Infants sound like goats

Jolly good news, internet friends: as of October 2nd, I am an auntie!

The squishy bundle arrived early Friday morning, to greet and delight us with his tiny human-ness. His name is Liam, and here is a drawing I made after I first saw him:

burrito liam

The past several months have been a whirlwind of anxiety, laughter, and mostly anxiety while my family awaited his arrival. My younger sister, Shannon, was a cool pregnant person.

Many women develop strange eating habits during their pregnancy. My sister craved perhaps the strangest food combination: pickles and oreos. Yes, you heard it right. Often, the two foods would be consumed together. *shudders*

Months went by, often accompanied by Shannon’s hormonal rages and short bursts of loathing.

super preg

DESTROY THIS WATER

Five minutes later…

sorry i was terrible

KELLY WONT LOVE ME

After the baby arrived, I quickly became aware of the secrets of baby sounds. So mysterious, yet so informative they are! I’ve decided to use advanced scientific formulas and diagrams to show you, the people at home, exactly what baby noises really mean.

  1. Show me the poop

diaper cry

2. Not feeling it

dont feel like crying

3. Back in my day, I used to be comfy

body position cry

 

4. Is it time to panic? I’m panicking.

lost suction cry

5. A light, tropical breeze of sorts

special surprise cry

6. Whatever bro

funny sounds cry

 

7. Meanwhile, on the farm

goat cry

If those graphs don’t make sense, I honestly don’t know what does. I may have never produced more clear information in my life. The bottom line: newborn babies are squirmy little creatures and they often sound like goats. The sounds they make are varied and complex, like an ancient language. Perhaps someday in the future, the power of science can break down these cryptic coos to reveal extraordinary genius.

Does this not look like a genius to you?

liam bird

xo kelly

 

The Real Restroom Dilemma

Last summer, Momsy and I attended an Arts and Crafts Fair. After bopping around from one crafter to the next, we needed a bathroom pit stop. Luckily for us, there were actual bathrooms at this fair – not a porta potty in sight. Unfortunately for me, those bathrooms were very noisy, and included my least favorite thing ever: air-powered hand dryers.

At the bathroom building, I informed Momsy that I did not, in fact, have to pee.

I lied.

i lied

Was my bladder going to explode if the internal pressure was not released at that very moment? Probs not. But there was no way I was going into the noisy restroom.

I waited patiently outside for Momsy, watching women join the long line for the restrooms, then watching them exit after several minutes. The roar of the hand dryers, women talking, and the toilets flushing collided with the quieter sounds of the world outside as I stood baking in the bright sun, like a cookie.

Walking past me came a woman pushing another woman in a wheelchair. The woman in the wheelchair was missing her one leg below her knee. The pair were heading towards the restroom line.

Suddenly, a young volunteer working at the fair asked the woman, “are you headed to the bathrooms?

The woman in the wheelchair replied, “yes.”

The volunteer said, “oh, come this way, this the employee bathroom, but you can use it.”

The two women thanked her casually and followed her past a security gate and into another small building.

That moment resonated with me. The woman in the wheelchair was clearly disabled – anyone could see both the wheelchair and the fact that half her leg was not there. The volunteer did the right thing by trying to make life easier for her by accommodating her needs and allowing her to use a separate, less crowded bathroom.

I began to imagine if I had asked that same volunteer if I could also use the private bathroom. I envisioned myself explaining – in my awkward-while-trying-to-be-confident manner –  about my sensory processing disorder, and how the normal bathrooms were very uncomfortable – in this case, impossible – for me to use.

I could see her making that “ehhh” face, the one where she isn’t buying it, but she doesn’t want to look like an absolute idiot either. She responds with something along the lines of “well, you see, that bathroom is for employees only. I’m sorry but I don’t really work here. I’m just a volunteer, and I don’t think it would be allowed.”

the ehh face

If I was a true badass of disability equality and advocacy, I might say something along the lines of, “But I noticed you allowed that other disabled woman to use that restroom. I was hoping I could also be accommodated because of my special needs.”

