Last night I went up to bed. I walked into my room, and despite my mum having spent hours that morning tidying and cleaning my room the first thing I noticed was that my teddy bears had been moved. I looked around, where were they? The first words that came out of my mouth, before I had even thought about it, weren’t thank you so much mum my room looks amazing I’m so grateful for you helping me again and always (which I totally meant)…….no I couldn’t say that, instead the first thing I could say was “where are my teddies?” Mum’s face fell, all that work wasn’t appreciated. But it was, so very very much. It looks amazing, but for me I couldn’t cope with that one little change. No amount of apology, no amount of gratitude could undo that first phrase that came out of my lips.
It’s so very difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t got any problem with change but the only way I can begin to try is to borrow from the Big Bang Theory. Sheldon uses an old jumper that Leonard is allergic to to “teach” him that certain situations cause him to have an “itchy brain” and the jumper is like that and he is told that he can’t take it off. It’s a similar thing to that, or asking someone to wear a jumper that is too small and tight. It’s uncomfortable and it gets more so, to the point that all rational thoughts go out of your brain and are replaced with an irrational over reaction that you cannot control. Change, for me, has to be a gradual thing or something I’m prepared for. Unfortunately this came at the end of a week of problems with changes and was just one step too far and my brain as usual in this situation just shut off the rational portion and went into irrational mode. My regular carer is away and my rota had a lot of unallocated calls on it, to add to that when I enquired about who I was going to be having they had not only put someone in that I’d never had before; at a different time to my regular call but they had taken the person who I was expecting out. This set off a series of conversations with me in a complete state, my mum (as always) stepped in and took the stress away by saying that she would do the calls for me (so you can see why my over reaction was so much worse, because my mum really is amazing).
The room change, although extremely small in the context of things, just sent my brain off and meant that I hurt someone who I love and appreciate very much. To say I was mortified was an understatement. I cried myself to sleep, I woke up as usual in the middle of the night and it was all I could still think about. When these over reactions happen I almost always, and usually immediately want to take it all back. But you can’t. All you can do is apologise and regret what you’ve done, and if you are like me this regret usually lasts for weeks. My mum has put the teddies back, but the upset they caused will linger and leads me back to my title “I wish my brain worked like other peoples”.
So do you have any coping strategies for coping with change? Do you have a big problem with it like I do? Do you have something else that you have this sort of over reaction to? I’d love to know what you’d do or to know that I’m not alone in this. Please share below.