Thursday, October 13, 2011

"If it's too LOUD, then you're TOO OLD!" Okay, well then, I've been too old since birth.

So, loud noise. It drives my son to put his hands over his ears and run the other direction. Or put his hands over his ears and scream. Or put his hands over his ears and cry. Or lash out. It is part of his sensory disorder.

But, you know, we all have sensory issues to some degree. Some people don't like the feeling of wool on their skin. Some people don't like slimy food textures, like mushrooms. Some people's senses don't work together efficiently in crowds and they become claustrophobic.

My sensory issue? Noise. Like Max, I can't handle noise.

When I was a child, I remember begging my mom not to turn on the vacuum cleaner because I couldn't handle the noise. And when she said she had to vacuum, I remember asking her to wait until I got to my bedroom and shut the door. I truly couldn't stand it. Just like Max.

I have never liked loud music (again, just like Max), so apparently I've been old since birth. Concerts and bands in bars have always been difficult for me to enjoy because of the volume. I sound like such a fuddy duddy, don't I? Well, I promise I am fun. Okay, at least I used to be fun before I had kids. (insert sigh) Now, fun for me is getting to go to the grocery store by myself and buying myself a treat, like a Dr. Pepper (gasp!) and a bag of peanut M&Ms (oh no! she didn't!), then sitting in my driveway in the dark like a psycho, eating my candy while hiding from my responsibilities.

Wait. That might have been too much information.

Anyway, construction sites and motorcycles give me anxiety and make my brain vibrate around in my head. Fingernails on a chalkboard and forks scraping plates make my teeth hurt.

I can't stand the sound of liquids pouring from one container to another, like when someone pours coffee out of the pot into a cup. I also can't stand the sound of ice rolling around in a cardboard cup, like fast food cups. Drives me nuts.

Now, I don't always notice these sounds - but if it is quiet, like in a movie theater, and someone is shaking the ice in their cup (my husband), then I want to rip off my irritated skin, jump up on my chair, and scream, "STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! YOU ARE RUINING THIS MOVIE FOR ME! STOP. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT.!" That's not crazy, right?

My ideal job is in a library. Not just because I love literature and reading and libraries and bookstores are like my church, but because it is quiet. I live in a small house with two little boys and a very lively husband. There is a lot of hoopla going on in my house at all times and I am not a "hoopla" kind of gal. Chaos stresses me out and that is basically all my house is - just one rectangle of chaos. With siding.

I told my husband that I want to work in a library when the boys go to school and he said, "A library? Why? That would be so boring! It is soooooo quiet!" As soon as the word "quiet" fell from his lips, our 3 yr old ran through the kitchen trying to hit our dog with a light saber and our 1 yr old started crying because he got knocked over. And I said, "Exactly. It's quiet."

So, all this makes me wonder. How much of Max's sensory issues are an actual disorder and how much are just genetics? Or maybe I have a disorder? Actually, me having a disorder is pretty possible. It would explain a lot.


  1. I've always hated loud music, too. And my son hates loud noise, unless he is the one producing said noise - he has his headset on full blast; the same with the TV volume.

    But if I do it, it's a big deal.

    Maybe you both could get some sound-reducing earphones?

  2. I don't like loud noises either - or too many things going on at once - TV, radio, talking - all at once about drives me insane.. Even in my car - I rarely have the radio on... I love quiet... When the kids are at school - no TV for me... no music - just the silent sound of breeze from my open windows.. an occasional meow from our kitten or a sharp bark from our dog.. So I know exactly what you mean.. Funny how both of my girls love everything that is loud and my husband - multitasks.. computer on - TV blaring and he will read a book... oh well..
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