Next, perhaps, she would create some kind of excuse for her decision, like “I allowed that woman to use the other restroom because her wheelchair would be too big for the regular restroom.”

OrI didn’t want her to have to wait on the long line.”

Or maybe even, “She is in a wheelchair so she has a disability. You are clearly a fully-functioning person because I cannot see any visible sign of a problem. So you cannot use the other bathroom because you are a liar and you are trying to mooch the system. SHAME….SHAAAAAAMMEE.”

Was there a small chance that this volunteer would allow me to use the private restroom after I politely explained my situation? Of course. But that small chance was probably very, very small. And for some reason, I would end up feeling guilty asking for this accommodation in the first place.

The whole moment made me think about every person with an invisible illness or disability or condition. Our lives are spent trying to make the best of a world that doesn’t seem too eager to accommodate our particular needs. Whether those needs are closer parking spaces, equal treatment in school or at work, or the need to use a different restroom when one is available.

As a teenager, I used to wear brightly colored earplugs to visually remind those around me about my condition (aside from using them for hearing protection, too). Without them, I’m certain most people would have completely forgotten about my severe sensitivity to sound and things would have been more miserable then they already were. I used to jokingly tell Momsy that I wished I was in a wheelchair because maybe then people would respect and understand my needs once they saw a visual sign of a problem. How sad is that?

Would it be tacky of me to walk around with a massive sign drapped over my shoulders, reading: PERSON WITH NEUROLOGICAL CONDITION. MAY REQUIRE SPECIAL SERVICES?

perosn with condition

I wish I didn’t have to feel that way, but that’s how much of our society thinks of differently-abled people, and that’s how desperate I am to make things easier.

As we left the arts and crafts fair that day, Momsy and I talked about it. I said, “What if a mother and her young, autistic son asked to use separate bathroom and were turned down, even after the mother explained her situation?” Momsy replied, “They would’ve had to use the regular restroom and the boy would’ve been very upset in there, and the mother would be frustrated and tired.”

I mumbled something like, “that’s not fair. Life sucks. Can we get ice cream?”

tps

And so we got ice cream, and I peed when we got home (in case you were concerned).

The Attic

Some people have stairs leading to their attic. Some people don’t even have an attic. Then there are some people, like my parents, who had a ladder leading up to the attic.

The attic; a strange, foreign land of trinkets from years past, balls of tangled Christmas lights, and deadly creatures. My childhood fascination with such a space overwhelmed me. In the rare moments when the attic door was opened and the ladder would reveal itself, my insides tingled anxiously. It was as if I was staring into the vast reaches of outer space; the universe in all its complexity and mystery lay just beyond the top of the ladder. Green slime oozed from the edges of the attic, surely an indication of some other-worldly experience.

attic 1

I was enamored with the attic. It was terrifying and amazing; it was terrifazing. Amazifying? Whatever. My youthful spirit longed to know of its secrets.

attic 2

Soon enough, that fated day arrived when I would experience the attic. Dad needed to retrieve something in a box up there, and I saw my golden opportunity. This is it, I thought to myself, this is your moment.

With my emotional security blanket (which I named Star) tied firmly around my neck like a cape, I began to ascend the ladder.

How I thought it was:

attic 3

How it really was:

attic 4

As the wind began to pick up, I tightened Star around me and secured my grip on the ladder. Nearly at the top, there was no telling what awaited me. The anticipation was overwhelming.

attic 5

attic 6

Alas! I had reached the surface to discover a world of boxes filled with junk I didn’t really care about, yet I was overjoyed to explore this new, vast wilderness.

attic 7

After what seemed like only a few minutes (probably because it only was a few minutes), I heard the call of my parents from the world below. It was time to descend the ladder and bid farewell to the new world.  As I crept near the opening from which I came, it occurred to me exactly how high up I was. The task ahead required me to turn and go down the ladder. Thanks to my sensory problem, this seemingly simple action became my equivalent of bungy jumping off the empire state building into a pit of blood-thirsty wolves.

attic 9

 

attic 10

With this revelation began a true anxiety meltdown in the four foot high space on the attic. No amount of coaxing or words of reassurance from my family below were alleviating my overwhelming panic. The prospect of having to go backwards down the ladder was truly disturbing and frightening to me. As an adult looking back on the situation, I agree with my childhood self for getting upset. This was a totally rational situation to meltdown over.

