I was a bit afraid that my parents coming down for Easter was going to be a complete disaster. Things have been even more strained over the last few months than they are usually. And some of the more effective strategies that I use to manage my condition on a day-to-day basis don’t sit comfortably with how they choose to view and interact with the world.
At least they decided that staying in a hotel was preferable to staying with me (there are multiple advantages to filling up my spare bedroom with musical instruments). Plus they are clearly trying to accept this new reality. They’re just not very good at it. Maybe that will change over time.
And there were a couple of small victories. Which I want to focus on today, as in the rest of my life I’m feeling utterly lost and overwhelmed. But that’s all too hard to write about at the moment.
Back to the positives, anyway:
Going out to eat
This is something that causes great difficulty for me, and I think that’s always likely to be the case now.
I have far more issues with food than most people would suspect. There are only certain foods and textures that are ‘safe’, and I can’t tolerate any cross-contamination. I have various ways of getting around this but it means that often eating out isn’t a pleasant experience for me; it tends to be a test of endurance rather than enjoyment.
And this weekend we’ve been out for two meals. One of which was in probably the noisiest restaurant in Brighton. Which, with my sensitivity to noise, was never going to be a great success. Particularly when sitting with a very slow eater.
But even in that situation, my strategies seemed to work. I didn’t have a particularly good time at either meal. But it was (just about) tolerable. So I think that counts as a small victory.
Having unsafe people in my safe space
My home is my safe space. There are very few people who I’m comfortable with visiting me here for any length of time and unfortunately my parents aren’t included on that list. But I can’t stop them coming here without cutting contact completely.
(I actively like people I’m comfortable with coming over. I’d actually like to do more of that; it’s one of the things I really miss about having moved away from one of my ‘safe people’. But no-one local seems to want to visit 😦 )
So the victory here is that I managed to tolerate people I’m not comfortable with being here pretty much constantly for 3 days. Admittedly I’m exhausted now, and had a fairly major meltdown when they left, but it didn’t happen when they were here and I didn’t end up kicking them out.
I really don’t like having to use my strategies in my own home.
But it’s good to know that, if I have to, they work.