How far should I go with educating people?

I had an appointment with my job coach today and, as I was waiting at the bus stop to get to town, an elderly lady came over and she was saying something to me so I removed my headphones as I thought maybe she needed some help. It turned out she didn’t need help, she thought it was me who needed help with tuning into my environment and she started lecturing me that I should be listening to what’s happening around me, because as she said, there are kids in a school nearby playing and it means they’re happy. It did get me a bit upset but I didn’t say anything, and thank god, the bus came quite quickly.

I am using my headphones to be able to hear less, that is the thing! Sometimes I listen to my favourite music, at other times I just use them as ear defenders. I didn’t feel like I had to explain myself to that lady, and anyway, there wasn’t enough time, but I guess the loud advocacy of some autistics made me think that I am a looser for not speaking up.

The appointment went well, and as I explained yesterday I am only acting as an introvert now when I’m with people, as I find it much less daunting than acting like a confident and chatty person. I still say what I want to say, I just try not to be too entertaining. But a few weeks ago the company my job coach works for lost it’s office and the appointment was in a food court in a shopping centre. It wasn’t too busy and I’d not say it was particularly noisy. After around 50 minutes I’d started getting really annoyed and felt like I had to leave. I did think at first it was because of social contact and that I was still masking too much, and only after I left and put my headphones back on I realised that I didn’t used to feel like that at all when our appointments were in quiet meeting rooms. Strange, isn’t it? I really didn’t think it was particularly noisy, and yet, I felt annoyed. I wonder if possibly the remark from that elderly lady on the bus stop made it worse?

I put my meditation music on and that made me feel better, thank god. It really feels like music for the soul right now.

I’m in a pub, a quiet one. I’m drinking a pint of cider. I can’t hear anything apart from my music. I tried pink noise for a bit and I was surprised because I love it at home sometimes, when I’m in a mood, it seems to help me create sensory heaven, but today, when I felt on the edge of a meltdown, it really didn’t work – it was just a noise, there was nothing pink about it.

At the moment I’m listening to Falling Stars by Delle Alpi. 30 minutes of meditation music brought me back to feeling absolutely calm, but I still have half of a glass of my cider left.

9 responses to “How far should I go with educating people?”

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