Think twice, if not three times

You know what was really strange about today?  It was Momday.  On a Sunday.  How weird is that?  Super weird, I tell you.

First, Mom colored in the bleach spots (thank you, Elsie P) in my carpet with brown marker.  Then she was dead set on vacuuming “the right way.”  Then she saw my storage closet, and she couldn’t handle it (who cares what it looks like?  I never go in there!), so she did stuff in there while I tripped on things and whined.  If you were watching from the outside, you’d probably imagine that this perfectly capable 23-year-old is making her mom clean up after her while she sits around and whines, right?  Nevermind that this 23-year-old gets nauseous at the smell of her closet and felt assaulted by tripping over things (don’t ask, it just REALLY makes me angry to step on/trip over things).  Oh, and I’m sick, so I have quite a headache and just generally don’t want to do anything.  What looks like being a brat is actually being overstimulated.

We got ice cream for lunch and then, since I had my heart set on a very pink hoodie, we went to the mall.

Quick interlude- guess who we ran into there?  Lexie and her puppy raiser!  Mom and I both recognized Lexie right away.  We introduced ourselves and talked all about Lexie and how well she’s doing (she did sit and down for me, no problem.  She kissed me, she nuzzled me, she let me pet her over and over, no shyness at all).  Then, who walked up but my aunt and cousin (I know, right?  All at once?) so they got to meet her, and that was awesome.  Lexie loved the attention.  Her puppy raiser is absolutely awesome with her, too.

Somewhere in there I got a cat hat, too.  My sister says I look creepy in this picture.  I don’t think I do. 

Anyhow, cat hat on head, we searched the mall up and down for a bright pink hoodie (especially one with Steelers on it)… to no avail.  So, here’s my mom who is tired and wants to get home going thither and yon with me to find my hoodie, and what am I doing?  Whining.  But hey, I had it in my head that I’d find this hoodie just how I wanted it… and I couldn’t… so it’s a change in expected plans.  Things didn’t go how I expected them to, so that’s what was setting me off.

It was off to search for some things Mom wanted.  I got nasty while she looked at underwear.  “Lydia, I’ve been looking at your stuff forever.  I need underwear.  Please be patient.” Even Mom forgets that those lights at Macy’s burn through my skin, as they’re fluorescent and don’t even have a cover over them.  They’re killer.  I was truly in pain.

Finally, also in Macy’s, Mom wanted to look at shoes, so I sat out in the mall where the lights are nicer and it’s cooler.  The shoes are always a madhouse at Macy’s.  After fifteen minutes, Mom called me to say that if she buys three pairs, she gets 30% off all three, and why don’t I come in and choose a pair.  Now, you know me and shoes, right?  Right up there with hats.  I love shoes.  I decided to try to suffer through those horrid lights and pick a pair.

I’m pretty sure I whined the whole time.  And then, I kind of lost myself while Mom paid.  I blocked the second register (I was standing beside Mom) and there was rather a large line forming behind me.  When I realized where I was and what was happening, the man at the register was annoyed.  “Miss, do you need help?  Can I help you?  Miss?  Do you need to pay? Excuse me?”  I meandered over a bit and then the lady behind me kind of shoved me out of the way.  That’s when I realized I was blocking a register, so I moved to Mom’s other side against the wall.  Actually, I shoved my face into the wall to try to block out the lights.  So again, here’s a young woman whose mom is nice enough to buy her nice boots… and she’s being a jerk.  But I really, really wasn’t feeling well, between the cold I have and the lights.  I was completely overstimulated.  I want staff to help me work on typing “I’m overstimulated” when I get like that, before I get that bad and things happen that shouldn’t…

Next time you see a parent and a child and the child appears to be a little brat… just think again, and maybe even one more time about what might actually be happening.  Sure, kids can be brats.  Even autistic ones!  But it breaks my heart to hear of a child having a sensory meltdown and people laughing at the parent as she tries to help her child.  It angers me that the people behind me in the mall felt the need to physically push me out of the way rather than consider that I couldn’t hear them.

Things aren’t always what they appear.


2 thoughts on “Think twice, if not three times

  1. Ah! Sensory meltdowns. Ms. Lydia, I sympathize with you greatly. I have stong sensory issues myself (smells! proximity! noise!). My young son struggles more than I can imagine. Your mom is awesome.

    I would not characterize you as a “whiner,” you’re just trying to adjust the world to a more tolerable level. I often think of how other’s percieve me–twitchy, overexcited, innappropriate. Indeed, things are not how they appear. It would be nice to have a little box with an autism lens inside it. You could give it to some one, who would experience it and say, “Aha!” or “Oh” and there would be empathy.

  2. maybe a LITTLE creepy.

    All kids used to be brats until I had my first kid. Then SOME kids were brats, and others I recognized were tired or upset or stressed out. Then I had my second kid. . . on the spectrum. Now I NEVER assume the kid is a brat first.

    Although last night at a playground in Sharpsburg there was a little boy aiming repeated kicks (he wasn’t kicking her, just kicking the air in front of her while staring at her and sort of hoping she’d come closer) at my youngest while his dad mildly reprimanded him and I thought. . . that brat! Apart from that though. . . benefit of the doubt.

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