Thank you for asking. Actually, for me, it’s really the combination of the lights (more the intensity of the lights, rather than just too much visual input), the people everywhere (all seemingly going in the WRONG direction), and the noise. Those things together create a worse noise in my brain, and it feels like that video sounds, if that makes any sense. It’s definitely more bearable when the stores are near empty. I’ve gone to Walmart later at night, and it is better. I like when I can just walk in, go straight to what I want, and get out. If there are people all over the place, I get agitated and edgy. Besides that, our closest Walmart is far enough away that I don’t usually feel like making the drive at 9 or 10 at night.
Once I went grocery shopping on a different evening than my usual Sunday, and there were some people there with their kids. Fine, whatever, no big deal. I have kids of my own. I just don’t take them shopping with me. Well, at one point I was heading down an aisle and had stopped to look for something. This kid came (seemingly) out of nowhere and yelled across to the next aisle to his parent. I just about jumped out of my skin! I left the aisle and went back later. Here’s more on that story:
Stop & Shop… & Run Away
Given my problems with shopping and people, it’s amazing that I can be in a band and play gigs and such. But in those cases I think it’s the music that centers me. I love music. The “noise" is more organized, so I’m fine with it. I don’t mind loud music, but I hate loud noises and voices.
Sometimes my wife and I will have a group of friends over, and the talking will get too loud for me at times. I can bear it for a little while, but then I need to disappear and collect myself. I’ll take the opportunity to go to the bathroom or just sit in my bedroom for a minute and stim, and that’s usually enough for me to be able to rejoin the gathering. And there’s always the Cube. My puzzle cubes always chill me out, those wonderful meditative things. Anyway, suddenly this reply has become more of a post. I hope you don’t mind that I published it. You’ve brought out some interesting thoughts. So, again, thank you for asking.
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