It was during mid-crisis in the attic when I realized that the attic was a slightly creepy place to be. Looking around, it became clear to me that there was plenty of potential for evil creatures to jump out of the darkness and swallow me whole. Above me, giant nails protruded through the ceiling, as if a monster was clawing at the house trying to get me. (I later realized these were nails which held the shingles in place.) But things got worse. The beams supporting the roof were covered in some sort of gross, sticky brown substance. A Christmas tree loomed in the corner, ready to attack me with holiday cheer. An old toy doll …well, let’s just say she was the new bride of Chuckie.

I wrapped my blanket, Star, around my head like a veil. It was my only ally and source of protection in this strange and dangerous land.

attic 8

The minutes passed as my family failed to convince me to climb back down the ladder. I became a incoherent blob. As far as I was concerned, I was never coming down. This would be where I’d spend the rest of my sorry little life. My fate hit me like a ton of bricks.

attic 11

Suddenly, Dad appeared at the top of the ladder. Again, I assured him I would not be making the descent back to the mortal world. He managed to convince me to hold onto him and close my eyes. He held me and climbed down the ladder; it was the scariest 3 seconds of my young life. I felt like Carol Anne as she was sucked away from the demons of the underworld in that movie, Poltergeist. I can’t believe we made it down alive. To be able to live among my earth family yet again was such a relief.

attic 12

To this day, climbing any kind of ladder disorients my body and mind. The fear takes me back to that fated day in the attic. Will I ever be able to conquer this body-ladder coordination conundrum? Only time will tell.

attic 13

Also, F.U. to my sensory problems. Struggling to stand on a basic 2-step ladder is super embarrassing and mildly inconvenient.

xo kelly

NEWSFLASH: Adults have SPD too

This post contains information that NEEDS to be said. Warning: the following may cause epiphany, sudden awakening of the soul, and Oprah’s “ah-ha” moment. Proceed with caution.

Approximately 93% – I just calculated that statistic in my mind – of all information on sensory issues, both in print and online, are geared towards children.

For a while, that knowledge left me feeling like this:

NOT SURE IF FRY

One of the main reasons I started this blog was due to the near absence of information and resources for adults with SPD on the web or in books. The only exception to this would be a few blogs, and Sharon Heller’s Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight, which has become the bible for sensory-plagued adults. Unfortunately, SPD adults often find ourselves reading sensory books geared towards children, and attempting to relate the information to our adult lives. It can be awkward.

potty training

not relevant

Like many neurological disorders, sensory processing disorder does not go away with time.

A fun fact is that according to many medical “professionals,” children with sensory processing disorder just learn to live with their problems, or they simply grow out of the disorder.

At age 13, many people – including myself – were turned away from occupational therapists for the sole reason that we were too old to be treated for our sensory issues.

I remember asking my mom, with confusion, “What’s the difference if I’m 12 or 13? I still have the same disorder. I still need help for this.” Momsy didn’t know what to say, and she couldn’t have known.

Here is what I know: growing out of something is for clothing. People grow out of sweaters. People do not usually grow out of neurological conditions. They manage it and – in the case of SPD –  learn ways to live within their specific limitations. SPD can regulated with various therapies (occupational, physical, or psychological), but there is no cure for it just yet. However, this leaves us SPD adults with many problems.

same person

It leaves us feeling a strange sense of being “unwelcome.” Adults are not the target group, if you will, for awareness and research. SPD adults are very much ignored and neglected by the medical community. We often feel a sense of guilt for even asking for/seeking out help from professionals. We are given this look when we mention SPD to our doctors:

wut

This is not Hogwarts, my friends. SPD cannot be sent away with the flick of a wand, nor does it magically vanish when we turn 18. It is not fair or right that adults with neurological conditions such as sensory processing disorder are left in the dark simply because they are adults.

