It is fair to say that I was never encouraged to think outside the box as a child. Not knowing about my disability or sensory issues kept me firmly in the dark. Everything unfamiliar feels daunting: through my writing I am now able to recall and place my experiences.
When I was a Girl Guide, camp was compulsory. I had no choice. I remember being driven to the drop-off point and my stomach was already in knots. Even before I got on the coach, the whole idea of going to camp filled me with trepidation.
When we arrived, I felt incredibly scared, so scared that my stomach was in knots again. I remember the feelings of panic, being completely out of my depth in a new environment. Emotionally, I couldn’t cope. By tea time those in charge had already called my parents for them to come and take me home.
Camp didn’t look or feel right and I put it down to being homesick. The open spaces made everything feel and look scary. In fact, everything about camp felt scary. I can remember those feelings as if they were yesterday. They are the same feelings I get when I work through anything new.
Since my diagnosis and for the first time, I am now able to explain and place my experiences with sensory issues. It feels good, if a little overdue.