Sensory Overload at the Mall
It’s a moderately warm Saturday. Gail and I went to Arundel Mills Mall for lunch and to get me some outside exercise.
I don’t freeze up nearly as much anywhere else as I do at a crowded shopping mall. There’s people coming at you from all sides. I can’t tell who’s paying attention to where he’s walking, I have this constant fear that someone is gonna bump into me and make me fall. People cut in front of me and make me freeze. Little kids come running up alongside from behind and I don’t see ’em coming and I freeze up.
I’m trying to maintain good posture and body mechanics when all I really want to do is hunch over, look at my feet and take tiny little steps.
I catch myself stooping over and force myself to stand up straight. I catch myself walking with my mouth open — one step away from drooling on my shirt — and force myself to close it.
I walk, taking big boy steps, and the tips of my shoes dig into the floor and I almost fall.
I have one of my “illusions” as I “see” someone running towards us from the left. I turn my head. No one there.
The pattern on the floor changes, or there’s a slight elevation or dip in the floor, and I freeze solid. Sometimes as I stand there waiting for the feeling to pass, it feels like I’m going to tip over one way or the other and Gail saves me.
Gail saves me a lot of the time.
She gets me home safe.
I’m still in there fighting. But one of these days it’s all just going to be too much for me.
But that day isn’t today.