Growing up, my parents called me the princess and the pea. They were alluding to one of my favorite fairytales - the one in which a girl's hypersensitivity allows her to detect a pea beneath a stack of twenty mattresses. In the story, this hypersensitivity is honored and taken as proof that the girl is indeed a princess, but when my parents said it, what they meant was "stop being so sensitive." And they were right that I was especially sensitive.
I had a doctor tell me so when I was in college. A canary in the coal mine, he called me, referring to the coal mining practice of carrying a caged canary into the mine. If the canary died, the miners knew that the air had become toxic and it was time to get out. The point being that the environment affected all of them, but the canary felt it first.Read More