Tag Archives: Growing up

Tuesday 3rd September 2014- My real journey starts here.

I’ve been keeping this diary for more than 3 years now. I started it when I was 17 and soon I’ll be 20. Over the past 3 years I didn’t just gain a physical and emotional balance thanks to MLC Scotland’s therapy for Retained Reflexes, and become able to hear clearly after Johansen IAS therapy. Because Retained Reflexes and serious Auditory Processing Disorder were no longer delaying my development and holding me back, I learned a lot of things which are important in daily life, which I previously had no idea about. Here are some things I’ve learned since 2011. I’ve come a long way. I feel like I’ve had almost 20 years of experience crammed into just 3.

  • I’m not stupid after all. It’s amazing how much confidence the diagnosis of a learning difference gave me.
  • Songs have words!
  • Talking to other people and making friends isn’t as scary as I thought. I enjoy chatting and making friends.
  • Sarcasm. It’s important.
  • I won’t scare people away if I tell them that I have APD. In fact, it makes, and brings us closer because they understand why I might sometimes seem distant or confused.
  • Music. Clear hearing gave music an entirely new dimension. I loved music before Johansen therapy, but now it is INCREDIBLE.
  • I have synaesthesia. That explains a lot.
  • I have some dairy allergies. Also explains a lot.
  • Being yourself is important. I used to be happy just when everyone else was happy. Before Johansen and MLC I felt so confused and overwhelmed that most of the time I had no idea about what I thought or how I felt. I used to think that people would like me to be if I was more like them. I tried to please them too much. People can’t decide whether to like you or not if withhold everything that you think and feel. They want to be friends with someone different from them. Otherwise it would be like being friends with themselves, which would be kind of pointless.
  • It’s okay to argue. Following on from the last point.
  • Figures of speech. Before Johansen IAS, when friends said “I had a bad day, don’t ask”, I used to cheerfully say “Okay”, and leave them hanging.
  • Orange Marches are not a community celebration in honour of the colour Orange. (I used to take things very literally).
  • Being polite is important, but pointless if it puts you in danger.
  • You can’t help other people if you don’t look after yourself as well.
  • Toothpaste burns if you get it in your eyes.
  • FCUK stands for French Connection UK. It is not people wearing a swearword on their clothes, but misspelled so that they can get away with it.
  • Beanie hats. Where had they been all my life?
  • Touch typing. Type up a diary entry every day for three years, and I guarantee you will have that keyboard clicking away at a rate of knots.
  • The School Years are not the best years of your life. Trust me on this.
  • I am a drummer! Johansen IAS therapy toned down my hypersensitive and sometimes painfully-loud hearing. This dispelled my fear of loud noises. Without Johansen IAS therapy I would never have discovered one my favourite things in the world. Soon after this musical epiphany I also learned that most families hate listening to creative and prolonged tapping on their furniture.
  • Everyone has something they struggle with. Whether that’s Auditory Processing disorder or another learning/processing difference, a job they hate, a fear of spiders, or any one of an infinite list of problems. Compared to many people in the world I have had a very easy, sheltered and wonderful life. So I should shut my mouth and count my blessings when my ears-to-brain connection malfunctions and I feel like whining about it.
  • I don’t have to do everything people tell me to.
  • I can think outside of the box. And not just when people tell me to.
  • No matter how much I love someone, I am not responsible for them or how they feel.
  • I can lie if I want/need to. I used to almost literally not be able to lie, or even bend the truth when asked a question. I still hate lying. It feels uncomfortable. However, lying is an important skill to be able to have, even if you don’t use it.
  • People are complicated, but that’s okay.
  •  “Normal” is just an average created by measuring how everyone is different.

Without Retained Reflexes and serious Auditory Processing Disorder, I can deal with the world.

The world is complicated. Before I could hear clearly, it was kind of like living inside my own little bubble. Now that my bubble has burst, the world seems huge and that can be a little intimidating. But I think that life sometimes being complicated is part of the challenge. I think (and I hope I don’t regret saying this) that if life was really simple, it might be boring. Anyway, living in a bubble, I was not going to grow. Or learn. Or experience anything. At all. Sometimes things might feel a bit scary and uncertain, like leaving home, which is the thing weighing on my mind right now. I might feel like burying my head in the sand so deep it sticks out in Australia, and watching Chuck box sets while I should be packing, but I’m not going to back out of my decision to move away to study. I want this. I want to leave home, start my own life and grow. Lots of self-help books claim to be able to tell you the meaning of your life (it’s never on the blurb, you always have to buy it first), but I think that it’s different for everyone, and more about the journey than the destination anyway. It’s okay to feel unsure about life and sometimes not know what to do, as long as you keep trying to head in the right direction. If I get through my life with as much integrity as possible, have fun, make gardens beautiful for people to enjoy, play a lot of music, and of course, raise awareness for Retained Reflexes and Auditory Processing Disorder, I will feel like I have achieved something worthwhile.

My real journey starts here.

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Monday 17th July 2014- People are complicated, but that’s okay.

Volunteering at the botanics today, I helped the outdoor gardener with pulling out brambles in the cafe garden. This is satisfying, but can also be a bit prickly. A man sitting at a patio table talked to us about the Scottish Independance referendum for a long time. Although I agree with some of what he said, I had a feeling that he had an agenda. He congratulated me on points I made, which I hadn’t really made and had an air of educating someone who knows less than him, treating me like someone who has been duped and misinformed. I may be a gardener, not a rocket scientist, but I’m also not stupid.

Over the past few years as my hearing has improved (after Johansen IAS therapy made my Auditory Processing Disorder manageable), I have been able to listen to and understand conversations. Because of this I have learned so much more about people. Mainly that people are complicated. There are tiny little nuances and inflections in every sentence, relating to their mood of that moment or perhaps memories which the conversation is bringing up for them. Sometimes they are trying to lead the conversation a certain way, and they want you to say a certain thing. As in the case with this man, they may be trying to persuade you of something. He was confident, assertive, and a little flattering of us when the conversation went in the direction he hoped. He was a very intelligent speaker.

In the past, before Movement and Learning Centre (MLC Scotland) and Johansen Individualised Auditory Stimulation (Johansen IAS)therapies, I would not have recognized this. I used to be permanently strung out from lack of sleep (anxiety issues relating to a fully-retained Moro Reflex), my brain processing at half-speed. Before I went to MLC Scotland, I was too unbalanced and shy to talk to strangers. Without Johansen IAS, I would still have serious Auditory Processing Disorder. and I would not have heard clearly enough to have a conversation with him if we were sitting side-by-side at the table, let alone while I was a few feet away inside of a shrub, fighting with brambles.

I like talking to other people, even although they seem more complicated than they used to. I always learn something new. Nowadays I understand that it is up to me to decide what I take away from conversations. I don’t have to believe that everything people say is true, just because I like them. That was a big learning curve. Before MLC and Johansen therapies, it was extremely difficult for me to interact with other people and make friends. I had a sort of two-dimensional, children’s picture book idea of people. I assumed that most people were uncomplicated and didn’t have much of a personal agenda. Without Retained Reflexes and serious Auditory Processing Disorder, life has got easier for me. I’ve learned more about myself and my own feelings and I think that this has helped me to understand other people more too. Without Retained Reflexes and serious Auditory Processing Disorder holding me back, I’ve had the opportunity to become more emotionally and mentally more complicated than I used to be. I suppose that this might be what growing up is all about.