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Sound

This has been on my mind lately for whatever reason, and since I'm just
sort of trying to stay awake at the moment, I figured I'd write.

As a kid, it seemed as though I thrived on sound. As long as I heard
things going on around me I knew that people were around and I felt, I
don't know, safe. Sound was my way of feeling connected to the world.
This was the case for me until August of 2007. Those who were reading my
LJ back then know the whole hospital story, and those of you who weren't
following me, it's all readable in my archives. But, something changed
me during that time. Before that, I always had to have something going
in the background; TV, the radio, something. Even when I'd leave my
apartment, I'd leave something on so that when I got back I wouldn't
have to walk into a totally silent apartment.

These days though, things are totally different. I can handle noise, but
only to a certain extent. It has to be noise that I can control. I'm
listening to the computer all day at work and then in the evenings, and
sometimes I choose to have music on in the background and sometimes I
don't. These things I can control so I'm okay. It's external things that
I'm finding difficult to deal with. As an example, over Christmas when I
was at masterofmusings's, we were just sitting there doing
stuff on our respective computers, and Bruce's roommate had the TV on. I
can't really explain the feeling that I got after a while of this with
the noise of the computer and the TV and whatever else, but it's almost
this sense that my head is going to explode. Not a headache, just a
complete explosion, and a sense of panic, as though something's going to
happen if I can't get away from the situation. It's almost as though my
mind just wants to shut down completely. I can't really focus on
anything until the external sound has been dealt with or until I remove
myself from the situation.

It's the same with people, although not necessarily quite as bad or as
often. But, sometimes I'm finding myself avoiding social situations
simply because even the idea of too much noise is too much.

At my local Wal-Mart, in the entrance area, there are, for whatever
reason, a series of very loud fans set up. I can almost understand why
those fans make me feel panicky. Part of it is that the noise is so loud
that I can't hear much else so my orientation gets messed up, and the
other part is that these fans sound exactly like the fans that were set
up in my apartment two years ago after the water main break in my old
apartment building. But, whatever the reason is behind that, I have a
really difficult time even for just the few seconds that it takes me to
cross from one door to the other in that store, especially if I'm alone.
So, once again, unless I feel I have absolutely no choice, I try to
avoid putting myself into that situation.

The other thing is, I never quite know when a situation that I'm in is
going to affect me, or if it will even cause a problem at all. I don't
understand it, and, let's face it, I don't like it about myself. I can't
expect the world to get quiet every time I need a sensory break, and
there are some situations that, no matter what, I absolutely refuse to
give up. To me though, this totally makes no sense, and I just don't
understand it.