As an adult with SPD, I can assure you that my sensory problems are here to stay (for now). I’ve overcome many of my sensory struggles from my childhood – yes. However, newer and more overwhelming challenges have reared their ugly faces into my life as an adult with this condition.

Due to the belief that SPD is a disorder of childhood – WHICH WE GENIUSES KNOW TO BE FALSEanother belief now exists that there are no adults with SPD at all. Because of this idea that adults don’t have SPD, it is not recognized by our society, and therefore, we cannot get help or respect.

SO WHERE ARE ALL THE ADULTS WITH SPD?

I’ll tell you where they are. They are struggling to find their place in a world that doesn’t work with their sensory system.  Without acknowledgement from our community regarding this conundrum, we find ourselves turned off by the world.

helloworld

herrow

Moral of the story is this:

Adults with SPD are out there.  We are here! (Well, not really. We are actually trying to avoid the entire world while simultaneously being part of the entire world. It’s a tad complicated.)
Spread awareness and educate your fellow human beans that, in fact, adults with neurological condition DO exist. We need your compassion and respect in order to overcome our challenges.

xo kelly

Dear Depression: You’re Tacky and I Hate You

The following is an open letter to Depression:

Dear Depression,

I am writing to you because I’ve been having some serious concerns with our relationship. I won’t deny the closeness of our bond; we have been friends for many years now, and it often feels as if we are the same person. You know my favorite food, my worst fears, the things that makes me smile, and pretty much everything else – let’s be honest here. You’ve seen me in the shower, for heaven’s sake!

I never wanted things between us to get this intense; to go this far. I knew you liked me from the beginning, and I’ll admit, you seemed strange, but nice nevertheless. I let you into my life, or rather, you let yourself in. I must’ve forgotten to lock my door. From that day forward, you have done nothing but take, take, take. Some people say that their Depression has given them numerous “gifts.” I have not received one gift from you Depression, you selfish poo mongrel.

I constantly compare myself to other people and wonder if you’ve followed them around as you’ve followed me. I’ll never really know because nobody likes to talk about you. Don’t you have other friends besides me? I know you must, but I have yet to meet them.

 

depression 18

depression 19

depression20

DEPRESSION21

 

I am tired. I am so tired of you, and because of you. Here are the things you have made me feel, in no particular order: worthless, unlovable, lazy, disgusting, scared, hopeless, helpless, trapped, and a few more which I will not name for the sake of droning on and on. Depression, must I be exhausted ALL the time? I can’t live my life if you won’t allow me to get out of bed.

DEPRESSION 2

depression3

depression4

depression 5

DEPRESSION6

depression 7

depression 8

depression9

 

Depression, you cannot have me all to yourself. Even simple things, like going for a short walk outside, was made difficult by you.  I’m in an abusive relationship with you. You are my weakness, and I really hate myself for it. You are a manipulative, controlling piece of crap. 

depression 10

DEPRESSION11

depression 12

depression13

 

Depression, I try to do my best and participate in normal life activities, but you always glue yourself to me. For instance, all those years I went to school, you INSISTED on tagging along. It was nearly impossible to focus with you there. Do you know how hard that was?

depression14

depression15

depression16

depression17

DEPRESSION18

There is never a time when I can be without you. It makes me infuriated – why can’t I separate myself from you? I’ve spent a good deal of my time wondering where I’d be without you; what sorts of things might I’ve accomplished without having you always part of the picture? How different would my current state be if you weren’t insistent on tagging along for, well, everything. Sometimes, I just wanted to be alone.

