The biggest sensory issue for me probably relates to auditory senses. I wouldn’t say I ever even realised it to begin with, its only been as I assess myself that I really see it. Lots of people talking is the worst for me and I hate it. It means I struggle when people are all talking at once, or when voices begin to raise or even when there are just a small group of people all involved in a conversation. The voices constantly changing grates on me, makes me want to cover my ears, tense up and just shut myself away. I hate this because it comes across as I am being rude as I shut myself down. I find myself unable to join in with the conversation and needing to immerse myself in my own things, normally I will start reading or something on my phone in order to help stem the feelings creeping up on me. I hate this! How can I expect people to understand that I am being quitter than normal, or ‘playing’ on my phone because everything inside me feels like pins pricking at me, and the more the conversation goes on the worst the feeling gets until I want to cry, hide away, I get a physical headache from it all and want to stim in order to prevent the meltdown feeling.
What makes this even harder is that I don’t understand why this doesn’t affect me within my job. Children are by far the nosiest creatures going, crying at the same time, just making loads of noise within their play, all over the top of each other and yet this doesn’t phase me at all. This just makes it look like I am making up or exaggerating how I am feeling when I try and describe how noisy adult conversations make me feel. I can’t even say it is something that I understand so how can I expect others too? Maybe its because when I am in work mode it’s a role and a lot of my symptoms drop out and I can deal with situations that in similar circumstances I would struggle immensely with.
Maybe it is the tone or pitch of the noise? Children although higher pitched are somehow easier sounds for me to process than the throb of conversation around me?
During these moments are the times when I really want to wear my ear defenders. For some reason I do my best to battle through and not give in and put them on. Not because I am ashamed of the fact that I need them or anything but because this just adds to how anti social I look and the rudeness that I feel. I don’t want people to think I do not care, or am not interested or engaged in things they talk about, it isn’t about that at all. It just physically hurts. I apologise to anyone that thinks or whom has ever thought that I do not care or am being rude at social events. I would love to not suffer in order to make things look better, to not be an embarrassment or someone that people have to ‘apologise’ or ‘explain’ so that people do not get the wrong idea about me but I appreciate when people do understand after being explained to, not that it takes away my feelings of failing.
All the talking about sensory processing and noise level of conversation has got me thinking about planning my wedding. I had already decided I only want a small wedding, but all of this has cemented it for me, especially for the main ceremony. I don’t mind so much for the evening, its easier in a part mode (which is strange seeing as there are more noises to process…) but the whole attention wont be purely on me and I can immerse myself at that point in the dancing and having fun side of things. I have also realised how hard it is to find a venue that is going to be nice enough, small enough, cost effective enough and mean that I don’t have the hassle of going to different events throughout the day! It’s a good job we aren’t rushing to get married, partly for this reason. To give us time to prepare and find what is right. Then I start thinking on the other wedding issues, such as food. I can be quite fussy with the type of food that I like and am generally quite a plain and simple person when it comes to food but I know wedding food is often on the fancier side and actually this is what people expect…to be fair its not like I am a very hungry person so as long as my partner likes the food then it doesn’t really matter. It’s a lot to think about and take on board. This isn’t something im very good at. Anxiety of actually looking into things and having to go places and deal with all the logistics is difficult for me. I would be fine if I was supporting someone else, or doing it in a work capacity because it’s a role and I can take that on, unfortunately doesn’t meet the same criteria in my brain when it is for myself and I am left battling the over excited part of my brain that wants to sort it and plan it all and the other aspect that shy’s away from all of this and wants to be able to sort it all online with a few clicks. I wish it was that simple!