My original intentions were to blog about my experience curling last Saturday. After the events of yesterday though it seems like that happened a lifetime ago.
If you've followed my blog for this month you will remember that back on my birthday I bought a place of my own. When I looked at the place it was a quiet, tranquil place. It is a townhouse but the walls seemed thick and not a noise could be heard. Before I went to Canada I spent four nights here and loved the tranquility of being in my quiet haven from the world. Then yesterday happened.
It started at 5AM. I was awoken to the noise of humming or singing. It was the oddest thing I had ever heard. To make matters worse, with jet lag, which I might mention always seems to affect me more than others, I had 3 hours of sleep so I tried to go back to no avail. What was this noise?
The noise continued on, and on, and finally I knew what it was; it wasn't singing at all but rather the voice of a local newsman who has an extremely deep voice. I then could distinguish the ads, and when they went to reporters, and in it all it was just this constant barrage of low levels sounds as that's all I could here.
I was not happy. Was I being over-sensitive? Are my senses just in too good of tune right now. I mean, the past two days were about sensory issues so is that what it is? And besides that, I really hoped that I left those issues in Vancouver.
Going back to sleep was impossible but I tried and tried and eventually I came to my basement to work on my blog and once again there was this low level noise. Now there was a television on to my right in my basement. What happened to these thick walls I thought I had? My blood began to boil as this constant noise was wearing on my sensory limits rather quickly.
After a while I heard a phone ring and then I heard the a lady's voice. I got learned all about her friend who needs an MRI and so on and so forth. I tried with all my might but I couldn't tune anything out. What this also means is that if I can hear her she can hear me and despite what my presentations and blog show I am the most private person on Earth. I don't want anything I say heard. Not that I'm saying anything odd or bad; just chatting with my friends on Xbox, but I simply don't want anything I said to be heard.
Noise is all around; there's no denying that. I've already thought of a question you might ask, "if this noise you mention here is bad how do you survive something like an airplane trip?" The answer to this is that, on an airplane, the noise is constant. The pitch of the engines may change, but there's a predictability to it and it can be heard rather well. The noise I've explained so far is very low in frequency and also in volume. It is unintelligible noise, but due to the frequency it is felt.
Then last night, as the noise to my right disappeared and I thought I had finally reclaimed a portion of this haven I thought my home was a loud "BOOM" came to my left. Now the person on my left had something on and it was loud with deep percussion noises. I do not do percussion noises well. Instantly, I was in a near panic at these noises.
What does all this feel like? This is a multi-layered answer. The first is that the only way I can describe it is that it creates this sensation of sheer panic that races through each limb and branches out into the fingers and toes It truly is a full body experience. Also, rationally, in my brain, I know there is no danger but the nerves throughout my body disagree. It's as if there's a battle going on within my body and I can't simply end it. This sensation of panic rises and rises and at the same time there is a high level of self-loathing. I kept, and keep, asking myself, "Why can't I just not feel this way? Why?"
It's in moments like this that I feel the most isolated. I have no right to complain to these people because, chances are, their volume probably isn't that high. The sound of the IndyCar on iRacing is probably louder than whatever they were watching. Yet my reactions are the same regardless and I wish, oh how I wish I could give this feeling justice; to know that 99.9% of people can go through what I heard and have no issues and yet for me to have it create a sensory nightmare.
The #1 feeling I feel is shame. The majority of my brain right now is telling me I should be able to tough it out and get over it and there's this little tiny voice in a dimly lit corner that is trying to remind myself that, "Um, Aaron, yeah... you know... there's this thing called Asperger Syndrome and, well, you have it... Remember?"
The majority of my brain responds, "What does that matter? I can public speak to thousands at a time, flag races flawlessly, write without effort, and manage traveling as if it's nothing. Why would some little noise create an issue?"
At this moment I think I feel about as down as I've ever felt. I don't think I'm allowed to move for five years and a home isn't like a product from an electronics store in that, there's no 30 day return policy. I feel as if I'm trapped. I see no way out. What I thought was going to be an amazing experience has turned out to be the start of a nightmare.