depression22

DEPRESSION23

depression24

depression25

I fight you daily.  I fight you using the power of cuddly and delightful things, such as baby animals. Their adorableness creates a temporary physiological blockade of YOU. For a brief moment, you aren’t part of my life.

depression26

 

depression27

That moment is fleeting, however. You tend to bust in, unannounced.

depression28

depression 29

 

Depression, once and for all, please get out of my life and stay out of my life. Occasional sadness is one thing, I mean, he’s not that bad of a guy. He knows his limits and respects them. You, on the other hand, do not. When I am with you, I become physically ill. When I glance in the mirror, my face belongs to someone else. I think, who is this person? This is not me. I don’t really look like that, right?

It never ceases to amaze me how talented you are at crushing every tiny ounce of positivity I manage to hold onto. So, STOP. I’ve had enough. I’m breaking up with you, and if it was possible, I would love to throw your ugly butt into a large, active volcano.

 

With absolutely no sincerity,

Kelly

 

(I apologize for the hiatus in blog posts. Actually, screw that. I’m not apologizing. I’ve been dealing on and off with severe depression/exhaustion/crapsauce and have been unable to function on a regular basis. In combo with my sensory problems, I’m feeling totally useless being I cannot work/being an adult under these circumstances. BUT I’M ALSO LIKE:

pr-72

Liebster Response Questions VIA video!

Two of my internet lovelies have RE-AWARDED me with the Liebster award. Not sure this counts, and honestly, I could simply -re-nomininate them and the cycle will NEVER END. MUAHAHAHAH

To spice things up a bit, I’ve made VIDEO RESPONSES, answering their questions to me.

Here’s the response to AUNTY SOCIAL:

VIDEO 1

Here’s the response to FULL SPECTRUM MAMA:

VIDEO 2

ENJOY MAH FACE,

XOXOXO

kelly

How to tell if you’re a terrible dancer

It’s a question that has plagued people for generations: do I suck on the dance floor? Chances are, if you’re asking yourself this, the answer will most likely be a resounding yes.

Luckily, I’ve spent the evening creating an easy-to-understand method of analysis for those whose dance skills are in jeopardy.

 

Step 1: Identify the Cause

What is the reason behind your need to dance?

A. I am Lord of the Dance; dance is the language of my body and my life. I AM dance.

B. I am battling inner demons, and using physical means, such as dance, to exorcise their presence from my soul.

C. I’m like, at this party, and everyone is dancing. So, like, me too. Yay me!

D. I feel super fat, so I’m dancing as a form of exercise so I can look like Kim Kardashian because I think she’s a GODDESS. I read that on a Buzzfeed comment one time while waiting for my mocha latte at Starbucks. Did you know her butt has it’s own fan club!

E. I have toddlers and I must entertain them or else they’ll destroy me.

F. I’m only dancing to embarrass my children.

 

Step 2: Select your letter option (A, B, C, D, E, or F), then continue accordingly

If you picked A: 

A1: I have extensive training in dance. Like, full PRO.

✓ YOU ARE NOT A TERRIBLE DANCER. IN FACT, GET OFF THE DANCE FLOOR, YOU’RE MAKING EVERYONE LOOK BAD.

A2: I took dance classes as a kid and now I’m an extra-flexible adult with strong core muscles.

✓ YOU ARE NOT A TERRIBLE DANCER. YOU SET THE PACE ON THE DANCE FLOOR. STAY COOL.

A3: I am Lord of the Dance because I said so.

× YOU ARE A TERRIBLE DANCER, BUT KEEP DANCING. WE ADMIRE YOUR SPIRIT AND ENTHUSIASM.

 

If you picked B:

B1: I have mental health issues and I’m losing my $%#@. Therefore, I dance.

× YOU ARE A TERRIBLE DANCER, BUT YOUR SANITY IS ON THE LINE, SO DON’T STOP.

B2: I’m trying to cure my depression through fun activities, so I’m dancing.

