Overexcitabilities run in families. That’s why I write so much about handling our OEs around our intense children. All that energy under one roof can be ‘interesting’.
But there’s an upside to living in an intense family, and as my children get older I’m starting to realise how wonderful that can be.
Have you ever tried explaining one of your passions to someone who doesn’t experience life as intensely as you? If you have, you don’t need me to tell you about The Blank Look.
Only people who share our intensity can understand the visceral feeling of excitement we get when we’re gripped by a passion – The drive to know everything there is to know about something. The way our bodies vibrate at a higher and higher frequency until we feel like we might explode, our consciousness transcending this realm and leaping forth into the far corners of the multiverse. (Or is that just me?)
That’s how I felt the first time I saw my husband. It wasn’t him that triggered my passion, though. It was the music we were dancing to. My friends had wanted to hang out in a bar whose music desiccated my soul, so I cut them loose and headed somewhere the music made my heart sing.
Relationships that start in nightclubs aren’t meant to last. But now I understand intensity I know why, nineteen years on, I’m still in love with the man I met that night. Our intensity is what brought each of us to that place, and it’s what’s kept us together.
The intensity my husband and I share is also what gave us our awesome children.
The trouble was that after they were born, I couldn’t listen to music.
Every album in my CD rack triggered feelings too intense for me to handle. I’d end up filled with melancholy remembering moments from my past, or so excited I needed to go out dancing now.
Not very useful when you have to cook fish fingers for a couple of pre-schoolers.
I couldn’t listen to new music either, because until I’m emotionally connected with the lyrics, music sound like noise to me. And with two high-needs kids, I couldn’t handle any more noise.
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Then my daughter discovered music.
For her thirteenth birthday we took her to see her favourite band live, and her passion for music exploded.
She bought herself an electric guitar, writes songs with her bass-playing BF, and they jam with their drummer friend whenever they can. She’s on a mission to listen to every pop punk band from the 70s to date. And then of course there are the fandoms.
In case you don’t know what a fandom is, here’s how my daughter explained it in a video she made (before her passion for music got started):
‘The joy of fandoms is the community. Everyone else is as crazy about this thing as you are. Fandoms are a great place to express yourself. You can find so many kindred spirits. You can write or create art, or you can just enjoy being with people who are like you, which is a wonderful thing. If you feel like it’s weird to be a crazy fangirl/fanboy – it’s not weird! There are loads of people like you!’
My daughter (then 11) ‘Fandom Addiction: Fandoms. They are not a problem!‘
(You can see the appeal of fandoms for young people with OEs, can’t you?)
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Thanks to my passionate daughter, music’s returning to my life big time. It’s so much fun knowing someone else who listens to the same song twenty times in a row because one line of lyrics gives her goose bumps. Who ponders aloud why she always gets a dopamine rush during a certain Twenty One Pilots song. And who loves it when I turn up the car stereo so we can bask together in Brendon Urie’s mellifluous vocal range.
Music’s giving me something wonderful to share with my daughter. I love my intense family. 🙂
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Do you share your passions with your children?
Does music transport you to intense extremes?
I’d love to hear from you!
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Do you live in an intense family, too? I’d love you to join me on my journey learning how to live life to the max while keeping our balance and helping our children find theirs. Just write your email address in the box below to receive my weekly posts direct to your inbox. You can also like Laugh, Love, Learn on Facebook.
Image: Public Domain Pictures