lit this lantern and watched it disappear.


I think it was headed North.


I discovered the first tomato on the plant I have grown from a seed. It’s in a bucket. So far it’s the only one.


I took some close ups of a passion flower plant. With my iPhone. Thanks to this:


I caught this 20″ flounder! I used my Abu Garcia pole and a live shrimp. It measured 20″! I haven’t fished in a really long time but recently I found myself more attracted to the idea of it. I figure since I’m a pesky pescatarian I may as well not be one of those people that pretend death doesn’t exist, for the sake of food.


I dog sat for Toto. The Toto loves me.


I had some quality Facetime with my favorite cousin, Jay.


Marcia bought a bottle of the BEST WINE EVER for Girl’s Night! And I drank a glass. And it was good.


Katie gave me that cool coaster. It’s from Morocco.

girls night

“The Girls”. (fun night!!)


This was another great night. Had dinner with my BFF who came to see me. She’s moving to California mid-October. ūüė¶


We ate at the raw food restaurant in St. Augustine.


I made this stew with garbanzo beans, tomatoes and kale. (and other things but mostly those 3 things)


I started drawing this.


And I saw the sunset at this beach. Beautiful. Big reason I love this state.

Oh! I updated my iPhone to iOS 7. Does anyone have an iPhone? How do you feel about the upgrade? I like it. I love that the lock screen changes color with whatever wallpaper image I use. I also like that I can get rid of a text with a finger swipe. Before the update my alerts would come up toward the top of the screen and hang out for longer than I wanted it to. Do know, however, if you have an older Mac you will have to upgrade to OS X Snow Leopard. I had to buy that bad boy for $20.00 but the shipping was free and it arrived in just a few days.

I think that’s all I’ve got for now. There are other blogs in the work so stay tuned.

~ C

Fight or Flight

“Because avoiding stimulating situations reduces anxiety, the person may duck the very experiences that can balance the nervous system, like sex, camraderie, or a workout at the gym, thereby increasing defensiveness and avoidance” ~ Sharon Heller, Ph.d

I just finished reading this book.


I learned ton about sensory defensiveness (SD) or sensory processing disorder. A ton. A few years ago I read The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) by Elaine Aaron and it was enlightening. I wish I would’ve learned more about HSP stuff years ago. Aside from being highly sensitive, I’m also sensory defensive. I may be highly sensitive because I’m sensory defensive or vice versa. I’m not sure. I don’t really care either way. For now I’m just glad I have an explanation for the way I’ve felt all my life. So, it’s not just some BS I made up because I want to sit in the front seat.

I still have unanswered questions because much of the current research on SD relates to children. There is not much research relating to SD and adults. Another confusing thing is there is a lot of information about SD being related to Autism implying that a SD diagnosis is not it’s own thing. From what I’ve read it seems there must be something else attached to it (like Autism). Not just a diagnose (of sorts) of SD by itself.

The author talks a lot about different types of defensiveness. She basically puts a name to all the things I’ve always felt but never had a name for. I may not have a proper medical description of any of these but well, this is my blog, not the Mayo Clinic. Here are the ones that resonate with me.

Check out this awesome list of symptoms I discovered: (It really upsets me that my link button is broken and I have to put all that text in here)

Auditory Defensiveness – first and foremost this is the one I have the most difficult time with. Very few people can pick this up in me. It’s helpful when someone else can though, because sometimes I forget or I don’t realize there’s a problem until its too late. I become completely disorganized when there’s a lot of noise. I become disorganized when a song comes on that resonates with me…I can become “lost” so to speak. It’s really difficult to navigate through noise.

Movement Defensiveness (Vestibular)- this is basically being ultra sensitive to movement. Quick movement. Ups and downs. Going up, going down. Motion sickness. Not liking being tipped over or pushed *jokingly. Having a fear of falling. Elevators. Eek!

Light Defensiveness – Obviously being super sensitive to light. I worked part time at Target once for about 2 months. I quit because I had a headache very day. I’m assuming it was because of the lighting. I mentioned it to the person “in charge” and he said he’s had a few people tell him the same thing. He assumes it’s the fluorescent lighting. (The sun. Need I say more?)

