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June 02, 2021

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Yeah, that one concerns me. And also just the "my surroundings are out of my control" reaction. I still have mostly unvax kids due to age <12, so there are few things we do yet. We did manage a totally-outdoor zoo visit pretty well, but there were still several "I can't go over there, it's a bottle-neck and I can't trust my fellow humans not to crowd me into the corner"-type encounters. And as it got more full, we got more antsy, until it was a bit of a relief to head home.

I'm taking only my graduate and her next-oldest sister to the homeschool graduation ceremony next week, and even so the thought of all those people and unpredictability bearing down toward me is stressful.

I don't think for me this was a silver lining, but rather a side effect: I grew into my role providing care and feeding and herding of 7 kids with as much grace as I could muster, but only one kid at a time, and now my skills feel almost irretrievably rusty with no easy path to re-mastery. Even having someone in my house for repairs uses up all my energy for the week, and going to the zoo is now a Major Planning Thing much closer to the way vacation used to be than the way the zoo used to be.... I re-mastered "getting gas" early on, though and am now also adept at "getting library books" and almost at "going to the park, WITH water bottles AND shoes", so perhaps I am closer than I thought.

My first experience of the overstimulation was actually at my first vax appointment, which was in a large hospital conference room with about 25-30 people in it all talking at once. I was fine, and it was only a few minutes until I was in the much larger quiet lecture hall waiting out the observation period...but it clued me in right away that the adjustment to normalcy for this introvert might be more challenging than I might have guessed. I also attended an outdoor retirement party where I knew about half the attendees, and found it a bit overwhelming and surprisingly overloud despite being outside--parties with people I don't know were a bit daunting in the best of times, and will take some getting used to again. I am fine with all the little errands in stores and places where you are more or less "moving through," but I get exactly what you are talking about. This will be an interesting season, to say the least.

Oh boy, is THAT what my problem is? I hadn't thought of it that way, but this keeps happening to me. We don't go as many places with an under-12 in the house but the places I do go seem like a lot. Of course! Overstimulation!

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