Most of the time the act of giving my favorite Miles Davis song a listen is a relaxing, hypnotic experience.
But sometimes, like tonight, it’s grating on my nerves. I am trying to think… I am trying to make connections in my head. Something that was easy in the past. (I can remember studying while listening to music most of my life, the idea of that now seems absurd, how can you focus?) The music is distracting me… No, I need something else. A different song to distract the part of brain that’s into squirrels and shiny things.
Ah! Much better. Noise. Joyful Noise.
Do you ever stop to really ponder the five senses? Can you imagine your life without one? Can you imagine a life where all five are royally fucked up? I never really did before. I knew music was my life. Wasn’t that true for everyone growing up? As you get older I think music recedes into the background a bit –but a decade or two goes by and you hear an album one day out of the blue and it takes you back, a soundtrack to a period of time in your life. Eighties hair bands take me back to middle school and high school. Ratt & The Scorpions make me think of riding around in my aunt’s car even before middle school. Nineties Country takes me back to my Army days. Sixties and 70′s rock/pop takes me back to car rides in my parent’s car. Citizen Cope’s The Clarence Greenwood Recordings? Law School. (I’d drive around Baton Rouge trying to find my mellow listening to that!) Certain songs are linked to certain boys… Certain songs are linked to certain places… Mostly good.
But certain songs bring back horrid memories. Hey Ya! I was living in this horrid little house, pregnant with Liam… overly sensitive to smells… JUST bringing this up triggers the memory of a hazelnut candle I had when I lived there (and grew to hate). It triggers all sorts of yuckiness from that time. EVERY TIME I hear Hey Ya!
What about other sounds? A while back there was a post going around Facebook about Misophonia. It was something about hating the sound of people chewing. I yelled out, “OMG THAT IS A REAL THING??” OH LORD! Sometimes… the sound of one’s jaw cracking while they eat makes me want to stab them.
Most people who spend a little time around me –at least… back in my working days, knew that they weren’t allowed to talk to me for a solid 30 minutes, at least, after I got home from work. Don’t even go there. For one, I won’t remember anything you say and for 2. The sound of your voice will make me want to stab you.
I am no stranger to sensory issues. I often say my that my autistic child is me… minus the shit ton of vaccines as a small child. I got my shit ton from the ages of 17-20. That “saved” me. Saved me from the worst possible outcomes… but didn’t save me from my own set of quirky sensory issues. When I am overwhelmed you better shut up. (Oh. I have totally done the “SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP” scene from Breaking Bad.) Touching certain fabric makes it impossible for me to breathe. If my hands get dry… I can’t breathe. Basically, you could kill me by wrapping me in microfiber and taking away my hand lotion. And If I say that I have to GTFO of a moment –let me walk away… because that is me knowing my limits and stopping the meltdown.
There are days when my son and I are BOTH having, what I call, “Bad Sensory Days”. Oh hell… look the fuck out. We both escalate, which makes the other more agitated… which makes it escalate… which makes us more agitated… (Which, probably makes my youngest REALLY stabby.)
So where am I going with this? Sound has become the enemy in this house. We’re held hostage to noise. Noise rules my asd child. At around 10… (OMG Alison! the MRI! It just hit me!! *I will explain that to the rest of you in a future installment!) Around 10 we had to limit our music selections. This was after his Grand Mals started –after his MRI, after his second regression. CERTAIN songs set him off… violently. And I never knew which ones would do it. Not until it was too late. Kidz Bop creeped in at that point –and as much as I fucking hate that garbage, it’s the only thing we can listen to that doesn’t set him off. (Best I can guess to this day, it’s more likely to happen in songs with in minor key and/or heavy guitar). BUT… it’s turned into an OCD thing with him. If a day goes by that we don’t go for a ride in the car and play a certain Kidz Bop Album a certain way he gets all…. stabby. (Which sucks right now because both cars are broken.)
Recently an article popped up in my news feed about prenatal ultrasounds making a baby’s hearing more sensitive. *facepalm*
Look, I have said before that I don’t think there is ONE cause of “autism” because “autism” isn’t ONE thing. And each insult can make each child worse… which is why no two kids are alike. Which is why one thing can CURE one kids autism and make another kid’s worse. I think the sensory issues we see in autism can come from many sources –from toxic exposures to, oh… let’s say… SOUND WAVES POUNDING THEIR DEVELOPING HEARING ORGANS/NERVES. *bangs head on desk repeatedly*
I was an x-ray tech. I worked right there. I had many ultrasounds. It *could* explain why my son’s hearing is so messed up. I can remember when I first waved him around in front of a doctor saying, “Hey, he’s autistic!” Step one was a hearing test to rule out deafness. I just laughed. That kid could hear a coke can cracking open from a mile away, during a hurricane, with headphones one… while rocking out to Ratt!
Sound is painful to him. Sound can send him into a violent rage. Sound can paralyze him. Sound is the reason I have to schedule a baby sitter out of the house to vacuum my carpet. Sound is the reason I can’t live in town. Sound is the reason we are stressed to the limit these days.
Anyway… I just wanted to get that all out “on paper” tonight. I have tons to say about this and will post a little more each day. And for real! One of my upcoming school assignments is to edit a WordPress theme, so I can actually combine school work with keeping the blog updated for once! lol I’ll be around. In the meantime –think about the ultrasound thing. Dec. 18th, you need to tune in to Fearless Parent Radio where they will be talking more about it. Read about the upcoming show here and check out their archived shows. Check out their Facebook Page while you are at it. Anyway, if the conversation goes the right way I will be calling in and NOT using any of my bad words.
Also in the mean time –if any of you have successfully treated such sound issues, please share with me any and all things that have helped. PLEASE.
Oh, and I finally found my groove tonight, even Eminem wasn’t really doing it for me… turns out it was Clarence!!