I have mixed feelings about "sensory issues" - a catch-all term our family uses when a texture, noise or light source causes us problems of some sorts. I realized this morning that when Rachel tries to avoid touching dirty dishes in the sink without wearing gloves that I am resistant. But when when I have to flee the house because someone is coughing and it's making me furious (it manifests as undetected fury, bubbling up until something happens - usually I can put on headphones or earplugs, or if possible, flee the area entirely), yeah, when noise is impacting me to that degree, it's a lot more real to me. Memo to self to apologize to Rachel, she's not simply trying to shirk helping with the dishes.
Our train is being held - they're checking some open door in the tunnel that shouldn't be open. And we're in motion again. Nice and quick.
But, yeah, sensory issues - plenty of people would declare them things you just need to get over. Bright sunlight hurts your eyes? Wear a hat. Or sunglasses. It's not that bad. For me, there are times where if I'm driving and I've forgotten sunglasses, I have to pull over and stop and take a break. It is that bad. For Ben, he has trouble with wearing hats of glasses, so it can be even worse. (Though we try to put his hat on him when we can, hopefully he can grow to tolerate the hat as a way to combat the brightness.)
So, anyway, why am I thinking about this? Our family is suffering with colds right now. The coughing makes me so angry - the particular sound just affects me. I'm not angry at the person who's coughing, but I just get to angry. I have nowhere to direct the anger and it makes it difficult for me to show how bad I actually feel for the cougher. But if I weren't aware of sensory issues, would I be angry with the person coughing? Would my desire to flee the situation be worse, or negatively impact my contributions or desires to remain with my family? I think it would. So I'm grateful to have had a chance to learn about sensory issues - not only does it give me a new kind of empathy for what my children are experiencing (and appreciate that it is real) but it also impresses on me that there is a need to consider my verbal and nonverbal responses. I suspect that without an understanding of sensory issues my responses would be far different and probably detrimental to my family or my part in it.
And thinking about that makes me sad all over again about my parents who we don't really have any contact with. The final straw may have been politics but out decision to move here (away from them) wasn't held up in any way by feeling a need to remain geographically close to them since they had stopped making any active efforts to be close to us or to connect with their grandchildren, declaring our children's issues to be parenting issues - if it's not a broken leg, it's not real. If it's not bleeding then it's a behavior issue.
I've rambled enough. Good news is I know why I react the way I do and why I must carefully consider my responses when an outside stimulus causes me harm or reactionary emotions that are best not shared.
Composed Tuesday, April 4, 6:30 am on some device or in some location where I didn't have a signal. If there's typos, I blame the Kindle Fire. Worst autocorrect ever.