Now that I’m an adult, people sometimes believe me about my sensory issues.
I wish they’d believed me as a child. I wish that I hadn’t gone through decades of not-knowing that everyone else didn’t feel and experience the world the way I did.
It still shocks me when I’m believed by other people. I always expect to get responses like, “Oh, it’s not that bad. You can handle it for a little while.” or “Stop making this up!”
Those are the things I heard throughout my entire childhood, after all.
But in reality, no, I can’t handle it and no I’m not making it up. If I’ve worked up the courage and ability to voice my discomfort to someone then it’s a pretty dire situation. I don’t complain about just anything and everything or I’d be complaining literally all the time.
I don’t like to be a bother. If I could make my sensory issues go away, or at least be dulled a bit, then I think I would. It’s not my goal in life to be a pain in anyone’s ass. I mean, really, it’s also a pain in my own ass to have to be constantly vigilant and on-guard when out and about.
A whiff of perfume or cigarette smoke? Can leave me feeling nauseated or headachy for hours. Sometimes days.
The icy blast of an air conditioning register? Can leave me in pain and a bit disoriented. Thankfully those effects aren’t generally long-term, but they last for as long as I’m in the cold building or room and are quite overwhelming.
Many more sensory overload triggers – too many to list.
When not at home I’m always on the alert, looking around, making sure that I won’t run into any unnecessarily distressing situations throughout the course of my plans.
Voicing my discomfort or need for support is also exhausting.
I don’t like being exhausted all the time. It’s really not something I’d do for “fun” or just to annoy those around me.
I don’t want to stick out or draw attention to myself.
But often, I end up doing both.
It’s not fun. I don’t want special treatment. I’m not weak or exaggerating.
I just want to get through my days without my senses being assaulted any more than is absolutely necessary.
And sometimes people believe me about that now. Just thinking about being believed recently is causing me to tear up. With happy tears ❤