Saturday, February 27, 2010

Closed Doors

There are quite a lot of symptoms of SPD that I have never even realized about myself.

I like to be in my room with the doors closed when people come over. Well, I have the door closed often. When it's closed, I can't be startled. It also makes it more quiet.

When we have guests, I'll often run into my room. I'm afraid to even go to the bathroom - which is where I think my behavior crosses the line from normal to abnormal.

Well, perhaps it is normal? Do other 19 year olds stay in their rooms when guests are over, even when they need to go to the bathroom? I will just wait and wait, even when I really really have to go. It won't be comfortable, but I can't leave my room until they are gone.

Even when family came over, I would just sit in my room. I would listen and hope no one was there when I crossed to the bathroom - which is literally just across the hall.

When I hear the door knock, I like to go to my room. Sometimes my mom will have to come and get me. Even if there's food and we're eating together, I'm often more comfortable being in my room and say I'm not hungry. But, after I leave my room and see the people, it is never bad. It always gets better.

We have piano lessons at my house so that can keep me in my room for even longer because I never know when someone might walk in. Well, I can normally guess and work around that.

I'm not sure why I don't like being out when guests are around.

Sometimes I wonder if it's because I'm afraid they will ask me questions. I don't feel comfortable with people asking me questions when they come into the house when they are not my guests.

Well, I'm not entirely sure why. But for now, I can just chill in my room and hope th door doesn't knock.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Fell Down

Pardon my past tense. If I was motivated, I would change it to present. 

I called it my spaz mode to my friends. It wasn’t something I could explain and I didn’t know why it happened. It still happens to this day.

I freak out when I get a surprised touch, especially on my back.

I'll be standing around, and a friend will touch my back, and I will literally collapse on the ground, often with a loud scream. The touch is usually from behind, and often, very light.

My reaction is unvoluntary.

I was at a concert and my friend did a clap right behind my head, not to surprise me, she was just clapping. Down I came. Right on the ground. Laying down flat.

What happens after one of these freak-out moments is what I would call my “spazz mode."

After one of those moments, I would freak out when anything came near me. If someone lifted a hand in front of me, my body would hit it away. I would capture peoples hands. Hit them. Slap. Anything to stop them from moving. My body would be so freaked out at that point and I was on constant alert.

Others found it amusing.
I do too, sometimes

My brother, on the other hand, thought I was just trying to get attention. He still does. He still tells me that it’s all in my head and I am making it up. That frustrates me a lot, and, more than anything else, it hurts. It hurts a lot (bla bla bla, poor Maggie...). I hate it when I’m told that this strange thing I can’t help doing is just me trying to get others to look at me.

Finding out about SPD was like having my entire life re-explained to me. Everything made sense. Everything lined up. Little quirks about me, like falling down when surprised by light touch, had an answer.

I am bothered when it (a violent reaction) happens to someone who doesn’t know about my SPD. I feel obligated to tell them that it’s not my fault nor is it theirs nor am I upset with them. I guess I could just keep my mouth shut. It’s not that I’m eager to talk about my condition and want to tell the world. I guess I just don’t want them to think I’m doing what my brother says I am. Just trying to get attention.

I still will freak out or fall down when surprised by light touch. Sometimes, even when not surprised. It’s odd, but my friends are wonderful, lovely people. They have learned not to do that around me... and how to laugh about it when it happens.


2010 & I'm wearing a sweater and smiling.

Other children would wear sweaters. They were pretty, I was told.

Wearing a sweater was the worst torture – ever.

The feeling was unbearable. Itchy. Scratchy. Like somebody poking my arms constantly with a bunch of sharp pine needles. I hated moving when wearing them. I needed to twist and squirm and I couldn't think about anything else with an evil sweater on.

Sweaters were gross and no child likes to wear gross clothing.

I truly was in awe when I saw another kid wearing a sweater. I was confused and didn't get how they could wear it? It was such an awful experience. Were they numb?

Now I understand.

Now I can manage to get them on and have a few I actually wear by choice. I have a sheep sweater, my dad's old blue sweater which is super soft, and a even some itchy flannel I like when I wear a long sleeved shirt with. It still can feel really uncomfortable at times, but I can pull it off which makes me feel good.

Sock Invasion


Even though I hated nylons, didn’t mean I liked socks much more.

Socks always had to be worn inside out – and adjusted a few times before putting on my shoes. If they weren’t on correctly, I would simply have to take off my shoes and pull and tug the sock until it was just right.

I thought everybody wore their socks inside out, until I saw other kids had their socks on with the seams next to their toes. I was really perplexed because I just didn't get how they could stand it.

Those darn seams! They make life miserable.

Now here is life now. I've forced myself to get used to socks, sometimes right side out. I've found socks that don't have many seams and that is better. Sometimes it gets to be very distracting, but I'm doing a lot better.

Nylon Interaction

Tights. Nylons. Leggings.

Those awful things that cling to your legs.

I hated them as a child, I truly did. They were not comfortable. I always felt like I had to adjust them and I simply wanted to take them off.

It never really affected anyone but my parents and I before the age of 8. I don’t remember much except for they bothered me. I liked socks more than tights when going to church. Tights were, well, icky.

Fast-forward to 1998.

It was my first year to compete in the Pacific Northwest Teen Square Dance Festival. We all had matching outfits to wear. Normally I was fine getting away with wearing socks with my dance shoes, but now, they wanted me to wear actual nylons.

No go.

I do believe I got the entire club to wear socks.

Next year, socks as well – for the entire club. Square dancers wear nylons with their dresses, not socks. But the other parents saw the fuss I made and gave in and had all of the little girls wear socks.

Next year of competition, well, I lost. If you look at the above picture I am the little girl with the socks pulled up to her ankles while all the other girls are wearing their nylons. This was at dress rehearsal. They were being nice to me, letting me wear those socks. I think I was forced into nylons for the actual competition date. I didn't care that socks looked silly, it felt so bad in nylons that it was worth it.

We ended up going to a dance studio and bought “special” nylons that were supposed to be more comfortable – and cost around 3 times more than an average pair. Expensive as it was, my mom hoped the investment would solve our problem and that I, for once, would be able to wear them without complaints.

I still didn’t like them, but I felt bad about the cost and lived with it for that one day during the year.

That is simply it.

I never understood how other children could like wearing them, or even stand it. It felt so awful, so restraining. I felt like I had to adjust and change every minute and I just wanted to, more than anything else, take them off.

I would scream, kick, cry.

And now I know why.

As for today, well, I can make it through. It still bothers me greatly and I get a wonderful feeling taking them off, but I can put them on. It just became a necessity. I still wish I didn't have to put them on, but, well, I can do it if I need to. Socks just aren't as becoming on a 19 year old wearing a dress.

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