Today I decided to write this to you all. Some of you may never get the idea I am trying to share, but that’s ok because I can’t fix everything, as you will see. As a I write this I will state firmly to you… walk in her shoes, walk in my shoes… please(!!!) don’t just stand there in your shoes.
Our soles are worn and ragged, but you won’t mind will you? It’s not that we don’t have new shoes, we do… a lot of people bought me the best shoes, they just don’t feel right, they pinch and they pull and they cramp. And the new ones feel like pliers pinching, or the arch hurts, they rub my heels. Notice the shoe is old, but it feels familiar and comfortable. OH! She has grown and needs a new pair… shoe store terror here we go!
And because everyone wants her to dress like them, nobody wants to bring me shopping. She won’t wear what they buy anyway, but we go shopping. Things are pretty and she wants them, only to realize they hurt her, they feel awful she won’t wear them!
I could let you use my socks for these are comfortable too. The toes are seamless and there is no ankle band because we stretched these out. Sometimes we are fortunate to find a good brand and then I am comfortable. Oh my goodness you say, what’s the point of this letter? I will get to it. My pants are soft with no buttons that cut and dig into my tummy, no zipper to frustrate me because it’s rough or just hard to zip or rubs my arm when I sit with my hands in my lap.
As I say now life does not revolve around her dressing like everyone else. There are more important things. It may be embarrassing for her as well. As growing occurs and she has to introduce new feelings to her body, she needs new clothes; you know the kind you all buy that she should wear because everyone else does? The new jeans and new fancy shirts and sweaters and socks, and she has to wear bras now too. When she gets it on and struggles a few days with one brand, that’s her brand. Can’t seem to find
underwear that fit right, she has a lot of brands and a lot of styles and a lot of colors and sizes. This is my point! I spend so much time fighting and struggling to dress her I forgot her needs. I thought if I bought her enough underwear she would find a pair that would feel ok.
I cried today for her!! Her underwear were dirty, she was dirty because it’s not just clothes… it’s showers and lotions and the way her skin feels when she wakes up the am after a shower. She chose dirty underwear over a new fit, the last one of the familiar that were left. A new size does not feel right, even though the new ones are the same they don’t feel the same, even though they got bigger as she did to, they don’t feel the same, even though they have been washed and softened they don’t feel the same.
I believe sensory issues vary and I don’t know a lot about them but I do know I have watched a 12 year old wash her underwear by hand just to wear them again because they feel better then the new ones. People often assume these children to be spoiled and difficult, and even dirty or unkept kids. And they need discipline, and you get all kinds of helpful advice. The point here is… How would you feel if your mom called you a dirty, disgusting child on the way to school and it’s because of the way it feels when things are touching you?
I cried because I forgot to remember that it’s how things feel. I cried because all the 12 years of fighting clothing battles. I cried because of the tooth brushing terrors, because of the way she makes everyone mad while fighting to get dressed for school. I cried because she is different and I cried because I understand. DO YOU?
I called her 10 minutes after she left and said I am sorry, I know it’s the feeling thing and we will work on it tonight. I’m hoping for help here at www.sensory processing disorder.com because I feel it too. My heart breaks for the children of even the most understanding parents. I hope this helps others to get the feel of what my point was.