Please note: I am still non-speaking.
Here follows a translation of a blog originally written in Afrikaans by Nicolaas
This holiday was all so different from what it was in the years I couldn’t communicate that it’s hard for me to believe that this is not just a beautiful dream I’m living.
Being able to go to parties, and talk to other people, is not something I ever thought possible for me.
My mom is so confident in her role as my Communication and Regulation partner now, that she can assist me to talk to other people in almost any situation. It’s so beautiful now that we can let myself have a conversation with strange people. We’ve talked to a lot of different people about all the things we would have been able to talk about if I could talk like a normal person.
Being part of a normal conversation, about everyday stuff, is better than being able to get on the TV and show the whole world that people like me are normal. People believe it more when they see it in action.
Attending social events with my family is a big challenge for me.
My sensory challenges make a social occasion with noise and smells and a lot of stuff to see, very difficult for me. It is so difficult that in the past it was better for me not to attend such events. My oversteered body and mind couldn’t handle it at all. Now my body is still challenging, and the sensory stumbling blocks are still everywhere in my path, but now that I can chat, I can handle all these challenges much better
By chatting, I can take my mind away from my anxiety about my body and my sensory problems.
Being able to tell my mom when I can’t handle it anymore makes a huge difference. This used to be a problem for me. The more oversteer my body and mind became, the more anxious I became about my body letting me down, the harder it became for me to regulate myself at such social events. Now it’s completely different because now I can tell my mommy if we have to go home because my body and mind get oversteered. It makes me feel calm about knowing that I’m not going to get oversteered in the company. It’s very humiliating to lose it, because of my oversteered body and mind, if I can’t handle it anymore. It makes me very anxious when I feel I’m struggling to regulate myself, even more so if there are other people who see me while losing control over my body.
Now that I know that I can say when I no longer have the challenges under control, I am much calmer and now it is also possible for me to enjoy such opportunities.
That’s why my life is so much better now, even though my body and my sensory challenges are still just as bad as before.
Being able to lead the life of an ordinary person, is a dream that many of my non-speaking friends also dream of. That’s why it’s important for me to talk about it.
I faced the “ultimate” sensory challenge when I attended the Meatmaster sheep auction. It was a challenge, to say the least. The auctioneer’s voice made me green with jealousy. That someone can be blessed with such a voice, took my breath away. It’s one job my quiet voice won’t be able to make me do. Because my mother was with me, I was able to talk to her all the time, without sound, while the sheep were being auctioned. It was a big win for me to be able to attend. Even though I couldn’t keep it to the end, it was still an incredible experience for me.
Let’s see what new, normal, stuff I can still master.