× YOU ARE A TERRIBLE DANCER, BUT YOU ARE NOT GIVING INTO DEPRESSION, SO YOU WIN.

B3: I am literally possessed by a demon who enjoys flailing my limbs around.

✓ DEPENDING ON THE SKILLS OF SAID DEMON, YOU MAY NOT BE A TERRIBLE DANCER.

If you picked C:

C1: I’m at a party/wedding/celebration and everyone is dancing. EVERYONE.

× YOU ARE PROBABLY A TERRIBLE DANCER, BUT NOBODY CARES BECAUSE THEY SUCK TOO. AND EVERYONE’S DRUNK.

C2: I’m a young person at a stupid teenage party/prom/Valentines’ dance and everyone is dancing. EVERYONE. SOME PEOPLE MAY BE DRUNK.

× THAT’S A LIE IF I EVER HEARD ONE! LOTS OF PEOPLE DON’T DANCE AT PROM. WHY ARE YOU EVEN THERE? GO HOME AND DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE LIKE BUILDING A SECRET SOCIETY OF TERRIBLE DANCERS. ALSO, YOU ARE A TERRIBLE DANCER.

If you picked D:

D1: I’m just doing this because this is what people on social media do when getting “hot and fit.” My latte is liquid heaven.

× YOUR MOCHA LATTE IS LOADED WITH SUGAR WHICH WILL CANCEL OUT ANY WEIGHT LOSS OR FITNESS POTENTIAL FROM DANCING. YOU ARE A TERRIBLE DANCER.

D2: I want to be Kim Kardashian.

× YOU ARE NOT KIM KARDASHIAN. BUT I’LL TELL YA, YOU ARE VERY LIKELY TO BE A TERRIBLE DANCER.

D3: I want to be Kim Kardashian’s butt. Just the butt; nothing more and nothing less.

✓ YOU ARE A SUPREMELY SKILLED DANCER.

If you picked E:

E1: I did some weird movement with my legs and my shoulders, and now my kids are laughing hysterically.

✓YOU ARE A LEGEND. YOU ARE AN OUTSTANDING DANCER, KNOWN ACROSS THE GLOBE FOR YOUR IMPROVISATION AND UNIQUE STYLE. YOU’VE GOT STAMINA AND MUSCLES; YOU ARE A TRUE DANCER.

E1: I was dancing and now my kids are trying to murder me.

× YOUR TODDLERS ARE NOT AMUSED WITH YOUR SKILLS; TANTRUMS GALORE. YOU ARE A TERRIBLE DANCER. I’M SO SORRY. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.

If you picked F:

F1: I am in a public place with my children and I feel the need to humiliate them through dance.

✓ NOT ONLY ARE YOU A GOOD PARENT, BUT YOU ARE A MIGHTY SUCCESSFUL DANCER.

There you have it! Are you a terrible dancer? Comment with your results below, there is no shame here, internet friends. And remember, just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance. Where would this world be without it’s terrible wonderful variety of dancers?

xo kelly

The Liebster Award, you say?

As it turns out, fellow blogger, Anna Regina, author of diversion3000.wordpress.com, nominated me for this lovely little thing known as the Liebster Award. Here it is:

(I’m not a fan of the design, honestly. It looks like a blah-green bottle cap. Ugh, I’m so judgmental.)

liebster2

The Liebster award is given between internet bloggers to show admiration and stuff. Therefore, I must continue to pass it on.

The rules of the Liebster Award:

1. Thank your nominator:

So, thank you Anna Regina for this nomination, I am most flattered. In fact, I am now very flat, if you must know.

2. Answer the questions given by the nominator:

Why did you start this blog?

I started it because there was hardly any information for adults with sensory processing disorder online. Also, I like to write and illustrate.

Candy or cake?

Cake, obviously.

Who’s your hero?

My Momsy.

What’s your biggest fear?

Damn you, I refuse to answer this. My enemies could read this and use it against me at a future date. Not taking that chance, thank you very much.

