AUTISTIC NICK, HIS SENSORY THRESHOLD AND THE INCESSANT DRILLING
Yesterday my sensory threshold was challenged and pushed to the limit.
I came this close to just giving in and grabbing my backpack, holding back my tears and leaving work for the reminder of the day.
How or why, I didn’t remains a mystery to even me.
I hadn’t gotten any warnings of the first sensory trigger.
I came into the office and was shocked to see people wearing face masks.
Panic set in as I logged into my computer.
I kept looking around to see why or if I was imagining it.
Sadly, I wasn’t.
I was panicking as I didn’t/don’t carry my face mask around with me.
I was also aware that the mask mandate had recently been lifted here in WA.
It was only when I read my work emails that I saw.
I’m exempt from wearing one anyway based on my Autism.
Then the nightmare that was Tuesday began.
Why does Tuesday have it in for me?
What have I done?
Tuesday if you’re listening can you help me out?
Let me know.
Send me a text.
Write me an email?
Anyway, what set me off was in house drilling.
Yes, workman were busy drilling away and they weren’t about to stop anytime soon.
I grabbed my noise cancelling headphones.
I assumed that because I had set the noise cancelling to 100 that I wouldn’t hear anything.
Boy, oh boy was I wrong!
It may have been the reverberations or the vibrations of the drilling, but it started to seep through.
Every thought I was having was being subjected to the noise of the drilling.
I attempted to block it out, I carried on typing away, carefully crafting words for an upcoming article that I was working on.
But the drilling persisted.
It was one pissed off drill.
I carried on with what I was doing.
I wasn’t about to let this incessant noise break my concentration or my resolve anytime soon.
But the incessantness persisted.
It was in this fight with me and my thoughts and my words and my everything.
I got up and took my lunch to another room.
I sent a text to my sister.
I wanted options.
Options that I couldn’t think of.
I had two options.
One stay and battle it out with the drilling, praying that it was about to end.
(I later found out that this should have all been done on Monday!!)
Two I go and have a conversation with my very understanding boss and tell him that this drilling is overwhelming my sensory levels and I have to leave.
I’m not even sure what happened, how I pushed through, but by 1pm 3 hours after they’d began they were finished and they left unaware that they had pushed an Autistic man and his emotions, his sensory levels to the maximum limit that they could have been pushed too.
I just wanted to run back into the office, or text someone to grab my backpack and I wanted to get the hell out of there, shaking and crying.
I’m currently in two minds about going into work tomorrow.
I can’t make up my mind.
I have a tension headache.
My sensory levels are still too bloody high and are tense.
My anxiety is also high.
I had thought that I was used to the processing part of being Autistic.
Sadly, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
That’s one of the things that does cause me a lot of tension is processing the aftermath of what’s happened.
I simply don’t know for how long it will be before I am done.
No one warns you of this.
I don’t enjoy it.
I felt sick and I barely wanted to eat last night.
The day was because my brain has it in for me replayed repeatedly.
Various scenarios of how I could’ve handled this situation also played out.
Each one brought it home just how badly I’d failed here.
Why didn’t I just leave?
Why did I stay?
I have no answers for you.
But what I do know is that I don’t want to go through something like this ever again.
I guess all I have to do now is to consider whether or not I’ll go into work tomorrow.
I have the option of staying and working from home.
And I think that at this stage that’s what I’ll do.
I may canvas some other opinions, but I think that given what’s happened.
Given that my sensory levels were shot to pieces and that I still haven’t or I have barely begun to deal with the processing part that’s going to be the best solution here for me as an Autistic person.
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
As always, I can also be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU and on the Official Autistic Nick Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AutisticNickAU/ Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.