So I’m now relaxing after our family visit. Overall I think it went well.
After “outing” myself as neurodiverse we had our first full on visitors, was I going to talk the talk or walk the walk? Nobody mentioned a word of my email but I must assume they read it. The biggest challenge, as ever, is me dealing with myself. I can beat myself up about anything so I have had to work hard on that. My journal has been a great help, documenting in detail a minute by minute account of my feelings. LOL I have fears about someone finding my journal and reading my most private thoughts but I think the actual minutiae of my inner feelings would put anyone off after 30 seconds!!
So what have I learnt?
In the past I would be disassociated from my feelings / emotions, now I am better able to recognise I am uncomfortable / angry / stressed and then I need to exit the situation.
Having left, I write it down in my journal, identify triggers and emotions.
Now on my own, what might help me settle down again? (Sensory stimulation in the form of a prickle mat, listening to calming music, wrapping up in a blanket)
Realising that once I settle my mood and feelings of discomfort will disappear, I will even feel good and be able to rejoin the group in a good way (after a nice prolonged time alone)
The main triggers are noise, and being in a group of people for too long. It just leads to overwhelm. I require time on my own, and 5 mins is NOT long enough, I’m talking half an hour minimum, over an hour or longer if possible.
There might be other triggers, something said that upsets me for example, but I found myself able to be less sensitive, just file away a stray remark under “interesting, what does that tell me about the speaker?” rather than being actively hurt by it.
Overall I was present for meals and some periods of interactions with the small children as well as the adults and I was able to enjoy those moments. It will be interesting to see if and when I get my migraine, which normally would turn up today or tomorrow, lasting approx 2.5 days.