Really, my apples didn’t stand a chance. If you’ve known me most of my life or in childhood, you’d know that I have some pretty quirky pet peeves. I can remember having them since I was teeny tiny. I was often made fun of by friends once they were around me long enough to pick up on the quirks so over time I acquired a tough skin. It was either toughen up or become disabled by my own quirks, sensitivities, and annoyances.
I watch Sarah Hazel have meltdowns because a tiny droplet of water lands on her shirt, or she doesn’t get to open the door to a restaurant, or the toilet paper did not tear just right and you know what…I get it. I understand that the tiny drop of water has soak through her shirt and now the appearance is off and that little wetness is like sandpaper rubbing against her skin. I know that she wanted to open the door herself, not because she just wants her way but because if she doesn’t, the sequence of perfect transitions will be broken and the only thing that can fix it is to start over from step one of that sequence of events. I also understand that the sight of that sloppily ripped toilet paper is breaking up the square and everything about it is no longer equal. Her little brain is so organized that any disruption to the pattern takes a toll on her body mentally and physically. I get it cause I feel it too.
Her debilitating annoyances aren’t necessarily the same as mine but her reactions are the ones I want to have, so I think that’s why I have figured out the root cause for her and can relate. For me, it’s the sound of uneven applause, the crinkle of the popcorn bag, or the slurp of soup that sends me over the edge. The sound of people clearing their sinuses has forced me to go collect myself numerous times, or else come unglued on the offender. My sweet hubby has waited patiently on me many times as I have to go change three times because none of my clothes feel right on my body. My sleeves must be the correct tightness or else my whole day will be ruined. Then there’s my whole issue with socks so if possible, I just don’t wear them. Top sheets, the feel of coins in my hand, the sight of white creamy sauces, the smell of broccoli, the sound of chewing, sloppy presentations of food…it all causes me to fall apart. I want so badly to have the reactions that Sarah Hazel has but I’m 34, not 3 so I can’t. I just have to deal in silence and hope that no one is mistaking me for being rude. I don’t know, maybe they’d rather think I was rude instead of knowing I was crazy.
Without a doubt, I would have been diagnosed with SPD as a child had the diagnosis been around. I also probably could have benefited from a solid round or two of feeding therapy. Sitting with Cameron through feeding therapy was like nails on a chalkboard to the rest of you. The smells, the mess, the way his blobs of food did not stay in the correct spot, all made me batty. But for him, I acted fine. Just like when Sarah Hazel freaks about her shirt getting wet, I splash water on my shirt to show her that it’s going to be okay. I don’t want my kids to be like me so I have tried so hard to never let them see me freak out or see my fears. Well, except that time a snake showed up on our back patio and then there is also that rule that I refuse to drop about there being no sour cream in my home, no exceptions. But otherwise, I try hard to make sure they are not picking up on my own SPD issues.
So there you have it. Actually just a snippet because if I told you all of my sensory issues, you might think it funny to use them against me. I can poke fun at myself over it all but seriously, don’t ever show up on my doorstep with sour cream. I shudder just typing it out.