There’s a part of my identity that I keep being told is not really a part of me. I’m not gonna say it, because apparently, I should stop identifying that way. But I’m gonna tell you some things about myself.
Last night I kept picking my feet up and putting them back down while I talked to my roommate, staring at my feet as I did so because it was so fascinating to me how my bare feet felt on the floor.
On Tuesday I held my water bottle to my ear because I was hearing a strange buzzing sound and I thought it was coming from my water bottle.
A few weeks ago, I panicked when I walked into my apartment because the living room smelled strongly of my roommate’s shampoo and I had to back away from her cos the smell was too strong. She couldn’t smell it.
I struggle to eat because the smell or texture of a certain food will send me into a panic at random. Even foods I enjoy are a risk because partway through eating, my brain will decide it’s panic-inducing.
Sometimes I stare at unimportant things, like chairs or my hand, because my brain can’t process them. Sometimes I grab items trying to process their texture but they don’t register as real in my head. This includes my own body parts.
I have had moments where I’ve paused mid-word for five minutes trying to regain my train of thought. I’ve had moments where I never regain track of what I was trying to say.
Sometimes I want to cry because I know the things I do in private would be seen as completely childish, and then I want to cry even more because sometimes I can’t stop from doing the same things in public.
And then there are days where I function without delay, without weird sounds or smells, without being disconnected from reality. Those are the days where I function in a way that causes people to completely ignore all the moments where my brain gets off-kilter.
Those are the days that cause people to think I’m fine. I’m not.
When asked what my biggest peeve is, I say “people telling me that facts about myself aren’t true.”
People tell me I communicate well, and ignore me when I say, “no, I really don’t.”
I’ve been brushed aside when discussing my worries over food and judged for struggling to eat.
Constantly, professional psychologists who have only met me once tell me that I’m too focused on a label I don’t need, yet everyday I struggle with symptoms of said label. I was told to ignore a professional diagnosis from a psychologist who has known me since June by a psychologist who has only spoken to me for an hour, tops.
So maybe I don’t necessarily need the label – I still need the accommodations. But I’ve lived enough of my life without the label and I know I don’t get the accommodations without it.
Tell me all you want how you think I function too well to be this way or you don’t want me to be affected by a negative stigma – I know the facts about how I live my life better than you. Don’t invalidate my professional diagnosis.