Do you consider yourself a nerd or a kool kid?

Nerd.

Winter or Summer?

Winter.

Are you addicted to any TV show?

The Walking Dead.

What’s your favorite place in the world?

hahahahahah my bed

Name 5 things you like.

books, plants, art, fairies, sweets

Instagram or Vine?

Instagram

3. Nominate other bloggers:

Coming to My Senses

Aunty Social

Full Spectrum Mama

Problems With Infinity

History of Bad Parties

David Snape

4. Create 10 questions for your nominations:

1. Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?

2. What’s your zombie apocalypse survival tool?

3. If you could be one animal for 24 hours, which one would you be and why?

4. If you had to choose between living 200 years in the past, or 200 years in the unknown future, which would you choose?

5. I have 5 apples, I gave one to your friend, and then I gave 3 to you. Finally, I gave you 1 apple. How many chickens crossed the road?

6. Name one food and one beverage to consume for the rest of your life.

7. Number of Pixar movies that made you cry?

8. Speaking of, name your most favorite Pixar movie.

9. Respond to the following statement: “Last week, Japanese scientists explaced – placed – explosive detonators at the bottom of Loch Ness to blow Nessie out of the water. Sir Court Godfrey of the Nessie Alliance summoned the help of Scotland’s local wizards to cast a protective spell over the lake and its local residents and all those who seek for the peaceful existence of our underwater ally.”

10. Meow?

All there you have it; The Liebster Award. If I’ve nominated you, you can accept the nomination, answer the questions I’ve created, and pass it on. Or you can respectfully decline and my feelings won’t be crushed or anything. I’ll still love you.

xo kelly

Enough with the Fireworks

I’m here to declare July 4th as the worst Holiday ever. Columbus Day is a close second, by the way.

Don’t get me wrong internet friends, I support freedom and independence from the British empire. Our flag has lots of nice stars and stripes on it, and red, white and blue are a sweet color combination. That’s all very nice.

But July 4th is only known for one thing:

FIREWORKS

The concept of fireworks really irks me.

(And no, this is not because I have sensory processing disorder and fireworks are the bane of my existence, much like thunderstorms, barking dogs, escalators, and clothing tags to name a few.)

Shooting off fireworks on July 4th is awesomesauce for many people. Fireworks are colorful, big, and very loud, and I’ve learned that most people like colorful, big and very loud things. (My sensory-avoiding friends make a collective eye roll and groan here.)

Still, there are less – but still plenty – of people who dislike fireworks for various reasons.

 

Imagine this scenario: It’s National Blob Day, and everyone is celebrating. However, some people experience pain when people use blobs.

blob day 1

better blob day 2

blob day 4

blob day 3

 

It really bothers me that even though many people are aware of the struggle and pain that this “holiday” brings for thousands of people – and animals – across the country, they insist on shooting off fireworks anyway. Because, you know, apparently their fun is more important than the mental and physical well being of their neighbors. Why is this ok?

 

It makes no sense to me.

July 4th makes a miserable experience for veterans, trauma victims, people with disabilities, elderly and young children who are frightened of sudden sound, and many animals. How is it fair, to the middle aged man with severe war trauma, to sit sobbing and delirious for hours because people want to celebrate? How is it fair to the child with autism, who cries and punches herself in the head because the sound of fireworks are so disturbing to her? How is it fair to the neighbor’s dogs, who run around whining and cowering for hours because people want to enjoy explosives?

 

I wouldn’t mind the fireworks so much, except for the fact that people in residential areas use them –  many use them illegally, mind you. I understand that we live in a loud world where life is unfair and unkind to people whose bodies and minds deviate from the “norm,” whatever normal is. I understand that people want to celebrate and have fun, and that fireworks are traditional. But I simply can’t get past the anger I feel knowing that people continue to use explosives when so many suffer because of them. These people are not going to July 4th parties, and then getting upset over the fireworks. These are people in their own homes, not knowing where to go to escape the sound. I admit that I have considered driving to Canada for the weekend, in a desperate attempt to avoid this. There is literally nowhere to hide.

