I realized yesterday that even being around people that I love and cherish, most of which I have known for 18 or more years, is still not a safe place for me. And oddly, two weeks ago it was. I have cracked but I have not been broken. Where the breaking point is is only known by me.
Anyone that really knows me knows I have these really weird quirks. Cotton balls give me the icks, I am an extremely picky eater (its a texture not taste thing), I cannot stand noises when I am trying to do something. I turn off the radio when I am driving in an unfamiliar area, or freak out at the noise of the all windows being rolled down.
When I get stressed I cannot talk. I will say ten words before I get to the correct word. I cannot deal with clocks ticking. Or with a bunch of people talking, all at once, in a closed area (eating out when it is super busy is very hard for me). When I talk on the phone I need everything off around me and people to be quiet. If they aren’t I get upset.
These are all things, plus a lot more, that I have coped with since I was a kid. I have learned to stay away from cotton balls and my diet consists of grilled cheese. I get up and close the door if its noisy and we stay away from super crowded eating establishments.
Now I know at least one person is going to say “Juli, how do you go to concerts?” Or “Juli, how do you go out dancing?” and the answer is alcohol. It is my coping mechanism. Or it used to be seeing as how I haven’t gone to a concert in 10 years and well dancing is at bars and we all know how my last trip to a bar went…one torn acl later.
But then again the person asking those questions more then likely doesn’t know me as well as they think they do. I generally don’t let people into knowing that side of me. The freak the fuck out because of ‘stupid’ stuff side. I have learned to adapt for the most part, how ever that might be.
My latest trigger has been delivering mail in high security. Aside from the really stupid crap they yell it is terribly loud. And once you do one pod, with 60-120+ guys yelling at you, you exit and do it again, and again, and again, and again until all pods/sections are done. So it is an 1.5 to 3+ hours of being yelled at. It does not matter to me what they are yelling, its the loud hum of it all. It is hearing that all day and all night. Laying my head down at night and hearing it, banging over and over again.
And when I try to explain it, heart felt tear filled explanation I get told it is part of my job. Which it is, I get that, which is unfortunate that I like my job. But I like myself better. And “myself” isn’t running out of my best friends house because all of a sudden I freak out because I am asked about work. That is not a normal reaction out of me.
Jason left me, I ended up being a single mom. So WHAT? It didn’t trigger some weird thing in me. It wasn’t anything super hard. My friends know I made it through just fine and in the middle of my divorce not once did I ever run away from them crying.
So in order to explain it to myself I did I little poking around on the internet just so I would feel not so…alone. I have tried to explain it to certain people and it has fallen on deaf ears. I guess it is one of those “unless it happens to you, you can’t understand it” things. As a side note I have a terrible dose of dyslexia. Ask me the difference between a b and a d and a P and a 9 and I have NO idea. I can not follow written instructions, you have to show me. You name it, I have it (dyslexia wise).
From 1st grade on I was in special classes and in the summer time I took special classes at my eye doctors (I remember a lot of puzzles). I have terrible handwriting as well which people like to poke fun at (whatever makes them feel better I suppose).
So when looking around I found this…
Adults are often overwhelmed by too much environmental stimuli (e.g. background noise, more than one person talking at a time, side conversations, reading and listening at the same time). Many people with LD have specific sensitivities to their environment such as certain fabrics they cannot wear, foods they cannot tolerate, etc.
Many adults with learning disabilities see themselves as more emotionally sensitive than other people In its most extreme form, high levels of emotional sensitivity are both a blessing and a weakness. The positive features of this trait helps adults with learning disabilities build meaningful relationships with others. For example, they are often very intuitive and in-tune with both their own and other people’s emotions. Sometimes they are actually able to perceive other’s thoughts and feelings. However, this strength also serves as weakness due to its propensity to overwhelm the individuals. Emotional difficulties occur when they are unable to cope with the onslaught of emotions they are feeling. Highly sensitive adults with LD may be moved to tears more easily or feel their own and other people’s pain more deeply.
OMG, that is totally ME.
Finally, someone “gets it”.
So that has made me feel a bit better. Now I just have to make it till Thursday. Hopefully this little lesson/nightmare/true colors will be over soon and I can get myself back. The solution here is not a happy pill, I was happy 2 weeks ago. The solution is a change in ones environment. I do not have to be yelled at by numerous people if I don’t want to be (and who would).
Normal, everyday life is not that…