Friday, April 24, 2015

A Sensory Disaster Fiesta Style

I'm in San Antonio for a USAC .25 race and last night we went downtown to try this Mexican food place. Now before I get to that story I have to say that I should've been careful on what I wished for because two days ago I stated that I was going through a writing funk and the world went about by giving something major to write about.

So anyway, there were six of is including myself and we parked and got out and it was odd just how many people were about. This wasn't typical Thursday night crowds and as we started walking the way of the restaurant I heard it; the sound of music playing. It just wasn't music, but live bands and these bands were heavy on my nemesis. It was drums. If you didn't know, and I haven't written about a sensory episode in a long, long time, but drums create the worst feeling possible within me.

What can I do? There are five others and the last thing I ever want to has happen is to have a difficulty like this be one of two things; I don't want it to be visibly apparent that I am uncomfortable and secondly, if it is visibly apparent I don't want to have things altered on my account. I hate this! I hate it and when this happens I hate myself because I feel as if I should just be able to overcome it.

We walked closer and I thought I was going to be able to overcome it and not have any issues, but the closer we got the intensity picked up and the adrenaline began and my heart rate picked up and all my nerves went into this hidden violent frenzy. On the outside it looked as if I were a bit nervous, but on the inside I was burning.

Closer, closer, and when we got next to the stage my fists were clinched and I think I had some twitches going on, and what started out as a nervous look descended into a look of obvious pain, and I knew this. I didn't want anyone to know the pain that was going on but at this level there was no hiding it.

We got through the stage and turned a corner and there it was! Another stage! Again I had to endure the sound of pounding drums and when that stage was passed there was yet another. This was now about the worst of situations and as we got to the place we were eating the entrance was confusing so we had to walk around the building and pass stage after stage.

What can I say during this? To see so many people reveling in the party atmosphere is depressing for me at this point because I have so much envy on top of all the pain I am experiencing. If you want to know the time I envy normal the most it's at these points in time when I'm witnessing normality and yet experiencing the greatest of hardships of being on the autism spectrum.

Here's the thing; unless you've experienced a sensory episode like this I can write it out, I can explain how long it takes to lose the adrenaline from this, and I can explain the shame that is felt but unless you've experienced it my words will only give you a slight glimpse of it all. I didn't ask for the adrenaline, nor the pain, and I know those around me are having no issues so why does it have to be so difficult for me?

We eventually found out that this was the Fiesta festival and there were people absolutely everywhere. People enjoying themselves without having any issues like I was having. I felt awful that my issue was visible my the group I was in. And yes, they understand and were warm and accommodating, and consoling but still I feel as if I should just be able to overcome it. I mean, I went to Europe by myself and navigated being in a place that I didn't speak the language and I even for lost after midnight and there wasn't even an iota of fear and emotions that I was experiencing.

It took thirty minutes before I was back to somewhat normal and when we left I got to experience the whole ordeal anew. The self anger was doubled as all that I've written about came back. I forgot everything that I was and I just looked around and saw happiness while I was going through this sensory episode. Thankfully, I had someone with me that completely understood and did an amazing job on keeping me as calm as possible and reminding me that there was a reason for this. In the midst of self-hatred she told me that I wasn't, "being ridiculous" or, "awful" as I kept saying. That may not sound like much, and I may not have acknowledged it, but that was huge in keeping me from feeling the extreme level of self-hatred.

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