Disability

Dear woman at Leeds train station who gave me a look when I started to go into meltdown

You don’t get to look disgusted with me because I can’t handle the noise of a screeching train combined with everything else I’m dealing with today. I went into sensory overload, which is clearly something you’ve never experienced, and to be honest I’m grateful you haven’t. You couldn’t handle what I go through day after day. And today, being emotionally a difficult one, I did well to last until that train completely tipped me over.

My experience of this world is different. And that’s ok. Without my Irlen tints, I can’t process light properly and everything is too bright, they held me function at a more typical level. Sounds like the screeching of train brakes that clearly need looking at, scramble my thoughts and my reactions and leave my head ringing for hours after rather than minutes. Certain fabrics against my skin make it crawl. I prefer soft materials like cotton or certain wools because they don’t ‘rub’ the wrong way.

Yes I’m an adult, but I still have Asperger’s. It’s something you don’t grow out of. Just like my arthritis, and my other disabilities, it’s with me for life. When I’m at home, I know when something is in the wrong order or place, the double light switch has to have both switches facing the same way before I can sleep, and I need to keep my routines. 

But my Aspie nature and my other disabilities aren’t the whole definition of me. When you looked at me with that disgust (yes I can read that look), you told me non-verbally that you are the sort of person I wouldn’t let close. That’s your loss. You’ll never get to see the goofy, relaxed me, or get to hear me talk about my favourite shows and books, you’ll never know that I love to act, or go to the theatre, or walk along the canal taking wildlife photos. You’ll never see me at a Sci-Fi con, having fun with my friends, or know that I’m a published indie author with a talent for screenplay writing. You saw a snap shot of a stressful day, the hyped up teaser trailer for a bad movie, not the normal day to day that is my life. I am an intelligent person. I love playing Cards Against Humanity, and spending time with those I love, and going to Chapel make me happy. 

I’m also a gender non-conforming lesbian who actively gets involved with online debates and activism. I’m a parent to 3 awesome furbabies, a sibling, an aunt, a child, a boifriend, a friend, and so much more. I’m fiercely loyal and protective, I’ll do anything for those I consider friends and family. 

Just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I can control my sensory issues or my Asperger’s, but you know what? Without my disabilities I wouldn’t be the person that people love. I wouldn’t be me. In the words of the Sanctuary fandom, I’m proud to be abnormal, because who wants to be normal anyway?
The Aspie at the Station

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