I am not talking about the kids. This holiday season has been a little different from the past. We have been doing a lot more social activities this year, and it has been good overall. Today is the first day that we have been home in several days, two weeks I believe. I may have to take my grandma to the airport later today, and I am taking Joshua out shopping tonight. I decided to take each child out alone with me so they could pick out presents for each other and for daddy. It has gone very well. Ariel had a wonderful time, and she loved thinking of things to get for them. Daniel was a lot more into it than I thought he would be. He did have a lot of fun and said: “I wish I could take a cart home.” I have taken them to Target and plan on taking Joshua there as well.
Maybe it is because I was raised in a Target and I worked there for long that I do not get as overwhelmed.
I do feel like Target is much calmer than Wal-Mart again that may be because I know Target. My mom started working there when I was 5 or 6 years old I think and stayed with them for around 23 years. Something like that. Anyway I am partial so maybe I am prejudiced against Wal-Mart. I bring this up because there are certain stores that can make me cry. It usually happens when I have been under tremendous amounts of stress, social anxiety, worried about finances, or the HOLIDAYS!
One of the grocery stores around here has made me cry.
It has on several occasions played songs that I have not heard in years that trigger certain happy/sad memories. BUT I will include that it is one of the coldest stores around here, the lights flicker, and the deli smell makes me gag every time I go in there so those could be a large contributing factor to my heightened sensitivity. I have had to go to the store practically every night, with or without a child. I had to go to Target the other day by myself and I decided to check out the boots. The kids ruined my last pair of tall black boots that I had since 1998. Well I do have one other pair of black knee high boots, but those have a heel and pointy toe so they are not the same at all. (Shoe obsession)
I went down the aisle and there was a perfect pair of knee high black boots, low heel so I could wear them whenever.
They were on clearance and only one pair for my size 8 feet. I grabbed them and put them in the cart. I then had a conversation with myself about being selfish and that I really should not get them. I then cried in the middle of the boot aisle at Target. The tears were a mix of feeling guilty, feeling stress about money, feeling the Christmas stress, feeling the stress of the kids meltdowns (though nowhere near what they have been like in the past), and the feeling of being so alien in this world. Some of this is not new — I have had it my whole life.
The holidays are so hard because of all the social dynamics, and people acting differently.
Since I have been out a lot more this year I think that my sensory issues have heightened a lot of this. I decided to get the boots and return them if we could not afford them. Thankfully I was able to keep them without guilt. The kids are having a good Christmas because we purchased gifts throughout the year while they were on clearance. (and with family blessing us as well) I will hardly buy myself anything because my first thought is we have bills and we need food. I think to myself if I spend such and such amount on something that takes away from something else. It is hard to justify getting anything for me unless it is really cheap.
I got over my crying at Target and thought that I would be ok.
I ended up having to go to Wal-Mart several days later. There is nothing in one store around here! I have to go to five different stores to get everything and they are spread all across town. It is annoying even in a small town. AND now they have just built a Kohl’s store right across the street to taunt me for several reasons, one being my weakness for Kohl’s clearance. I am not a big frivolous shopper, but that store and Target tempt me like no other with their clearance. Well when I had money to spend. Again I am all over the place, sorry.
I went to Wal-Mart and felt completely overwhelmed in the parking lot.
I went inside trying to focus and get what I needed, as to try to get out of there as quickly as possible. I couldn’t, I couldn’t remember why I was there, I couldn’t find my list, and I couldn’t remember where I put it. I normally check my person about three times before I enter a store. I check for my list, I check for my card, and I check for my keys. I had a purse that night, which I normally do not have. I forgot to check it. I stood in the front of the store completely lost. I know the entire layout of this store there is no reason for me to get lost. I was lost in the front! I finally remembered that I needed to pick up pictures and I went to get them. It required me to stand in line and wait that was good because I was able to locate my list and check for my keys and card to ease my mind.
After I left there I was still fuzzy headed, and freaking out because I was spending more money.
I went to the boys section to get them some pants because they only have a couple of pairs pajama pants. I stood in the middle of the boys section feeling like I was being swallowed up by the store and started to sob uncontrollably. I had my face in my hands and just cried. I couldn’t stop. One of the employees asked if I was alright, and I looked at her and laughed with my face dripping with tears. She must have thought I was mad. I wiped off my face, got some pants, and went over to the Kleenex section to take care of my nose. As I went throughout the store I continued to have tears if anyone looked at me, they would just start streaming.
I had floods of thoughts about feeling so alone.
It was not the lonely sad kind of feeling it was the lonely feeling misunderstood feeling. I looked around at all of the people and everyone seemed so capable. They looked like they were having fun or maybe it was the feeling of belonging that I saw. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was crying because I am incapable of being ok when I am off schedule for days. When my shampoo/conditioner bottles are not aligned in my shower because the kids keep messing with them and when my house is not as clean as I want it. When I have to go to stores on multiple occasions, and their lights and smells bother me. When I am surrounded by people and I cannot relate to them. When I feel like I am walking outside of my body everywhere I go. When my grandma is leaving today, AND when I have not had any alone time.
I think I just need a break.
I think it’s funny that I tend to lose all control in the middle of stores or in their parking lot. It is not a bad thing it is acknowledging that I am overwhelmed and it is ok if I cry in Wal-Mart. I am not mad, I just don’t like that store so much it makes me cry. No, I am kidding. I needed to write this to let others know that if you are crying too it’s ok. Maybe we should pick a store and start to have weekly cry meetings. We can have sensory/social overload groups every holiday season. I am glad that my meltdowns have turned to tears and laughing fits because before I used to be a rager. One time I kicked a plastic dog and broke my toe. I felt horrible for that dog, he was fine though. My toe is still not even years later. :-/ I put him in the garage sale mom and I had this weekend, it went well.
After today, I think I am going to get some paints and canvases and have a little quiet time.