I find it incomprehensible that in my fifties, I am still working my disability out. Around hypersensitivity, and at the age of 46 when I first found out about cerebral palsy, I thought hypersensitivity was something to do with that because I didn’t know about autism.
I didn’t know I had autism, hypersensitivity, or sensory overload. Only having cerebral palsy to rely on meant I would assume my neurological issues belonged to cerebral palsy. Now I have learned my neurological issues and hypersensitivity have nothing to do with cerebral palsy.
The first time I came face to face with hypersensitivity, was in my twenties seeing someone close to me deteriorate through cancer and feeling scared because I didn’t understand why I couldn’t bear to look at him. I couldn’t know that seeing someone terminally ill, activates my senses through distorted vision and sensory overload, making my senses and what I see more exaggerated.
Growing up, things felt different, but I could never explain anything. I have since learned that with hypersensitivity seeing, hearing, or feeling something can activate my senses in seconds and can make for challenging behaviour.
If not nipped quickly in the bud, it can result in me withdrawing, or having a meltdown. A meltdown can happen at any time, usually caused by a number of factors including stress, environmental stimuli, change and uncertainty.
It is hard to come to terms with the enormity of symptoms around a disability you don’t know you have and have to continually deal with those symptoms. It’s difficult to comprehend that I’ve had these symptoms my whole life and not known.