An awkward position

Playing in a concert tonight. I usually like hiding at the back of the cello section. I can play in peace, not having to worry too much about what I am doing. It’s fun, most of the time.

But today we are playing in a confined space. And there isn’t room for me to sit behind everyone else. So instead, they’ve found me a place just in front of the trumpets.

Which is not great for someone with my sensory issues.

I knew it was going to be a problem. Almost in tears when they told me, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to cope but couldn’t think what to say.

I was right. Almost full blown sensory overload during the rehearsal. Every sound amplified from what is already a very loud instrument. And all I could do was put my head down on my cello, close my eyes and wait for it to pass.

No idea what people thought of me. I wanted to explain, but I’m still shy and embarrassed about my condition. Don’t know why. Silly, really.

I’m writing this in the period between rehearsal and concert. There isn’t anywhere to desensitise. Earphones are working, to a certain extent. But I’m scared that I won’t be able to cope in the concert. And if I can’t, then it probably means I can’t play in this type of thing any more. Which would be a shame, as it’s one of the things that has helped me put down roots here.

There’s no internet access where I am, so I can’t post this until I get home. Hopefully there will be a positive addendum: that the concert went well and I managed to control the sensory stuff. But at this stage, with 15 minutes to go, I am not confident.

I’ve let so many people down since last year. I don’t want the same to happen here. I have to trust that I still have something of ‘me’ left, and I will get through, and it will be fine.

***UPDATE #1***

It’s the interval. So far going OK. Slightly overwhelmed. Hiding in orchestra area as everyone else seems to be talking to their family and friends, so it’s relatively quiet (I have no-one here). But the most difficult piece – from a sensory perspective – is still to come. Help…

***UPDATE #2***

Held it together. Overwhelmed. Brain frozen. Home. Parked (not straight).

Thinking what to do. Can’t keep asking for accommodations. But like playing. Just not by trumpets. Lovely people. Lovely instrument. Just loud.

Can’t think. Rest now.


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