Thursday, May 29, 2014

Snippets of trying to explain hypersensitivities

I've been trying to try to explain hypersensitivities (and SPD and sensory issues in general but usually its hypersensitivities), pretty frequently now. I've been ending up putting together snippets from explanations that I give to people trying to understand their children, thinking that they'd be good to share. I hope to repetitively do this, but have no clue if I'll actually do so. Also, this is good to refer back to either way.

The sound of nails on a chalkboard, the wrongness of it combined with some sort of pain, that penetrates deep into you, take that feeling, and extend it, take it so that it doesn't just happen with nails on a chalkboard, it doesn't just happen with sounds. It might happen if someone touches you, or if the wind blows wrong. It might happen when you get your nails clipped. It might happen when you hear certain voices, even ones that are popular singing voices.

Things are just so much you can't understand it. Lights so bright you can't see. Streetlights, the sun when its setting, headlights on low, they are so much light that that's all it is, is light. It's meaningless. Everything around is also meaningless. It becomes overwashed by light-light-light. That's all there is. Noises so loud you can't understand them. Even single noises become hard to identify at times. When they combine, multiple noises at the same time, you drown in a cacophany, whether its voices, sirens, or something as simple as a clock ticking.

You notice it all. The feeling of your clothes, all the little details down to the seam in your socks and how its not sitting straight, and how one shoe is tighter than the other shoe, the texture chair you're sitting on through your clothes. You hear the clock ticking, the fan, the cars outside, the voices in the room next door, the steps of people walking, and the creaking of the floor. There's the smells of each of the people, any perfumes, any smoke, what they washed with, as well as the smells of what the place was cleaned with. You notice it all. And then, after noticing it, it doesn't stop. You don't stop noticing it. Don't get used to it. At the end of the day you're still feeling your shoe, and how it is the wrong tightness. At the end of a meeting, you're still hearing the clock ticking, even if you've been trying to listen to someone talking the entire time. It's still all there. You don't habituate either.

There are thing's flying at you from all sides, and you're trying to catch enough to make sense of them. It's a bombardment. Except, everyone around you is denying its a bombardment, and frequently making it worse, after denying it. Eventually, you're hit too many times, and you can't keep catching them. You fall. You try to regroup, and get backup, but people are just telling you that its not happening still, while you're trying to get back together, even without their support. Meltdowns occur, shutdowns where you lose abilities to do things occur, but you just keep going, and people still don't listen.

Things actually hurt. They're not just "overfeeling", its actually to the point of pain. Sometimes its like the wrongness like I mentioned before, but sometimes, its more general. Sounds similar to getting punched, for example. Of course people deny you can even feel some of these things that cause pain because they can't feel them. But...that doesn't make them hurt any less.

I don't want to be an activist

I don't want to be an activist. I don't want to go, and talk about how people like me deserve to be treated better, and point out how badly we're treated. I don't want to worry that writing about these topics will make me more aware of the problems in the world, when I'd been able to previously been blissfully ignorant, causing me to have to deal with the awareness of people mistreating me so frequently, when before I could overlook it because I was just so naive.

I don't want to spend my time writing about what's wrong with the world, reinforcing that things are bad.

I also, more importantly, don't want to have to do this. I don't want to be mistreated, and don't want to have to watch people struggling for existing, and don't want people to not be able to manage to do what they want just because people aren't accepting of what people are like.

I want to not have to write, and remember the bad times. I want them to be so infrequent that its not important to do this. But, if I don't talk about the bad times, then people aren't aware of them, not living them, and I don't want to need to keep living them, and I don't want others to have to keep living them either.

I don't want to need to say that I deserve things too. I don't want to need to say that I'm not just a failure. I don't want to struggle and be punished.

But, those happen, so instead, I have to do this. I have to say, no, please stop. Let me live my life as me, instead of as who you want me to be.

Sometimes, not wanting, doesn't really matter, you're not given a choice in the matter, because what I want to do is live as an autistic person, not a shell of someone who doesn't matter to anyone.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My identity is not your joke

My identity is not your joke.
It's not a thing to laugh at.
It's not a thing to say you are because you're "clearly not normal".
My identity is not yours to "play with".
It's not a thing to make into an insult and call people you don't like.
Or people on the streets as they pass by who look odd.
And when you do that, its not "funny", to either me, or those who are saying it about.

It's who I am. It's a thing that is part of me.
Without it I'd not be me.
It's a deep set, unchanging part of me.
And I rather like being me.

So, when you start joking around, think about the words you're using. Because really, we're people too. And you're taking away parts of us in those jokes, as words turns into insults, and we turn into being viewed as bad people because the words are insults.

I don't like part of me being taken away. I don't like being viewed as bad just because you wanted to say you were joking with a friend instead of bothering to think and come up with an appropriate word for the situation (or maybe one that would actually be funny).

But what do I get to say, I'm just a joke, right?