Imagine this other scenario:

Several of your neighbors are highly allergic to roses. The scent of them traveling through the air gives them a terrible, but non life-threatening allergic reaction. Still, every Spring, you argue that you have to plant all your roses because they make your house look nice and you really like to garden. Your neighbors will suffer for a while, but roses are SO PRETTY, so you do it anyway.

Any decent human must recognize that this is ridiculous, and quite frankly, bullying. But if we replace roses with fireworks, this suddenly becomes ok? Sadly, I know fireworks will always be part of this holiday, and there is little I can do to stop that.

 

This weekend, I will be on high-alert. I will put uncomfortable ear plugs in as the sun sets. I will sit close to my dog, his body wrapped tightly in his thundershirt; his one paw is picked up off the ground – he is nervous and upset. I will try to sleep through the storm of sudden and random explosions . My entire body jumps with each one, and my ears ache. It’s a long night, and the same will happen on Sunday. I know many, many others like me will wake up like this:

morning after july 4

But at least some people out there are having fun, right?

 

xo kelly

The Big Band-Aid Calamity

A few months ago, I was cutting some mat board to put with a framed drawing. Tragically, I lost my grip on the mat knife and accidentally sliced my left index finger.  I grabbed my finger tightly and ran to the bathroom where, luckily for me, Momsy was there to assist me with my new wound.

The minute I released my hand on my finger, blood began to pour. It was like a horror movie, (if that horror movie was about Momsy and I standing in the bathroom, and I was just saying “ow, ow, ow”). TERRIFYING.

We wrapped it up quickly as a dull throb slowly began to overtake my whole hand. I’m lucky to be alive, honestly.

stitches 1

stitches 2

stitches 3

After a while, we re-wrapped the large cut with proper bandages and gauze. It wasn’t until this moment that I realized the doom which I now faced.

The new bandage monstrosity on my tiny finger was a huge sensory turnoff. I mean, HUGE.

I couldn’t for the life of me stop sensing the bandages on my finger. It wasn’t the pain, which was slightly annoying, rather, the heap of gauze, tape, and other junk piled onto my finger tip was like an assault on my entire sensory system. I’m not kidding you when I say that the illustration below displays the actual bandage to finger ratio:

stitches 4

Two days passed and still, the bandage predicament consumed my thoughts and will to live. My family informed me that I have been walking around the entire time with my finger stuck out awkwardly. Humiliated and moody, I told them that I had no idea that I was doing that, and further, I couldn’t seem to control it. I’d try to push it down into normal finger position, but it would pop right back up like a jack-in-the-box.

STITCHES 5

stitches 6

stitches 7

STITCHES 8

A week passed, and still my ugly finger wound was relentless in its quest to destroy me via sensory tactile WARFARE.

stitches 9

As a child, I had similar reactions to things like denim, tags in clothing, or socks that became awkwardly bunched in my shoe. I referred to the sock problem as a “coo-eee.” All were the cause of extreme distress. Parents with sensory kids, I know you feel me right now.

As an adult, I’ve managed to conquer the denim thing, but the same cannot be said for the clothing tags and sock cooees. Sensory adults, I know you feel me right now.

The giant band-aid was merely the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. If I was having a bad sensory day, my band-aid finger was sure to put me over the edge.

stitches 10

Thankfully, because the world is merciful, I was upgraded to a single band-aid after two weeks. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps there was hope after all!

One morning, that glorious day had arrived where I needed no band-aid whatsoever. My finger was free! And so was I.

All that remains now is a scar on my finger tip – the memory of a harrowing three-week period of sensory insanity. I will never again underestimate the mental anguish that a bandage can cause. More importantly, my finger returned to its resting position, and life went on. My tiny scar and I became very close.

stitches 11

xo kelly