Being an adult with different sensory issues is never fun. People think that I’m just complaining or getting annoyed by certain things but it eventually leads to a sensory overload and possible meltdown.
Loud noises, certain pitches, speech volume…. my ears and brain just start to feel like they are vibrating and I begin to cringe. I can’t go to indoor concerts because its like my brain is being scrambled like an egg. Loud talkers (including my wife) give me the cringe feeling and I always feel rude asking someone to lower their voice but it truly hurts. My wife has begun to understand but doesn’t always remember but I can just give her a sign and she knows to lower her voice. I wish it was easier with others but instead it comes off rude. Motorcycles blasting off from a stoplight, cars with loud base, ATV’s, it all just hurts. I get angry with a neighbor that floors his ATV up and down the road and just want to go out in the road and yell at them but I know I shouldn’t. I get that people don’t think of things like sensory issues for people and I can’t expect people to live in silence but I wish people would have some sort of consideration.
Being overstimulated by people is another problem I deal with. A simple trip to Wal-Mart for most is a nightmare to me. The noise, the people, the lights, by the time I get back home I need a nap just to re-start my brain. I tend to get agitated quickly after something like that and not being able to have peace and quiet after. I had an incident at a local Wal-Mart where the staff had no sense to think of how different people will react to a situation. Invading space, no kindness whatsoever and the security guard that acted like I was going to fight the employee (Mind you I kept my hands on the cart, never raised my voice, only wanted to speak to a manager about the customer service I received) came right behind me, crossed his arms and stood in an intimidating stance. If I was someone else with less ability to control my autism, to an extent, the guard would have fought that person. Not because the person with the disability was violent but because the disability took control and no question would have been asked because people don’t think about a disability first, they just assume its anger and or an outburst. I wish there were more resources for certain jobs or careers to be trained in mental health awareness and how to respond accordingly.
I’ve always had a weird habit and hid it because I thought I was weird. I find a certain material, like a blanket, and I rub my fingers on it or through it. I do it without even noticing either. I have a very soft blanket that my wife bought me after learning it was a “normal” thing for aspies and I can’t sleep without it. It calms me and relaxes me with little effort. But being 31 and rubbing a blanket it is a weird thing to admit to.
My biggest annoyance is my back. I can get into a shower and the water feels great. As soon as I turn my back to the water, its like 1000 needles are stabbing me in the back. I have to slowly “introduce” my back to the water. My wife will run her fingernails along my back and most times it is the best feeling. Other times, it’s like she’s digging her nails into my skin and she’s barely even touching me. I think it has to do with my stress load and stimulation for the day on if it’s going to hurt or not.