I can avoid touching things, but i cannot avoid my own mind.

by William
(U.S.A.)

I can't stand certain smells, like perfume gives me an instant headache. I can't touch most fabrics without making a face that resembles the killer from the movie series "Scream". If i scrape my hand on the interior roof of a vehicle i will seriously freak out. If im eating in-front of the TV and a gross bug is shown, i will loose my appetite. Then to make it worse i will associate the food type i happened to be eating at the time the gross bug was shown with that gross bug for years and years.


Now in some cases i am able to overcome this association and again eat the type of food i associated the gross bug with. There are foods that were my favorites from infancy that i will not eat because of this. Caffeine has a tranquilizing affect on me, i love coffee but it's liquid sleep to me. Yet if i don't get enough caffeine in a day i always get a headache at night. My aunt and little brother suffer from sensory sensitivity issues but to a lesser extent. They can't touch cotton in its un-weaved form (i.e. balls or q-tips), they also are unable to touch frosted glass. That's the extent of their problems. It's not fair, i sleep with 10 fitted sheets secured to my mattress just to avoid a corner of the sheet coming off and exposing the mattress. Holes in my socks instantly trigger me to rip the sock in half while i'm wearing it. If i find a sock with a hole i will put it on just to rip it in half. If someone reaches over something im eating, my plate or something im cooking you can consider that food contaminated and i will not eat it. 5 to 10 times a day i grind a little sea salt into my palm and eat it. I open soda pop cans and turn the tab around and wedge it under the opening so it covers the opening, i do this because i've convinced myself it lessens the chance a bug will get in my soda. But thats not the end of it, i also cover the can with a spice jar lid.

I fear spiders larger than a sesame seed so much, if i happen to encounter one i will run out of the house screaming, and i wont come back in until i see it's body. I have convinced myself if i don't see it dead then its going to get me while i sleep. Yet one smaller than a sesame seed, or those hairy black ones that leap don't scare me the slightest. I don't allow ketchup in my house because it's smell is so revolting i literally throw-up. The kitchen sink is for food only if you even wash your hands in it i will spend 3 days soaking the sink in bleach. If i travel i bring my own sheets and comforter. If i am alone i request the hotel/motel remove all sheet and comforters/blankets and put on my own set, if im not traveling alone i get my companion to remove them and put my own set on. Those green wool blankets the military uses make me sick just seeing them on TV. If i was drafted and they even had one those laying around, i would freak out. I haven't sat on a bare toilet seat in over 20 years, i can't even sit on new ones even if i just installed it, the thought of bare asses where my bare ass sits shakes me to my core. If i or someone else is cooking a steak, roast or chicken, it must be cooked perfectly, no cutting it open to check if its done. I don't eat imperfect meat. I don't like crowds because i can vocally impersonate over 30 famous people, and i get an urge i cannot control to be funny and will crack wise over and over until i feel completely awkward. I always plan to do something, then put it off and put it off some more then regret not doing it while still putting it off.

I'm in my mid 30's and i have dentures because i could never brush my teeth, sticking that brush in my mouth was just to much. I have always been like this, when i was a child they put me on Ritalin, tossed me into resource classes, never tried to get any official diagnosis. Luckily dating hasn't been affected, i have 2 daughters and an ex-wife, currently a fiance who over the last 4 years has learned to efficiently pick on me due these issues, but i can't throw her back she's paid for. LOL! But try and imagine not being able to touch pantyhose or most fabrics women's clothes are made from, and having a severe headache from perfume, that would be a hard date now wouldn't it? My biggest problem is seeing someone chew on their sleeve. I have episodes daily where i think about chewing on a brand new sock. And that is an unbearable thought. If you suffer from these issues and avoiding coming in contact with them makes your life tolerable, feel lucky i can avoid touching things, but i cannot avoid my own mind.

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Nov 22, 2013
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Therapy
by: Connie

William, your story broke my heart. My son has SPD + ADHD.. I have seen how medicine has helped him, however, I also realize how medicine alone cannot be his ONLY solution. Not addressing the sensory issues would just be unfair.

With that said, I commend you for facing your issues head on. You realize, understand and know your limits. Our parents generation (I am close to your age, a little older, but close enough), may not have had the exposure to SPD. As a matter of fact, my son is 9 and I cant even tell you how many teachers I HAD TO EDUCATE... It also took me a long time (years) to find the right pediatrician to diagnose him correctly.

Have you tried to get therapy now, as an adult? We have a fantastic SPD clinic here where I live. Have you tried to research therapists that specialize in this?? I put my son in therapy for just one year. After that, I was able to implement the techniques at home. Obviously, therapy is NOT the cure, but it may help with certain behaviors. It helped my son.
Best of luck to you, and thank you for sharing your story.

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