Tactile Defensiveness – Basically being easily overwhelmed by ordinary things like textures, tags on shirts, normal touch, etc. Wet hair on my back-after a shower-gives me the creeps just thinking about it.

One time I was pulling a weed off a tree that had grown up through as a vine. It had these little seeds on it which didn’t bother me until one jumped on my arm! I screamed. It was like the look I see on people’s faces when someone does a weird sound with a chalkboard. I can’t tell you how much I freaked out. I cannot STAND cold or wet things bumping or getting on my skin without my knowing it’s coming.

Since I’ve been able to learn more about myself I’ve observed different things I notice that signal when I’m in distress. It’s good to be able to do this because when you do you can possibly stave off some very bad situations and feelings.

Here’s how I know when I’ve reached my (un)optimal level of arousal:

Deep breaths accompanied by heavy sighs

Constant movement

Inability to focus

General agitation *snapping at people*

I eat cookies. Cookies ground me. Oh, and IHop pancakes (yuck)

People don’t think this a real thing. Tough people say “get over it”.¬†Well, I can’t just “get over it”. Don’t you know I’m the rabbit?





She sits him down in a stiff chair

Rubs his back and strokes his hair

Telling him its okay to cry

But he just sits and stares

The merciless moon outside

Has nothing now he’s come to realize

Only the desolation he feels

The cold distance inside

~Mumford and Sons Lyrics from Feel the Tide

I feel “off” today. I can’t determine whether it’s my energy or the energy of the people around me.

I had a really intense conversation/connection with a couple friends yesterday about the past year. They agreed 2012 was the worse year since the dawn of time. These two friends basically had the same experiences as I had with moving to a different state and coming back within 2 months. How odd. Does that happen often? This couple was promised some things by a long time friend and the things he spoke of fell through. They moved from Florida to New Jersey with the promise of a new start and ended up being sucked into a mess. Luckily they were in tune with the situation and even though they tried, you can’t make someone be something they aren’t…especially if they aren’t ready for it.

They cut their losses, turned around and headed back home. Time and money now spent. The trust of their family and friends knocked off balance. Uncertain about their future and out of their own place to live. It was good to feel someone truly understood where I was coming from but at the same time…it was draining for all 3 of us. Just talking about it drudged up the feelings that are still warmly simmering, just beneath¬†the surface.

I moved to South Carolina in January and back to Florida in February. After our talk I found myself feeling anxious and angry. Angry at myself for not paying attention to the signs. Angry for putting myself in that situation.

Am I glad it happened? No. Not at all. If it hadn’t of happened I’d still be saving up money to pay my car off. I’d still be working. I’d still be living with my mother, whom I know is lonely. I’d have Chewy snuggling with me every night and welcoming me when I come home. Oh no, I’m still a tad bit bitter.

Did I learn things about myself that will be helpful in the future? Sure. If I couldn’t learn things from bad experiences I’d probably hate life. Luckily I am hopeful and I somehow acquired this little thing along the way called “resiliency”.

Good things that have happened recently. I’ve had two interviews in two weeks. I try not to only think good thoughts about Chewy. I have a gracious roommate that keeps me smiling. I haven’t watched TV in 3 weeks and I have met a handful of new friends I never would’ve known anywhere else. I went to my first drum circle (and played the drums…for about 4 hours straight).

2013-02-24 20.46.09

Attended my first vegetarian potluck. Met new people. Rode my bike to the beach to see the full moon.

2013-02-26 20.15.25

Made my own juice for the first time, ever. Ingredients: 1/2 a cucumber. Handful of kale. Spinach. Piece of my aloe plant. A beet. Beets are my F A V O R I T E things to put in juice. Here’s how it turned out.

2013-02-26 19.27.26 

See what I did there?

Now I feel a tad bit better. I’m looking forward to making more bloody beet juice, attending RAM (Riverside Arts Market) this weekend, walking to the beach, going back to the local farmers market and getting some of that weird looking broccoli/cauliflower stuff ¬†and attending Art Walk next Wednesday and spending some more quality time with new friends.

Life’s okay sometimes.