- Frankly, little mattered to me before motherhood.
- Life has has never, NOT felt incredibly difficult and unnatural for me. Having sensory issues is difficult. Even the smell and feel of foods I enjoy, can nauseate me. An avocado smear on a plate or worse, on my hand, gags me…and I really like avocados, provided I do not have to touch them outside of my mouth. I am not wired and regulated like a typical person. I can enjoy the taste of a food and be unnerved by the sight, smell, and feel of it. AND how I feel about a food is changing constantly, depending on how much rest, space, and exercise I get. I cannot bear the sensation of most anything on my hands. The feel and smell of the kitchen sponge or a wet dish towel stress me. I do not mean I dislike them because washing dishes is not fun, but my adrenaline surges when I handle things with my hands that feel bad to me or that have a smell that I dislike. The sensations stay with me even after the experience is over. I experience all things at a cellular level. Music with saxophone or a classical vibe make my heart race and adrenaline pump, fight or flight in full swing and don’t even get me started on opera. Repetitive or erratic sounds are also deeply troubling to me and I do not possess that dimmer switch in my brain, which would regulate how affected I am—-unable to tune anything out. I am sooooo overly tuned in, and being in the world with people and all of the stimulus can be too much. And I require time which is free from all stimulus to recover. Sleeping with a 17 pound weighted blanket in addition to my covers is immense comfort and relief, even when it is hot. The pressure and weight regulate and calm me. My bed is my favorite most safest place. I am sensory defensive. It is not a choice. I will leave the matter of my emotional intensity for another day, but let’s just say that is a whole other balla wax and it is a tough combination…but guess what….none of this makes me an asshole or a defect. I struggle to remain calm near given sources of sensory and emotional intensity. So, now I avoid them. Learning to parent a child with sensory integration issues, diagnosed at 18 months, along with my program of recovery taught me not only the value of, but the wisdom for how to seek serenity and to teach my son to do so without apology or shame. Less sensitive and more controlling people might call all of this pickiness or-just being a pain in the ass. To them, we offer space. We wear soft clothes with no tags, enjoy sitting beneath weighted blankets with no overhead lighting, minimal sounds, and smells. Limiting ourselves to small groups of trusted others is also a choice we practice making.
- We have two sweet rescue dogs, each of whom teach us daily about unconditional love, loyalty, and patience. It is a little hostagey at times and it is not completely clear who the hostages are in our home, us or the dogs,when I say us, I mostly mean me.
- One of the things that brings me joy, a sense of belonging and infinite connection is- inside jokes and situational nicknames that are wholesome and infinitely funny, like they will not ever get old. This insideyness did not exist for me with my family of origin or in my failed marriage, I was never inside. What I see now, is that if I am not free to cry and find comfort with you, I will never relax or relate enough to laugh deeply with you. Laughter is the balm! Good wholesome, silly and often sophisticated jokes tend to evolve, usually in moments in which somebody is expressing an objection. In chosen relationships, we all get to object and say no without it being a secret or a fight. I believe— this is what is referred to as genuine intimacy. Boundaries and laughter…YES!!
- I stopped drinking when I met my husband, because I wanted to love him. I wanted us to love each other, but it was hopeless and loveless, and when I drink I am more likely to speak truths that are otherwise too hard to say. I hated the way I felt with him, but it was familiar, the same feeling/love I experienced in my family. It was not the right kind of love for me. Maybe it wasn’t loveless, just not a love I wanted to keep trying to master or survive.
- I just returned from a work trip in which I fucked up and said something insensitive. I offended someone, innocent, but not harmless. I owned it and apologized but still feel sick from it and hope to not lose another night of sleep to it. I am still learning about how to be in the world. I am a work in progress.
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