So had a few meetings last week and I need to have a lot more but I thought I was okay then it hit. This is what I wrote yesterday as I was calming down in the afternoon.
Gavin was leaving to take the girls to their Drama class; final instructions yelled at the two eldest including to help me move to Grandma’s. I yelled “No I don’t need any help!” because I just needed a quiet second to calm down. The door shut, everyone disappeared and I hugged Charlie; he growled and pushed me away. I tried again, this time he jumped away & headed for Grandma’s.
I turned towards the TV and a ribbon of pain seared through my head. I fell to the couch closing my eyes and trying to cover my ears desperate to block out the din and burning light. The barrage of raucous sound forced me to flee for the darkest, quietest part of my house; my wardrobe.
I reached my supposed haven and was horrified; even through the shut door the music was too loud, it was still pounding, but at least now it could be made tolerable with my fingers in my ears.
The light was more of a problem. My bedroom has blinds and ‘block out’ curtains because sometimes I am ultra sensitive to light. It is also painted and decorated to reduce glare.
Normally the Walk in Robe is too dark to see anything clearly. Somehow the room was so bright. My skin seemed to glow hurting my eyes as did the clothes and the white cupboard.
It was too bright I could close my eyes but orange light still burnt into my head through my eyelids. I could’t use my hands to cover my eyes because I needed them to protect my ears. I noticed a roll of fabric and tried to use it as a shade. It was bleached calico and seared my head, I dropped it reflexively. I noticed some of my dresses were long and dark; the first one I tried to curtain myself off with the light shone through the white flowers, the second was dark navy & worked but was not enough; my knees were blinding me. Finally I had a curtain of 2 dark dresses but I needed to protect my ears. I managed to make a tent/curtain thing with the 2 dresses & the roll of fabric inside as a stick; I could wedge this & hold it with my leg & elbow. I could close my eyes and it was dark enough, it was quiet enough.
I don’t know how long I sat there, the whole incident took more than an hour but less than 2. As the fire in my head cooled I started to feel other things. My back and legs hurt in the strange position I was in, but couldn’t do anything about it. My mouth and throat were dry I hadn’t had a drink in 14 hours; my cool glass of juice was in the room with the noise. I hadn’t eaten in 16 hours and I could feel it affecting my blood sugar.
I could open my eyes, could take my hands from my ears and the noise was tolerable. I tried to get up, I discovered my knees, back & dizziness meant when I tried to get up I fell back down. The tent fell but by then I was able to tolerate a one dress curtain.
I was due at Mum’s part of the house so I hoped they might come to find me. I heard Cat in the living room so I shouted out, a croak came out of my mouth. I strained until my throat burned, I croaked. She went away and I cried for a while.
Finally she came back with Mum & Charlie. Yes I was embarrassed, humiliated but I was also scared. They couldn’t see me, they called I croaked. They looked in the ensuite, I croaked until they heard me and looked into the wardrobe. But it was so dark they couldn’t see me.
Fortunately they kept talking and when I can’t speak I can mimic & restart language if and only if I have people talking near me. I said robe & waved my tent dress; Cat turned on the light & I shrieked in pain; I tried to reassure her by saying it okay but…, I told her later that I was so happy to be found that I didn’t care. They helped me up & then darkened/silenced me a path; first to my drink (and my forgotten morning medication) & then to the Granny flat.
Charlie was eager to be cuddled. The dogs have all learned to avoid Alex when she is about to faint because she falls on them. I think Charlie may have noticed the oncoming problem. Apparently he had tried to come back so maybe he had been trying to get me to Grandma or vice versa; I don’t know.
I improved quickly eating, drinking, sitting in the bright room (dim to the rest of them). Words turned to sentences and then rational conversation & little chores. By the time Gavin got home and Charlie & I swapped with the 2 youngest I was a little delicate & teary but normal. Bit of a hiccup when the horde returned for dinner, quickly resolved.
Tonight; Sunday, I’m still a little more sensory sensitive and teary than normal, although I went to the in laws for lunch because tomorrow I have to go to school. My in laws understand so it was a good transition.
I do not need sympathy for this, because this is not unusual for me. I am writing this to help educate people about ‘high-functioning’ autism.
I love you guys!