Monday, February 15, 2010

A little bit embarrassing

Confession time. I hate showers and brushing my teeth and changing my clothes.

Of all the things I struggle with, this might be the most embarrassing. The sensory experience of it all can be just too much.

As a kid, I screamed in the bath tub. Screamed bloody murder. It wasn't enough to put a washcloth over my eyes. My parents finally resigned themselves to not bathing my everyday, and only washing my hair every few days. When I was 2, my mom found a blue, foam ring that fit on my head that kept the water from falling into my eyes. It helped, but still I would all out melt down at the prospect of a bath. My hair was actually fairly long and got knotty, and I hated my mom brushing it. It was such relief to get it cut when I was 5, nice and short to my shoulders so that it only had to be brushed after it got washed, which wasn't that often.

I stuck with the every-other-day baths until middle school, when I started to shower and did it daily. Middle school and high school were the years of the least sensory issues, and thankfully, I was able to shower daily. But in the last couple of years, I've started to have trouble again.

I usually shower daily, but the whole process is a nightmare. Going from clothes to no clothes sucks, then the water pressure hurts, then the towel makes my skin burn, then changing into new clothes is the worst. I hate new clothes. First of all, they're stiff from being washed, and secondly, they feel different than the clothes I'd had on. I don't do pajamas for the same reason; I just sleep in whatever I've been wearing. As I just told Leigh, by the time I'm done, I feel like someone has just peeled off the top layer of skin, leaving me a raw, open wound. I hate it. Brushing my teeth is rough too, sometimes, but it doesn't hurt like showering. It's just uncomfortable.

I'm starting to run into problems with clothes, too. You know that I only wear sweatpants, right? Well, my mom found me a pair of jean leggings with an elastic waist. Finally! A way for me to wear jeans and look halfway normal! Maybe it's because I got used to those, but now I can't even wear my sweatpants. Ughhhh. The hurt my legs. So I'm sitting here in leggings (but they're capri length, so I can't wear them out). I'm not sure I could get away with wearing leggings like that out in public, either... I'm super muscular, but last year I put on a good bit of weight due to meds, and I don't know how that would work. This might be a lesson in self confidence though, as i might be reduced to wearing only leggings. I don't know what else to do.

I really need a shirt that says "Will work for cats." Because that's the agreement Leigh and I have, now. When I shower, I get a Lolcat. Yes, it's come down to that. I don't look at Lolcats online very often, because they're almost too good. So. Many. Cats. I can't contain my excitement, and it turns from something good to something bad. It makes my heart beat fast and my hands sweaty and it's just... it's cat overload. One cat at a time is good, but all at once is overwhelming.

So, yes, this is a little bit embarrassing, that I don't want to shower, but at the same time... this is autism, you know?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting that, I've had similar problems and I can relate. I am glad I am not the only one. My issues are different than yours but have the same end result. Especially the clothes, I have very few clothes I can wear too, and that is very, very hard. You are lucky to have a friend as understanding as Leigh. :)