Highly Sensitive People

Brilliantly written piece on HSPs!


Desensitizing Your Fight or Flight Response
by Ewa Schwarz
Eight years ago I wrote an article on being a highly sensitive person. So much has happened since that time. I have learned how to take the quality of being highly sensitive and evolve it into something that works for me, while living a relatively normal life.
By desensitizing my emotional triggers, my entire perception has been allowed to changed, including how external stimuli affect my body. As I have taught my body and mind to feel safer and experiences less stress, I have developed higher tolerance levels for things that used to easily overwhelm me. This is what I want to share with you now.
Being highly sensitive means that a person’s senses are very easily overwhelmed. What then happens is that the fight or flight response is triggered, causing a person to feel unsafe. It is possible to train…

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Book review: Trust No One by Clare Donoghue…

Trust No One by Claire Donoghue.
A marriage is what you make it, isn’t it? It’s what you put into it. It’s not just about love, it’s about understanding another person’s point of view. Sometimes there are things you find out about yourself and each other which means the marriage has to end. Sad, particularly when kids are involved – but all pretty normal. Normal that is, until there’s a murder. DS Jane Bennett and DI Mike Lockyer are called in to investigate one of the South London murder squad’s most difficult and distressing cases yet – where family and friends come under scrutiny in the hardest of circumstances.
The story kicks off with a mystery person planning something suspect… we don’t know what. We then meet Richard Taylor and his two young children having a barbecue. The scene then shifts to our first meeting with D.S Jane Bennet. I warmed to her character right away because she is mum to a young autistic son with learning difficulties. Much like myself and my children. We then shift back to Richard Taylor’s flat where he has been found dead by his children.

Jane’s boss, D.I Mike Lockyear is a newly promoted Senior Investigating Officer and as a result her is nervous and a little overbearing. He worries about Jane as she has recently had a month off work, but he trusts her to run her own investigations team. The investigation begins slowly, with both the victim’s children undergoing interview.

As the investigation begins, we learn that the murder victim’s daughter may possibly have been abused by her brother. Richard’s ex wife and his best friend are both interviewed and the evidence unveiled something that leaves one of them asking for a lawyer and clamming up.

There is an interesting back thread woven through the story. Jane’s relationship with her parents. They are a big part of her life. Her son’s father also pops back into her life after an absence of eight years. It is nice to see the human side of characters in a crime thriller.

The author has created thoroughly believable and likeable characters that I enjoyed getting to know throughout the story.

As the story plays out, we are given several teasers as to who the culprit really is, but when you find out the truth, it’s one hell of a shock that you weren’t expecting!

Many thanks to Netgalley for my advance copy. I’m very grateful. A really good 4 out of 5 star read. Check it out!

Barking black dog…

My black dog is barking. I’ve ignored the bitch for a couple of days but she just won’t shut the fuck up.

This is a regular thing, thanks to bipolar disorder. I’ve been OK for a while but as my physical health has deteriorated, my mood has started on a downer. I have so many letters to write but I’m not able to hold a pen for long enough. This breaks my fucking heart. I’ve always slated typed letters, but I’m scared that if I don’t then I’ll lose my pals altogether. That’s if I haven’t lost them already, 😦

So here I am. Teetering on the brink. Feeling the lowest and crappiest that I have for a long time. I’m holding on to the edge of the deep pit of my sanity and my fingers were slipping.

What really hurts is when people say ignorant shit like, “Go take a walk!” Gee asshole, my legs don’t work, is my wheelchair invisible all of a sudden? Ooooooh, wait – you turned into Harry fucking Potter and cast a spell on my legs? Bullshit. Let’s not even go there shall we? Yes, I acknowledge that fresh air and the outdoors are good for helping to lift the symptoms. But there is another issue for me – my crippling agoraphobia. Every single time that I have to open the door, my pulse rate pounds and my breathing is jagged and rapid. I burst into tears and hide myself away from the world.


Book review: Remember my Beauties by Lynn Hugo…

Remember my Beauties: Lynn Hugo
Imagine a hawk’s view of the magnificent bluegrass pastures of Kentucky horse country. Circle around the remnants of a breeding farm, four beautiful horses grazing just beyond the paddock. Inside the ramshackle house, a family is falling apart.
Hack, the patriarch breeder and trainer, is aged and blind, and his wife, Louetta, is confined by rheumatoid arthritis. Their daughter, Jewel, struggles to care for them and the horses while dealing with her own home and job-not to mention her lackluster second husband, Eddie, and Carley, her drug-addicted daughter. Many days, Jewel is only sure she loves the horses. But she holds it all together. Until her brother, Cal, shows up again. Jewel already has reason to hate Cal, and when he meets up with Carley, he throws the family into crisis-and gives Jewel reason to pick up a gun.
Every family has heartbreaks, failures, a black sheep or two. And some families end in tatters. But some stumble on the secret of survival: if the leader breaks down, others step up and step in. In this lyrical novel, when the inept, the addict, and the ex-con join to weave the family story back together, either the barn will burn to the ground or something bigger than any of them will emerge, shining with hope. A novel about perception, Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.
I have been given an ARC copy by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
We meet Jewel at the start of the story, hacking off her long blonde hair with a pair of shears looking in the bathroom mirror. An act of defiance after two failed marriages in a desperate attempt to renew herself in both her own eyes and the eyes of other people. A row with her husband prompted this act. 
(A side note: I’m disgusted by the way that the author writes about bipolar disorder in the opening chapter; describing a character with the condition as a dangerous nut job. Not cool.)
Jewel hates her brother and has a vehement reaction when her mother tells her that he is coming home. You sense the damaged family dynamic right from the off with the clever way that the author builds the layers of the story. We learn Jewel has a very good reason to detest her brother. He drunkenly tried to rape her when she was 16 years old. Her mother sided with Cal and still does. Jewel also has to care for her drug addled daughter and her scumbag boyfriend. It is hardly s surprise that we see the beginning of a break down. Jewel’s emotions are so tightly wound, they have to give up and snap some time.
Jewel tells her parents that she will not care for them anymore if they allow Cal back into the house. But as time passes, she starts to admit to herself that more than likely, she will continue.
She enlists her daughter Carley who is a drug addict, to help out her mum and dad. Yet Jewel finds Carley and Cal having sex. She loses it and goes to shoot Cal, but Carley puts her hand in the way.
This motivates Jewel to care for Carley, and to get her into rehab. We begin to see the shattered family dynamic and how the relationships are so damaged that there is little chance of mending them.
Jewel’s husband and Cal are conspiring against Jewel’s wishes for financial gain. This takes Carley out of rehab to care for the horses. Things go well until Jewel finds out. That same day a death rocks the family to it’s core.
This part of the story shows us that it is possible to heal family rifts in the most difficult of circumstances.
The characters blend well together and the story is told from the outlook of several of the characters which makes a pleasant surprise. The only beef I had with this story as I mentioned at the start of this review is the way that the writer talks about mental health. That’s what prevented me awarding 4 stars. Many thanks to Netgalley for my ARC. An otherwise pleasant 3 out of 5 star read.