I have no idea where I read about Jenna Forrest’s painfully honest book about being a highly sensitive child, but I’m glad I bought it. It’s a fascinating and insightful read into the mind of a highly sensitive child.
“‘I swear, Jenna. You’re so sensitive they could put you down a mine instead of a canary,’ Mom remarked.” Jenna Forrest, Help is on Its Way
The emotions in this book are raw. It’s about growing up feeling out of place, with no one really understanding your sensitive nature.
“The stress of processing so much information at once makes my blood pump wearily. Escape seems necessary.” Jenna Forrest, Help is on Its Way
Jenna writes about life with her parents, her feelings as they separate and then divorce. She writes beautifully about her feelings, and finds a way to support her way through her youth with emotions that are at times too much to bear. She writes about the big things.
“It’s lurking existence sends me into that funk again, that grey mood that floods me with feelings too big to shoulder all by myself.”
And she captures the every day, ordinary things too, things people who are not highly sensitive wouldn’t bat an eyelid at. Things like forming circles and shaking hands with each other at a camp.
“Such forced contact with so many strangers gets me feeling antsy in no time.”
This is no easy lighthearted read, but it’s an important read. It’s a book we all hope our children would never be able to write.
Jenna is searching for someone to understand her, to know how it feels to feel things so intensely, to feel different and pick up other people’s feelings and care so much.
“What bothers me is that his heart is not detectable by my most discerning radar.”
Her childhood is a search for help. She finds Frank.
“How do I put my inner world into words?” she asks. How many highly sensitive people can relate to that question I wonder. A busy mind, racing all the time. Exhausting. Overwhelming.
She comes to learn that she needs to take care of herself, that it’s important to take a step back and look after her needs instead of everyone else’s.
“Before you can save anyone else, you have to first become a master at taking care of yourself.”
There is counselling and Jenna also finds help and comfort in her journaling.
This is a great book to read if you want to know how it feels to grow up as a highly sensitive person.
- Take your child’s feelings seriously and don’t dismiss them with comments of “You’re so sensitive.”
- Listen to your child. Let them know you are a safe person to talk to without judgement.
- Journaling helps. It really does. It can help your child (and you!) name their feelings and understand what is whirring around their mind.